Wednesday, July 20, 2016

{Review} Beric the Briton Audio Drama

I'm sure it's no surprise that we are reviewing another audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions, since they have always been an easy to use and fun addition to our school lessons. The latest production, Beric the Briton, takes place in one of our favorite places to study: England.

Beric the Briton an Audio Theater productoin from Heirloom Audio Productions

For the purpose of the review, Heirloom Audio Productions not only provided us with the physical two-CD set of Beric the Briton, but also an array of downloadable materials which included:
  • Beric the Briton MP3 set
  • The e-book of Beric the Briton by G.A. Henty
  • Study guide and discussion
  • The official MP3 soundtrack 
  • A printable cast poster
  • Inspirational verse poster
  • Behind the scenes video
  • Live the Adventure letter

What is Audio Drama?


If you are unfamiliar with audio dramas, let me give you a little explanation. These are unlike any other audio recording you might have heard and are not simply a book-on-CD.  Imagine the old-style radio dramas and theater, complete with voice actors, sound effects and soundtrack.  That is what the Heirloom Audio Productions creates with their audio dramas. It is a completely immersive experience.

Beric the Briton an Audio Theater productoin from Heirloom Audio Productions

Beric the Briton


The audio drama of Beric the Briton is based on the book by G.A. Henty and part of the series The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.  We have previously reviewed three other fantastic entries in this series (The Dragon and the Raven, With Lee in Virginia, & In Freedom's Cause ), and Beric the Briton is no less of an engaging story.

G.A. Henty was a popular historical author in the late 19th century who wrote adventures that are still relevant today. The details of the historical accounts are surprisingly accurate while providing a wealth of information about the events unfolding in the stories.

Beric the Briton tells the story of a fictional young man during the time when the Romans invaded and occupied Britain. Beric fights with the Iceni tribe, led by the Warrior Queen Boadicea, and is eventually captured by the Romans and transported back to Rome. The story of his training and life as a gladiator and servant in the palace of Emperor Nero are intriguing, as is Beric's eventual return to Britain.

Beric the Briton an Audio Theater productoin from Heirloom Audio Productions

The Study Guide


Included in the generous downloads we received, was the PDF version the corresponding study guide for Beric the Briton. This is a full color study guide with gorgeous backgrounds that really get you into the time period.

The study guide starts off with some historical summaries to help listeners understand the time when Beric the Briton takes place. Then each chapter of the book has a similarly styled study guide page that not only lists the time stamp for the section of the MP3 audio to which it corresponds, but also the CD number and track. This is extremely useful when listening along and wanting to ensure you are in the correct section of the study guide.

For each chapter, the study guide has the following features:
  • Listening Well questions which help the student recall the specific details of that chapter.
  • Thinking Further questions that encourage your student to make some analysis of information heard, look up geographical information, or think about the motives of the characaters.
  • Defining Words help bring to attention possible new vocabulary used and encourage the student to look up the exact meaning of the word. You could also have your student guess the meaning from context first.
The study guide concludes with a little more historical information and three Bible studies related to the moral topics in Beric the Briton.

Beric the Briton an Audio Theater productoin from Heirloom Audio Productions

What we Thought


Normally, I ask Amber to follow along with the study guide loaded on her iPad as she listens to each of the Heirloom Audio Productions audio dramas. However, this time we are taking more of a Summer break than we've had in years, so I simply encouraged Amber to listen carefully and come to me with any questions she might have.

Amber found listening to Beric the Briton during her daily rest time to be relaxing and entertaining while she was able to be immersed in the Roman occupation of Britain. She used both the CDs and the MP3 files, because I had not yet loaded the MP3 files on her iPad the first day. Amber definitely prefers the control she has on her iPad with the MP3 files, since the CD player is across the room. Yet, I enjoyed being able to listen to a portion of Beric the Briton when Amber used the CD player without earbuds.

If your family enjoys experiences history through wonderfully descriptive and accurate stories, you will not be disappointed with Beric the Briton!


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