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Hard Times (dramatic reading)

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Charles Dickens' 1854 novel opens with the philosophy of education espoused by the eminently practical Mr. Gradgrind, who prizes "facts and calculations." He raises his children, most prominently Louisa and Tom, to eschew imagination and emotion and embrace order and reason. The results are disastrous: Louisa marries out of duty to the supposed self-made man Mr. Bounderby, while Tom grows up dissolute, ultimately commits theft and blames it on an unfortunate laborer, Stephen Blackpool. Set in the fictional Coketown, a mill town in the north of England, Dickens' novel satirizes capitalism, social mobility, class stratification, and Utilitarianism. This dramatic reading of the novel features a full cast of LibriVox volunteers, who lend their voices to Dickens' vibrant comic characters. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)
Cast
Narrator: Bob Neufeld
Mr. Gradgrind: Marty Kris
Sissy Jupe: J L Raimundo
Bitzer: mb
Gentleman: Tom Crawford
Louisa Gradgrind: Arielle Lipshaw
Mr. Bounderby: Andy Minter
Mrs. Gradgrind: Beth Thomas
Tom Gradgrind: Max Korlinge
Mr. E. W. B. Childers: David Lawrence
Master Kidderminster: Elizabeth Klett
Mr. Sleary: Ron Altman
Mrs. Sparsit: Elizabeth Klett
Stephen Blackpool: Nigel Boydell
Rachael: Karen Savage
Mrs. Blackpool: Bev J. Stevens
Mrs. Pegler: Sally McConnell
James Harthouse: Algy Pug
Slackbridge: John Steigerwald
Voice 1: sylly
Voice 2: J L Raimundo
Jane Gradgrind: Goldfish
Waiter: Nigel Boydell
Man: Algy Pug
Clown: Bev J. Stevens
Text prepared by Arielle Lipshaw and Elizabeth Klett
Audio edited by Elizabeth Klett
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