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MIKE ALFREDS, born in London in 1934, trained in the USA and Israel. He burst on the scene with Arabian Nights (1975) and Bleak House (1977), the first two productions by Shared Experience, now one of the most successful companies in the UK. At the National he directed Ian McKellen, Sheila Hancock and Roy Kinnear in his own version of The Cherry Orchard (1985). In the 1990s he ran Cambridge Theatre Company, later renamed Method and Madness.

By Mike Alfreds, available through Currency Press

Different Every Night
$31.81 ex GST
$34.99 inc GST

Different Every Night

Rehearsal and Performance Techniques for Actors and Directors

Mike Alfreds

A top-ranking director sets out his rehearsal techniques in this invaluable handbook for actors and directors
Mike Alfreds has been directing plays for 35 years. He founded Shared Experience—still going very strong—in the 1970s and ran the Cambridge Theatre Company in the 1990s, also working extensively at the National Theatre and abroad. He is hugely respected within the profession.

Now he has done what no other director has dared to do since Stanislavsky—he has committed his methodology to print.

So, in Different Every Night, we are taken into the rehearsal room to work principally on Chekhov. He shows how to break down the text into units and individual beats—and offers techniques for the actor to bring the text to life. And to keep it alive through many repetitions not only in rehearsal but also in performance. In doing so he offers a vital masterclass for actors and directors.

Different Every Night is the culmination of a lifetime working in the theatre. It is intensely hands-on and full of practical advice for both directors and actors. No director should ever again not know how to conduct rehearsals and bring them to successful fruition!

Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-967-4 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Surprise of Love, The
$20.86 ex GST
$22.95 inc GST

Surprise of Love, The

Pierre de Marivaux (translated by Mike Alfreds)
The beautiful Marquise has been left a widow tragically young... The handsome Chevalier has been deserted by the love of his life who has decided to take holy orders... Both have sworn never to lose their hearts again... Neither had reckoned with the surprise of love.

Misery is not just amusing but captivatingly charming, in Michael Alfred’s new version of Marivaux... is sheer sophistication... Piquant and perfectly polished entertainment –  The Times

Cast : 4M, 2F
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-183-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Then What Happens?
$31.81 ex GST
$34.99 inc GST

Then What Happens?

Storytelling and Adapting for the Theatre

Mike Alfreds
A practical investigation into story-theatre and the art of telling stories through theatre, by the renowned director who founded Shared Experience Theatre Company.

In Then What Happens?, Mike Alfreds makes the case for putting story and storytelling back at the heart of theatre. He explores the whole process of adapting for the stage, and investigates the particular techniques - many of them highly sophisticated - that actors require when performing 'story-theatre'.

The book includes over two hundred exercises, improvisations and workshops dealing with the practical aspects of story-theatre, such as building an ensemble, creating a physical vocabulary, and transforming written narrative into drama. It draws on examples ranging from traditional legends and folklore, through the works of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Evelyn Waugh, to contemporary fiction. Alfreds shows how each story demands its own particular set of dramatic choices, opening up endless possibilities for performance.

Then What Happens? - like the author's tremendously successful first book, Different Every Night - will be invaluable to directors and actors, to dramatists working in the field of adaptation, to those devising and working from improvisation, and to any theatregoer who has been moved by the power of an unfolding story to ask: 'Then what happens?'

‘All theatre directors know that good narrative is the secret of good theatre, but few have as distinctive, rigorous and exceptional a method of exploring that secret as does Mike Alfreds. His system of working, and his thoughts on the making of theatre in our time, are as crucial and illuminating as those of Stanislavsky and Peter Brook have been to generations of theatre enthusiasts and practitioners.’   Michael Coveney

Nick Hern Books, UK  | 978-1-84842-270-4 | Australia/NZ