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The Actor and the Target [Kindle Edition]

Declan Donnellan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Book Description

A fresh and radical approach to acting by a world-famous director.

'This new "Advice to the Players" cuts open every generalisation about acting and draws out gleamingly fresh specifics. Behind the joy and humour of the writing, Declan Donnellan is subtly leading young actors to an awareness of the living processes behind their work. He brings as evidence the rich field of thought and intuition that direct experience has made his own.' - Peter Brook



Product Description

Review

Hugely practical and never gets lost in theory. --El Pais

Explains Donnellan's highly practical system and sheds unique light on one of the greatest directors of acting in our time. --Le Monde

A gripping read, as acute about the psychology of lying as it is about the art of acting. --Guardian

About the Author

British theatre director Declan Donnellan is the first Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Academy and is best known for his work with Cheek by Jowl (including their acclaimed all-male As You Like It) and on Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul. As Associate Director of the National Theatre his productions included Fuenteovejuna, Sweeney Todd and Angels in America.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3603 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1854598384
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books; New edition edition (21 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BHOSEQ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #207,971 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, Useful, Wise 14 July 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Donnelan knows that writing about the mystery of acting is difficult. All truths in the art are paradoxes or double negatives. However this is the first book I have read which practically and helpfully sets out to analyse the common causes of 'block' and how they can be overcome. The central plank of his thinking is the concept of the target; that there always is one, that it is always 'active' and that it's always outside of the actor. 'I die', for example, does not help an actor. 'I welcome sweet death,' however, does. This is refreshing for anyone who is sceptical of the soupy psycholgical blathering that many practitioners indulge in. Here, concepts like 'intent', 'motivation', and 'need' for the actor are necessary reactions to external stimuli, rather than narcissistic self analysis. 'The Actor and the Target will be most useful for directors and actors tired of the cant and anecodotal posturing of most books on their art, and it will become something of a bible for those who hold that in a theatre, talk is cheap, showing is everything.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for non-actors 19 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a teacher, nothing to do with acting, but I saw the book at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, bought it, loved it, and bought another online for a friend, also a teacher.

I was seduced by the blurb, and can now say it's true: "[It] is no more for actors only than The Art of War is reserved for warriors..."

When I'm teaching, I try to listen to the student, find gaps in their knowledge and work from there, rather than having a set agenda for a lesson, or even a course right from the start. This book resonated with this approach, and I got a lot from it, despite not thinking of using it for acting. I want to read it again, which is a good sign.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Applications wider than acting 28 April 2008
By Lovborg
Format:Paperback
As befits a great director, Donnellan has written a great book about directing actors. But it's also much more than that: it's a fantastic examination of the process of collaboration and leadership in all areas. By examining the easy protestations that actors fall back on, and drawing them down to their root cause, Donnellan reveals a hugely focused and inspirational way of thinking about problems. The book's frame of reference may well be the stage, but its applications are far wider. Fascinating and clear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good and practical. 29 July 2010
By SUE
Format:Paperback
I happened to sign up for a course with a Cheek by Jowl practitioner, Owen Horsley, and was reading the book at the same time. This made the book come alive. It's basic Stanislavski with a fresh touch and is specifically for blocked actors. It made the work seem extremely simple, which of course, as any actor knows is great to hear and not so easy to do!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST-READ 9 Oct. 2014
Format:Paperback
Declan Donnellan's The Actor and the Target is the best, and certainly the most memorable, acting book I have read.
It is beautiful written, insightful, acutely sharp and mentally stimulating. It is full of pearls of wisdom, useful both onstage and off. There is true depth there, but also a lightness of touch and a sense of humour. It is extremely precise but at the same time eminently readable. It challenges the reader in its disarmingly honest style to think of acting from a different prism.
The methods it expounds unlocked and liberated me when I first read it as a drama student. It inspired and uplifted me. I revisit it often. I bought it twice (when I thought I'd lost my copy).
"Don't go home".
I recommend it whole-heartedly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for study 12 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my daughter who is studying drama and she said it is a very helpful book and gives her further knowledge in this area.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tips 12 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like this book, the only thing is that it is very repeditive using romeo & juliet as a metaphor. but still worth reading!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read 8 Oct. 2014
Format:Paperback
This is one of the best books on acting one could get his hands on. Simple and at the same immensely practical, it identifies and dissects a number of problems that most actors must have encountered at some point, and provides practical solutions that help free the actor and help him release his/her creative and expressive potential. A must read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
book was brought to use at a college
Published 12 days ago by MICHELLE THORNTON
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy with this product
Very happy with this product, would recommend to others. The best book I've ever read explains how actors brains need to stay focused.
Published 21 days ago by RslpUK
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book of acting I have ever read.
This is the best book on acting i have ever read. I include stanislavski and brook. it is concerned with the practical problems that you find as a professional and student actor... Read more
Published 1 month ago by scott H
5.0 out of 5 stars An actor's view
This book should be the go-to for any aspiring actor. It provides clarity when you are struggling, relief when you are weighed down, it promises nothing yet delivers everything,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by orlando james
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is not only useful and practical but it is continually...
This book is not only useful and practical but it is continually inspiring. If you are passionate about theatre this is a book you need on your book shelf. Read more
Published 5 months ago by OH
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring book
This is one of the most enjoyable, challenging and important books on acting that I have read. I read it first as a drama student and find myself revisiting it often. Read more
Published 5 months ago by lucy briggs-owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect condition.
Published 5 months ago by marie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
best book ive read in ages
Published 5 months ago by MR N R BARKER
5.0 out of 5 stars Encourages creativity
I’m not an actor but I have an interest in theatre and this book proved to be much more than I expected. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Y Gavrielides
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
Best book on acting I ever read. Practical, intelligent and grounded in the knowledge of what an actor actually goes through in a rehearsal room.
Published 6 months ago by P A Myles
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