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The Best of British Theatre: The West End and Beyond

Program Number: 16794RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/10/2013 - 6/18/2013; 5/11/2015 - 5/19/2015; 6/8/2015 - 6/16/2015; 7/2/2015 - 7/10/2015; 9/21/2015 - 9/29/2015; 10/5/2015 - 10/13/2015; 11/5/2015 - 11/13/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: England, UK:England
Price starting at: $3,393.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Theater
Meals: 14; 7 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Immerse yourself in some of the best theatre in the world ranging from the classical to the cutting edge. Since the Elizabethan Age London's theater scene has always reflected the ever-changing face of this vibrant city. With an expert lecturer and theater practitioner, explore the art of theater and the process of production from text to performance. Enjoy five theater performances and one concert at venues ranging from The National Theatre to The Royal Court or the stylish Donmar Warehouse. Release your inner actor through a practical drama workshop led by professional actors, pit your wits against one of London's leading theater critics and take a backstage peek of a flagship West End theater. Get unique insight into the art and craft of drama. You will never go to the theater the same way again.




Highlights

• Enjoy introductions to each show by theater experts.
• Experience an interactive theater workshop led by professional actors.
• Meet a leading London theater critic for a round-up discussion.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles. Some historic theaters have stairs and no elevators. Seat locations will be of good standard for all performances; in most cases, group will sit together for performances.




Date Specific Information

7-2-2015

This departure will concentrate on MUSICAL theatre and will be an EASY level departure. All 5 performances will be musicals, there will be a field trip to Wilton`s Music Hall (in place of the Globe) and lectures by Giles Ramsay on the development of the British musical, a RADA musical workshop, and tea with a theatre critic.



11-5-2015

This departure will concentrate on MUSICAL theatre and will be an ACTIVE level departure. All 5 performances will be musicals, there will be a field trip to Wilton`s Music Hall (in place of the Globe) and lectures by Giles Ramsay on the development of the British musical, a RADA musical workshop, and tea with a theatre critic.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival London, 7 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival London
7 nights
Departure

With a theater professional, consider how the art form developed, explore the world of the bard and discuss the universal draw of theater. Experience the life and times of Shakespeare through interactive displays at the Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition. Then, take an in-depth look at contemporary, cutting-edge drama in the West End. Venture backstage at a flagship West End theatre and take an interactive theatre workshop and learn some professional secrets. Production briefings and a roundup by a leading theater critic analyze the plays you’ve attended. Complete this panoramic overview of London’s performing arts with an immersion in the visual arts at London's galleries.




England

It was the seat of an empire on which the sun never set. It has been Merry, Dickensian and Victorian. It has given us common law, Shakespeare, tennis, the Rolls-Royce and the Beatles. England and its people have played an outsize role in shaping world history. It is a country whose past, politics, culture and characters never cease to captivate.



Accommodations
London: Four-star hotel located near the West End.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Malcolm Jones

Malcolm Jones is a theater expert who has managed community theater projects throughout England. He has worked on Reminiscence Theatre projects with Age Exchange since 2000 and previously was on staff at the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, where he organized theater workshops and interviewed many leading actors and directors. Malcolm has appeared on many television and radio programs to speak about theater and theater history, including BBC News.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
  London., UK:England 7 nights
 Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located close to West End. Was formerly Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel. Name chamge.
  Contact info: 130 Tottenham Court Road
London.,  W1T 5AY UK:England
phone: +44 20 7388 4131
web: www.radissonedwardian.com
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning. Direct dial telephone with personal phone numbers. Satellite TV, hairdryer, mini bar, in room safe, iron and trouser press, and tea and coffee making facilities. Complimentary wireless Internet access. US 110v sockets.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, business centre, fitness room and complimentary wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBC. For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: TBC. For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
A light lunch is served in the hotel for those arriving by lunchtime. Welcome meeting is at 5:00pm in the hotel. You will be staying at Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel. that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast on departure day. Breakast ends at 10:00am and check out is by 11:00am. Some transfers may depart before breakfast. You will be staying at Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel. the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Valid passport.
  Parking availability:
N/A.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains to Euston -nearest station. Buses available. Underground Warren Street is adjacent to the hotel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  London.
  Nearest city or town:  London
  Nearest airport:  London Heathrow and Gatwick.
  Transportation to site: Heathrow Express into Paddington Station London or Gatwick Express to Victoria Station London. From there take a taxi. The Heathrow Express departs the airport every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes add 6 minutes from T5.) to London Paddington. An Express single costs £16.50 (2010 prices), 1st Class is £26, return is £32. Paddington Station is situated in the west end of central London. It connects to the Bakerloo, District and Circle lines on the London Underground and is also a short walk to the Hammersmith and City line. The Gatwick Express departs the airport every 15 minutes and takes 30 minutes to London Victoria. It departs at these minutes past the hour 00 - 15 - 30 - 45. An Express single costs £16.90 (2010 prices), Express return is £28.70. With three London Underground stations - for the Victoria, District and Circle lines - getting around central London is easy and direct from London Victoria station. Victoria bus station is next door, and it’s only a short walk to the National Express coach station. Nearest underground is Warren Street. Buses and trains available.
  From End of Program
  Location: London.
  Transportation from site: As above in reverse. Nearest underground is Warren Street. Buses and trains available.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Monday, June 10)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flight to London.

Day 2:
(Tuesday, June 11)
   
 Arrive To: London. Individual car transfers to the hotel.
 Lunch: A light lunch is served in the hotel.
 Afternoon: Welcome meeting with the course director at 5:00pm in the hotel.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Production briefing. Stephen Sondheim.
(Wednesday, June 12)
   
 Breakfast: Full English and Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: "Shakespeare's World" followed by a production briefing on tonight's performance.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Following a sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, the stunning musical revival of Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth embarks on an exclusive 12 week season at the Harold Pinter theatre from 23 April. 7:45pm This 'dazzling' (D Telegraph) five star hit has been thrilling audiences with its 'electrically alive' (Independent) performances. Winner of the 2012 Critics’ Circle Best Musical award, this show is a must-see production Triple Olivier award-winner Maria Friedman makes an extraordinary directorial debut, with outstanding performances from a flawless cast, including Mark Umbers - ‘Impeccably played’ (Guardian), Damian Humbley - ‘Terrific’ (Independent) and Olivier award-winner Jenna Russell - ‘Superb’ (Financial Times). Set over three decades in the entertainment business Merrily We Roll Along charts the turbulent relationship between three friends Franklin, Charley and Mary. Starting in 1980 and travelling backwards in time, this powerful and moving story features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including Good Thing Going, Not a Day Goes By and Old Friends.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Backstage tour. Alan Ayckbourn's Relativelt Speaking.
(Thursday, June 13)
   
 Breakfast: Full English and Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Backstage tour of a flagship West End theatre. Go behind the scenes to see the auditoriums, front-of-house, scenic workshops and backstage technical areas.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Lecture: History of London's Theatre 1660-20th Century".
 Dinner: Included.
 Evening: Relatively Speaking at the Wyndams Theatre 7:30pm By Alan Ayckbourn Felicity Kendal, Kara Tointon, Max Bennett and Jonathan Coy star in Alan Ayckbourn's classic comedy, Relatively Speaking at the Wyndham’s Theatre directed by Lindsay Posner. In Relatively Speaking Greg only met Ginny a month ago but has already made up his mind that she's the girl for him. When she tells him that she's going to visit her parents, he decides this is the moment to ask her father for his daughter's hand. Discovering a scribbled address, he follows her to Buckinghamshire where he finds Philip and Sheila enjoying a peaceful Sunday morning breakfast in the garden, but the only thing is – they're not Ginny's parents. Relatively Speaking was Alan Ayckbourn's first great West End success and turned him into a household name. When the show opened at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1967, the critics hailed the arrival of a great new comic talent. 2 hours including an interval
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Performance starring Daniel Radcliffe.
(Friday, June 14)
   
 Breakfast: Full English and Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: "20th Century Theatre".
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: The Cripple of Inishmaan a dark comedy by Martin McDonagh in the Noel Coward Theatre: Set on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, word arrives that a Hollywood film (Man of Aran) is being made on the neighboring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy, if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life. Martin McDonagh’s comic masterpiece examines an ordinary coming of age in extraordinary circumstances and confirms his position as one of the most original Irish voices to emerge in the second half of the twentieth century. Daniel Radcliffe plays the title role in the first major London revival of The Cripple of Inishmaan since its premiere at the National Theatre in 1996. Director Michael Grandage. Set and Costume Designer Christopher Oram. Lighting Designer Paule Constable.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Interactive Theatre workshop. The Tempest at Shakespeare's Globe.
(Saturday, June 15)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Take a unique hands-on theatre workshop- The Rehearsal Room-Practical workshop. Workshop objectives: To provide an engaging, practical and fun introduction to the process of rehearsing theatre. To demonstrate that the rehearsal room is a space for exploration and a safe place to try out alternatives away from an audience. To highlight the range of choices actors and directors have available to them when approaching text. A brief physical and vocal warm up, with an explanation of why this is important for an actor – the body as an actor’s instrument. Using very simple pieces of text, participants will be introduced to the following concepts, and shown how they can be used to influence the audience’s experience and create radically different theatrical scenarios. This will be through a mixture of demonstration by the workshop leaders and practical experience by volunteers from the group. Then in groups move on to directing a scene facilitated by the actors leading the workshop
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre By William Shakespeare 6:30pm The Tempest with Roger Allam returning to play Prospero, Colin Morgan as Ariel in his Globe debut and Jessie Buckley as Miranda. Directed by Jeremy Herrin 'WE ARE SUCH STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON.' Prospero, Duke of Milan, usurped and exiled by his own brother, holds sway over an enchanted island. He is comforted by his daughter Miranda and served by his spirit Ariel and his deformed slave Caliban. When Prospero raises a storm to wreck this perfidious brother and his confederates on the island, his long contemplated revenge at last seems within reach. Inspired by reports of the first English colonies in the West Indies and imbued with a spirit of magic and the supernatural, The Tempest is Shakespeare’s late great masterpiece of forgiveness, generosity and enlightenment. Jeremy Herrin’s previous work for Shakespeare’s Globe includes 2011’s much loved Much Ado About Nothing. Roger Allam won the Olivier Award for best actor for his role as Falstaff in Henry IV parts 1 & 2 at the Globe in 2010. Other recent credits include The Thick of It (BBC) and Tamara Drewe (Film). Colin Morgan is best known for playing Merlin in the long running BBC series Merlin. This production will employ Renaissance costumes and staging
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Concert
(Sunday, June 16)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Concert at Wigmore Hall 11:00am. Philip Higham cello Robert Thompson piano Programme Mendelssohn Cello Sonata No. 1 in Bb Op. 45 Beethoven Cello Sonata in G minor Op. 5 No. 2 About this concert Among works worthy of wider recognition, few can compete with Mendelssohn’s Cello Sonata No. 1 in Bb Op. 45. The three-movement composition, completed in October 1838, appears to have been influenced by earlier models. Philip Higham, winner of the 2008 Bach Leipzig and 2009 Lutoslawski Competitions, performs the piece in company with Beethoven’s G minor Cello Sonata of 1796
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the nation's treasure house the V&A- to view the Theatre Galleries. On a field trip, experience the world-famous Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), new home to the theatre collection. Theatre and performance galleries are dedicated to the performing arts, displaying works of art, costumes, ephemera, video recordings, puppets, posters and photographs. The V&A's Theatre Collections hold the UK's national collection of material about live performance in the UK since Shakespeare's day, covering drama, dance, musical theatre, circus, music hall, rock and pop, and other forms of live entertainment. The collections were founded in the 1920s when a private collector, Gabrielle Enthoven, donated her extensive collection of theatrical designs, memorabilia, books and photographs to the Museum. She continued to add to her collection, and worked on it as a museum volunteer until her death in 1950. Since that period, the collection has continued to grow, and has provided a home for many other significant objects and archives. Between 1987 and 2007, some of this material was housed at the V&A's branch museum in Covent Garden, the Theatre Museum. New galleries devoted to the performing arts opened at the V&A in South Kensington in 2009.
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8: Round up with a major theatre critic. Zoë Wanamaker in Passion Play.
(Monday, June 17)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in th hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to London's vibrant Bankside and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Exhibition. Founded by the pioneering American actor/director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work, and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of education and performance. Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition explores the life of Shakespeare, the London where he lived, and the theatre for which he wrote. Find out about extravagant Elizabethan costumes, Renaissance instruments and how they were used, and the dramatic stories of the first Globe crossing the Thames, and the new Globe being reconstructed on Bankside. See the costume collection which explains the process of designing, making and fitting costumes for Shakespeare’s stage, and for the productions at the new Globe. In Special Effects Touch screens bring to life the last word in Elizabethan special effects. See and hear the kinds of instruments that Feste first sang to, or those that played the dead Hamlet off the stage. See a full-size recreation of a 17th-century printing press. The field trip continues on to the Tate Modern--the gallery of international modern art situated on Bankside. Tate Modern displays the Tate collection of international modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the modern day. Tate Modern is more than just an art gallery. The amazing space of the Turbine Hall - has housed a succession of installations which have caught the imagination of the public.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Critical round-up. Meet with a leading theatre critic such as Benedict Nightingale of the Times or Kate Basett of the Independent on Sunday and discuss the shows you've seen. Farewell meeting.
 Dinner: In the hotel with the course director.
 Evening: Passion Play by Peter Nichols at the Duke of York's Theatre. Directed by David Leveaux. 7:30pm. Spring 2013 sees multi Olivier Award-winner Zoë Wanamaker return to the West End in Passion Play, Peter Nichols’ celebrated black comedy about love and infidelity. Comfortably married for 25 years, James and Eleanor’s world is upended when James agrees to a secret rendezvous with their recently widowed friend Kate. As the lies mount up, the affair strips the marriage bare and reveals the illicit desires and hidden passions that lie beneath the everyday facade. A glorious meeting of humour, eroticism and duplicity, this modern classic and winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play makes a much-anticipated return to the West End, reuniting Director David Leveaux (Arcadia, The Late Middle Classes, Betrayal) with Zoë Wanamaker (Harry Potter, BBC1’s My Family and most recently in the West End in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons) for the first time since their Olivier Award-winning collaboration on Electra (Donmar Warehouse/Broadway).
   
Accommodations: Radisson Blu Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9:
(Tuesday, June 18)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Car transfers to the airports for return flights to North America.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


In Search of Shakespeare


Author: Michael Wood


Description: There can be few more appropriate writers and TV presenters to go In Search of Shakespeare than Michael Wood. Having already gone In Search of England and pursued the history of the Conquistadors in his recent acclaimed series, Wood has now taken on The Bard in the book to accompany his latest TV series. This is well-trodden ground, but Wood tells the story with relish and an historian's eye for detail, dismissing Bardolatry in favour of a "tale of one man's life, lived through a time of revolution--a time when not only England, but the larger world beyond, would go through momentous changes."



The Life of the Drama


Author: Eric Bentley


Description: Discusses the various aspects of a drama, from the plot and character to dialogue, thought and enactment. In addition, Eric Bentley describes different types of plays such as melodrama, farce, tragedy, comedy and tragi-comedy



The Year of the King


Author: Anthony Sher


Description: "'One of the finest books I have ever read on the process of acting' Time Out; 'This is a most wonderfully authentic account of the experience of creating a performance' Sunday Times; 'A brilliant compulsive account' Michael Billington, Guardian



Being an Actor


Author: Simon Callow


Description: Few actors are more eloquent, honest or entertaining about their life and their profession than Simon Callow. Being an Actor traces his stage journey from the letter he wrote to Laurence Olivier that led him to his first job, to his triumph as Mozart in the original production of Amadeus. This new edition continues to tell the story of his past two decades onstage. Callow discusses his occasionally ambivalent yet always passionate feelings about both film and theatre, conflicting sentiments partially resolved by his acclaimed return to the stage with his solo performances in The Importance of Being Oscar and The Mystery of Charles Dickens, seen in the West End and on Broadway in 2002. Being an Actor is a guide not only to the profession but also to the intricacies of the art, told with wit, candour, and irrepressible verve by one if the great figures of the stage.



The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski


Author: Edward Braun


Description: Beginning with the triple impulses of Naturalism, symbolism and the grotesque, the bulk of the book concentrates on the most famous directors of this century - Stanislavski, Reinhardt, Graig, Meyerhold, Piscator, Brecht, Artuaud and Grotowski. Braun's guide is more practical than theoretical, delineating how each director changed the tradition that came before him.



A History of the Theatre


Author: Glynne Wickham


Description: A fully illustrated survey of 3000 years of theatrical history, including opera, ballet and spectacle.



A Sense of Direction


Author: William Ball


Description: William Ball's productions at in the 1960s and 1970s were considered landmark interpretations of classic theatre texts. "Tartuffe", "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Taming of the Shrew" all demonstrated a fineness of detail, a clarity of presentation, and perhaps most of all, a thunderingly imaginative theatricality which few directors can match. This book brilliantly details his approaches, and is particularly good on directors relations with actors.



Greek Theatre in Performance


Author: David Wiles


Description: In this fascinating and accessible book, David Wiles introduces ancient Greek theatre to students and enthusiasts interested in knowing how the plays were performed. Theatre was a ceremony bound up with fundamental activities in ancient Athenian life and Wiles explores those elements which created the theatre of the time. Actors rather than writers are the book's main concern and Wiles examines how the actor used the resources of story-telling, dance, mask, song and visual action to create a large-scale event that would shape the life of the citizen community. The book assumes no prior knowledge of the ancient world, and is written to answer the questions of those who want to know how the plays were performed, what they meant in their original social context, what they might mean in a modern performance and what can be learned from and achieved by performances of Greek plays today.



Modern Drama in Theory and Practice


Author: J.C. Styan


Description: Volume 1: This volume begins with the naturalistic revolt in France against traditional styles of theatre. As realism becomes a European movement the account moves from Paris to the Meiningen company and Ibsen's work as producer and play-wright in Oslo, Chekhov's in Moscow, Shaw's in London, Synge's in Dublin. Among the producers are Antoine, Brahm, Grein, Granville-Baker, Nemirovich-Danchenko and Stanislavsky. The early days of the Irish Dramatic Movement and the chief realistic directors and critics in the USA after Belasco are considered; the tradition is shown to persist in the work of Williams and Miller in the USA and Osborne and Bond in England. Volume 2: he theories of Wagner and Nietzsche provide the basic principles for this volume, disseminated by the work of Appia and Craig, and affecting the later plays of Ibsen, Maeterlinck, and Lugné-Poe's Théatre de Le'Oeuvre. Jarry is seen as the precursor of surrealism; later symbolist elements are found in the plays of Claudel, Giraudoux, Yeats, Eliot, Lorca and Pirandello. Artaud's theatre of cruelty is related to the work of Peter Brook. The theatre of the absurd is illustrated in Sartre, Beckett, Pinter and Ionesco. Recent avant-garde theatre in America and Britain also reveals elements of symbolism.



Shakespeare and Co.


Author: Stanley Wells


Description: "With the passing of the years Shakespeare has too often been isolated from his fellows. He is the greatest of them, but he would not have been what he is without them." -- so says Stanley Wells at the conclusion of what is a wonderfully readable look at the theatrical scene of Shakespeare's day. Concentrating on the Bard's contemporaries rather than the man himself (more than adequately covered elsewhere), Shakespeare & Co is accessible rather than academic (though by no means lightweight), and an excellent introduction to those figures who hover on the edges of Shakespeare's biography, all too undeservingly like like bit-players in somebody else's drama. Individual chapters cover the theatrical scene (how plays were put together and presented, how they fit into the political mood of the time, and so on), and a brief look at some of the well-known actors of the day, before we get to the playwrights: Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher & Francis Beaumont and John Webster.



The Medieval Theatre


Author: Glynne Wickham


Description: Glynne Wickham's important history of the development of dramatic art in Christian Europe. Professor Wickham surveys the foundations on which this dramatic art was built: the architecture, costumes and ceremonial of the imperial court at Byzantium, the liturgies of countires in the Eastern and Western Empires and the triumph of the Roman rite and the Romanesque style in Western art. Within this context Professor Wickham describes three major influences upon the drama: religion, recreation and commerce.



The State of the Nation


Author: Michael Billington


Description: Michael Billington's new book looks at post-war Britain from a theatrical perspective. It examines the constant interplay between theatre and society from the resurgent optimism of the Attlee years to the satire boom of the Sixties and the growth of political theatre under Tony Blair in the post-Iraq period. Written by Britain's longest-serving theatre critic, the book also offers a passionate defence of the dramatist as the medium's key creative figure. Controversial, witty and informed, State of the Nation offers a fresh and challenging look at the vast upheavals that have taken place in Britain and its theatre in the course of sixty turbulent years.



Will In the World


Author: Stephen Greenblatt


Description: With something of the vigour of the Bard’s writing, Greenblatt takes us through the bawdy, teeming Bankside district (centuries before it became a tourist destination), and the Machiavellian, dangerous world of the court--in fact, all the splendour and misery of the Elizabethan age--and at the centre of it all, its greatest artist.





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