Exploring Shakespeare


ISBN: 9781848429819
Author: By Bill Alexander
Publication Date: 18/05/2023
Publisher: Nick Hern Books
Extent: 256pp.
Availability: Available

SKU: BK3312 Categories: , Tags: ,

‘Theatre is the greatest of collaborative art forms, and Shakespeare its greatest exponent: he used the form better than anyone else ever has to speak truth about the world.’

In Exploring Shakespeare, acclaimed theatre director Bill Alexander takes us inside the rehearsal room to reveal – in unprecedented and captivating detail – exactly what happens there. He examines the key relationship between the actors and the director, how they work together to bring Shakespeare’s vision to life, and how choices are made that will shape every aspect of the play in production.

Full of acute observations and perceptions drawn from a long and brilliant career, the book covers the essential aspects of any Shakespeare production, from understanding the world of the play, to preparing and cutting the text, deciding on costumes and set design, handling soliloquies, and considering character and backstory.

There are detailed studies of eight plays spanning the full length and breadth of the Shakespearean canon, from Titus Andronicus and The Shrew to The Tempest, via Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, Lear and Twelfth Night. Alexander also provides first-hand case studies of three of his own productions, including his famous Richard III starring Antony Sher.

Personal, forthright, and full of pragmatic advice, Exploring Shakespeare is a masterclass for directors and actors, and a fascinating insight for anyone interested in Shakespeare.

Bill Alexander was an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and then Artistic Director of Birmingham Rep. His landmark productions include Richard III and The Merry Wives of Windsor (both Olivier Award-winners), The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus and King Lear with Corin Redgrave.

‘Bill Alexander is a brilliant director, whose work has powerfully shaped my understanding of Shakespeare’s plays, Richard III most of all’ James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

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