Grace Ioppolo is the founder and director of the Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project and is Professor of Shakespearean and Early Modern Drama in the Department of English and American Literature at the University of Reading, England. She is the author of Dramatists and Their Manuscripts in the Age of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, and Heywood: Authorship, Authority, and the Playhouse (2006) and Revising Shakespeare (1991). She has edited Shakespeare's King Lear for Norton and has published widely on textual transmission, the history of the book and literary and historical manuscripts, most recently as the co-editor of Elizabeth I and the Culture of Writing (2007). She is the General Editor of The Collected Works of Thomas Heywood, forthcoming 2012-15.
Gr 12 Up-This famous family tragedy is dramatized expressively by an outstanding cast of experienced actors led by Paul Scofield. They are very knowledgeable about the play and give each speech with changes of tone and intonation expressing the exact shades necessary for proper understanding. Hearing the voices personalizes the story, making it seem as if this tragedy is real. Voices vary from raging shouts to gentle whispers. The British accents add realism and are not distracting. Appropriate sound effects, whether an animal baying, rain pelting, or horns blaring, assist in setting the mood. However, it is necessary to identify each character by his speech alone as there is no narrator announcing a scene, an entrance, or a setting. Because this can be confusing, high school students should either use the prepared guide which summarizes this information, or have the entire text in front of them. King Lear is not often taught in regular high school English classes, and even 12th grade AP classes have trouble understanding the play. So, although this is an excellent production, unless the play is taught in your school, consider it a supplementary purchase at best.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.