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on 24 March 2014
A worthy companion to Bella Merlin's Stanislavsky Toolkit. As far as possible this book puts Brecht's convoluted writing and often contradictory pronouncements in a clear historical and ideological framework , all the while keeping a firm grasp on the essentially pragmatic, show by show, nature of the evolution of his dramaturgy. This is sure to become an essential tool for teachers ad all types and students. With luck we shall see a rebirth of committed and questioning Theatre as students realise just how essential to Brecht was for the development of modern Theatre, and just how essential good Theatre is to democracy.
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on 18 April 2015
Essential for anybody interested in theatre and one of its greatest exponents. For years I found Brecht to be very confusing/contradictory in his aesthetics. Thankfully Stephen Unwin breaks everything down in a way for the student to absorb and explore. The book contains a few surprises (If I told it wouldn't be a surprise) as well as exercises for actors and detailed look into Brecht's influences which give more scope to methods. The book is literally what it says on the tin; read this beside "Arturo Ui", "Galileo" etc fused with your own imagination and an awareness of your own national/political history with a sharp sense humour and you are ready to direct Brecht. Don't read this book with a set idea of how Brecht SHOULD be performed. You will be blocking yourself and disappointing the great man who wanted his plays and ideas to be interpreted in fresh ways for new generations.
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on 18 February 2015
The Complete Brecht Toolkit provides the reader exactly what the title says. Approaching Brecht remains a challenge to any contemporary theatre artist, and although his works are rarely produced and often misunderstood, his influence cannot and should not be ignored. Stephen Unwin offers more than just a `way in' to Brecht's dense and extensive writings, but also a practical companion to understanding the theory, and most importantly: staging the plays. A bonus final chapter consists of brilliant rehearsal exercises contributed by Julian Jones. Whether you are a teacher, actor, director, reader, or theatregoer, if you are interested in Brecht you should have this book on your shelf. As Bertolt himself was fond of saying, `The proof is in the pudding is in the eating'.
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on 25 January 2015
As a teacher teaching A Level Drama and Theatre Studies for the first time, I found this book invaluable. Well, to be honest, I found it frickin' amazing. It has all the information you need to pass on a good working knowledge of Brecht, and the activities at the back are practical, useful and well explained. They tell you what you have to do as the group leader but also link the activity back to Brecht's theories and explain in what ways they are useful. Many of them are excellent for building a good understanding of Brecht's theories, but most of them are even suitable for use as just introductory warm ups that you can use for other groups, too. Excellent stuff. Don't know where I'd be without it!
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on 3 December 2015
This book is fantastic! Clear, concise, as well as interesting. If you are curious about Brecht, and want to read or see his plays, and want to understand where his work begins and how it evolved over the years, but don't know where to begin, this book is for you. Stephen Unwin was my professor at East 15/University of Essex in London, UK for Theatre Directing and he is one of Britain's leading theatre directors. I loved his classes and his books are just as inspiring!
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on 7 May 2015
Perfect book for any actor that doesn't understand Brecht or has trained mainly under the Stanislavsky method. Unwin's humor, wit, and extensive knowledge of Brecht make it extremely accessible. Finally a book that takes the mystery and weirdness away from Brecht.
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on 12 April 2015
Great book! Simple which makes it useful for anyone studying Brecht. It is a must for anyone who does not know or understand Brecht.
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on 10 November 2014
Bought for my son, now his teacher wants a copy.
Excellent book for those taking Drama & Theatre studies for GCSE, AS or A2
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on 2 April 2014
Saying it as it is and no sugar coating, love the straightforward and effective work of Brecht laid out in a concise and effective way in this guide.
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