Oroonoko


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(3.5 stars; 2 reviews)

Based on Aphra Behn's 1688 novel (which is one of the earliest novels in the English language), Thomas Southerne's Oroonoko is seen by scholars today as the driving force that kept Behn's work from fading into obscurity. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was considered even more popular than the novel, presenting theatergoing audiences with a highly touching tale of pathos and tragedy involving the eponymous prince-turned-slave and his undying devotion to his beloved wife, Imoinda. However, in this version, unlike in Behn's novel, Imoinda is a white woman, and there is also a comic subplot involving the husband-hunting Welldon sisters that caters to Restoration tastes (though in later productions, this subplot was removed altogether). This LibriVox production presents the play as it was first written, and in doing so, brings to the fore a number of interesting themes, such as the importance of individual liberty; the infallibility of true love; and the quick wit and determination of strong, independent women. Summary by Tomas Peter

Cast List:

Oroonoko: ToddHW
Aboan: Larry Hayes
Lieutenant-Governor of Surinam / Slave: Algy Pug
Blanford: Tomas Peter
Stanmore: Jason in Panama
Jack Stanmore: Kurt
Captain Driver: Roger Melin
Daniel Lackitt / Hottman / Second Planter: Nemo
Imoinda: Sandra Schmit
Widow Lackitt: Leanne Yau
Charlotte Welldon: Beth Thomas
Lucy Welldon / Women Slaves: Sonia
First Planter: Melanie T
Third Planter: Paezra
Fourth Planter: Thomas A. Copeland
Singing Slave: Alan Mapstone
Servant: Devorah Allen
Narrator / Women Slaves: Eva Davis
Editor: Tomas Peter

(2 hr 47 min)

Chapters

Act 1 37:24 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 2 34:28 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 3 26:06 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 4 26:29 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act 5 42:42 Read by LibriVox Volunteers

Reviews

(4 stars)

It certainly is a rather strange play, with the tragic main plot and the comedic subplot having virtually nothing to do with each other, and glaring jumps between the two. But, at the same time I feel the play would be almost too dark without the comedy, and it's actually the part of the play that I personally liked the most.