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Year of the King [Paperback]

Antony Sher
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

27 Aug 2004
A classic of theatre writing, a unique insight into the creation of a landmark Shakespearian performance.

Antony Sher's stunning performance for the RSC as Richard III on crutches - the so-called 'bottled spider' - won him both the Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Actor. This book records - in the actor's own words and drawings - the making of this historic theatrical event.

This new edition was published on the twentieth anniversary of the premiere. It includes a new introduction in which Sher looks back somewhat bemusedly at how much has happened to him and to the world in the intervening years.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books; New edition edition (27 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854597531
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854597533
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


One of the finest books I have ever read on the process of acting. Time Out

The most exciting actor of his generation and an eloquent writer on the side. Observer

This is a most wonderfully authentic account of the experience of creating a performance. Sunday Times

A brilliant compulsive account. Guardian

It is very funny... The drawings are miraculous too. Is there no end to the man's talent, damn him? --Evening Standard

About the Author

Antony Sher was born in South Africa and shot to fame as an actor for the Richard III that is the subject of this book. Other roles at the RSC include the Fool to Michael Gambon's Lear, Tamburlaine, Cyrano, Macbeth (with Harriet Walter) and, this year, Iago. He has published three novels, a book of his paintings and drawings and an autobiography, Beside Myself (Hutchinson 2001). His first play, I.D., premiered at the Almeida in 2003 with Sher in the lead. He was knighted in 2000.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book for actors who really want to know how to approach a character. Such a talented actor and author who describes the brilliance of processing a difficult characters, like Richard 3rd. I recommend this book to any actor out there who needs help and guidance on how to research and make a character truthful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed 14 Jan 2014
By tess
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Richard IIIrd fans will enjoy Antony Sher's insight into his role of playing the King. I couldn't put it down!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 27 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent insight into the preparation a leading actor makes before a production to ensure the public understand and enjoy the play.Mr Sher had to work doubly hard to bring something new to a play which most people associate and set their benchmark by Lord Olivieres production. A fascinating book and a good read ,I couldn't put it down!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An obsession 20 Jan 2011
By Simon Tavener VINE VOICE
This book was the start of an obsession for me. It set me on the path to directing a production of Richard III as well as reading all I can about Antony Sher, Shakespeare in performance and the real history of the Wars of the Roses.

Sher is not perhaps as brutally honest about what he was going through during this particular year in his life as he was later to reveal in his other writings - but it is still an exemplary book about the process of reinterpreting a classic role and all the stresses involved or working for one of our national companies.

I would say this is a must read for anyone with a passing interest in Shakespeare and acting. Certainly it ought to be on the reading list for anyone considering drama school.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I have re-read this particular book more than a dozen times.

As I said, an obsession...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring book for actors 13 Nov 2011
It describes the experience of an southafrican actor in the creation of his first main role in a Shakespeare's play (Richard III) in the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company. Actors will feel identified with everything is in this diary: the readings, the rehearsals, the endless chats with director and partners, the atmosphere of a theatre backstage, the phisical and psichological investigation on the character, the insights, the blending between personal life and work, the problems with the verse, the selfdoubt and angish before the opening... in brief, the delightful obsession that grips you in a deep creative process. Really inspiring, Tony Sher writes very well and draws better (the book is full of his illustrations)... Made me love theatre even more.
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