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Speaking The Speech: An Actor's Guide To Shakespeare Paperback – 16 May 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books (16 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848421915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848421912
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A tour de force from a theatrical insider who has made it his life's business to plumb the breathing, living line for all that is fresh and true...A handbook that Hamlet might have given to his players. --Ink Pellet magazine

Accessible...detailed... Any student embarking on training, or any actor who wants to know more about Shakespeare's words and how to speak them, will learn a lot from this.... it leads actors into hitherto unknown territory with gentleness and wit. --The Stage

If you want to know how to do something well, find yourself the best expert in the field and get them to teach you. Giles Block is currently Master of the Words at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and has been since its opening in 1999. ... I will certainly be using [his book] the next time I direct Shakespeare. --Teaching Drama Magazine

Fresh and innovative... provocative... includes material that you will not find elsewhere... a valuable addition to the field of manuals for teachers, directors and actors. --reviewsgate.com

Giles deepened my love for Shakespeare and for the way we all speak. I trust you will have a similar experience reading his book. --Mark Rylance, from his Foreword

'We call Giles our 'Text Guru' at the Globe, partly in jest, and partly out of respect for the depth of his knowledge, the gentleness of his teaching, and the sudden illuminations he can throw across a play. If this book can afford even a small part of the pleasure and insight Giles can provide in person, then it will be a great asset.' --Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director, Shakespeare's Globe

About the Author

Giles Block began his career as an actor, first turning to directing in the 1970s, working at the National Theatre as staff director under both Peter Hall and Richard Eyre. In 1999 Mark Rylance appointed him Master of the Words at Shakespeare's Globe, where he has worked ever since. He has directed several plays by Shakespeare, principally at Shakespeare's Globe and at the reconstructed Blackfriars Theatre in Virginia.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Sterling on 18 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Giles Block knows a thing or two about William Shakespeare. He has been both actor and director of Shakespeare's plays for many decades. Block was appointed 'Master of the Words' at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, and he has worked there since 1999. This book is a must for every actor who strives to ignite the emotion and intent of the characters using Shakespeare's words. By showing the essential distinctions between prose, and rhymed /unrhymed verse; the difference between 'you' and 'thou' and strategies to be used when speaking them, Block helps the actor understand how to best tell the story using the Bard of Avon's exquisite use of the English language. He gives the reader a deeper appreciation of how Shakespeare's writing comes to life when spoken out loud.
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By Mrs on 22 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my student daughter for Christmas and she not only loved it, she found it useful too. Brilliant!
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By Sam Jackson on 28 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fab-u-lous!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
MOST WONDERFUL 31 Dec. 2013
By Book Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As Olivia (especially as voiced by Mark Rylance) would joyously proclaim: "Most Wonderful."
Conversation is the heart of drama, and conversation is powerfully alive on stage when the words are Shakespeare's. In this book Giles Block speaks to actors, but he does so in a way that makes clear to engaged audience members and readers like me how the very structure of Shakespeare's words and lines carries forward emotions as they are freshly emerging from the minds of the speakers. I can think of no work I have read from the many on the subject that opens more clearly some of the "how" behind Shakespeare's brilliantly creative power, no book that so renders dry academic studies of poiesis more alive and clear.
The book is unexpectedly as much fun to read as it is simultaneously exciting and enlightening. I bought a copy for myself only to find after reading it that I could not resist buying copies for friends. A master class.
Most Wonderful, indeed!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Book Every Actor Needs 19 Oct. 2013
By GeekForDetails - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Giles Block has a greater understanding of Shakespearean text than anyone else I've encountered in person or on a page. What's more, he has a gift for communicating that understanding to actors of every level of experience. This book offers the reader not "the right way to do Shakespeare", but the tools to understand the text and make it your own as an actor. His examination of forms of address, patterns of rhyme (and attempted rhyme), and why characters speak verse or prose will deepen your understanding of the plays and characters. There is a reason Giles has been the "guru of verse" at Shakespeare's Globe since 1999 - his approach to the text will make you fall more in love with the Bard's words every time you speak them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended! 1 Dec. 2013
By Mark Ransom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an in depth analysis based on a considerable career of both acting, directing and currently serving as Master of Words at Shakespeare's globe. Giles Block is clear, concise and inspiring. His passion for not only the words, but the breath we take to make them is explored in marvelous detail. Without daunting rules or regulations, Mr Block points to way "In" to the language in an effort to liberate the text and give both actor and reader alike tangible information which further serves toilluminate the brilliance of Shakespeare.
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