The Authorised Biography of Nicol Williamson
John Osborne hailed him as ‘the greatest actor since Brando’; the New York Times called him ‘the terrible tiger of the English stage’. Nicol Williamson (1936–2011) was as renowned for his hellraising as for his Shakespearian heroes. This biography is based on the recollections of his family and fellow actors and follows his brilliant but chequered career, tracing the origins of his uncompromising and ultimately self-destructive genius in his tough Clydeside upbringing.
Martin Freeman: From Slough to Middle Earth
Playing the sweet and vulnerable everyman, Tim, in The Office made Martin Freeman's name but before this breakthrough he had often been cast as edgy outsiders. This biography describes his Hampshire childhood and tracks his career from his acting debut at the Youth Action Theatre to his roles in TV and film, including Sherlock and the Hobbit trilogy, which have made him an international star.
Robert Redford is best known as a film actor whose iconic roles include Jay Gatsby and the Sundance Kid, but he also became a public figure through his film festival and a prominent political activist. This biography draws on his personal papers to portray a man whose self-doubt, rebellious nature and restless curiosity underpin the offbeat, careless charm of his movie personas.
Movie Star Italian Style
In a career spanning almost seven decades, Sophia Loren has achieved recognition as one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of all time. Part one of this photographic tribute traces her life from childhood poverty in wartime Pozzouli, near Naples, to Academy Award-winner, singer and UN Goodwill Ambassador. In part two, her films are each introduced with a concise text and illustrated with film stills, posters and rarely seen photographs.
A Star is Born
The Moment an Actress Becomes an Icon
Vivien Leigh's performance in Gone with the Wind or Anita Ekberg's in La Dolce Vita were pivotal moments in cinema, when a relatively unknown actress was transformed into a major international star. With full-page portraits and brief biographies, this film history identifies the breakthrough moments of 75 leading actresses from Greta Garbo in Mata Hariand Grace Kelly in High Noon to Jane Fonda in Klute and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
This guide to the art of 3D animation includes hundreds of illustrations, step-by-step photographs, movie stills and production photographs from Aardman's award-winning films. Advising on the basics of the stop-motion technique and simple modelmaking, the book also explores set design, creating movement and CGI technology, and offers an insight into Aardman's process with a case study of the making of The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!
Elton John's Stellar Trip Through the '70s
Based on interviews with Elton John and his friends and collaborators, Tom Doyle’s book follows Elton through the decade of platform soles, wild costumes and hits such as Your Song, Rocket Man and Candle in the Wind, but also discusses the undercurrents of insecurity and depression.
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.
Women I've Undressed
The name may not be well known, but Orry-Kelly’s designs clothed Hollywood stars for 30 years, winning him Oscars for An American in Paris and Some Like It Hot. Moving from Australia to New York in 1922, he started by painting murals, and rose to become head of the Warner Brothers’ costume department. His memoirs, discovered in a pillowcase, are presented with labelled photographs, costume designs and movie posters, and feature entertaining anecdotes about many of the stars he dressed.
In the Camera Eye
When Barbra Streisand began to make her mark on Broadway in the early 1960s, her unusual and striking looks were as notable as her singing and acting. Beginning with studio portraits made when she was only 18, this portfolio collects some of the finest images of the star throughout her career, including stills from iconic stage and film productions and commissioned portraits by leading photographers including Bob Willoughby, Cecil Beaton and Philippe Halsman.
The Expanding Universe Wall Chart
From the original comic strips to the blockbuster movies, there are hundreds of superheroes, villains and ancillary characters in the Marvel universe. This concertina-folded volume contains information about their history and how their worlds interact, and expands into a twelve-foot wall chart.
The Definitive Biography
One of the most charismatic actors of his generation, Peter O'Toole (1932–2013) brought a dangerous edge to both his roles and his life. Drawing on exclusive interviews with colleagues and friends, this biography from the author of Hellraisers paints an intimate picture of a complex, much-loved man. From the mystery of his place of birth through his formative years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the book charts his celebrated performances, his turbulent relationships and his drunken antics.
Michael Caine: 1960s
Michael Caine’s film characters, such as Alfie and Harry Palmer, as well as his distinctive looks, working-class background and glamorous lifestyle, made him the model of male cool in the 1960s. This celebration of his style presents a portfolio of photographs of the actor during the period, including portraits, film stills and candid pictures, on and off set. A brief introduction and captions set the scene and identify celebrity co-stars and companions, including Natalie Wood, Terence Stamp and Mia Farrow.
Arthouse to Exploitation
Italian movie-making has had a profound influence on the development of world cinema and this study considers its evolution from the 'neorealism' of the 1940s and the influence of directors such as Fellini, Antonioni and Leone, to modern Italian films and television drama.
Twenty First Century Horror Films
Douglas Keesey believes that horror movies are a way of confronting our fears and exploring ways to understand them. His analysis of the genre of recent decades looks at over 100 films, and includes independent and international examples as well as mainstream Hollywood hits.
The Secret Lives of Monsters
Presented as a dossier of evidence for the existence of hostile aliens (gleaned from the evidence provided by the adventures of Doctor Who) this well-illustrated volume explains the origins and nature of 14 extra-terrestrial threats to humankind. Chapters include case files of the Doctor's adventures with each monster, from the Daleks to the Slitheen, and behind-the-scenes insights into how the creatures were created and filmed. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Star of Life
A vicar’s daughter from Kent, Sybil Thorndike (1882–1976) became one of the most admired stage actresses of the 20th century. Drawing on hundreds of unpublished letters and interviews with colleagues, family and friends, this authorized biography records how she led the pioneering Old Vic company during the First World War while bringing up four children, her tireless commitment to feminism, socialism and pacifism, and her intense, often troubled relationship with her husband, Lewis Casson. Slightly off-mint.
The South Pacific Companion
The war in the Pacific might seem an unlikely setting for a Broadway musical, but Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1949 adaptation of James A Michener's stories became an instant classic. Packed with production photographs, posters and set designs, this handsome and lovingly produced book charts the show's origins, reproduces the lyrics of classic songs such as 'Some Enchanted Evening' and 'There is Nothin' Like a Dame', and follows the production history of this evergreen hit into the 21st century.
The World of Poldark
From the social hierarchy of 18th-century Cornwall to designing the actors’ hairstyles, this is an informative and richly illustrated companion to the BBC's TV adaptation of Winston Graham’s Poldark novels. The eight chapters outline the story of Ross Poldark and Demelza while, in interviews, the actors reveal their interpretations of the characters they play, and the production team, including costume and make-up designers and the composer of Poldark’s music, provide insights into the making of the series.
Principal at the Royal Ballet for 20 years, Darcey Bussell collaborated with the leading figures of the ballet world as well as moving beyond her sphere into other forms of dance, fashion and advertising. Including the work of leading photographers such as Anthony Snowdon, Mario Testino and Annie Leibowitz, this portfolio traces her career from the young soloist in rehearsal to the international star of fashion shoots and television. Slightly off-mint.
A Life in Pictures 1915–1982
From early photographs in Sweden to her last formal portrait taken by Lord Snowden in 1982, this volume follows the life and career of Ingrid Bergman (1915–1982) in over 350 photographs. Accompanied by an interview with John Kobal and texts by Robert Capa, John Updike, Martha Gellhorn and others, the photographs show Bergman on and off set in all her major films, with family and friends, and in her final role, as Golda Meir in A Woman Called Golda (1982). Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
Doctor Turner's Casebook
Based on the BBC Hit Drama Call The Midwife
Describing the practice of a GP in East London in the 1950s and '60s, this companion to the popular BBC TV series Call the Midwife recalls many of its storylines to explore the healthcare issues encountered by an inner-city doctor. Illustrated with stills from the programme and period ephemera, the cases highlight the social problems of post-war Poplar and how scientific breakthroughs and the introduction of the National Health Service transformed treatments during the period.
My Life Outside the Lines
Coming to prominence on television at the age of 35, Nick Nolte has since earned three Oscar nominations for his film performances. This autobiography explores his early life in Iowa and years as a model as well as his Hollywood career and high-profile addiction problems. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Brief Life
Hitchcock carefully controlled his public persona, emphasizing his lugubrious humour and often retelling selected anecdotes from his childhood to explain his mastery of the cinematic thriller. Delving behind these stories Ackroyd investigates what the director also owed to his formative experiences in British and German film-making and how the fears, fantasies and obsessions of his lonely upbringing in East London shaped his lifelong controlling personality and his films’ characteristic mixture of comedy and suspense. American-cut pages. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
There's no one quite like Brian Blessed: actor, storyteller, mountaineer and coffin-maker. In this frank, riotous memoir he recalls his childhood in a Yorkshire mining town, his breakthrough on Z Cars, falling for Katharine Hepburn, raising hell with Peter O'Toole, meeting the love of his life, the actress Hildegard Neil – and punching Harold Pinter down a flight of stairs. ‘No long dramatic pauses this time, Harold; he got one right on the side of the jaw. Wham!’
A Celebration of Film and Television
In 1929, three years after two large film stages were built near Elstree in Hertfordshire, the studio produced the first British ‘talkie’, Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail. Elstree has since been at the heart of the film and television industry in the UK. This celebration of the studio explores its history through film stills and archive photographs of famous productions from The Dam Busters, The Avengers and Star Wars to The King’s Speech and Strictly Come Dancing.
International Rescue: Thunderbirds
50th Anniversary Edition: Agents' Technical Manual
All International Rescue's fantastical equipment is explored in this celebration of Gerry Anderson's puppet adventure series. With Haynes manual-style cutaway diagrams of the Thunderbirds themselves and the facilities of Tracy Island, there are also profiles of the characters and ancillary vehicles used, and a mission file of all the episodes in the series. Off-mint.
The Complete Dramatic Works of Tang Xianzu
A contemporary of Shakespeare, Tang Xianzu (1550–1616) is considered China’s greatest playwright, whose lyrical works mark the literary high point of the Ming dynasty. This collection of five major pieces in English translation features The Purple Flute, The Purple Hairpins, The Nanke Dream and The Handan Dream, together with his most celebrated work, The Peony Pavilion, which has 55 scenes and a performance time of 18 hours: ‘in world drama there is no more extensive and beautiful exploration of love’.
Hollywood's Last Icon
By the age of 37 Charlton Heston was an Oscar-winning movie star, having played leading roles in three of Hollywood’s top-grossing movies, including The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur. This biography follows Heston from his boyhood in Michigan, where he suffered the pain of his parent’s divorce (an experience that would inform his indomitable screen persona), through his prolific Hollywood years, to his defence of the Second Amendment as president of the National Rifle Association. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Sirens and Sinners
A Visual History of Weimar Film 1918–1933
From the Berlin Kinemathek archive of some 30,000 images dating from the Weimar years, this selection of 443 stills and photographs provides a record of over 70 films of the Weimar years. Accompanied by an authoritative essay and comment, and representing every genre from realist drama to science fiction, the chronological survey includes obscure films as well as masterpieces, including Nosferatu, Metropolis, Pandora's Box and The Blue Angel, and illuminates a fascinating period in German cinema.
A Life in Movies
Dismissive of her own talent and largely remembered for her off-screen antics, this well-illustrated biography of Ava Gardner aims to set the record straight. Charting four decades of film history, the authors examine Gardner’s roles in movies such as The Killers and Night of the Iguana, the creation of her image, her tempestuous relationships (including with Hemingway and Sinatra) and her loyal friendships, revealing her to be far more than an MGM-created ‘cookie-cutter star’. Slightly off-mint.
The Mystery of Style
Published to accompany the 2010 exhibition of the same name at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, this volume investigates Greta Garbo’s life in fashion. Although almost everything she wore was custom-made, her sartorial style was not that of a conventional film star and her wardrobe consisted of comfortable, practical clothes and footwear, many previously unpublished photographs of which feature here. Also included are full-page studio portraits and paparazzi shots plus essays and anecdotes about her life on and off-screen.
The Greatest Hollywood Films of the 20th Century
A ‘classic’ movie could be one that gained critical acclaim and enduring popularity, played a key role in the career of a director or actor or simply one that touched millions of people around the world. Starting from this loose definition, Alan Whiticker takes a chronological journey through 20th-century English-language classics and Academy Award winners, with over 600 pictures including rare images from the Mary Evans Picture Library and Ronald Grant Archive.
After a post-war career slump, Frank Sinatra established himself as an all-time great from the mid 1950s with a string of hit records and notable films. This second volume of James Kaplan’s biography picks up the story the day after Sinatra received an Oscar for his role in From Here to Eternity and describes the entertainer’s prime and later years, discussing his classic recordings and Rat Pack friendships. Off-mint.
That Broadway Man, That Ballet Man
Best known for choreographing Broadway shows, such as 1957’s West Side Story, Jerome Robbins first came to prominence as a classical ballet dancer in the early 1940s. This extensively illustrated biography explores his influence on the development of American classical and theatre dance.
The Official Book
One of the most critically acclaimed television series of all time, Breaking Bad ran for 62 episodes between 2008 and 2013. This companion to the complex and original drama includes background information about the production, an exploration of its style, themes and meaning, a complete series timeline with a synopsis of each episode, and character profiles and interviews with members of the production team, including creator Vince Gilligan.
Principally remembered as the James Bond of the 1970s and 1980s, Roger Moore (1927–2017) made his first film appearances in the 1940s and was hired and fired from a Hollywood contract in the 1950s before making his name in television. This collection of autobiographical sketches recalls his childhood, wartime experiences and national service, as well as his show-business career, and includes family stories and musings on modern life.
Despite the success of American Graffiti in 1973, George Lucas was unable to get the rights to Flash Gordon, so instead began to develop his own science fiction soap opera. Tracing the director’s roots and influences, this biography recounts the stories of bringing blockbusters such as Star Wars to the screen and assesses Lucas’s profound influence on movie-making, not least through the foundation of special effects and production companies such as Pixar and THX Sound.
In The Name Of The Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits
Remembering Roberto Rossellini
In 2006, as a tribute to her father, Isabella Rossellini made a film about him, recreating episodes of his life and imagining conversations with collaborators. This book includes a DVD of the film, the script and additional photographs and memorabilia from the family archive.
Illustrated with numerous rare performance and off-stage photographs, this celebration of Anna Pavlova (1881–1931) explores how she became one of the most influential dancers of her time. Painting a picture of a modern woman who took full control of her image and career, the author assesses Pavlova’s contribution to the developing ballet scene in the UK and looks at how the dance forms that she learned about on her world travels influenced her work.
Emblem of The American Spirit
Mickey Mouse first appeared in an animated film in 1928 and helped establish Disney as a national institution. Co-opted by the pop art generation, Mickey became a cultural icon, used and adapted, often ironically, in product design, satirical literature and contemporary art. This illustrated review investigates the character's original conception and traces its development and subsequent adoption as a shorthand for certain aspects of American culture.
The Cinematic Legacy of Frank Sinatra
Already famous as a singer, Frank Sinatra (1915–1998) entered the film industry as a 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) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). This book celebrates his career as an actor, pairing more than 200 photographs and posters with commentaries from co-stars including Grace Kelly and Sammy Davis Jr, and essays from his children Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr.
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. Off-mint.
One Leg Too Few
The Adventures of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
Beginning with their Behind the Fringe programme notes on each other, this dual biography not only tells the story of one of the most celebrated and complicated partnerships in British comedy, but also brings together 36 short memoirs by friends and colleagues, and was written with the full co-operation of both comedians' estates. The result is a thorough exploration of how their 'doomed romance' brought laughter to so many.
Alan Bennett’s play is set in the old-style local hospital of a small northern town. As staff struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward and the hospital faces closure in an NHS efficiency drive, a documentary film crew arrives to record its fight for survival. With an introduction by Bennett.
A Cultural History
Édith Piaf (1915–1963) began her singing career on the streets of Pigalle in 1929; at her death in 1963, she had become an icon of French chanson. In this study, Looseley examines ‘the cultural phenomenon known as Édith Piaf’ and argues that it was a deliberate invention.
More Than Just A Good Life
The Authorised Biography of Richard Briers
Richard Briers' comedic talent and acting pedigree was revealed to an international audience (and to his Hollywood co-stars) through Kenneth Branagh's films of the 1990s but he had long been established as a national treasure in Britain. This biography chronicles the early life and training of the actor (a contemporary of Peter O'Toole and Albert Finney at RADA) and relates anecdotes from his long career in theatre, television, film and radio.
Since receiving a terminal diagnosis of leukaemia in 2010, Clive James has produced an extraordinary late harvest of poetry and prose. In this collection of essays, he looks back with characteristic wit, humour and perception on a lifetime’s reading, offering his unique insights into writers from Conrad, Hemingway and Larkin to VS Naipaul and WG Sebald. Woven throughout these literary ruminations, moreover, is a thoughtful and moving reflection on life and death.
A History of Ballet
For over 400 years, ballet has captivated audiences with its unique blend of grace, storytelling and artistry. This magisterial history charts its origins in Renaissance France and Italy, its evolution in Russia, and its flowering in 20th century America. The author, a former ballerina, brings a practitioner's insight to the subject, tracing the development of technique and profiling the great dancers and choreographers, while historic photographs transport the reader to the glittering theatres of Paris and St Petersburg.Slightly off-mint. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
British Municipal Cinema 1920–1980
Presenting an overview of the development, achievements and demise of British municipal film and illustrated with stills, this book includes in-depth studies of films and the film-making processes of Bermondsey Borough Council’s Public Health Department and Glasgow Corporation.
From Shadow Play to the Silver Screen
The earliest films were shown at fairgrounds and exhibitions, in the long tradition of novelty light and image entertainments such as the magic lantern shows and moving panorama attractions of the 19th century. This illustrated history traces the roots of cinema back to the camera obscura and examines a range of early photographic technologies that astonished audiences, including Reynaud's Optical Theatre and Edison's Kinetoscope, before the establishment of the modern movie industry in the early 20th century.
Flesh and Blood
A History of My Family in Seven Maladies
The actor Stephen McGann tells the story of his family over five generations through the diseases that afflicted them. They range from the famine and smallpox that claimed the lives of infant relatives in the 19th century to the necrosis that almost killed his wife, Heidi Thomas, inspiring her to write the BBC adaptation of Call the Midwife. Combining genealogy and social history, this volume explores the effects of illness on society through the generations. Signed by the author.
The Lost Notebook
Herman Schultheis and The Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic
The Disney production employee Herman Schultheis kept a detailed diary of the special effects he worked on during classic productions such as Fantasia, Dumbo and Pinocchio. The notebook, reproduced and analysed in this volume, lay forgotten for decades and includes revealing technical information about how innovative visual effects were created, as well as the reference photographs used as templates for the animations, and behind-the-scenes shots of sets, artists, directors and voice actors.
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.
The Chronicle of Opera
Derided by Dr Johnson as 'an exotic and irrational entertainment', opera has captivated audiences for four centuries. This volume charts the historical development of the art form, with features on composers from Monteverdi to Britten, key works from The Magic Flute to Wozzeck, and legendary singers such as Maria Callas. The reference section includes a timeline, discography, biographies and a guide to further reading, and over 100 colour illustrations show the magnificence of many operatic productions.
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 resumé 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.
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 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.
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. Slightly off-mint.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Masques, Mayings and Music-Dramas
Vaughan Williams and the Early Twentieth-Century Stage
These eight essays elucidate a significant moment in the renaissance of English music-theatre. Focusing particularly on Vaughan Williams, they show how Wagner’s ideas influenced English composers who were reimagining dramatic traditions going back to Mummers’ plays, 17th-century masques and the music of Purcell.
My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man
The actors who would create the iconic parts of Spock and Kirk in Star Trek were both 23 when they met on the set of The Man from UNCLE in 1964. In this affectionate biography, Shatner gives an account of Leonard Nimoy’s life and career from the perspective of their long friendship.
What I Learnt
What My Listeners Say – and Why We Should Take Notice
Jeremy Vine succeeded Jimmy Young as presenter of Radio 2's phone-in show in 2003 and since then has taken over 25,000 calls – including the joyous, the furious and the occasional joker. As well as his radio show, Vine is a familiar face on television, and his book describes working on everything from general election coverage to Strictly Come Dancing, but his emphasis is on his listeners ‘and all the surprises they spring’. Slightly off-mint.
Morecambe & Wise
50 Years of Sunshine
Eric Morecambe's son Gary has drawn on the family archive of photographs and ephemera to compile this illustrated biography of Eric and Ernie, reviewing their career from the early 1940s to the 1980s and their legacy beyond. The pictured items include variety bills, programmes, letters, scripts, stills from their celebrated television shows, archive images of their early career and private snaps with friends and family.
The Secret History of Twin Peaks
A small town in Washington State by the name of Twin Peaks was once the scene of a number of homicides that remain unsolved… This top-secret FBI dossier contains all the relevant files on the events surrounding the murder of Laura Palmer, including Agent Dale Cooper’s reports, transcripts of witness statements, legal documents, press cuttings, and archival material on the assassination of JF Kennedy.
In this award-winning memoir, Michael Coveney charts the career of one of Britain’s best-loved actors from her first stage appearances through the Oscar-winning The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to recent successes in the Harry Potter films, Downton Abbey and Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van. Drawing on personal encounters and access to family, friends and a cast of theatrical colleagues, he also offers an insight into her closely guarded off-stage life.
A Very Courageous Decision
The Inside Story of Yes Minister
In 1980, when Britain had no 24-hour television news, internet, Twitter or demands for ‘transparency’, the cogs of government turned most mysteriously. Public enlightenment came with an intelligent, well-informed and hilarious TV series: Yes Minister and its sequel, Yes Prime Minister, which revealed and mercilessly lampooned what went on in Whitehall and Westminster. Graham McCann tells the story of the series and seeks out the real political fiascos that inspired it. Slightly off-mint.
Designing Costume for Stage and Screen
Comprehensively illustrated with period images, design sketches and photographs of notable garments from well-known films and plays, this guide provides practical advice for students or working designers of amateur or professional productions. A history of theatrical costume is followed by guidance on the design process, thoughts about communicating ideas to your audience, an analysis of period styles from medieval to modern, and case studies from the author's illustrious career.
Encounters with British Composers
This collection of interviews provides insights into the daily routines and compositional processes of 39 contemporary British composers, including John Rutter, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and two Masters of the Queen’s Music (Judith Weir and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies). These eminent musicians, who work in a wide range of styles, also answer questions about the function and purpose of music, discuss the influence of Britishness on their work and share their advice for young composers.
Histories of Modernist Music Drama from Parsifal to Nono
Beginning with the composer’s final stage work, Mark Berry traces the impact of Wagner on 20th-century opera. In particular he identifies how music drama, staging and political engagement intersect in the work of five composers with very different conceptions of a Wagnerian tradition.
Three Hundred Years of Composers' Instruments
The Cobbe Collection
This catalogue of the Cobbe Collection of keyboard instruments at Hatchlands Park comprises detailed descriptions, technical information and photographs of over 40 instruments, ranging in date from Charles II’s virginals (1664) to an organ by JW Walker of London (1903) and includes instruments that belonged to, among others, Bach, Haydn, Chopin and Elgar.