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Stephen Joseph: Theatre Pioneer and Provocateur Paperback – 25 Sep 2014


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Review

There are good reasons for theatre-makers, scholars and historians to read this fascinating study salvaging the achievements and hidden legacy of a pioneer and provocateur ... The publication is neither a dry chronicle nor a technical manual prescribing methods for advancing socially inclusive theatre. Rather, it is a lively synthesis of anecdotal incidents, opinions and events culled from interviews and publications astutely integrated with meticulous scholarship offering oblique insights into a wealth of unfamiliar cultural norms ... Moreover, the writing is that of a theatre historian with a keen dramaturgical sense of presenting his subject ... Elsam's publication offers a fine template for South African research scholars. More crucially, for anyone committed to practices that are culturally inclusive and transformative, transposing Joseph's ideas to the South African context offers dynamic ways of thinking about collaborative practice, the choice of stories to tell and presentation styles to adopt -- Sarah Roberts South African Theatre Journal, 27:3 This informative study of the man and artist fills a void in the scholarship on post-WW II British fringe theater. Elsam's book is an enjoyable read, filled with interesting anecdotes and a clear sense of Joseph's importance (as bolstered by interviews with Ayckbourn, Trevor Griffiths, and Ben Kingsley). The book includes a useful time line of Joseph's life, a few photos from Joseph productions, and a copious bibliography. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates, graduate students, researchers/faculty, and professionals/practitioners. -- J. Fisher, University of North Carolina at Greensboro CHOICE

About the Author

Dr. Paul Elsam trained as an actor at the former Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre, and has worked widely as a performer in theatre, radio, film and television, including in BAFTA and Olivier-nominated productions on stage and screen. He has directed professional actors and students in both the UK and the USA, often working 'in the round'. He has held teaching posts at the universities of Hull and Teesside, and at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. He maintains a strong research interest in post-war theatre historiography, and in the praxis of actor training.

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