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Robert Powell on the delight audiobooks and the birth of Christmas as we know it today

By: stagedoorscribbler - December 3, 2018

Robert Powell. Photograph by Hattie Miles

When it comes to audiobooks the ‘go-to’ reader for many people is our good friend the actor Robert Powell. With his well-modulated tones and actor’s awareness of the nuance of character he is a master of the art and has recorded thousands of hours of fiction on tape and disc.

But there are those who consider books on tape to not quite be the thing. Purists who will argue that listening is not reading and that somehow the experience of literature is diminished when absorbed in audio form.

It’s a difficult one because while it’s hard to argue that there is anything as wonderful as the smell and feel of a real printed book, there are times when an audiobook is preferable. While driving or cooking for instance or lying in the bath. They also have an obvious advantage for blind people who may struggle to find a particular publication in brail. 

These were essentially the points made by Robert Powell during an interesting item on BBC Radio 4 the other day. The simple fact is that audiobooks offer an alternative way of consuming the written word and when delivered by a professional story-teller they can even trump then printed book.

Robert Powell will be back with Clive Conway Productions next week appearing alongside actress Susan Jameson presenting a celebration of The Victorian Christmas. The production marks next year’s 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and the arrival of Christmas as we know it today

*A Victorian Christmas with Robert Powell and Susan Jameson plays 

Theatre Royal Winchester on 9th December more info at

It’ll be at the Shanklin Theatre on the Isle of Wight on 16th December. More info at

And finally at The Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden on 23rd December. More in fo at CB11 4UH