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Book Shakespeare on Stage: Thirteen Leading Actors on Thirteen Key Roles

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Shakespeare on Stage: Thirteen Leading Actors on Thirteen Key Roles

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Shakespeare on Stage: Thirteen Leading Actors on Thirteen Key Roles.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Julian Curry(Author)

    Book details


Thirteen leading actors take us behind the scenes, each recreating in detail a memorable performance in one of Shakespeare's major roles. * BRIAN COX on Titus Andronicus in Deborah Warner's visceral RSC production * JUDI DENCH on being directed by Franco Zeffirelli as a twenty-three-year-old Juliet * RALPH FIENNES on Shakespeare's least sympathetic hero Coriolanus * REBECCA HALL on Rosalind in As You Like It, directed by her father, Sir Peter * DEREK JACOBI on his hilariously poker-backed Malvolio for Michael Grandage * JUDE LAW on his Hamlet, a palpable hit in the West End and on Broadway * ADRIAN LESTER on a modern-dress Henry V at the National, during the invasion of Iraq * IAN MCKELLEN on his Macbeth, opposite Judi Dench in Trevor Nunn's RSC production * HELEN MIRREN on a role she was born for, and has played three times: Cleopatra * TIM PIGOTT-SMITH on Leontes in Peter Hall's Restoration Winter's Tale at the National * KEVIN SPACEY on his high-tech, modern-dress Richard II * PATRICK STEWART on Prospero in Rupert Goold's arctic Tempest for the RSC * PENELOPE WILTON on Isabella in Jonathan Miller's chamber Measure for Measure The actors discuss their characters, working through the play scene by scene, with refreshing candour and in forensic detail. The result is a masterclass on playing each role, invaluable for other actors and directors, as well as students of Shakespeare and fascinating for audiences of the plays. Together, the interviews give one of the most comprehensive pictures yet of these characters in performance, and of the choices that these great actors have made in bringing them thrillingly to life.

Absorbing and original... Curry's actors are often thinking and talking as that other professional performer, Shakespeare himself, might have done. --Times Literary Supplement

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Book details

  • PDF | 320 pages
  • Julian Curry(Author)
  • Nick Hern Books (28 Oct. 2010)
  • English
  • 5
  • Music, Stage & Screen

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Review Text

  • By F Ducal on 13 April 2011

    There are countless books about the plays of Shakespeare written naturally from the point of view of audience or reader. This is one with a real difference: a series of conversations with people who know Shakespeare from the inside - they've been there. Thirteen leading actors and actresses talk to Julian Curry, an actor himself, about their experience playing some of the great roles. You realise quickly that these people speak with unique authority. After preparation, rehearsal and living through repeated performances, inter-acting with others on stage, they acquire a unique understanding of these plays. Particularly striking is the practical, penetrating intelligence they apply to their work and then, given the conditions and their abilities, how insights can be generated through performance itself. A fascinating book. A must, I should think, for anyone at all interested in Shakespeare, and especially for those who only know him as literature.

  • By Theodora on 3 April 2011

    I thoroughly enjoyed this inside story of the processes of acting and directing which have always been a mystery to me. The author begins each chapter with a helpful introduction to the play and the particular production. (A brief synopsis of each play is included in the back). He then draws on his own intimate knowledge of acting to launch into fascinating conversations with each actor about the complexities of the character they were playing and just what they did to convey their interpretation to the audience. Author and actor discuss together what made that particular production such a memorable one-- whether the period the director chose to set the play in, the costumes and scenery, and even the size of the theatre--and how the reviewers loved and/or hated it. I was especially enchanted by Judi Dench talking about how she at age 26, played 16 year Juliet in the Zefferelli production of Romeo and Juliet, and intrigued by Ian McKellen thoughtfully plumbing the layers of Macbeth's character. The chapter on the production of Henry V in 2003 with Adrian Lester at the time of the invasion of Iraq was especially riveting, raising very contemporary issues about the nature of war.I was not sure I was going to enjoy the book since I had not seen any of the productions it cover. But I was wrong. The interviews bring the productions vividly alive and I came away from Shakespeare On Stage with a much deeper understanding of the plays and an even greater respect and admiration for the actors, and indeed for acting as a profession.

  • By Walkers on 6 April 2011

    I have just finished reading this excellent book by Julian Curry. Having always appreciated and enjoyed Shakespeare's works I found this book both stimulating and probing. Julian's extensive understanding and knowledge of his subject enabled him to ask some very pertinent questions, and then discuss in depth the interpretations, and get into the mindset of those actors involved. Congratulations Julian, it is a must for anyone who appreciates literature and drama. I hope to read further of your books and may I be bold enough to suggest that you take just one play, and interview 13 different producers on their approach to it; that would be fascinating.

  • By BognorBoy on 22 June 2011

    If you like The Bard, and are fed up with waffle, this is for you. Just great actors talking about the great Shakespearean roles they have played. Jude Law, Sir Ian McKellan, Sir Patrick Stewart are just some of the great actors telling their stories. A fantastic book !

  • By Marion Iacopucci on 21 March 2011

    If you love the theatre, you will love this book. It is really interesting, and to a lay woman like me, gives wonderful insight into how roles are created by the individuals playing them and, indeed, into the roles themselves.

  • By Lewis on 22 March 2011

    This is a fascinating book: Julian Curry and the actors he interviews are so thoroughly versed in the texts and world of Shakespeare that it often reads like an intimate conversation with the living character rather than an interview with the actor. I also underestimated how powerful the actors' accounts of live theatre can be on the page - Brian Cox's discussion of Titus is not for the faint-hearted! A gloriously enlightening and engrossing read.

  • By Sheila Ernst on 28 March 2011

    I think this book tells me something I have long wanted to know-namely what those who perform the parts actually think and feel about the roles that they have either chosen or have been allocated to them. It's the personal touch that makes this one of my favorite books.


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