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.
Putting It On
The West End Theatre of Michael Codron
Michael Codron, the leading producer of post-war British theatre, has worked with virtually every major British dramatist over the past 50 years, including Alan Ayckbourn, Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter, as well as acclaimed actors such as Alec Guinness, John Gielgud, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Michael Gambon. Filled with backstage drama, anecdote and intrigue, Putting It On goes behind the scenes of Codron’s remarkable career, and reveals the unique blend of art and commerce that fuels London’s West End.
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.
Only Fools and Horses
The Peckham Archives
Derek Trotter moved into Nelson Mandela House in Peckham with his family in 1960 and the BBC began broadcasting his adventures with his brother Rodney in 1981, attracting record audiences over the next two decades. This celebration of the sitcom contains stills and behind-the-scenes photographs from the series, profiles of the many supporting characters, spoof correspondence and ephemera and excerpts from John Sullivan's original scripts.
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 Leos Janacek, 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.
A Passion for Opera
Learning to Love it: The Greatest Masters, Their Greatest Music
This informative and enthusiastic book is an ideal introduction for anyone new to opera, yet full of revelations for even the most dedicated aficionado. Within a broad historical survey of the art from Monteverdi to Britten, taking in the masterpieces of Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Strauss, it describes much-loved operas such as The Magic Flute, Fidelio, Rigoletto and La Boheme, explains operatic terms, and entertains with anecdotes about famous singers and conductors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation
Speeches and Scenes Performed as Shakespeare would have heard them
How did Shakespeare’s poetry and plays sound to the audiences of his day? In this recording, a company of actors recite five sonnets and perform excerpts from 19 plays, including less-familiar scenes along with famous speeches such as Henry V’s ‘Once more unto the breach’ and Macbeth’s ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me?’ Using the pronunciation of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, the performances reveal new rhymes, new puns and jokes and new meanings. 1 CD 75mins
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.
Behind the Legend
‘Frank Sinatra was like a flawed diamond’, writes Taraborrelli, ‘brilliant on the surface, imperfect beneath’. In a biography based on years of research and hundreds of interviews, he explores the singer’s torrid relationships, his Mafia connections and his friendship with the Kennedys, revealing a complex personality: a generous and loyal friend, but also a volatile, womanizing tough guy.
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.