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.
First World War Plays
From Night Watches by Allan Monkhouse, published in 1916, to Abigail Docherty's Sea and Land and Sky (2010), this collection of seven plays shows how the war has been represented through the 'traditions, forms and economies of the theatre' over the last century. The other works are Alice Dunbar-Nelson's Mine Eyes Have Seen (1918); Tunnel Trench (1924) by Hubert Griffith; Noël Coward's Post Mortem (1930); Oh What a Lovely War! (1963) by Theatre Workshop; and The Accrington Pals (1981) by Peter Whelan.
The Publication of Plays in London
1660–1800, Playwrights, Publishers, and Market
Based on the Panizzi Lectures given by the authors at the British Library, this groundbreaking study concerns approximately 1,530 published plays that were professionally performed in London between 1660 and 1800. The book covers a host of ‘nitty-gritty issues’ within the realms of playwrights, publishers and readers, including costs and prices, formats, playwrights’ remuneration, editions, collections and reprints, and illustrations in play books.
Exit, pursued by a bear
An A–Z Guide to Shakespeare's Plays, Poems and Stagecraft
In a simple A–Z format, this guide to the plays, poems and the world of Shakespeare explains all the terms used in Shakespearean study, from GCSE to degree level. It describes the role of every character, from non-speaking cameos to Hamlet, and gives half-page synopses of each play. Other entries cover Shakespeare's sources, literary terms, critics and editors, contemporary playwrights and actors; and there is a 'filmography' of film and TV productions.
Barry Cryer Comedy Scrapbook
Barry Cryer has been a stalwart of British comedy since the 1950s. Beginning his career at the famous Windmill Theatre in Soho, he has since written for, worked with and often become friends with most of the greats of the post-war era, among them Tommy Cooper and Eric Morecambe. This memoir is presented as a scrapbook of his personal photographs, illuminated by Cryer's observations about his life and the stars he has worked with, and by their comments about him.
Nine Decades of Radio Voices
Published to mark the 90th anniversary of the BBC's first ever broadcast and the beginning of the British love affair with radio, this book presents a radio history, from the first tentative programmes in 1922, up to the present. Above all, it celebrates the famous voices of radio, including the pioneering radio gardener, Marion Cran; Churchill during wartime; the Goons and Kenneth Horne in the 1950s; the pirates of Radio Caroline; and the stars of BBC radio today.
Classic Hollywood Style
Iconic costumes from the golden era of Hollywood are indelibly associated with particular stars and films. With over 150 photographs, and featuring screen stars such as Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe, this book explores how cinema's most glamorous costumes were created and how you can get the look today. Focusing on 34 classic films, including Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Bonnie and Clyde, the book also tells the stories of the designers, some of whom became stars themselves.
Matinee Idol to Movie Star
A matinee idol in his twenties, John Gielgud went on to become the greatest classical actor of the 20th century. This entertaining but critical biography charts the ups and downs of his life, his stage roles, his rivalry with Olivier, his personal relationships – and the arrest that nearly wrecked his career. Drawing on Gielgud's own frank correspondence and on interviews with colleagues and friends, Croall draws an intimate, often startling portrait of this great and much-loved actor. Slightly off-mint.
George Cole: My Autobiography
The World Was My Lobster
George Cole was adopted as a baby by a South London couple, and then again at 15 when the comic actor Alastair Sim took him in as an evacuee. This autobiography reflects on Cole's childhood and relationships as well as the long career during which he worked with many legends of the stage and screen and created such memorable characters as Flash Harry in the St Trinian's films and Arthur Daley in Minder.
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.
Jack Duckworth and Me
Bill Tarmey (1941–2012) played the lovable rogue Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street for 31 years until his character was killed off during the show's 50th anniversary in 2010. His story of growing up in post-war Manchester, singing in working men's clubs, and then finding his niche playing a rascal whose life uncannily mirrored his own will be cherished by all fans of Britain's longest-running soap.
Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection
This second volume of Thunderbirds adventures contains the first twelve comic strips from the 1960s, beginning with Blazing Danger, which introduced Lady Penelope and Parker to International Rescue, and including the great classics, Talons of the Eagle and Atlantic Tunnel. All the strips in this volume were illustrated by the legendary Frank Bellamy. (Please note two pages are duplicated in the book due to an editorial error.)
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!’
The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte:
The Complete Libretto
One of three ‘jocular dramas’ which Mozart created with librettist Da Ponte, Cosí fan tutte used to be considered implausible and scandalous, since two sisters marry strangers who are really their disguised fiancés – but its unsettling paradoxes now make it feel a very modern comedy.
The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Puccini's La Bohème: The Complete Libretto
The Met has staged Puccini’s passionate tale of tenderness and tragedy more than any other opera. The short essays complementing this libretto explain why it is so loved, why its Parisian setting is important and how it reveals the emotional significance of everyday things.è
Unearthing secrets in Budapest, getting arrested in Thailand, exalting in the art of Venice or facing down airline staff... life is anything but dull with Sheila Hancock. Following on from The Two of Us, this book describes life on her own, after the death of her husband John Thaw. Having heeded a piece of Quaker advice - 'live adventurously' - she faced the future with characteristic wit, gusto and curiosity.
A Woman at War
Marlene Dietrich Remembered
An icon of Hollywood's golden era, Marlene Dietrich first made her name in the Deutsches Theater in Berlin in the 1920s. The most famous German performer of the 1930s, Dietrich was a vocal critic of the Nazi regime, bravely denouncing it and later working to promote the American war effort. Recalling the great star during this turbulent period, this book is a collection of interviews with a range of people who knew her, from GIs to well-known fellow entertainers.
Serjeant Musgrave's Dance
An Un-Historical Parable
Four deserters bring the body of a dead soldier back to his home town, a northern mining community. The group's leader, Serjeant Musgrave, plans to hold the townsfolk at gunpoint, present them with the dead body and make them face the reality of war. First performed in 1959, Arden's play is now regarded as a modern classic. With commentary and notes by Glenda Leeming.