• All Books

BIC Excellence Award

On Actors And Acting

By Peter Thomson

On Actors And Acting
Hardback, 224 pages £55.00
Published: 2000
ISBN: 9780859896719
Buy this Book


Paperback, 224 pages £18.00
Published: 2002
ISBN: 9780859897426
Buy this Book


Subjects: Performance


This is a book for theatre-lovers, written for anyone who shares the author's curiosity about the art of acting and about theatre past and present. The first section centres on Elizabethan theatre practice, the second highlights themes, episodes and contemporary taste in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in England, and the third focuses on twentieth-century performances of Shakespeare at Stratford in the 1970s and in the New Globe as the new century begins. The extensive cast of actors discussed includes Richard Tarlton, Will Kemp, David Garrick, Samuel Foote, Richard and Mary Ann Yates, Thomas Weston, John Kemble, Edmund Kean, Frederick Robson, Henry Irving, Ian Richardson and Ben Kingsley.







Contents: Part 1 Actors and acting in the early modern theatre: the Elizabethan actor - a matter of temperament; making an entrance - Chaucer to Tarlton; the missing jig; three Elizabethan actors; a note on Elizabethan rehearsal. Part 2 Actors and acting in the 18th and 19th centuries: bigamy and theatre; David Garrick - alive in every muscle; summer company - Drury Lane in 1761; Edmund Kean versus John Philip Kemble; Frederick Robson - a downright good actor; Irving and the Lyceum - volcano and cathedral. Part 3 Shakespeare in the 20th century: Shakespeare at Stratford - 1970-1975; the New Globe - monument or portent?



“Thomson’s affection for actors, advocacy for the primacy of the actor’s role in the theatrical process, and strong belief in the significant art of the actor permeate this eclectic, learned, and entertaining collection of essays . . . Thomson’s style is scholarly yet somewhat quirky and anecdotal, and very accessible . . . Well documented and nicely illustrated, Thomson’s book provides a capstone to his productive writing and scholarly career.” (Choice, Vol. 39, No. 4, Dec 2001) “Whilst Thomson disclaims the talent of Hazlitt, his readers, relishing his pithy insights, his biting wit, and admiring his crispness of phrase, will decide for themselves . . . [The book] will be enjoyed by anyone who cares deeply, with both head and heart, about not only teaching of drama but the future of theatre.” (Speech and Drama, Vol. 51, No. 1, Spring 2002) “When Peter Thomson was writing reviews of Stratford productions for Shakespeare Survey in the 1970s, he saw his job as being “to reproduce in words what it was like to be there, but without ducking away from a responsibility to enter into contemporary debate”. This is the spirit in which On Actors and Acting is written, and it is deeply pleasurable . . . interspersed with amplifications, second thoughts, wry self-criticisms and addenda from an author to whom the issues and arguments of the past still matter today . . . Historical practices and personages repeatedly are illuminated by reference to the contemporary, and many of Thomson’s throw-away remarks – such his comparison between Irving and David Warner – are worth their weight in gold.” (Theatre Research International, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2002) “In this resonant collection of essays, Peter Thomson invites us to contemplate the performance techniques of key actors in the British theatre from the Shakespearean era to the present day…. throughout the book Thomson’s elegant prose draws the reader into a completely absorbing commentary, mixing anecdote and humour with a passionate belief in the power of the actor as a popular figure … Thomson’s own excitement for the art reminds us how exciting acting can be.” (Contemporary Theatre Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, 2004)



Peter Thomson has been Professor of Drama at the University of Exeter since 1974. He is author and editor of numerous books, including The Everyman Companion to the Theatre (Dent, 1985), Shakespeare's Theatre (Routledge, revised edition 1992), The Cambridge Companion to Brecht (Cambridge, 1994), Shakespeare's Professional Career (Cambridge, new edition 1999).



On Actors And Acting
On Actors And Acting - Hardback cover



Publication Details:


Binding:
 Hardback , 224 pages
ISBN:
 9780859896719

Binding:
 Paperback , 224 pages
ISBN:
 9780859897426

BIC Code:
 1DBK, ANC, HBT
BISAC Code:
  HIS000000, PER001000
Imprint:
 University of Exeter Press


back

Other visitors also viewed:

Forms of Conflict Grand-Guignol Preliminary Excavation Reports and Other Archaeological Investigations Meetings With Mallarmé Lusignan's Chorography and Brief General History of the Island of Cyprus (A.D. 1573)
email Email to a colleague

Download Lists

Download Lists
New Titles List
Complete List
Subject Lists

Mailing List

mailing list

Other books by
Peter Thomson

Books in Series
Exeter Performance Studies