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Year of the King Paperback – 27 Aug 2004

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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: 13.8 x 2.1 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Thomas on 19 May 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon Tavener VINE VOICE on 20 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
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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By P. G. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Jun. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was recently lucky enough to be given a copy of Anthony Sher’s latest book “Year of the Fat Knight” as a birthday present. Before reading it, I thought I’d reacquaint myself with this, earlier work. I first read it in the 80s, shortly after it was initially published, and I’ve returned to it on a number of occasions since. I have, over the years, on several occasions tried to list my ten favourite novels. Were I to list my ten favourite books, this would easily find a place on the list, and probably be in the top three.
Despite the familiarity arising from repeated reading, it has never lost its power to excite. For anyone with an interest in the theatre, this is simply one of the most thrilling and indeed inspiring books it has been my pleasure to read.
The basic structure is straightforward. As a youngish actor on the verge of a major breakthrough, Anthony Sher, after recovering from the agony of tearing his Achilles tendon while paying the fool in Lear, is offered the part of Richard the Third at the RSC. From there, Sher takes us through the agonies of whether to accept the part, and then once he has taken the plunge, the process of building a part. He takes the reader through the research, the psychological analysis, the building of relationships with the rest of the cast, and also the mechanics, the costume, make-up, set, and music.
One of the reasons the book succeeds so wonderfully is that Sher is an excellent storyteller. He starts slowly, with a languid holiday visiting his family in South Africa playing a major early part in his tale. Then on return, he gradually ratchets up the pace and the tension as the play goes into rehearsal and careers towards the opening night, and the catharsis of eventual success.
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By Denis Carlton on 27 Sept. 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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By Mb Earls on 24 Jun. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brilliant read which - unlike other theatrical memoirs - conjures what it's like to develop a truly memorable performance in one of the theatre's great roles. Honest and with an unflinching gaze on the person as well as the actor. Ideal partner to the Year of the Fat knight
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