NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Audible, Inc., the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word content, today announced the release of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel, written by acclaimed novelists A. J. Hartley and David Hewson and performed by The Hobbit actor Richard Armitage. The original-to-audio novelization is the second such collaboration between Hartley and Hewson, whose Macbeth: A Novel was a best-seller and Audie Award nominee for Audible Studios. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is available at www.audible.com/Hamlet.
“I’ve been lucky enough as an actor to have the opportunity to perform in a number of stage productions of Shakespeare’s work. Working on A. J. Hartley’s and David Hewson’s stunningly original interpretation of Hamlet, written expressly for audio, has been just as thrilling an experience,” said Armitage. “Audio work like this reminds me of all the reasons I became an actor: the simple art of storytelling. I hope this work for Audible delights both those who already love Shakespeare and perhaps brings a new audience to the story of Hamlet, and to the very personal and pure experience of simply listening.”
“We’re excited to offer our listeners such a fresh, contemporary take on a timeless story,” said Audible EVP and Publisher Beth Anderson. “Richard Armitage delivers a spellbinding performance that drives home the drama of a story told out loud. Through Audible Studios’ growing range of original-to-audio productions like this one, we will provide our customers with ever-more powerful listening experiences.”
“From the start A.J. and I planned to shake up conventional thinking about Hamlet with this adaptation,” said Hewson. “Audible’s staunch backing for the project and Richard Armitage’s amazing narration brought life to our bold dreams. This is not the gloomy Dane of school textbooks but a braver, more edgy, even humorous Hamlet reimagined for a 21st-century audience. We’re on tenterhooks waiting to see what the world makes of him.”
"I'm excited to be a part of the ongoing evolution of Hamlet,” said Hartley. “It's particularly great to have worked with as talented a co-writer as David, and an actor of such range and presence, in telling our version of this extraordinary and powerful story."
Coinciding with the release of the audiobook, Audible is launching its Vine channel with a weeklong Hamlet-centered campaign. Armitage, as well as popular Audible narrators and other prominent personalities, will Vine the line “To be or not to be, that is the question.” To participate in the campaign, fans are invited to upload their Vines through May 23, including the hashtags #vinethatline and #audible.
2014 marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, resulting in a revival of interest in the dramatist and his works. To commemorate the occasion, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London announced it was taking the play Hamlet on a 200-country tour over the next two years.
Audible, which invented and commercialized the first digital audio player in 1997, has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. In 2013, Audible members downloaded an average of more than 17 books over the course of a year, the equivalent of close to 600 million listening hours.
ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible’s mission is to establish literate listening as a core tool for anyone seeking to be more productive, better informed, or more thoughtfully entertained. Audible content includes more than 150,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is also the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes® Store.