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The West End and Beyond – Theatre in London

Program Number: 16794RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/12/2014 - 5/20/2014; 9/22/2014 - 9/30/2014; 1/8/2015 - 1/16/2015; 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: $3,196.00 - 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 (in 2015) will concentrate on MUSICAL theatre. 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, tea with a theatre critic



11-5-2015

This departure only (in 2015) will concentrate on MUSICAL theatre. 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, 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 Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
  London., UK:England 7 nights
 Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located close to West End.
  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:  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:  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 Edwardian Grafton Hotel. that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast on departure day. Some transfers may depart before breakfast. Breakfast ends at 10:00am and check out is by 11:00am. You will be staying at Radisson Edwardian 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, May 12)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flight to London.

Day 2:
(Tuesday, May 13)
   
 Arrive To: London. Individual car transfers to the hotel.
 Lunch: A light lunch is served in the hotel at 12:30pm
 Afternoon: Welcome meeting with the course director at 5:00pm in the hotel.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Production briefing/Another Country at the Trafalgar Studios
(Wednesday, May 14)
   
 Breakfast: Full English and Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: "Shakespeare's World" followed by a production briefing on tonight's performance.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Theatre performance. Another Country Trafalgar Studios 7:30pm. What would lead a man to betray his country? What would lead a boy to betray his friends? In Julian Mitchell’s award-winning Another Country, which won an Olivier Award for Play of the Year and helped launch the careers of Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, these questions become fatally entwined. Another Country follows a company of public schoolboys through a summer term in the early 1930s where Bennett and Judd are both outsiders; one coming to terms with his homosexuality, the other already a committed Marxist. But the Establishment has traditional ways of dealing with rebels and when a scandal rocks the school, the young men must confront their beliefs and make choices which will have a momentous impact on their lives and on the future of their country. Another Country balances subtle wit and thought-provoking drama in a fictionalised account of the youth of such people as the spy Guy Burgess and the Communist John Cornford, who died in the Spanish Civil War. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, Uncle Vanya and South Downs (also West End) for Chichester. He is Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre where his credits include That Face. Other credits include This House for the National Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare’s Globe, and the forthcoming Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the RSC. The cast features: Will Attenborough (Judd), Rob Callender (Bennett), Cai Brigden (Delahay), Mark Donald (Devenish), Dario Coates (Sanderson), Bill Milner (Wharton), James Parris (Menzies), Julian Wadham (Vaughan Cunningham) and Mark Quartley (Barclay) with further casting to be announced. Design is by Peter McKintosh, with lighting design by Paul Pyant and sound design by Fergus O'Hare
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Backstage tour/ The Silver Tassie at the National Theatre
(Thursday, May 15)
   
 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: Theatre performance. The Silver Tassie National Theatre 7:30pm By Sean O’Casey Starring Ronan Raftery as Harry Heegan, Aidan McArdle as Sylvester Heegan and Josie Walker as Mrs HeeganDirected by Howard Davies Peppered with acrid wit and dark vaudeville humour, Sean O’Casey’s powerful, huge and rarely performed anti-war play of 1928 displays a jagged madness that belies its Dublin tenement setting and gives full expression to the horror and waste of war. Ireland, World War One. Dashing Harry Heegan leads his football team to victory, arriving home in swaggering celebration before he grabs his kit and heads for the trenches. A nightmare world awaits. The men, reduced to cannon-fodder, speak in mangled incantations as the casualties stack up. Months later, Harry returns, a cripple at the football club party. Everyone but the shattered war veterans dances and forgets.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Other Desert Cities at the Old Vic.
(Friday, May 16)
   
 Breakfast: Full English and Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: 20th Century Theatre.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Theatre performance. Other Desert Cities Old Vic 7:30pm By John Robin Baitz Directed by Lindsay Posner Starring Sinead Cusack, Peter Egan, Clare Higgins, Daniel Lapaine, Martha Plimpton Pulitzer Prize finalist and creator of hit TV series, Brothers & Sisters and contributor on The West Wing, Jon Robin Baitz has taken America by storm with his Broadway debut. Other Desert Cities, an acidly witty and deeply affecting tour de force, melds the political and personal with electrifying results. Nominated for five Tony Awards, the award-winning play now makes its UK premiere at The Old Vic with Lindsay Posner (Noises Off and The Winslow Boy) returning to direct this stellar cast. It’s Christmas Eve in Palm Springs. Novelist Brooke Wyeth is back home to celebrate the holidays with her well-heeled parents, brother and aunt. But the long-awaited reunion is soon set alight by a bombshell – Brooke is to publish a tell-all memoir. Exposing the most painful chapter of the Wyeths’ buried past and threatening to destroy everything her famous parents hold dear, Brooke’s revelation pushes fractured family relations to the point of no return.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Theatre workshop/Birdland at the Royal Court
(Saturday, May 17)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Take a unique hands-on theatre workshop. The Rehearsal Room – a 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. Workshop leader: Andrew Pugsley Andrew studied acting at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York. As a performer he has recently been working with ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’ on the West End and on BBC Radio 4. He teaches acting and improvisation classes, most recently at The Bridge Drama School and with opera and musical theatre students at The Advanced Performer’s Studio. He runs workshops on creativity and communication for corporate clients, and has also worked with aspiring film makers, facilitating workshops at the London Film School. www.andrewpugsley.com
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: Theatre perfomance. Birdland Royal Court Theatre, Jerwood Theatre Downstairs 7:30pm By Simon Stephens The cast has been announced for Simon Stephens’ new play Birdland at the Royal Court Theatre in London which looks at fame, money and an out-of-control front man. The full cast is Nikki Amuka-Bird, Daniel Cerqueira, Yolanda Kettle, Alex Price, Charlotte Randle and Andrew Scott. “Everything can be quantified. All worth can be quantified. Artistic worth. Human worth. Material worth. Everything. Some food is simply better than other food. Isn’t it? Some clothes are better than other clothes. Aren’t they?” The last week of a massive international tour and rock star Paul (Andrew Scott), is at the height of his fame. Everybody knows his name. Whatever he wants he can have. He can screw anybody he wants to. He can buy anything he desires. He can eat anything. Drink anything. Smoke anything. Go anywhere. As the inevitability of the end of the road looms closer, and a return home becomes a reality, for Paul, the music is starting to jar. A piercing new play looking at empathy, money and fame.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Allegria String Quatertet at Wigmore Hall.
(Sunday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Allegri String Quartet Wigmore Hall 11:30am Programme Beethoven String Quartet in D Op. 18 No. 3 Tchaikovsky String Quartet No. 1 in D Op. 11 About this concert Renowned for graceful, elegant and intense performances, the Allegri String Quartet returns to Wigmore Hall as part of the group’s 60th anniversary season. The ensemble presents a rich and colourful programme, contrasting the first string quartets ever written by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. This concert will be approximately one hour in duration with no interval.
 Lunch: Post concert lunch in Wigmore Hall.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the nation's treasure house the V&A- to view the Theatre Galleries.
 Dinner: Excluded.
 Evening: Free evening.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Round up with a major theatre critic/Angela Lansbury in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Thetare.
(Monday, May 19)
   
 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: Theatre performance. Blithe Spirit Gielgud Theatre 7:30pm Theatre legend, Oscar-winner and five-time Tony Award-winner Angela Lansbury returns to the West End this spring for the first time in nearly forty years, in a new production of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit. Angela will reunite with director Michael Blakemore to reprise her 2009 Tony Award-winning role as Madame Arcati. Angela, whose stage and screen career spans seven decades, is known to millions as the much-loved Jessica Fletcher from the hit TV series Murder She Wrote, as well as her numerous roles on Broadway, in the West End and on film. Angela will be joined on stage by Janie Dee, Charles Edwards and Jemima Rooper. Researching for his new novel, Charles Condomine (Charles Edwards) invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati (Angela Lansbury) to his house for a séance. Whilst consumed in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles' dead wife Elvira (Jemima Rooper). Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a play to reclaim her husband, much to the chagrin of Charles' new wife Ruth (Janie Dee). One husband, two feuding wives and a whisper of mischief in the air - who will win in Coward's unworldly comedy? Be spirited away this spring with a performance not to be missed.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9:
(Tuesday, May 20)
   
 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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