Shakespeare in Ten Acts
'Contains some real treasures from the British Library archives and external collections' - The Upcoming
This revealing book accompanies an exhibition at the British Library and takes readers on a journey through more than 400 years of performance. It will focus on ten moments in history that have changed the way we see Shakespeare, from the very first production of Hamlet to a digital-age deconstruction. Each performance holds up a mirror to the era in which it was performed. The first stage appearance by a woman in 1660 and a black actor playing Othello in 1825 were landmarks for society as well as for Shakespeare’s reputation.
The book also explores productions as diverse as Peter Brook’s legendary A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mark Rylance’s ‘Original Practices’ Twelfth Night, and a Shakespeare forgery staged at Drury Lane in 1796, among many others.
Over 100 illustrations include the only surviving playscript in Shakespeare’s hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, and rare printed editions including the First Folio. These – and other treasures from the British Library’s manuscript and rare book collections – will feature alongside film stills, costumes, paintings and production photographs.
Highly recommended for all students and devotees of the Bard.
- Author: Gordon McMullan is Professor of English at King’s College London and a director of the London Shakespeare Centre
- Pages: 240 pages
- Date published: April 2016
- Language: English
ISBN: 978-0712356312 - Paperback
9780-712356329 - Hardcover
- Product Dimensions: 28 x 22 cm
'This new British Library exhibition, which examines Shakespeare’s 400-year-old legacy through ten key productions of his plays, and which proceeds chronologically from Burbage’s Hamlet circa 1600 to the American company The Wooster Group’s deconstructed, multimedia Hamlet from 2007' - The Telegraph
'Contains some real treasures from the British Library archives and external collections. Highlights include two manuscript pages of a little-known play about Sir Thomas More, written collaboratively by Shakespeare and two other playwrights' - The Upcoming
'A show of shows' – The Times Literary Supplement
'fascinating' – The Guardian