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Against all Gods
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Against all Gods

Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness

A. C. Grayling

Do religions have an inherent right to be respected? Is atheism itself a form of religion, and can there be such a thing as a ‘fundamentalist atheist’? Are we witnessing a global revival in religious zeal, or do the signs point instead to religion’s ultimate decline?

In a series of bold, unsparing polemics, world renowned philosopher A. C. Grayling tackles these questions head on, exposing the dangerous unreason he sees at the heart of religious faith and highlighting the urgent need we have to reject it in all its forms, without compromise. In its place, he argues for a set of values based on reason, reflection and sympathy, taking his cue from the great ethical tradition of western philosophy.

Against All Gods is part of Oberon's Masters Series of good-value and attractively presented hardbacks on key themes within the theatre written by leading lights in each subject.

Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-727-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | HB
Alchemist Exposed, The
$21.77 ex GST
$23.95 inc GST

Alchemist Exposed, The

Robert Butler

The Alchemist Exposed follows the company and creative team of Nicholas Hytner's new NT (National Theatre) production as they strip back the years to reveal the dark arts of Ben Jonson's play The Alchemist.

As the actors and directors go back in time to unearth the play's characters, they discover that 1610 looks more and more like the present day. What are the details that conjure up this dizzying world of lethal con artists and money-minded Puritans, where the threat of plague is balanced by the prospect of limitless wealth? And when did any of them last check their own wallets?

Hytner’s update of Jonson is pure gold. The production reinforces the timeless nature of credulity and shows a proper relish for Jonson'’s scholarly, scatological language. This is one of the funniest plays in the English language - Michael Billington, Guardian

Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-683-2 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
An English Ballet
$20.86 ex GST
$22.95 inc GST

An English Ballet

Ninette de Valois

David Gayle (Ed)

Ninette de Valois was an extraordinary woman. Not only did she create The Royal Ballet, The Royal Ballet School and the company that has become Birmingham Royal Ballet – in themselves great achievements – but she was a gifted choreographer, dancer, teacher, administrator, speaker and writer. She also identified and developed so many of the talented dancers, choreographers and teachers who went onto make Britain a world leader in ballet and dance.

During the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of The Royal Ballet in 1981, Ninette de Valois accepted an invitation to speak to the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars. In that illuminating talk, printed here for the first time, she focuses on what 'English Ballet’ is. Combined with her 1955 article, Some Problems of Ballet Today, and Sir Peter Wright’s fascinating Madam’s Memorial Address, this volume raises questions as meaningful today as they were when de Valois first addressed them. 

In an increasingly connected dance world, what does it mean to have a national style? Why is a national style important? How might a national style be identified, developed and nurtured? This volume provides thought-provoking and fascinating reading for all lovers of ballet, dance and art.

Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-107-1 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | HB
Are You There, Crocodile? Inventing Anton Chekhov
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$38.95 inc GST

Are You There, Crocodile? Inventing Anton Chekhov

Michael Pennington

Michael Pennington’s solo show about Anton Chekhov has taken London’s ‘Russian Actor’ from the Trans-Siberian Railway to Soviet and post-Soviet Moscow, into the repertoires of the National Theatre and the Old Vic, and across Europe.

Are You There, Crocodile? also includes accounts of his work on Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Tolstoy’s Strider among other Russian projects, as well as searching essays on how Chekhov’s four masterpieces actually work in the theatre. This book is a study of the great writer, a partial autobiography, and, centrally, an actor’s search for identification with the elusive Anton Chekhov himself.

It is fortunate that so remarkable a man and writer has attracted so remarkable an actor -  Sunday Telegraph (UK)

Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-192-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | HB
Art of the Dramatist, The
$23.59 ex GST
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Art of the Dramatist, The

And Other Writings on the Theatre

J B Priestley

‘Why do we go to the theatre? What is it we enjoy there? If we go to follow the fortunes of imaginary characters, why do we trouble ourselves about the actors? If we go to enjoy the actors, why should the quality of the play worry us?’

So begins J.B. Priestley’s landmark Old Vic lecture, The Art of the Dramatist, which examines and celebrates the playwright’s craft. He shows how a theatrical experience relies on the ‘delicate balance between belief and disbelief’ and addresses the tools with which a dramatist shapes a play.

These passionate and witty essays distil Priestley’s experience as a playwright, producer, director and—just once—actor. Published as a companion volume to Priestley's plays, this new collection is part defence of theatre, part incisive criticism. The anthology is introduced by Tom Priestley, the playwright’s son.

Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-294-0 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Athol Fugard
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Athol Fugard

His Plays, People and Politics

Alan Shelley

A playwright whose work is appreciated on a global scale, Athol Fugard’s plays have done more to document and provide a cultural commentary on Apartheid-era South Africa than any other writer in the last century. Using mostly migrant workers and township dwellers, and staging guerrilla-raid productions in black areas, Fugard frequently came into conflict with the government, forcing him to take his work overseas. Consequently, powerful plays such as The Blood Knot, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, and Master Harold... and the boys came to broadcast the inequities of the Apartheid-era to the world. Fugard’s work retains an insistent influence, and is studied and performed the world over.
Alan Shelley’s study is an accessible but profound analysis of the man, his work and its influence, the social injustices that drive him, and the lives of those who people his remarkable plays.

Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-821-8 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Ballet Boyz
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Ballet Boyz

Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt

Balletboyz was founded in 2001 by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, previous lead dancers with The Royal Ballet. This innovative new company has made a dramatic mark on the British dance scene thrilling audiences and dance critics alike with its exhilarating mix of award winning repertoire, performance style and high artistic standards mixing multimedia with contemporary dance. These are the rebels of ballet appealing to a wider audience than ever before, a Balletboyz show is more like a rock concert than a traditional ballet performance.

With more demi-gods than demi-pliés, the Balletboyz know how to rock the dance world and turn everything you ever thought about ballet on its head.

Oberon Books UK | 978-1-84943-050-0 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Bandoneon: Working with Pina Bausch
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Bandoneon: Working with Pina Bausch

Translated by Penny Black

Raimund Hoghe

Bandoneon: Working with Pina Bausch is a new translation of Raimund Hoghe’s original rehearsal diary that documented the legendary Tanztheater Wuppertal’s work on Bandoneon (1980), illustrated with photos of the production by Ulli Weiss, and personal images and notes from the dancers.

This unique book records the method Pina Bausch developed and used, as seen by one of her close collaborators, Raimund Hoghe, who worked as dramaturg for the company for a decade (1979–1989).

It follows the work from the first day in rehearsals to its premiere, chronicling the process with artistic sensibility–Bausch’s famous questions, the dancers’ responses and Hoghe’s own reflections as the piece develops.

This important document sees its first English language publication, and is succinctly translated from the German by Penny Black. The diary is accompanied by an Introduction and A Portrait by Katalin Trencsényi, following Hoghe’s journey from being a journalist to becoming an internationally acknowledged dancer-choreographer.

Bandoneon: Working with Pina Bausch is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the work of Pina Bausch and Raimund Hoghe.

Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-78319-327-1 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Behind the Curtain
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Behind the Curtain

Peter Bowles
If you have ever set foot in a theatre you will enjoy this book. Leading actor, Peter Bowles, invites us backstage in the West End and on tour to witness the job of acting as it really is.

Behind The Curtain is based on his own career as a leading stage and TV actor for over 55 years. With wit and style he recounts his personal views on rehearsals, touring, drama school, working with directors and other actors, and audiences. He has trod some of the most famous boards in the business, from Shakespeare on Broadway in 1956, to Sheridan’s The Rivals at London's Haymarket in 2011. Among his many varied roles, Peter has been critically acclaimed for his masterful performances; including his deeply moving portrayal of Crocker Harris in Peter Hall’s recent production of Terence Rattigan’s The Browning Version, his West End success in Moliere’s  The School for Wives, and his terrifying portrayal of an East End gangster in Gangster No. 1. Peter also became nationally famous for his part as businessman Richard DeVere in the TV series To the Manor Born.

With tales of some biggest personalities in the historyof showbiz such as Michael Gambon, Noel Coward, Rex Harrison, Laurence Olivier & John Gielgud, this is a book that captures the acting profession in all its eccentric glory.

Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-215-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Birmingham Royal Ballet
$45.41 ex GST
$49.95 inc GST

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Royal Ballet

'I came to Birmingham with the view to being creative, and today I believe we have not only successfully secured the future of the Company, but the whole dance culture in the city of Birmingham. We are geared for great things.'- David Bintley, BRB Director

Twenty years ago, Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) took the brave step to set up on its own in Birmingham. It was the making of this marvellous company of dancers and dance makers. Now one of the foremost international ballet companies in the world, this book celebrates this story through stunning pictures.

Fully illustrated with stunning photographs, and classically put together this will make a beautiful gift book for all ballet lovers. Wonderful productions, wonderful dancers, a fairy tale made real.

Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-440-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
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