Playing Shakespeare by John Barton
An Actor's Guide (Methuen Paperback)

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Synopsis

Now in its first American edition, Playing Shakespeare is the premier guide to understanding and appreciating the mastery of the world’s greatest playwright.

Together with Royal Shakespeare Company actors–among them Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Ben Kingsley, and David Suchet–John Barton demonstrates how to adapt Elizabethan theater for the modern stage. The director begins by explicating Shakespeare’s verse and prose, speeches and soliloquies, and naturalistic and heightened language to discover the essence of his characters. In the second section, Barton and the actors explore nuance in Shakespearean theater, from evoking irony and ambiguity and striking the delicate balance of passion and profound intellectual thought, to finding new approaches to playing Shakespeare’s most controversial creation, Shylock, from The Merchant of Venice. A practical and essential guide, Playing Shakespeare will stand for years as the authoritative favorite among actors, scholars, teachers, and students.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About John Barton

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John Barton has been associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company for more than thirty-five years and has directed more than fifty productions. He lives in London and conducts Shakespeare workshops throughout the U.K. and the U.S.
 
Published November 10, 2010 by Anchor. 225 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Playing Shakespeare

Publishers Weekly

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With the help of Judi Dench, Ben Kingsley, Ian McKellen and other actors, associate director of London's Royal Shakespeare Company John Barton presents Playing Shakespeare: An Actor's Guide.

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BC Books

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One of the highlights of the series is when Barton has Patrick Stewart and David Suchet, both of whom played Shylock for him in different productions, take the same scenes, ask the same questions about Shakespeare’s intentions at the same points and come up with very different interpretations.

May 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Playing Shakespeare: An Actor...

BC Books

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For each segment Barton calls upon his actors to attempt various ways of doing the same scene in order to illustrate the point he's trying to make.

Jun 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Playing Shakespeare: An Actor...

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Many years later, several of these actors — Ian McKellen, Ben Kingsley, Judi Dench, Patrick Stewart, David Suchet, to name a few -- have become household names in America both as film stars and accomplished Shakespearean actors.

Jun 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Playing Shakespeare: An Actor...

BC Books

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In a series of master class workshops, John Barton, Associate Director of the Royal Shakespearean Company (RSC) of England and members of the company at the time, including Ben Kingsley, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, David Suchet, Peggy Ashcroft, and others, explore everything from t...

Jun 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Playing Shakespeare: An Actor...

BC Books

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Shakespeare’s plays offer directors and actors rich opportunities to bring the dense figurative language to life—but without a thorough understanding of how the playwright used language to guide his actors through a play, there are equal opportunities to miss the mark.

May 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Playing Shakespeare: An Actor...

Why So Blu?

This was a year before Ben Kingsley won an Oscar for Ghandi, five years before Patrick Stewart won the role of Jean-Luc Picard, thirteen years before his film Richard III catapulted Ian McKellen from famous stage actor to famous film actor, thirteen years for Judi Dench to make the transition fro...

Apr 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Playing Shakespeare: An Actor...

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