Spotify is more than just about music. We’ve already covered some of the stand-up comedy (here and here) and excellent Blake’s 7 audio dramas, but did you know that there’s also a whole feast of classic audiobooks, audio drama and plays on Spotify too?
Audio Books on Spotify
While there aren’t any modern audiobooks on Spotify yet (Amazon’s audible.co.uk has seen to that), there are still quite a few classics recorded in the mid 90s and read by many famous names: Hugh Laurie, Joanna Lumley and Nigel Davenport for example. Here’s a small selection (more here):
- Jerome K Jerome’s “Three Men In A Boat”
(read by Hugh Laurie)
- Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice”
(read by Joanna Lumley)
- Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”
(read by Martin Jarvis)
- Thomas Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crowd”
(read by Robert Powell)
- Victor Hugo’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame”
(read by Andrew Sachs)
- Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde”
(read by Tim Piggott Smith)
You’ll also find a whole series of Sherlock Holmes stories, read and acted by Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson. Here’s Volume 1 with the first four stories.
One word of advice when searching for more audiobooks: avoid the Eternal Classic Audio Books series. While unabridged, they’re read by a computer-generated voice and sound absolutely awful!
Classic Plays on Spotify
EMI UK has made a series of classic plays available on Spotify, starring some the finest actors and thesps of the 20th century. These include:
- Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”
(with Dame Edith Evans and Sir John Gielgud)
- Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker”
(with Alan Bates, Donald Pleasence, Peter Woodthorpe)
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s “The School for Scandal”
(with Cecil Parker, Claire Bloom)
Shakespeare on Spotify
Argo Records have lots of classical content on Spotify, including many of their recordings of the complete works of William Shakespeare. Cambridge University’s Marlowe Players performed the plays, which by the mid-60s grew to include many professional actors. Here’s a few:
- Henry IV, Part 1
(with Paul Scofield, Anthony Jacobs, Corin Redgrave)
- Henry IV, Part 2
(with Sir Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Corin Redgrave)
- The Winter’s Tale
(with Margaretta Scott, Sir Ian McKellen, Corin Redgrave)
You’ll also find Romeo & Juliet, Measure For Measure, Two Gentlemen Of Verona and many more. Unfortunately the label search is a bit wonky here, so you’ll just need to search for each Shakespeare play by name.
Special thanks to Stuart Ian Burns (writer of the excellent blog Feeling Listless) for pointing out all these audio books and plays. Please let us know in the comments if you find any more drama or fiction on Spotify!