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The History of Western Theatre (Non Fiction) [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

David Timson , Sir Derek Jacobi , et al
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, 12 Jun 2000 --  
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Book Description

12 Jun 2000 Non Fiction
This bold undertaking traces the development of western theater from ancient Greece to present day, through the miracle plays, the great Shakespearean period, Moliere and Racine in France, Goethe in Germany, through the 19th century and main movements of the 20th.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks; Unabridged edition (12 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 962634699X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626346990
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 10.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,054,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The History Of Theatre Is A Masterpiece! 22 Sep 2000
Format:Audio Cassette
For anyone who is a student of theatre or drama and wants a better understanding of the subject or who simply loves Derek Jacobi, this would be the book for you! Here you'll find out where we picked up the term''slapstick'', for example, and become better acquainted with people like Eugene O'Neill, Moliere, and, naturally, William Shakespeare! Jacobi's articulate narration of each era of theatrical history truly makes this a masterpiece!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific for theatre majors and general public 21 Aug 2000
By F. Behrens - Published on
Format:Audio Cassette
Not since I played the Naxos book-on-tape "A History of Opera" have I so much enjoyed a recorded non-fiction treat like David Timson's <The History of Theatre> (NA 419914), narrated by the venerable Derek Jacobi on four audio tapes. \
The title is really misleading, since the text covers only Western theatre and even that not comprehensively, given the little over 5 hours of playing time. The author himself admits this in the notes provided with the tapes and can be forgiven. What there is here would make an excellent review for a theatre major studying for exams and an even better introduction to one not all that familiar with the story of our theatre as it progressed from the rites dedicated to Dionysus to what it is today. Of course, the important playwrights are touched upon (Shakespeare gets an all too brief treatment) and the English ones get what is perhaps a somewhat disproportionate amount of attention. But as English speakers, we will not carp at that.
An especially good feature of this set is the use of professional actors--Carole Boyd, John McAndrew, Teresa Gallagher and Caroline Faber--to give some short excerpts from major works. The booklet gives a brief "Glossary of technical terms not explained in the text," a need created perhaps by the author's being an actor.
Once again, you will enjoy hearing this set even if you have no exams coming up; and it will give you a very nice idea of where our present theatre has come from, if not where it is going.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A high-speed tour through European and US theatre 18 April 2002
By Gavin Wilson - Published on
Format:Audio CD
As a highly infrequent theatre-goer, I picked this up in the hope of plugging the many gaps in my understanding of what plays are all about. Visits to the theatre have left me frustrated and bored more often than captivated. Halfway through a performance, I'll be looking at my watch and thinking I'd be better off watching a video at home! Perhaps I'm simply re-living all those terrible plays I was forced to watch at school.
This audio CD has boosted my understanding and awareness of the theatre. Not only does it cover the history of playwrights, nicely giving name-checks to every author I've heard of, but it also lists the key achievements of many of the key directors, impressarios and actors. And it also covers the development of the physical stage from Greek tragedy to the modern era. And there's the odd bit of reasonably appropriate classical music (from the Naxos catalogue) to link some items.
In the course of five hours, this can only dip its toes in the water of each era, and it does have a bias towards the English theatre, but the main benefit to me is that it's got me wanting to go and see some plays again. A major achievement indeed!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good for beginners and highly stressed undergraduates 6 July 2002
By "brechtian" - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I found this set to be highly entertaining to listen to. The 5 hour course on the whole span of 2500 years of history certainly leaves out a lot of good things, but it also covers almost all the important points that will actually appear in your exam if you are currently enrolled in such classes in college. Amazing, isn't it? But the set narrated by Jacobi is so engaging that very soon you will stop doing other things you normally do while listening to an audio book. It does require your full attention if you really want to get something out of it.
The material is succintly written, but you can always replay the part you do not fully understand. To students I would recommend this set to help them prepare for the exams. Too many times I've read answers that just keep avoiding the main points. This set, in my view, is very much like private tutoring. It will help you through your notes point by point, simple and straightforward! However you do need to check on your own spelling of names.:)
The approach is traditional. The basic framework revolves around literary materials as it brings you through mini-biorgraphies of major playwrights throughout history. Supporting these literary giants, the conditions of performance and audience are also briefly explained. It recounts all the cliches you will probably encounter in basic level history of theatre classes. Thus Greek theatres evolve from a full circle to a semi-circle and Medieval theatre naturally grows from simple to complicated forms... Excerpts from key plays or documents are read by radio drama actors/actresses, so they sometimes sound quite funny (or mildly absurd). But they are well chosen and representative.
2.0 out of 5 stars incomplete 29 April 2014
By Gary Seddon - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book brushes over a large subject. The author ignores a great deal of theater that he seems to look down upon.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 18 July 2014
By dilini boyagoda - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Written in simple language. A synopsis of a large history. A helpful and insightful book.
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