the power of audio drama to teach, to learn, to enjoy

A total learning experience

More than revision notes. More than an audiobook. More than a video, DVD, or even a school trip to the theatre. SmartPass give students instant access to their own personal tutor, plus a vivid presentation of the text they’re studying – all at the touch of a button.

SmartPass audio education study guides combine full-cast productions of classic literature texts with guided commentary and analysis, written by experienced, enthusiastic teachers. Available on CD and download, the guides can be played using the audio technology of your choice – an iPod, MP3 player, PC, or conventional CD player.

The commentary explores the language and imagery, as well as the historical and social background to the text and its author. The tone is friendly and conversational, designed to be easily absorbed as well as to demonstrate critical thinking, to help students develop their study strategies, essay writing and planning skills. The guides give students:

  • Greater understanding and appreciation of literature.
  • The best possible chance of exam success.
  • A rounded knowledge of the text they are studying – this insight into the society and history of the time, makes it more real, more relevant, and more enjoyable.

The perfect revision guide for independent study, home schooling, and for students who move at a different pace to their peers. SmartPass enables students take control of their own learning, by moving at the pace they need to, recapping and re-listening when they want to, and pausing the guide to make notes, take breaks, or carry out suggested tasks.

  • For accelerated learners, the tasks can be as challenging as they want to make them. The nuts-and-bolts approach to essay writing allows high flyers to excel.
  • As a catch-up tool for students who may be dropping back in class, they can move at their own pace, and concentrate on tasks to build their confidence.
  • The transitions between drama and commentary help students to focus their attention.
  • Ideal for auditory learners.
  • Ideal for students with a visual impairment, or for whatever reason cannot access conventional reading materials.
  • Families can listen and learn together.

To judge for yourself, listen live or download sound clips by clicking on the titles opposite.

Clear and lively… a stimulating study aid

Sunday Times

A brilliant way to revise.

The Daily Express

A super resource for anyone studying the play.


The accompanying commentaries do help students to appreciate the texts.

Times Educational Supplement

Audio guides offer unique access and insight into great literature. Each is a vivid walk through the imagery, themes and background.


High quality and extremely good value. These guides would enthuse and actively involve students of all abilities.

SNIP, Special Needs Information Press

Download RealPlayer

King Lear by William Shakespeare (unabridged)

Judge for yourself whether Lear is ‘a man more sinned against than sinning’ in this moral tale that pits wisdom and age against ambition and youth. Experience and examine the power of Shakespeare’s most cruel and violent tragedy.

Buy on 9 CDs (11 hours 40 minutes)

Listen live | download (4.4 MB)

Othello by William Shakespeare (unabridged)

Meet literature’s greatest villain in this tragedy fueled by jealous rage. Journey into the twisted mind of Iago, who freely admits ‘I am not what I am’, to truly get under the skin of this wondrous play.

Buy on 9 CDs (11 hours 15 minutes)

Listen live | download (4.4 MB)

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (unabridged)

Winner of the bronze award for Best Drama, Spoken Word Awards 2004. The poetry of Shakespeare’s star crossed lovers is poignantly performed and expertly explained in this unique production: ‘Passion lends them power.’

Buy on 7 CDs (7 hours 50 minutes)

Listen live | download (4.4 MB)

Macbeth by William Shakespeare (unabridged)

‘And nothing is, but what is not.’ Macbeth may be mystified by the Weird Sisters’ words but this intense performance with incisive commentary cuts to the heart of Shakespeare’s complex psychological tragedy.

Buy on 6 CDs (7 hours)

Listen live | download (4 MB)

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (unabridged)

When characters have to ask ‘Are all the people mad?’ you need a guide! Explore this topsy-turvy world to understand, enjoy, and analyse the language, imagery and themes of Shakespeare’s dark comedy.

Buy on 6 CDs (7 hours 10 minutes)

Listen live | download (3.8 MB)

Henry V by William Shakespeare (unabridged)

Winner of 2 silver awards for Best Original Audio and Publishing Initiative, Spoken Word Awards 2005. Examine and appreciate the powerful language of leadership in this guided history play, considered to be Shakespeare’s greatest creative statement about war.

Buy on 8 CDs (9 hours 50 minutes)

Listen live | download (3.6 MB)

An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley (unabridged)

Peel away the layers of Priestley’s complex drama to appreciate this powerful warning play, wrapped up in the genre of a gripping detective story, to truly understand that ‘We don’t live alone. We are members of one body’.

Buy on 6 CDs (8 hours)

Listen live | download (3.4 MB)

Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens

Dickens’ tale of Pip, a young man ‘removed from his present sphere of life’ and cast into a Victorian nightmare, is a powerful audio drama to be enjoyed and appreciated as an important piece of social criticism.

Buy on 3 CDs (3 hours)

Listen live | download (3.4 MB)

The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy

Hardy's world is brought to life in this vivid drama that sets the scene, tells the tale, and puts the characters on trial using theatre-in-education techniques to examine ‘the leaden gloom of one who has lost all’.

Buy on 3 CDs (3 hours)

Listen live | download (3.9 MB)

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

This timeless classic of gossip and matchmaking is presented as exquisite drama that questions and analyses the values and beliefs of Austen’s own times, to understand the ‘blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd’ world of the text.

Buy on 4 CDs (4 hours 20 minutes)

Listen live | download (3.5 MB)

A Kestrel for a Knave
by Barry Hines

Experience the gritty realism of Billy Casper’s world, as he fights to escape the confines of life in a 1960’s Yorkshire mining town by training and flying a hawk. ‘You’ll not catch me! You’ll never catch me.’

Buy on 3 CDs (2 hours 55 minutes)

Listen live | download (3.7 MB)

Animal Farm
by George Orwell

Orwell’s political fable is told from the viewpoint of its key characters – the animals – who are quizzed and questioned about how ‘some animals are more equal than others’ in this vibrant guided drama.

Buy on 3 CDs (3 hours 20 minutes)

Listen live | download (3.7 MB)

War Poetry

This educational drama captures the experiences of a young WWI soldier who was touched, inspired and changed forever by war poetry. Through vivid readings and recollections we examine the work of 16 poets.

Buy on 4 CDs (4 hours 25 minutes)

Listen live | download (3.7 MB)

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