Radio Times from the Archive
Classic Photographs from the Picture Library
With a profile of Don Smith, the Radio Times staff photographer; chapters on comedians, actresses, musicians, actors, presenters and sports personalities; and a final section of writers, artists and politicians, this book has mined the magazine's picture archive to present almost 300 pages of portraits. It presents the work of Don Smith and many other distinguished photographers, and their subjects form a veritable who's who of British entertainment over the last 40 years.
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; Noel Coward's Post Mortem (1930); Oh What a Lovely War! (1963) by Theatre Workshop; and The Accrington Pals (1981) by Peter Whelan.
A History in 100 Programmes
At the birth of television in the mid 1920s, ‘The race to perfect a workable system was matched by the rush to predict imminent social disaster’. In this entertaining social history, Norman looks back to the late 1930s and charts the progress of TV - despite the doomsayers - through 100 ground-breaking programmes, from Tele-Crime (1938-9), through Hancock (‘one man, one room, comedy stripped bare’) and The Magic Roundabout, to TV meets Netflix in House of Cards (2013).
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.
Four Revenge Tragedies
Francis Bacon described revenge as ‘a kind of wild justice’. Then, as now, early modern playwrights and their theatre-going public were fascinated by the anarchic energies that a desire for retribution unleashes. This volume presents four plays, with four different approaches to revenge: The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd; The Revenger's Tragedy (anonymous); John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; and The White Devil by John Webster. This student edition contains an introduction and fully annotated, modernized texts.
The Habit of Art
Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind in his latest opera Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, WH Auden. Set in the rehearsal room, Bennett's many-layered play sees composer and poet meet for the first time in 20 years. With an introduction by the author.
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
Shakespeare's Characters, Plays, Poems, History 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
'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.
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.
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.
Entirely Up to You, Darling
A leading British actor of the 1940s and 1950s, Richard Attenborough's work as a director - of movies such as Oh! What A Lovely War, Gandhi and Cry Freedom - is probably his outstanding contribution to film history. In this autobiography, he describes the struggles and triumphs of his long career in show business as well as his private life, including the tragic deaths of his daughter and granddaughter in the tsunami of 2004.
Brenda Blethyn is one of Britain's best-loved actresses. In this autobiography she tells the story of her early life and career, from 1940s Ramsgate where she was the youngest of nine children, to the National Theatre, television, Hollywood and stardom. She tells her tale with characteristic warmth and humour; the story of how she forced herself to run the London Marathon, three times, is a typical example.