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Next Season [Paperback]

Michael Blakemore
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
Price: £9.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2000
A novel from the director of the film Country Life. A young actor struggles to make his way in the theatre, experiencing the quick, intense relationships that flare within the closed world of the theatre as he acts out small, solid roles with a famous classical company outside of London.

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Next Season + Arguments with England + Stage Blood: Five tempestuous years in the early life of the National Theatre
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Product details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Applause Theatre Book Publishers; New edition edition (1 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557832234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557832238
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel set in the theatre world 13 Nov 2012
By Markie
Format:Paperback
This excellent but little known novel paints a wonderful fictional picture of the world of theatre in the 1950s/1960s in Britain. Those with some knowledge of theatre will know that Michael Blakemore was a successful man of the theatre himself and can spend many an idle hour trying to work out who the fictional characters might be drawn from in real life. The writing is subtle but involving and the characters richly and convincingly drawn. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most enjoyable account of the adventures of a young jobbing actor in late 1950's Britain - simply couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A theatre book even for non luvvies 29 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
If you are at all interested in actors and the theatre this tale of an expat aussie actor based in London who has the chance of a season at the fictional Braddington-on-sea rep on the Yorkshire coast you will find enthralling. Even if you are not a luvvie, this is a fascinating glimpse into the professional challenges, and occasional failures, of a young actor making his way in the theatre, his relationships to the cast and director, and his romantic liaisons with cast members and locals. And all the time there is the lurking shadow of what will, or won't, happen in the NEXT SEASON of the title.
If you have only one theatre-y book in your library, it should be this one !
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rather stilted and pedestrian 19 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The strength of the novel lies in its detailed presentation of the nature of the actor's craft, and of what it actually takes to put a professional performance together. But with the exception of the main protagonist, the characters are a little cardboard and the prose pedestrian at times. The scenes with the two girlfriends are stilted and repetitive. That said, a sort of suspense was sustained -- would the "hero" get an offer for next season or would he not? Not a bad read, but Mr. Blakemore's talent lies in directing plays, not writing novels.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's the 1950s in England, and a young Australian actor, Sam, is about to start a six-month season with a high-class repertory theatre company in the north - the sort that has famous film stars in it. As he struggles with his tiny parts in "The Duchess of Malfi", "Macbeth" and "The Way Of The World", he is sucked into the enclosed world of the company, which mimics a Machiavellian court. Who's up and who's down shifts and changes regularly, and Sam's romantic entanglements with two women at once feed into the unstable mix. Towards the end of his engagement is when he finds out if he will be one of the favoured ones who is invited back "next season.

Michael Blakemore, an actor who changed over into being a director instead, wrote this in the 1960s when he was still a young man himself, and what is fascinating is that not only does he completely nail the inner life and psychology of a professional jobbing actor, but he also (I don't know if he was aware of this while writing it!!) completely nails the inner life and psychology of an actor who is "on the turn" of moving into directing. There is a lovely moment when Sam is staring at Tom, the director, in the rehearsal room and suddenly realising that Tom has no directing talent. I was left begging for a sequel; I really wanted to know what happened to Sam after the novel ended.

Lovely social history on what theatrical life was like at that time as well.
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