Suggested Reading List
A History of the Theatre
Author: Glynne Wickham
A fully illustrated survey of 3000 years of theatrical history, including opera, ballet and spectacle.
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.
Deceiving the Deceivers: Kim Philby, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess
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 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.
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
Year of the King
Author: Antony Sher
Description: Other early 'stand-out' roles came in the premieres of Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine (1979) and Mike Leigh's Goose Pimples (1981). He was Malcolm Bradbury's History Man on TV (1981) before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982, where he has played a huge variety of leading role in modern plays such as David Edgar's Maydays (1983) and Peter Flannery's Singer (1989) but chiefly in Shakespeare. He was the Fool to Michael Gambon's Lear, a famous Richard III, Shylock, Malvolio, Leontes, Macbeth with Harriet Walter, and, currently, Iago. For the RSC he was also Cyrano and Tamburlaine and the Malcontent. Interspersed with these were appearances at the National Theatre - as Astrov to Ian McKellen's Uncle Vanya, as Stanley Spencer in Pam Gems's play and as Titus Andronicus, which he originated at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg. In October 2004 he will appear at the National again in his own play based on Primo Levi's This was a Man. Following his debut as a writer with Year of the King, he has written four novels - Middlepost, Indoor Boy, Cheap Lives and The Feast - as well as an autobiography, Beside Myself (2001), and a play, I.D. (premiered at the Almeida, 2003).