Penguin Random House has announced a star-studded cast including "Fleabag" and "Game of Thrones" actors to narrate a new series of 50 Penguin Classics audiobooks.
Andrew Scott, known as the “hot priest” in "Fleabag" will voice Dubliners by James Joyce, while Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery Tyrell in "Game of Thrones", will read A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. The cast will also include "Homeland" actor David Harewood reading War of the Worlds by H G Wells. The audiobook collection will be released simultaneously on 26th September.
Scott said: “These stories are absolutely stunning. Heartbreaking, funny and exquisitely human. I love the idea that people can be immersed in these extraordinary characters on their way to work, and as a Dubliner myself, I’m very proud to be associated with this project, and with this true genius of a writer.”
Harewood added: “It’s been such a wonderful pleasure reading H G Wells’ War of the Worlds. The imagination and detail of the piece is extraordinary and bringing it to life has been a career highlight.”
The publishing house has said it is catering to a growing audiobook audience. Audiobook sales increased by 43% year-on-year in 2018 while nearly 10% of the UK population are listening to audiobooks regularly, according to the Publishers’ Association Yearbook.
PRH UK Audio publisher Richard Lennon said: “With this collection our aim is to bring these classic texts to life for an audience for whom listening, rather than reading, is the default way to consume stories and ideas. By pairing these classic works with a diverse range of modern acting talent we want to encourage more people to enjoy these beautifully read, unabridged editions.”
The collection will include titles published for the first time in audio, including The Wonderful Adventure of Nils Holgersson by Selma Lagerlӧf, read by "Horrible Histories" actor Mathew Baynton and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, read by Sheila Atim, Jamael Westman and Jessica Brown Findlay.
Other narrators include "The Inbetweeners" actor Blake Harrison reading Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome and "Westworld" star Ben Barnes reading The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde.