The History of Theatre
The diverse and absorbing history of the theatre ranges from the tragedies and comedies of ancient Greece to the high-tech musicals of today. Derek Jacobi’s engaging reading is illustrated with more than 50 extracts from classic plays, performed by some of today’s leading actors.
Great Speeches and Soliloquies
Shakespeare’s words are ingrained in our language, culture and everyday lives. This collection includes his most memorable speeches, from Hamlet to Henry V, from Julius Caesar to The Tempest, performed by RSC stars Simon Russell Beale, Estelle Kohler, Clifford Rose and Sarah Woodward.
Great Historical Shakespeare Recordings
This collection brings to life the greatest Shakespearian performances of the 19th and 20th centuries, from Irving’s Richard III and Terry’s Ophelia to Gielgud’s Romeo and Olivier’s Henry V. The second disc’s miscellany includes Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell and a dialogue by Laurel and Hardy.
Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today
For over two centuries, Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet has been the pride of Russian culture, a source of national prestige under tsars and communists alike; yet the shocking acid attack on its artistic director Sergei Filin in 2015 was but the latest in a long line of scandals. Here, the musicologist Simon Morrison charts the Bolshoi’s history of political manipulation and artistic rivalry, with the focus always on the ballet, ‘the cruellest and most wondrous of the arts’.
The Old Vic
The Story of a Great Theatre from Kean to Olivier to Spacey
London’s Old Vic theatre opened in 1818 with a rowdy melodrama and continued with Edward Kean’s Richard III being howled down by an audience of ‘unmitigated brutes’. This richly illustrated book charts its 200-year-long history – a rollercoaster ride that included spells as a music hall and temperance tavern, dilapidation and war damage, and its magnificent restoration by Ed Mirvish in 2002, and takes in some of the greatest names in theatrical history, from Lilian Baylis to Laurence Olivier.
The War Years 1941–1945
The United States had not entered the Second World War when Wonder Woman was launched by DC Comics in 1941 but her first adventure pitted her against German and Japanese spies and her stories were regularly war-related thereafter. This celebration explores how the character was created by a psychologist who believed in the superiority of women, and reproduces over 20 full-length stories, first published between 1941 and 1945, as well as cover artworks and advertisements.
Theater of a City
The Places of London Comedy, 1598–1642
Linking the development of London’s theatres directly to the capital’s spectacular demographic and economic growth during the second half of the 16th century, Howard argues that the theatre was important in shaping people’s perception of new urban environments. In chapters on the Royal Exchange, London’s debtors’ prisons, its whorehouses, and the West End, the study explores how dramas helped construct the social relations and activity within these locations.
Classical Monologues: Women
Volume Four: From the Restoration to Bernard Shaw
This essential tool for actors, directors, teachers and students of classical drama includes more than 120 riveting monologues for women from the Restoration to the 20th century, including Aphra Behn’s Cornelia, Dryden’s Cleopatra, Schiller’s Mary Stuart, Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere and Bernard Shaw’s Eliza Doolittle and Saint Joan. A detailed introduction to each monologue provides an informative and critical context for theatre professionals and general readers alike.
A Play in Three Acts by Sean O'Casey
Set in 1913, a year of industrial turmoil in Ireland, O’Casey’s play focuses on the workers’ strikes and riots as they converged on a Dublin church busy with its harvest festival preparations. Written around 1918–19, but never performed, this is O’Casey’s earliest extant play, published for the first time in this 1979 edition, with an introduction by John O’Riordan.
50 Years of Cult Fantasy and Science Fiction
Some television dramas reach beyond entertaining their audience, inspiring cult followings by offering visions of worlds where different rules apply and characters with superhuman qualities bring the human condition into sharper focus. This analysis of the science fiction and fantasy genre examines groundbreaking shows, from Star Trek and Blake's 7 to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and features interviews with many of the shows' creators.
Shakespeare in Ten Acts
It is hard to imagine a time when Shakespeare was not considered a genius, yet over the centuries his plays have been banned, rewritten and mangled. This magnificent book charts their fortunes through ten key performances, from the original staging of Hamlet through Ira Aldridge’s 1825 appearance as the first black actor to play Othello, to Peter Brook’s legendary A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Over 100 illustrations from the treasures of the British Library include the only surviving playscript in Shakespeare’s hand.
The Russian Symbolist Theatre
An Anthology of Plays and Critical Texts
In the years before the Russian Revolution, many of the country’s leading dramatists rejected the realism of their predecessors in favour of a symbolism inspired by Ibsen and Maeterlinck. This unique anthology brings to life the heady fin-de-siècle Russian theatre with translations of plays by Blok, Sologub and Kuzmin, alongside polemical essays by Briusov, Bely and others. A general introduction and insightful prefaces set the writers and their work in their cultural and historical context.
The Impossible Has Happened
The Life and Work of Gene Roddenberry, Creator of Star Trek
The legend that the original series of Star Trek was something of a failure and that its creator battled the studios to present his groundbreaking vision are questioned in this analysis of Gene Roddenberry. Revealing the turbulent private life and controversial business dealings of the producer, this book examines the creation of his vision of a utopian future and how, through numerous movies and television spin-offs, it developed into a worldwide phenomenon.
Who I Am
Actress Charlotte Rampling’s early life included schooling and holidays in France and much time spent with her sister, Sarah, who committed suicide in 1967. The truth about the tragedy was initially kept from Charlotte and she then shared the secret with her father until her mother’s death. This short memoir is written in elegiac, fragmentary and sometimes poetic style and includes photographs from the family archive.
The Art of Aardman
The Aardman studio made short animations for children's television, featuring a clay-modelled character called Morph, before the Oscar-winning films of Nick Park (including Wallace and Gromit) propelled the company into the feature-film business. This celebration of the studio's creations is introduced by its founders, Peter Lord and David Sproxton, and features early sketches, character studies, concept art, sets, puppets and film stills of productions including Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run and Flushed Away.
Brian Friel: Plays 3
Three Sisters; a Month in the Country; Uncle Vanya; the Yalta Game; the Bear; Afterplay; Performances; the Home Place; Hedda Gabler
This third collection of plays by Friel includes Afterplay, featuring two characters originally created by Chekhov; six works based on plays by Chekhov (Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya, The Yalta Game, The Bear), Turgenev (A Month in the Country) and Ibsen (Hedda Gabler); and two original works, Performances, about the private life and public work of Leoš Janáçek, and The Home Place, set in Ireland at the beginning of Home Rule.
The Last Days of Troy
Dramatizing ‘a mystery that has come to us in echoes and whispers from over three thousand years ago’, Armitage’s play follows on from the account of the Greeks’ wooden horse in Homer’s Odyssey to tell the story of the Trojan War to its bitter end. Set in present-day Hisarlik, the site of ancient Troy, with a cast of gods and mortals, the play explores an ancient conflict that rages to this day.
Born in New Jersey in 1915, Frank Sinatra began singing with various dance bands from the 1930s and in a six-decade career became one of the most influential musical artists of the 20th century as well as an Oscar-winning actor. Marking the centenary of his birth, this large-format celebration draws on the Sinatra family archive to present unseen photographs and ephemera from his life, and includes contributions from Tony Bennett and Sinatra’s children: Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr.
The House of Redgrave
The Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty
The story of the Redgrave family is a febrile mix of ambition, scandal, dazzling success and appalling unhappiness. For more than a century, the acting dynasty has dominated British theatre and film. Drawing on many interviews, this biography charts their private and professional lives, from the brilliant, troubled Michael Redgrave and his wife Rachel Kempson, through their children Lynn, Vanessa and Corin, to the triumphs and tragedies of the latest generation.
King Henry V
With its heroic king, victory at Agincourt and its complex portrayal of warfare, Henry V has remained one of the most performed and most popular of Shakespeare’s histories. This edition from The Arden Shakespeare is edited by TW Craik with meticulous scholarship. The book provides an almost scene-by-scene introduction to the play, a text edited from the First Folio, extensive commentaries and textual notes. First published 1995. No jacket.
Stars in Battledress
A Light-Hearted Look at Service Entertainment in the Second World War
Many of the stars of post-war British entertainment cut their teeth in Army entertainment; established artistes as part of ENSA and, braving the front lines, Stars in Battledress using talent drawn from the serving ranks. This book recounts the stories of such members as Charlie Chester and Spike Milligan as well as tales of the post-war Combined Service Entertainment in which Frankie Howerd and Stanley Baxter learned their trade.
A Dance Through Time
Images of Western Social Dancing from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Where depictions of peasant revels may be exuberant and unfettered, the stately codes of formal dance before the modern era created a tension between sobriety and decorum and underlying emotion or sexual tension. This art history curates images of dance from the Bodleian Library and explores their different meanings and themes, including how artists have conveyed the movement of dance technically and the social and historical information that can be gleaned from depictions of dancing, instructional illustrations and satirical sketches.
Inside the Worlds of Gerry Anderson
Featuring Cross-Section Artworks by Graham Bleathman
Gerry Anderson's 1960s TV shows, such as Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90, hooked their young audience with futuristic technology, and fantastical gadgets and vehicles. This book features 75 colourful cutaway artworks from the spinoff weekly magazines, exploring the locations and vehicles from all the series (including Fireball XL5 and Stingray) with detailed, captioned diagrams revealing the layout of Tracy Island, Thunderbird 2 and the like.
Some Sunny Day
Born in 1917, Dame Vera Lynn was 92 when she realized that her great age gave a better perspective (she wrote her first autobiography in her fifties) and she had to 'get everything down on paper in a final account'. Here then is the life of 'an ordinary girl from an ordinary family with a voice that you could recognize' – but also an embodiment of British spirit during the Second World War.
I Know Nothing!
Much loved as the Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) was born in Berlin rather than Barcelona and fled to England in 1938 after his father was arrested by the Gestapo. In this compelling and often hilarious memoir he tells of his early years in showbiz, the success of the infamous Torquay hotel, and his acting career beyond Fawlty, which included Shakespeare, Dustin Hoffman's Quartet, a stint as Father Brown, and Snowy in BBC Radio 5's Tintin.
The Operas and Choral Works
In a long and remarkable career Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) composed 28 operas, which mark the culmination of the Italian tradition. Focusing on the most significant of these works and the monumental Requiem, Lederer highlights Verdi’s growth as a musical dramatist, from the early Nabucco to Aida, Otello and Falstaff. The accompanying CD features 19 historic recordings of excerpts from the operas, performed by such singers as Caruso, Tetrazzini and Claudia Muzio.
Bizet's electrifying drama contains some of his best-known music, and its femme fatale is one of the most iconic figures in all opera. This superb recording, in which Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducts the Rome Opera chorus and orchestra, features a top-flight cast including Grace Bumbry, Jon Vickers, Mirella Freni and Kostas Paskalis.
The Lady in the Van
The Complete Edition
In 1974, Miss Shepherd parked her van in Alan Bennett’s front garden; and there she stayed until her death in 1989. Yet Miss Shepherd lives on as ‘the lady in the van’ in Bennett’s play and the recent film starring Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings. Illustrated with colour photographs and David Gentleman’s sketches, this book contains the film script, along with a foreword by the director Nicholas Hytner, a new introduction by Bennett, and his original ‘Memoir’, first published in 1989.
Discoveries and Memories
As co-conductor and confidant for the last two decades of Stravinsky's life, Robert Craft had unique access to the composer and his archives. In this memoir he looks back at significant events in Stravinsky's career, touching on areas previously unexplored and reflecting on his relationships with other composers, family members and a host of cultural figures. The book comes with a CD containing the author's own recording of The Rite of Spring with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Mendelssohn, the Organ, and the Music of the Past
Constructing Historical Legacies
These twelve essays focus on the fascination shown by Mendelssohn (1809–47) with Bach’s organ music and the tradition of Palestrinian counterpoint, as well as his interest in Handel’s oratorios and the influence of Beethoven. Setting the composer within a wider cultural context, they also show how he promoted icons of the German past, such as Dürer, Gutenberg’s printing press, Luther and the Reformation, in works which would play their part in the growth of nationalism after his death.
Letters of the American Harpsichordist and Scholar
This collection of letters to and from the harpsichordist, scholar and early music pioneer Ralph Kirkpatrick spans his career, from Paris in the 1930s to the 1980s, and includes a selection of family letters as well as correspondence with composers and colleagues.
Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan
His Life and Character
William Schwenck Gilbert is remembered as the librettist who, with Arthur Sullivan, created the comic operas that still delight audiences more than a century later. But who was he, and what drove this difficult, quarrelsome man? This sympathetic and illuminating biography charts Gilbert's multifaceted career as a journalist, dramatist and stage director, and uncovers the unhappy childhood that left him discontented with himself and the age in which he lived - a discontent that his prodigious gifts transmuted into satiric gold.
The Jazz Composer
Moving Music off the Paper
Internationally renowned jazz composer Graham Collier (1937–2011) offers a radical analysis of the composer’s place in a genre associated with improvisation and traditional ‘standards’. Looking back over the development of jazz composition, he considers the work of such important figures as Gil Evans and ‘acknowedged genius’ Duke Ellington. He then examines the new directions taken by contemporary jazz, illustrating his points with examples from his own music and anecdotes from his life. References to websites may no longer be valid.
Everyone seems to know a line or two from The Importance of Being Earnest: Wilde’s perennial favourite is joined here by Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and, with its original illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, Salomé, the inspiration for Strauss’s sensational opera.
The Theatric Tourist 1805
A Facsimile of the First and Only Edition of 1805 Preceded by a Facsimile of the Original Prospectus
In the late 18th century, actor-manager James Winston toured Britain taking notes on the theatres of every town. Published in 1804-5 with 24 hand-coloured plates, and reproduced here in facsimile, his work is a unique record of theatrical life. Winston notes the history, architecture and capacity of each venue, painting a vivid picture of Georgian England, from Plymouth ('a nightly scene of riot and debauchery') to Brighton, where 'the manager is perpetually bringing out women of loose character.' No jacket.
Tales of a Tiller Girl
My True Story of Dancing in Wartime London
In the early 1950s, after growing up in Battersea, dancing with the Italia Conti school on the West End stages of wartime London and performing through summer seasons in Blackpool and winter seasons in pantomime, Irene Holland won a coveted place in the Tiller Girls troupe at the London Palladium. Her very engaging memoir describes her passion for dancing and the thrill of achieving her ambition.
The Treasures of Noël Coward
From the daring playwright of the 1930s and consummate filmmaker of the war years to the witty songwriter and cabaret performer of the 1950s and 1960s, Noël Coward's broad-ranging theatrical career was one of the most interesting and influential of the 20th century. This celebratory volume gives a resume of his life and achievements and includes a DVD of rare film footage and facsimiles of 21 personal documents including hand-written letters, publicity material, photographs, lyrics and song sheets.
Now regarded as a national treasure, Joanna Lumley began her career as a model before becoming an actress and starring in well-known series such as Absolutely Fabulous and The Avengers. Her early life abroad, her complicated love life and her film and TV career are described in this lively biography, which brings the story up to date with her recent campaign for Gurkha rights.
The Cinematic Legacy of Frank Sinatra
Already famous as a singer, Frank Sinatra (1915–1998) entered the film industry as a comedic song-and-dance man, but soon demonstrated his versatility in roles ranging from romantic leads to tough guys in films such as Ocean's 11 (1960). This handsome book celebrates his career as an actor, pairing more than 200 photographs and posters with reflections from co-stars including Grace Kelly and Sammy Davis Jr. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Shakespeare's Lost Kingdom
The True History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth
Hamlet, King Lear and the sonnets are among the most enduring and resonant works of English literature, yet their creator remains strangely unknowable. If this engaging, learned and controversial book is to be believed, that is no accident but the result of a systematic effort to conceal the author's identity. With forensic precision, it unearths a series of clues that point to a figure close to Queen Elizabeth herself, and reveals the tragic love story behind this grandest of literary deceptions. Slightly off-mint.