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The Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov brings together Chekhov specialists from around the world - theatre practitioners, theorists, historians and archivists - to provide an astonishingly comprehensive assessment of his life, work and legacy. This volume aims to connect East and West; theatre theory and practice. It reconsiders the history of Chekhov's acting method, directing and pedagogy, using the archival documents found across the globe: in Russia, England, America, Germany, Lithuania and Switzerland. It presents Chekhov's legacy and ideas in the framework of interdisciplinary theatre practices and theories, as well as at the crossroads of cultures, in the context of his forays into such areas as Western mime and Asian cosmology. This remarkable Companion, thoughtfully edited by two leading Chekhov scholars, will prove invaluable to students and scholars of theatre, theatre practitioners and theoreticians, and specialists in Slavic and transcultural studies. Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu is Director of Research at the National Center For Scientific Research, and Assistant-Director of Sorbonne-CNRS Institute EUR'ORBEM. She is an historian of theatre and specialist in Russian and Soviet theatre. Yana Meerzon is Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa. Her book publications include Adapting Chekhov: The Text and Its Mutations, co-edited with Professor J. Douglas Clayton, University of Ottawa (Routlegde, 2012).
Anne Edwards is the author of several bestselling biographies of notable figures, including film stars Judy Garland, Vivien Leigh, and Katharine Hepburn, as well as Queen Mary and Gone with the Wind novelist Margaret Mitchell. A fastidious researcher and accomplished writer, Edwards received a Pulitzer prize nomination for her book Early Reagan: The Rise of an American Hero. In this new memoir, Edwards turns the spotlight on herself, chronicling her 20-year exile from the United States from the 1950s until the early 1970s. After working for MGM as a junior writer, Edwards sold two original screenplays and was employed as a story editor on a television program. An attack of polio left her physically compromised and struggling to make ends meet, so the divorced mother of two left her homeland to find work in Europe. After arriving in London, she was able to find writing jobs under an assumed name, along with her expatriated colleagues. Leaving Home is a personal story about a young mother and her two small children, but it is also about the many famous-and not so famous-people whose lives intertwined with theirs: Judy Garland, John Garfield, Rod Serling, Norman Mailer, Greta Garbo, and several others. This is an intimate story of a woman who refused to be subdued by her circumstances and determined to rebuild her life in the wake of McCarthyism. It is also a story about a woman who found and lost love and will appeal to any readers wanting to learn more about Hollywood history during one of its darkest periods.
In My Life in Pieces, Simon Callow recaptures the multifarious people, productions and events which have fed into his lifeblood and left their indelible mark. Starting with his first ever visit to the theatre - Peter Pan - he takes us through a somewhat chaotic boyhood in southern Africa and South London, an aborted university career, a testing time at drama school and on to an acting career that has encompassed roles in the West End and stand-out character parts in films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral. Callow writes with his customary perceptiveness, wit and flair about the remarkable people he has encountered in the course of his career: Laurence Olivier, Paul Scofield and Michael Gambon at the National Theatre; then Alec Guinness, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, David Hare, Simon Gray and Richard Eyre, among others. This being an alternative autobiography, he also writes about figures he did not meet but whose influence was vital to a full understanding of his craft: figures such as Stanislavsky and Michael Chekhov, Nureyev and Cocteau, Laughton and Welles. There are also other, not-quite-legit performers like Tony Hancock, Tommy Cooper and Frankie Howerd. Also included are accounts of his life as a solo performer, most notably as Charles Dickens. The result is a heartening, instructive and utterly beguiling book which, in tracing Simon Callow's own 'sentimental education', goes to show how rich and nourishing a life can be had in and around the theatre.
Dick Van Dyke, indisputably one of the greats of the golden age of television, is admired and beloved by audiences the world over for his beaming smile, his physical dexterity, his impeccable comic timing, his ridiculous stunts, and his unforgettable screen roles. His trailblazing television programme, The Dick Van Dyke Show, was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s and introduced another major television star, Mary Tyler Moore, it also won fifteen Primetime Emmy Awards. But Dick Van Dyke was also an enormously engaging movie star whose films, including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, have been discovered by each new generation of fans and are as beloved today as when they first appeared. Who doesn't know the word 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious'? A colourful, loving, richly detailed look at the decades of a multi-layered life, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business will enthral every generation of reader, from baby-boomers who recall when Rob Petrie became a household name, to all those still enchanted by Bert's 'Chim Chim Cher-ee'. This is a lively, heart-warming memoir of a performer who still thinks of himself as a 'simple song-and dance man', but who is, in every sense of the words, a classic entertainer.
This illuminating study provides a comprehensive reassessment of Deborah Kerr's career, highlighting lesser-known aspects of her star persona. Sarah Street traces the specific qualities of Kerr's screen performances, paying close attention to facial expression, gesture, voice and costume. Covering many iconic films, including The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Black Narcissus, From Here to Eternity, An Affair to Remember, The Innocents and Bonjour Tristesse, this book follows Kerr's journey from her foundational image as an 'English rose' to her performances of challenging roles in which she was cast 'against type'. Illustrated with images from Kerr's films, this unique case study contributes to the critical understanding of film stars and screen performance. An ideal resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students of film and television studies, this fascinating guide will also appeal to film lovers and anyone interested in Kerr's complex career.
This will be of particular interest to undergraduates of performing arts and the substantial community of those engaged in storytelling, filling a noticeable void in an emerging field of scholarship. Michael Wilson addresses the recent rise of storytelling as a professional performance art by providing a critical survey of current practice and a critical framework for those debates currently taking place, and those debates which will undoubtedly emerge in future. The text includes critical analysis of a range of practices alongside interviews with key contemporary practitioners about their work.
How has the work and legacy of Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed been interpreted and practised around the world? What does it look like in different working contexts? This book provides an accessible introduction to the political and artistic principles Boal's techniques are founded on, tracking exemplary practice from around the globe. Using detailed contemporary case histories, theatre artist, scholar and activist Ali Campbell demonstrates how the underlying principles of Boal's practice are today enacted in the work of - among others - an urban network (Theatre of the Oppressed NYC); a rural and developmental theatre organisation (Jana Sanskriti, West Bengal); Boal's original company CTO Rio (Brazil); and a theatre-based group led by learning-disabled adults in the UK (The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company). The book concludes with a series of conversations between Campbell and international exponents of the work, envisioning futures for the Theatre of the Oppressed in the shifting political, educational and artistic contexts of the twenty-first century.
America's most enduring and legendary symbol of young rebellion, James Dean continues into the 21st Century to capture the imagination of the world. In recognition of his enduring appeal as Hollywood's most visible symbol of unrequited male rage, bars from California to Nigeria and Patagonia are named in his honor. Dean, a strikingly handsome heart-throb, is a study in contrasts: Tough but tender; brutal at times but remarkably sensitive; a reckless hellraiser badass who could revert to a little boy in bed. From his climb from the dusty backroads of Indiana to the most formidable boudoirs of Hollywood, his saga is electrifying. He claimed that sexually, he didn't want to go through life with one hand tied behind his back. He corroborated his identity as a rampant bisexual through sexual interludes with Marilyn Monroe, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Natalie Wood, Shelley Winters, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, Ursula Andress, Montgomery Clift, Pier Angeli, Tennessee Williams, Susan Strasberg, and (are you sitting down?) both Tallulah Bankhead and (as a male prostitute) FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton wanted to make him her toy boy. Tomorrow Never Comes, the newest in Blood Moon's critically acclaimed Babylon Series, is the most penetrating look at James Dean to have emerged from the wreckage of his Porsche Spyder in 1955. He flirted with Death until it caught him. Ironically, he said, "If a man can live after he dies, then maybe he's a great man." Before setting out on his last ride, he also said, "I feel life too intensely to bear living it." Tomorrow Never Comes is published in recognition of the 60th anniversary of his early death. It presents a damaged but beautiful soul, and the embarrassing and sometimes lurid compromises James Dean made on his road to "success" before his demons grabbed him.
Acclaimed for his good looks as much as his searing acting ability, Canadian actor Ryan Gosling first came to attention, aged 12, as a Mouseketeer in Disney's Mickey Mouse Club. After the show ended, Ryan spent his teenage years acting in television, landing the lead role in the TV show Young Hercules. Wanting to move into film, he made his feature debut in Remember the Titans, found acclaim in The Believer, and landed a major role alongside Sandra Bullock in Murder By Numbers. The 2004 hit The Notebook was so romantic that Ryan and his co-star, Rachel McAdams, ended up falling in love off-screen as well. The film turned Ryan into a Hollywood pin-up, after which he spent six months working in an L.A. sandwich shop, to regain a sense of perspective. He has since played one challenging role after another, in films such as Stay, Half Nelson, and Lars and the Real Girl, while inching towards mainstream success with acclaimed performances in films like Blue Valentine, Drive, Crazy Stupid Love, and Gangster Squad. Enigmatic and humble, with a legendary compulsion to lose himself in every role he takes on, this is the story of an actor who is incredibly close to his mother, plays in a band, co-owns a Moroccan restaurant in Beverly Hills, laughs off those who tag him a sex symbol, and shrugs at the widespread conviction that he's this generation's Marlon Brando.
Daniel Radcliffe went from shy schoolboy to the world's most famous boy wizard overnight. Aged just ten when he won the iconic role of Harry Potter, Daniel has often had to beat his own demons as he met the challenge of combining childhood with being a child star. From the moment he appeared blinking through his Potter glasses at his very first press conference his life would never be the same. Since then Daniel has had to cope with forever being in the public eye, his every move - and mistake - constantly monitored. He has had to face mobs of fans at every appearance and premiere, deal with hundreds of interviews and handle a plethora of press interest wherever he goes. Growing up is hard for any young lad but Daniel has had to do his on a world stage. No one could have envisaged just how huge Harry Potter would be - or how dramatically life-changing it would be for the little boy teachers once wrote off as having no prospects. It was the role of a young David Copperfield which was to catapult Daniel into the limelight; his boyish innocence and charm catching the eye of Harry Potter producer Chris Columbus who declared: 'I want that boy!' Daniel won the part out of a staggering 16,000 boys who auditioned. Now it is hard to believe that anyone but him could have ever played the role. Daniel became a film legend before he was out of his teens. But there was much he wanted to prove. In a bid to detach himself from being simply the boy with a wand Daniel had to make his own magic and bravely took on projects which were often controversial and challenging - but never dull. He first caused a stir by stripping naked for the role as a disturbed boy in Equus, a part he played to great acclaim. We were literally to see a lot more of the young actor after that too. But his courage at diversifying has won him a new army of fans. Daniel's career choices have seen him dancing and singing his way into people's hearts as well as impressing them with his dramatic roles. Now established as one of our leading young actors with a fame that is literally worth a fortune Daniel has managed to conquer the turbulent times as a teenager when his drinking could so easily have meant the end of it all and threatened his relationship with loving parents who were always there in the background for him. Today he is wiser, happier and looking forward to a future of fulfilled dreams and ambition. Against all odds, Daniel Radcliffe could be said to be the Half-Blood Prince who has become a full-blooded actor and level-headed young adult.
'Enlightening ... Funny, smart, original and provocative ... It is hard to imagine the stalwarts of Mock the Week recognising the Druze militia leader Walid Jumblatt in a London cinema' New Statesman What I brought to comedy was an authentic working-class voice plus a threat of genuine violence - nobody in Monty Python looked like a hard case who'd kick your head in In 1971 comedians on the working men's club circuit imagined that they would be free to go on telling their tired, racist, misogynistic gags forever but their nemesis, a 19 year old Marxist art student with a bizarre concern for the health of British manufacturing was slowly coming to meet them. Through the next decade Alexei Sayle would be a student at Chelsea Art School, a clerk in a DHSS office (where nobody did any work), one of London's bottom ten freelance illustrators, a school dinner lady and a college lecturer (who kidnapped his students), before he became the original MC of London's first modern comedy club, the Comedy Store, and the landscape of British comedy was altered forever. Thatcher Stole My Trousers chronicles a time when comedy and politics came together in electrifying ways. Recounting the opening season of the Comedy Store, Alexei's experiences with Alternative Cabaret, the Comic Strip and the Young Ones, and his friendships with the comedians who, like him would soon become household names, this is a unique and beguiling blend of social history and memoir. Fascinating, funny, angry and entertaining, it is a story of class and comedy, politics and love, fast cars and why it's difficult to foul a dwarf in a game of football.
Hollywood icon John Wayne created a personal treasure trove of films during a fifty-year career, spanning 1926-1976. Today, over twenty years after his death, scarcely an hour goes by without one of them appearing somewhere in the world's TV listings. Thankfully for the fans, only a handful remain unobtainable in an era of re-mastered miracles, and out of all the movies he made post 1939, just two are retained; the last remaining prints of both apparently damaged. For whatever reason, neither one has been made available since soon after their original 1950's distribution. ISLAND IN THE SKY and THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY are an unusual 'pair' of aerial films, shot and screened when Wayne's westerner and war hero image were reaching their zenith. This book looks at both films in some depth and includes many fascinating photographs and production details. Director William A Wellman, a Hollywood legend in his own right; the rich array of stars of both movies; Ernie Gann, the writer of both the novels on which the films are based, and of course John Wayne's dual roles as producer and star of both movies are all investigated thoroughly. This is McGivern's second book concentrating on John Wayne. The first, A GIANT SHADOW (0954003101), looked at the man, this one at two films that most of his fans may treasure in their memories, but certainly won't have seen for many years. Gone, but not forgotten! It attempts to uncover the murky history of the films since the 1950's and takes a hopeful peak at a prospective future as more and more 'lost' films are re-discovered in Hollywood. Early next year John Wayne's two lost films, "Island in the Sky" and "The High and the Mighty", are being released on DVD. Leonard Maltin has called these two films "The Holy Grails of Hollywood" to be seen again for the first time in over 40 years.
This book focuses on Romeo Castellucci's theatrical project, exploring the ethical and aesthetic framework determined by his reflection on the nature of the image. But why does a director whose fundamental artistic tool is the image deny this key conceptual notion? Rooted in his conscious distancing from iconoclasm in the 1980s, Castellucci frequently replaces this notion with the words `symbol', `form' and `idea'. As the first publication on the international market which presents Castellucci's work from both historical and theoretical perspectives, this book systematically confronts the director's discourse with other concepts related to his artistic project. Capturing the evolution of his theatre from icon to iconoclasm, word to image and symbol to allegory, the book explores experimental notions of staging alongside an `emotional wave', which serves as an animating principle of Castellucci's revolutionary theatre.
"Arnold: Schwarzenegger and the Movies" is the first comprehensive, in-depth book to examine one of modern cinema's most celebrated and divisive screen presences. Tracing Schwarzenegger's entire film career and life from teenage bodybuilder to Governor of California, Saunders blends close textual readings of the major films, including "Pumping Iron", "Conan the Barbarian", The "Terminator" series, "Twins" and "True Lies", with salient historical context and biographical detail, demonstrating continually the importance of broader social and political factors in defining Arnold's unique significance. Representing far more than just a muscular spectacle, Saunders argues, Schwarzenegger found powerful ideological and spiritual relevance to his age by embarking on a quest to restore collective faith in his adopted nation - and, moreover, by exploiting his own, mythic importance to a post-war America struggling to come to terms with its own contemporary narrative.
'Give me a fucking pre-med you fuckers, I'm a personal friend of Sir Lancelot Spratt.' These words of frustration were the last to issue from Vivian's wonderful classically-trained voice. Forcing himself upright on the hospital trolley, he saluted his friends before being wheeled into the operating theatre for the removal of his voice-box; a procedure he later dismissed flippantly as 'getting a Jack Hawkins'. His final months would reveal a man of extreme courage, and a refusal to curb his excesses for anyone. Unable to swallow, he was forced to pump alcohol via a syringe directly into his stomach and spent his last few weeks propped up on Moroccan cushions listening to his beloved Elvis, refusing any nourishment other than dry sherry. This remarkable memoir of the legendary Vivian Mackerrell, on whom the character Withnail in Bruce Robinson's iconic film was largely based, is also an attempt to capture the essence of growing up as part of the 'Baby Boom' generation. It encompasses the half century from the end of the Second World War until the height of the ecstasy era. Vivian's story is told intertwined with incidents from Colin Bacon's own life along with a wealth of colourful eccentrics and luminaries including Bruce Robinson and Paul Smith. Both 'sons of Nottingham', Bacon came to know Vivian well. There was no doubt that Mackerrell was a star. After leaving drama school he seemed, with his obvious talent and good looks, destined for great things. But by then his life had begun to decline into a maelstrom of insanity and excess. Despite the obvious health warnings, he continually refused to curb his excesses, accepting his fate with mild indifference. This funny, affectionate memoir will be essential reading to the many thousands of Withnail fans and a vivid social document of a now forgotten time.
Harry H. Corbett rose from the slums of Manchester to become one of the best-known television stars of the 20th century. Having left home as a 17-year-old Royal Marine during the Second World War, he fought in the North Atlantic and the jungles of the Pacific and witnessed first-hand the devastation wrought by the Hiroshima bomb. On his return home he wandered into the local theatre company and landed a starring role - The Front Legs of the Cow. Soon becoming a leading light in Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and a widely-respected classical stage actor, his life was changed forever by the television comedy Steptoe and Son. Overnight he became a household name as the series drew unparalleled viewing figures of over 28 million, with fans ranging from the working classes to the Royal Family. Naturally shy and a committed socialist, fame and fortune didn't sit easily on his shoulders, and for the next twenty years, until his untimely death at the age of only 57, he had to learn how to be `'Arold'. Written by his daughter, Susannah Corbett, an actor herself, this is the first biography of Harry H. Corbett, the man who was once described as being `the English Marlon Brando'.
Completed before he died, thirty years ago, this is the newly discovered autobiography of one of the most influential comedians of recent times, Marty Feldman. Marty was a professional writer, and considered himself a writer first, and an actor second. Feldman created a number of immensely successful and influential shows such as Marty, The Frost Report and sketches for Monty Python. He was one of the most essential creative forces in British comedy embodied also by his close friends and creative partners from Beyond the Fringe (especially Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) and Monty Python (especially John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle). Marty played the fool, often very happily and with tremendous talent and volcanic, anarchic energy, for his entire life. His face is what many people most immediately remember. It was a face that David Frost, one of his bosses, characterised as 'too grotesque' for television - see what Feldman has to say about Frost, and Francis Bacon, and John Lennon... Marty Feldman finished, and set aside eYE Marty soon before travelling to Mexico to shoot his final film. He did not know that he would die there, although he certainly felt he might die soon, and was haunted by the notion. The book is exactly as Feldman wrote it: Mark Flanagan had it transcribed, with even the photos inserted where Feldman had noted they should go. Hilarious, deeply charming, aphoristic, ironic, charged throughout with lust for life and filled with scenes of great vanished eras and and portraits of other performers and friends, eYE Marty is the amazing discovery of the story of a man who was at the heart of the British comedy revolution.
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