Richard's Himself Again: A Stage History of Richard III (Hardback)
  • Richard's Himself Again: A Stage History of Richard III (Hardback)
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Richard's Himself Again: A Stage History of Richard III (Hardback)

(author)
£47.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 30/04/1992
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One of a handful of great Shakespearean roles, the part of Richard of Gloucester has maintained its importance from the beginning of its performance history in the late 1690s and has assumed an identity extending even beyond the play. The range of interpretation has been startling, with many actors also taking liberties with the text. Most of the greatest Shakespearean actors have tried the part, though some have carefully avoided it. Successful Richards have had to create an archetype of evil who nonetheless must be comprehended in vivid human terms. Among the most memorable Richards are David Garrick, William Frederick Cooke, Edmund Kean, J.B. Booth, William Charles Macready, Edwin Booth, Richard Mansfield, Robert Mantell, John Barrymore, Alec Guiness, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Ian Holm, Antony Sher, and Anton Lesser. This dynamic stage history of Richard III covers all major English and American interpretations and some foreign-language productions to the present day, setting the stage in the context of prevailing theatrical practices within each era. Focusing on the play and role as vehicles for actors and theatre practitioners, Richard's Himself Again demonstrates how theatrical issues have shaped the acting norm, which in turn has been reshaped by the individual performers. While utilizing volumes of source material including promptbooks, biographies, memoirs, and reviews, Scott Colley injects his own spirit into the narrative, achieving a lively, personable tone. The resulting book will appeal to theatregoers as well as to academic and professional specialists.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780313262937
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 603 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Colley examines the various stage interpretations of Shakespeare's Richard III, starting with Cibber's adaptation and performance in the 18th century and moving through to contemporary productions. The author justifies his study by explaining that Richard's challenges to performers often make the role a choice for a debut or for those seeking new career directions. Surveying the work of such well-known thespians as Garrick, Kean, Booth, Irving, Barrymore, and Olivier, Colley also examines lesser-known players and productions to give readers a richly detailed and balanced study. Not only does the analysis illuminate acting choices and methods, but it also underlines changing directorial and scenic practices. Colley (Hampden-Sydney College) uses his expertise in Shakespearean and Renaissance studies to provide a meticulous examination of the often illusive nature of stage performances. He uses various eye-witness and journalistic accounts, duly noting their often contradictory nature. The work is accompanied by black-and-white pictures and an extensive bibliography. Students and practitioners will find the book worthwhile for its specific details about acting and directing choices, and historians will enjoy the insights into theatrical methods and personalities. All readers will appreciate the in-depth look at one of Shakespeare's most fascinating villains. Since some familiarity with the script is necessary, the book is recommended for upper-division undergraduate students on up."-Choice
?Colley examines the various stage interpretations of Shakespeare's Richard III, starting with Cibber's adaptation and performance in the 18th century and moving through to contemporary productions. The author justifies his study by explaining that Richard's challenges to performers often make the role a choice for a debut or for those seeking new career directions. Surveying the work of such well-known thespians as Garrick, Kean, Booth, Irving, Barrymore, and Olivier, Colley also examines lesser-known players and productions to give readers a richly detailed and balanced study. Not only does the analysis illuminate acting choices and methods, but it also underlines changing directorial and scenic practices. Colley (Hampden-Sydney College) uses his expertise in Shakespearean and Renaissance studies to provide a meticulous examination of the often illusive nature of stage performances. He uses various eye-witness and journalistic accounts, duly noting their often contradictory nature. The work is accompanied by black-and-white pictures and an extensive bibliography. Students and practitioners will find the book worthwhile for its specific details about acting and directing choices, and historians will enjoy the insights into theatrical methods and personalities. All readers will appreciate the in-depth look at one of Shakespeare's most fascinating villains. Since some familiarity with the script is necessary, the book is recommended for upper-division undergraduate students on up.?-Choice

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