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Member Name: sympatic
Lady Windermere's Fan - Oscar Wilde (Audio Book)
Advantages: Great performances
Disadvantages: None for me
This audio book was given to me for xmas after I had commented to a friend how much I had enjoyed seeing an am-dram performance of the play earlier this year and I said that I really should spend the time reading some more of Oscar Wildes work. What is great about this audio book is that it is basically a play with lots of different characters rather than a single narrator, the storyline is typical Wilde, the main protaganist of the play Lady Windermere is celebrating her birthday however prior to the party a rumour reaches her that her husband is having a dalliance with a women of a certain reputation, a Mrs Erlynne who has appeared out of no where on the London society scene. When she finds that her husband has indeed been visiting and giving Mrs Erlynne money she has a massive argument with him and the present he has given her, the fan in the title, nearly plays a part in ruining their relationship.
It is a delightful, funny and at times moving Wilde story that has its usual quota of comic characters, false modesty and people with secrets to hide and passions they keep suppressed. Having also seen the play this year when I listened to this recording I could not help but place the faces of the actors against the voices on the cd, the only problem with this is that I was conflicted slightly as many of the voices and hence faces of the performers are very familiar to me, Juliet Stevenson plays Mrs Erlynne while Lady Windermere is played by Emma Fielding, both actresses who have long CV's, Michael Sheen as Lord Darlington has an impressive voice as does Sam West who plays Lord Windermere.
The performances are excellent in this audio book and the one and three quarter hours soon passes quickly and I listened to it in one sitting only having to pause to load the second CD. The sound quality is crisp and clear and all the performers do an excellent job of getting the emotion of their characters and their individual nuances across in the recording. There is a lot of humour in this play, you would expect as much from Wilde and while you do have to concentrate to ensure that you detect all of the subtlety in the lines it certainly made me laugh out loud while listening to it.
Whilst not one of his most famous pieces this is certainly well worth listening to in audio format and with an excellent cast it was a great present.
Summary: A great listen
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