This edition of Much Ado About Nothing focuses wholly on the play in performance. Shifting trends in the production of this popular drama are analyzed in relation to the culture of each period since Shakespeare's time, with particular attention to gender issues. A commentary alongside the New Cambridge edition of the text recreates in lively detail interpretations of each passage in a variety of British, American, Canadian stage, film and TV productions. An essential resource for students, teachers and performers, this is also an illuminating book for theatergoers.
Arden Performance Editions are ideal for anyone engaging with a Shakespeare play in performance. With clear facing-page notes giving definitions of words, easily accessible information about key textual variants, lineation, metrical ambiguities and pronunciation, each edition has been developed to open the play's possibilities and meanings to actors and students. Designed to be used and to be useful, each edition has plenty of space for personal annotations and the well-spaced text is easy to read and to navigate.
Much Ado About Nothing shows the violence of desire as well as its drive towards creative plotting or matchmaking. In this Handbook, Alison Findlay examines the play's comic and tragic potential in the theatre; its attempts to harmonise love and war, attraction and repulsion. The volume: * explores the play's resonance in early performances with reference to the crisis over fast-changing fashions, gendered notions of honour, and the changing personnel of Shakespeare's company * analyses the play from a performance point of view scene by scene, considering the interactions between spectators and actors * surveys key productions and films, including Barry Jackson's radical modernist production of 1919, the recently-rediscovered television film of Zeffirelli's 1965 National Theatre Production, and Kenneth Branagh's 1993 film version * outlines the play's critical history from the eighteenth century to the present day, with a focus on contemporary concerns such as genre hybridity, sources and intertexts, and the instability of signs and appearances.
Set during the early years of the First Liberian Civil War (1989 – 1996), this startling debut play by Diana Nneka Atuona tells the story of fourteen-year-old Martha who flees her country, disguised as a boy, when it's invaded by rebels. Investigated and cruelly interrogated, she is separated from her grandmother as they attempt to escape the conflict under false identities and, convincing in her boy's apparel, Martha is forced to join the rebels' army. Exposed to the violence of this brutal and seemingly misguided conflict, both as victim and perpetrator, Martha's experience of the First Liberian Civil War is one of excessive cruelty and, in particular, abuse against female prisoners of war. Liberian Girl received its world premiere at the Royal Court Upstairs, London in December 2014.
You may be the wealthiest colored woman in New Orleans, but you built this house on sand, lies and dead bodies. New Orleans, 1836. Following an era of French colonial rule and relative racial acceptance, Louisiana's 'free people of color' are prospering. Beatrice, a free woman of colour, has become one of the city's wealthiest women through her relationship with a rich white man. However, when her lover mysteriously dies, Beatrice imposes a six-month period of mourning on herself and her three daughters. But, as the summer heat intensifies, the foundations of freedom she has built for herself and their three unwed daughters begin to crumble. Society is changing, racial divides are growing and, as the members of the household turn on each other in their fight for survival, it could cost them everything. A bewitching new drama of desire, jealousy, murder and voodoo, The House That Will Not Stand received its world premiere at Berkeley Rep, US, in January 2014, and was subsequently produced at the Tricycle Theatre, London, on 9 October 2014. This edition features an introduction by Professor Ayanna Thompson, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
First produced in 1673 and Molière's final play, The Hypochondriac is a scathingly funny lampoon on both hypochondria and the 'quack' medical profession. Argan is a perfectly healthy, wealthy gentleman, convinced that he is seriously ill. So obsessed is he with medicinal tinkerings and tonics that he is blind to the goings on in his own household. However, his most efficacious cure will not appear in a bottle or a bedpan, but in his sharp-tongued servant, who has a cunning plan to reveal the truth and open her master's eyes. Adapted by Roger McGough The Hypochondriac was produced by the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and English Touring Theatre and premiered on 19 June 2009.
A dissection of the impact on society of the war in Iraq When one man goes to war he leaves the city, his wife and brother. A year later only the wife and brother remain. Christopher Shinn's new play asks what happens when people and events apparently thousands of miles away affect the heart and soul of a city.'Christopher Shinn's clever, intricately calculated and quietly moving new play" Daily Telegraph'Subtle, insinuating, beautifully written new play' Whatsonstage'an impressive analysis of the collective American psyche rooted in details of real family life' Guardian
He wants me to fuck about with paper clips in some office with a smile on my face, fuck him . . . but there's just one thing I've got to take care of first. I've got to do something to make this right. Four years on from the collapse of the Lehman Brothers and still we find ourselves in crisis. It's time to work out what's wrong. It's time to look at the heart of the system. You Can Still Make A Killing is the story of the normal men and women who fill the City's institutions, of a world radically altered when right became wrong, and of the private worlds that fall apart when there are no alternatives in sight. This production reunites director Matthew Dunster with playwright Nicholas Pierpan, following their collaboration in 2010 on Pierpan's play The Maddening Rain (Old Red Lion and Soho Theatre). The cast includes Alecky Blythe (writer of London Road), which marks her much-anticipated return to acting, and Kellie Bright (Love and Money, Royal Exchange and Young Vic). It will run at the Southwark Playhouse in its main house (which holds 150 seats) from 10 October until 3 November 2012. A German production will open at Theatre Ulm in April, 2013.
There will come a point in every witch's life where the scales are tipped so far to one side that the world, nature, humanity - whatever you want to call it - finally fights back. The demons are expelled and we return to the natural state. Sleeping Beauty is the fairytale of the beautiful princess Arabella who pricks her finger on a spindle and sleeps for a hundred years. Here adapted for the stage, you can join a host of characters for a night of magic, romance and laughter. In this quirky and flamboyant new stage version of the traditional story by Jez Bond and Mark Cameron, the battle of good versus evil is given a facelift, bringing this fairytale vividly to life through comedy, drama and original songs. The songs are included at the back of the edition (melody with chord symbols).
Three Irishmen. Digging. Telling tales to put down the day. But as they dig down, long-buried secrets begin to emerge and the story they tell is as dark as the earth itself. It is a tale full of rich and striking characters. The Kingdom vividly captures life as an Irish navvy in the last century – a time of immigration, violence, sex, triumph and, ultimately, tragedy. Rooted in the dramas of ancient Greece, The Kingdom is Colin Teevan’s haunting and lyrical new play.
Sam Mendes and Simon Russell Beale have forged one of the most successful working partnerships in contemporary theatre history. Across twenty years and eight productions their collaboration has evolved, matured and keeps thriving through their work on stage; six Shakespeare and two Chekhov plays form their common body of work so far. Mark Leipacher’s correspondence with Mendes and Beale and his thorough research into archival material on their collaborations, offers the reader a detailed account of the productions and, uniquely, Mendes’ and Beale’s own observations on their method of work and on the discoveries they made in each of the plays. How do moments of magic on stage arise in the rehearsal room? Catching the Light, full of anecdotes and gems of knowledge, is an indispensable read for actors, directors, students and anyone who loves the theatre.Features a foreword from Kevin Spacey, Artistic Director of the Old Vic.
"I've listened to all the stories of my generation, then watched 'em get sick or fade away. And it wasn't this world that killed 'em. It was the other... the memory of it." Britain, the near future. Much of the country is underwater and the government has been reduced to a group of fascist strongmen. In a rural outpost of the state, the men patrol the moors for illegals whilst the women run a self-sufficient farm to provide what all they need to survive. The living conditions are harsh, every meagre ration is grown from scratch and they must battle with inclement weather and a draconian government. As their numbers dwindle, they struggle to retain a semblance of civilisation in the face of the inevitable onset of global war. Stark and imperative, but shot through with a sense of warm compassion, Beth Steel's debut play Ditch is a clear-eyed look at how we might behave when the conveniences of our civilisation are taken away, and a frightening vision of a future that could all too easily be ours. Ditch is a brutal and uncompromising play, with a grounded, earthy sense of humanity. The result is both heart-rending and chilling, depicting a convincing, bleak vision of the future.
Etonians aren't exactly noted for their grey matter, but I've always found them perfectly adjusted to society. Jack, a possible paranoid schizophrenic with a Messiah complex, inherits the title of the 14th Earl of Gurney after his father passes away in a bizarre accident. Singularly unsuited to a life in the upper echelons of elite society, Jack finds himself at the centre of a ruthless power struggle as his scheming family strives to uphold their reputation. Bubbling with acerbic wit and feverish energy, Olivier Award-winning and Oscar-nominated-writer Peter Barnes's razor-sharp satire combines a ferocious mix of hilarity and horror whilst mercilessly exposing the foibles of the English nobility. This edition of the play is published to coincide with the first-ever revival of this classic cult comedy at the Trafalgar Studios, London, on 16 January 2015.
we're still ourselves when we lie Joan and Tom have been married for nearly thirty years. Tara lies alone while Peter works nights. How far will people go to hear their heart beat again? What does it mean to be unfaithful to those you love? A stark and searing glimpse into two tangled relationships, the unspoken desires, the piercing regrets, and the postponed conversations. Owen McCafferty's Unfaithful premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in August 2014.
To be like this. All the swagger and front, deals and deadlines, and keep you head down and your mouth shut might just one day bring him nearer to this. Different worlds. Matthew and Naomi await the arrival of Ryan and Kelly. They'll meet for one night of unlimited pleasure, then part, that's the agreement, that's the plan . . . but can they stick to it? Contact.com is a taut drama of sexual and class politics, first performed at the Park Theatre, London, in January 2015.
With honesty, humour and occasional anger, performer Bette Bourne tells the playwright Mark Ravenhill about his brave and flamboyant life. Crafted from transcripts of a series of long, private conversations, actor Bette Bourne reminisces and replays scenes from his life from a postwar childhood,a stint as a classical actor in the late 60s, to living in a drag commune in Notting Hill and being an active member of the Gay Liberation Front. Bette then talks about his touring with the New York based Hot Peaches cabaret group and founding his own cabaret troop, Bloolips, which redefined the term gay theatre by creating their very own unique celebration of dramatic and colourful homosexuality. The piece, in three parts, marks a different series of events in Bette's life to reveal both a portrait of a pioneering, radical individual and a historical document of the struggles and achievements of gay liberation.