Romeo and Jude
Author: Marty Ross (Inspired by William Shakespeare)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre/Themes: Romance, Drama, LGBTQ+
Release Date: February 10th 2016
Audio Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
Format: Audible Audio
I came across Romeo and Jude during my daily morning visit to the Audible website. Every day, Audible has a Daily Deal in which they feature an audio book at a significantly cheaper price. Romeo and Jude caught my eye for some pretty obvious reasons. One, it was obviously a take on Romeo and Juliet and two, it quite clearly featured a gay relationship. Consider me intrigued.
A gritty reimagining of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy – full of passion, emotion, scandal, disillusionment and family fallout. A brand new modern-day audiobook adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic love story.
An amateur dramatics company in a suburban corner of nowhere. Two men with very different lives, brought together when cast in the roles of Romeo and Juliet – ‘as Shakespeare would have it’, in the words of their eccentric and enigmatic director. Though the elicit romance doesn’t only play out on the stage.
Against the odds, our heroes struggle to keep hold of each other and to keep a handle on real life. As the pressures, threats and expectations of their worlds draw in, per Shakespeare’s original, the pithy banter from the first few scenes evaporates away to reveal a very real and present danger…and even tragedy.
What I Liked
- The classic retelling with a slight twist. Romeo and Jude is set in modern times as an amateur theater company in a small town plans to put on a production of Romeo and Juliet. The only catch is, they have a very avant-garde director who feels like she wants to follow in the path of Shakespeare and use a male actor to play Juliet. What starts out as an awkward on-stage situation between the two male leads ends up turning into an off-stage love affair. I thought this was a unique and interesting take on a classic Shakespearean play.
- The audio drama. I listened to this as an audio drama, making it the second one I have ever listened to, the other being Locke & Key. I absolutely love the idea of audio dramas as it feels as though you’re watching a film…minus the visuals. A lot of the storytelling is being done by the multiple voice actors as well as the many sound effects and musical score. Audio dramas are honestly one of the best things I have come across since I started using Audible.
- The multiple voice actors. It was easy to determine who was who as each character was portrayed by a different actor. This also helped me visualize each character, especially our two lead men as there is supposed to be a considerable age difference between the two of them. I think this was conveyed perfectly based on the choices of Owen Teale and Matthew Tennyson as our lead voice actors.
What I Didn’t Like
- The slight change of the ending. The entire audio drama was basically following the main points of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet…until the very end. Why follow the story so closely only to change the ending? Everyone knows how Romeo and Juliet ends. Everyone knows what to expect and what they’ve gotten themselves into when they start reading. The ending is probably the most memorable thing about the original…so why change it?
- Tyrone. The Tybalt of this version of Romeo and Juliet. He was just despicable. I know that his character is supposed to be, but man did he ever grind my gears while listening to this story. It may have also been the way he spoke…which wasn’t with your typical prim and proper British accent compared to the other actors in the cast.
Overall, Romeo and Jude was definitely worth the listen. It was a unique and different take on a familiar story that we all know very well. It was refreshing and wonderful to listen to in its audio drama format. I highly recommend checking it out, or any audio drama for that matter. They’re always a fun experience!