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.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
This is Marilyn as you've never seen her. Not just the impossibly beautiful movie star or the insecure celebrity, but the loyal daughter, loving sister and complex woman on a lifelong quest for belonging. Drawing on new sources who have never spoken publicly before, this sympathetic, insightful biography sheds new light on her relationships with Sinatra, DiMaggio, Miller and the Kennedys, and her lonely battle with her own mind.
Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book provides an accessible overview of theatre in China, from traditional Chinese opera and its many variations to drama without music in the 20th century. Like all the books in the series, it is written by a noted expert in the field, well illustrated with colour reproductions and photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
Fred and Adele
Although Adele Astaire is little known today, Fred's elder sister was the more famous and celebrated of the siblings' double act, which achieved international stardom in the 1920s. This biography tells the story of the Omaha vaudeville entertainers who became the toast of Broadway and the West End in musicals such as Lady, Be Good! and Funny Face, and gives recognition to the importance of a theatrical career often overlooked because of Fred's tremendous later success in film.
The Autobiography of James T Kirk
The Story of Starfleet's Greatest Captain
'The only thing that competes with commanding a ship is a woman.' With a foreword by Leonard McCoy and an afterword by Spock of Vulcan, his closest friends, this revealing memoir sees a true Starfleet legend reflect on a life full of triumph, tragedy and romance, including his original five-year mission aboard the USS Enterprise; an unlikely adventure with whales in the 20th century; and deadly encounters with Klingons, Romulans and the genetically engineered dictator Khan Noonien Singh.
Cinema and Radio in Britain and America, 1920-60
This volume charts the evolving relationship between the two principal mass media of the period 1920-1960 and explores the creative symbiosis that developed between them. Focusing on two genres - comedy and detective stories - Richards identifies differences and similarities between the two media; compares the experience of film and radio in Britain and America; and looks at how both media presented three mythic figures: Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Bernstein Meets Broadway
Collaborative Art in a Time of War
When the unknown composer Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) arrived in New York, he teamed up with three other brilliant twentysomethings: Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. By the end of the 1940s, they were world famous. This biography charts Bernstein's successes in 1944 with the Broadway musical On the Town and the ballet Fancy Free, and the attempts of these four visionary artists to break down the barriers between classical and popular music and promote a liberal political worldview.
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) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). 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. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and off-mint.
The Essential Shakespeare Live Encore
The Royal Shakespeare Company in Performance
Following the success of Essential Shakespeare Live, Gregory Doran has selected another 21 scenes and speeches from live RSC productions, all published for the first time. The pieces begin with Paul Robeson playing Othello in 1959, include performances by Elizabeth Spriggs, Ian Richardson, Harriet Walter and Ian Holm, and end with David Tennant's Hamlet (2008) and 'What a piece of work is man'. Includes a booklet with scripts. Two audio CDs, running time 147 minutes.
Barry Cryer Comedy Scrapbook
Barry Cryer has been a stalwart of British comedy since the 1950s. Cutting his teeth 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.
The Pocket Guide to Opera
Beginning with a time chart from 1600 to 1970, this handy guide manages to be full of anecdote and little-known facts as well as offering a broad introduction to opera. After synopses of 50 favourite operas, arranged chronologically from Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea to A Midsummer Night's Dream by Britten, Anna Selby profiles opera's greatest composers, its finest singers and legendary figures among conductors, librettists and directors.
I Used to Know That: Shakespeare
Stuff You Forgot from School
Everybody remembers Romeo and Juliet's love story and Hamlet's famous laments, but do you know who was the first character to be deemed 'dead as a doornail'? Or who Shakespeare's sonnets were written for? With a brief life of the playwright, bite-sized synopses of all his plays and chapters on his legacy to language, his poetry and common misquotations, this is an ideal refresher course on the Bard.
The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero
The first 'Super-Man' created by comic strip authors Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1932 was a megalomaniac scientist, but they later reassigned the name to a hero character and published the first Superman story in 1938. This history of the 'Man of Steel' is also the story of the creators, designers and performers who have shaped the character, and an analysis of how Superman has reflected the mood of America over more than 70 years. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Family Epic
For more than a century, the Redgraves have defined theatre and film. Drawing on personal knowledge and many interviews, this biography charts the private and professional lives of the dynasty, from the brilliant, troubled Michael Redgrave and his wife Rachel Kempson, through their offspring Lynn, Vanessa and Corin, to the triumphs and tragedies of the latest generation. The result is an epic study of a talented, volatile, passionate and controversial family.
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.
A Brief Guide to Star Trek
Among the inspirations for Star Trek, first aired in 1966, were the classic 1956 film Forbidden Planet and a Czech film entitled Ikarie XB-1, which includes storylines similar to early episodes of the TV series. This guide to the enormously successful franchise traces its origins and development through multiple films and TV incarnations up to the re-invented Star Trek movie of 2009.
Nine Decades of Radio Voices
Even before the foundation of the BBC in 1922, the radio had made an unlikely star of Peter Eckersley, the engineer of the first licensed station. This history of British radio broadcasting recalls the best loved voices of the following 90 years of radio, from the clipped tones of the dinner-jacketed pre-war newsreaders to the pirate radio disc jockeys of the 1960s and the familiar voices of 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, including some who became stars themselves.
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.
This Charming Man
The Life of Ian Carmichael
When Ian Carmichael died in 2010, a golden age of British film comedy came to an end. One of a unique generation of actors who fought in the Second World War, he flourished alongside stars such as Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. This delightful biography charts the life and career of the self-deprecating Yorkshireman who, with his innate good manners and sense of fair play, was born to play Bertie Wooster and Lord Peter Wimsey.
The World of Smurfs
A Celebration of Tiny Blue Proportions
When 'Les Schtroumpfs' appeared in a Belgian comic in 1958, no one could anticipate that a few decades later the world would fall in love with the Smurfs. The perfect companion for Smurf fans young and old, this compendium of the Smurfs' world and its inhabitants - Papa, Brainy, Clumsy and Smurfette - tells the story of their creation and includes pull-outs and mini-comics, a poster and a sticker sheet.
The Chronicle of Opera
Derided by Dr Johnson as 'an exotic and irrational entertainment', opera has captivated audiences for four centuries. This handsome 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 Chronicles of Downton Abbey
This official companion to the hugely successful period drama delves deeply into the lives of all the main characters, exploring the intrigue, rivalry and romance both above and below stairs. There are chapters on the Earl and Countess of Grantham and their servants, lovers, friends and guests, with photographs of the characters in the opulent surroundings of the Downton estate and illustrations of contemporary artefacts and publications. Plus a final 'behind the scenes' chapter on the making of the programmes. Slightly off-mint.
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.
London Stage in the Nineteenth Century
From a new production Holcroft's The Road to Ruin on 3 January 1880, to the 1899 pantomime season, when the audience cheered a snub to the Boer leader in Jack and the Beanstalk, this year-by-year record of notable theatrical events of the 19th century covers legendary performances by great actors, Shakespeare revivals and premieres of works by, among others, Wilde, Ibsen, Chekhov and Gilbert and Sullivan, with quotations from contemporary reviews and over 220 illustrations.
'The Scottish play' is presented here in a visually striking new Signature Shakespeare edition. The modernized, yet conservative text is accompanied by essays and commentary discussing Shakespeare's language, the play and its performance history and later works it inspired. The volume is edited by Jesse M Lander and illustrated with laser-cut and layered pictures by Kevin Stanton.
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare's great romantic tragedy is presented here in a visually striking new Signature edition. The modernized, yet conservative text is accompanied by essays and commentary discussing Shakespeare's language, the play and its performance history and later works it inspired. The volume is edited by Mario DiGangi and illustrated with laser-cut and layered pictures by Kevin Stanton.
Shakespeare's Common Prayers
The Book of Common Prayer and the Elizabethan Age
'See,' says Buckingham in Richard III, 'a book of prayer in his hand.' From its appearance in 1549, the Book of Common Prayer was known by heart by every literate person in England, including William Shakespeare. This engaging, elegantly written study traces the influence of its rhythms and metres, its ambiguities and controversies, on plays such as Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Hamlet and - above all - Macbeth, to create a dazzlingly original portrait of the playwright at work.
The Music of James Bond
From the most recognizable theme in movie history to a catalogue of hit songs by the world's best singers, music has played an important role in the unparalleled success of the Bond films. Dissecting the score and songs of each film up to Quantum of Solace this book reveals how the musical style of Bond was created and developed and how the songs and singers were chosen for the iconic title numbers.
A Still Untitled (Not Quite) Autobiography
Ron Moody was studying at the London School of Economics in the early 1950s when he got the theatrical bug, writing and starring in student revues. His comic talent was soon spotted by a leading agent who encouraged him to take the stage seriously as a profession. In this eccentric and thoughtful memoir, Moody looks back on his early theatrical experiences and his career leading up to the part that made his name - Fagin in Oliver!.
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.
The Man Who Invented the Daleks
Terry Nation began his career as a comedy writer in the mid 1950s but went on to create some of the most memorable television drama of the 1960s and 1970s. In this book Alwyn Turner explores the writer's career and his influential output, which includes many great series, among them Blake's 7, Dr Who, The Persuaders, The Saint and The Avengers.
Harold Pinter: Four Plays
This finely produced set of three volumes, each bound in black linen, is a celebratory collection of four plays to mark Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. The chosen plays are The Birthday Party, first performed in 1958; No Man's Land (1975); Mountain Language (1988); and Celebration, first performed (in a double bill with The Room) at the Almeida Theatre in 2000. Slip-cased.
This fourth volume of Tom Stoppard's work for the stage brings together five of his most celebrated translations and adaptations of plays by Arthur Schnitzler (Dalliance and Undiscovered Country), Ferenc Molnar (Rough Crossing), Johann Nestroy (On the Razzle), and Chekhov's masterpiece, The Seagull. These originals provide the perfect springboard for Stoppard's imagination, and the results are imbued with all his characteristic wit and exuberance.