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By: Unknown (1622-1673)

Book cover The Impostures of Scapin
Book cover The Acharnians
Book cover The School for Husbands

By: Arthur Shirley (1853-1925)

Book cover Three Hats A Farcical Comedy in Three Acts

By: E. L. Blanchard (1820-1889)

Book cover Whittington and his Cat

Whittington and his Cat, or Harlequin Lord Mayor of London was the 26th Grand Comic Christmas Annual, written by E. L. Blanchard for performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London in 1875. Pantomimes are a favourite Christmas entertainment in England, and in Victorian times were usually written in rhyming couplets. They featured a Principal Boy (played by a girl) and a Dame (played by a man). Over the years they became ever more elaborate with fantastic costumes, huge casts and spectacular transformation scenes...

By: William Shakespeare (1554-1616)

Book cover As You Like It (version 2)

Shakespeare's pastoral comedy was written and first performed around 1599, and presents some of his familiar motifs: a cross-dressing heroine, a wise-cracking fool, brothers usurping their brothers' power, a journey from the court to the country, and various romantic entanglements.

Book cover As You Like It (version 2)

Shakespeare's pastoral comedy was written and first performed around 1599, and presents some of his familiar motifs: a cross-dressing heroine, a wise-cracking fool, brothers usurping their brothers' power, a journey from the court to the country, and various romantic entanglements.

By: Emily Eden (1797-1869)

Book cover Semi-Attached Couple

Young and beautiful Helen Eskdale and fabulously wealthy Lord Teviot seem to be the perfect match. But when they marry, they find that misunderstandings and jealousies continually drive them apart. The machinations and intrigues of a large supporting cast surround the central question of whether their marriage will survive. Emily Eden's comedy of manners is reminiscient of Jane Austen's witty and ironic novels.

Book cover Semi-Attached Couple

Young and beautiful Helen Eskdale and fabulously wealthy Lord Teviot seem to be the perfect match. But when they marry, they find that misunderstandings and jealousies continually drive them apart. The machinations and intrigues of a large supporting cast surround the central question of whether their marriage will survive. Emily Eden's comedy of manners is reminiscient of Jane Austen's witty and ironic novels.

By: William Davenant (1606-1668)

Book cover Law Against Lovers

The Law Against Lovers was a dramatic adaptation of Shakespeare, arranged by Sir William Davenant and staged by the Duke's Company in 1662. It was the first of the many Shakespearean adaptations staged during the Restoration era. Davenant was not shy about changing the Bard's work; he based his text on Measure for Measure, but also added Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing — "resulting in a bizarre and fascinating combination." He made Angelo from the former play, and Benedick from the latter, into brothers.

By: William Shakespeare (1554-1616)

Book cover Much Ado About Nothing (version 2)

Much Ado About Nothing is generally considered one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, because it combines elements of robust hilarity with more serious meditations on honor, shame, and court politics. Much Ado About Nothing chronicles two pairs of lovers: Benedick and Beatrice (the main couple), and Claudio and Hero (the secondary couple). Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a very "merry war"; they are both very witty and proclaim their disdain of love. In contrast, Claudio and Hero are sweet young people who are rendered practically speechless by their love for one another...

By: Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793)

Book cover Mistress of the Inn (La locandiera)

Mirandolina runs an inn in Florence alone with only the help of her loyal employee Fabricius, and all of her guests are in love with her. The wealthy but only newly aristocratic Count D’Albafiorita and the impoverished but noble Marquis di Forlipopoli vie for her affections while debating the respective value of wealth and nobility (and insulting each other a good deal along the way). The misogynistic Cavalier di Ripafratta scoffs at their shared infatuation and ridicules the idea of love, but will he too fall victim to the beautiful innkeeper’s charms? And can any of them win the heart of the independent Mirandolina?

By: W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

Book cover Patience (Bunthorne's Bride)

A comic operetta which is a satire on the themes of fashion and pretension and hero-worship. Bunthorne is a poet who pretends to be highly "idealised" in order to impress the ladies. They all worship him, except for Patience, the dairy maid, who is the only one he loves. However, his grand plan goes awry with the arrival of Grosvenor who is more idealised and more poetical then he is. The ladies all flock after Grosvenor instead, until Bunthorne curses him with poor fashion sense and stoutness! But will the curse bring Bunthorne his Patience?

By: Lording Barry (1580-1629)

Book cover Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks by Lording Barry

Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, is a bawdy comedy by Lording Barry, a contemporary of Shakespeare. The production bankrupted Barry, landed him in debtor's jail, and set him off on a life of piracy. The action of Ram Alley takes place in a disreputable London lane where lawyers, lords, and ladies rub shoulders with prostitutes and vagabonds. One 19th century editor complained that it was "full of gross passages, allusions, and innuendoes," but more recent commentators have seen past the risque gags and recognised the play's wit, complexity, and intelligence...

By: Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Book cover Village Coquettes

Before he started writing novels, Charles Dickens tried his hand at theater. The Village Coquettes is a two act musical. Sadly the music was lost long ago so this will be a spoken version. This play completes the recording of the relatively unknown plays of Dickens in celebration of his 200th birthday!

By: William Rowley (1585-1626)

Book cover Changeling

The Changeling is a sensational 1622 tragicomedy by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley that comprises two intertwining plots. The first involves Beatrice-Joanna, daughter of the governor of Alicante, and her unruly passion for Alsemero, despite the fact that she is engaged to Alonzo de Piracquo. She enlists the aid of her father's servant De Flores to kill Alonzo so that she can marry Alsemero. However, she does not anticipate that De Flores, who is in love with her, will demand payment for the deed...

By: John Dryden (1631-1700)

Book cover Tempest

John Dryden and William D'Avenant's Restoration adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest preserves the main plot and characters of the original. Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, lives on an isolated island with his daughter Miranda, and plans to take revenge on his brother Antonio, who usurped his throne. He is aided by his servant, the airy sprite Ariel, and is hated by his other servant, the monster Caliban. Dryden and D'Avenant added in a number of characters: Dorinda, Prospero's other daughter, Hippolito, a young man who has never seen a woman, Sycorax, Caliban's sister, and more spirits and comic mariners...

By: W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

Book cover Pirates Of Penzance; Or The Slave Of Duty (Version 2)

In this recording, one person reads the entire play, all parts, including the stage directions. Even without the support of Arthur Sullivan’s music and the interpretation of actors, the consummate silliness of Gilbert’s libretto entertains. The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates...

By: Thomas Dekker (c.1572-1632)

Book cover Shoemaker's Holiday

The Shoemaker's Holiday is an Elizabethan play written by Thomas Dekker. It was first performed in 1599 by the Admiral's Men. It falls into the sub-genre of city comedy (depicting ordinary London life).Aristocrat Rowland Lacy falls in love with middle class girl Rose Oateley, but Rose's father and Lacy's uncle refuse to approve the match because of the class difference and Rowland's spendthrift lifestyle. Rowland is told to redeem himself by joining the army fighting in France. To avoid going, he persuades someone else to take his place and disguises himself as a Dutch shoemaker, Hans...


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