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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When building a house..., 17 April 2011
This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
...you first want to make sure that you have a solid foundation. If you are (becoming) an actor or director(!!), or somehow find your life significantly connected to the life "on stage", this book should be part of your collection. In "Different Every Night" Alfreds presents the reader with a blend of cunning insight, extensive experience and a pinch of wit the very heart and soul of what he believes theater is, can be and - in a perfect world - should be.
But it is more than that. To both the actor and the director who take their craft seriously Alfreds points out those fundamental elements which make drama "come to life". And "Life", according to the author, is what theater is all about. Without it there is no theater, no drama.
There is no new system or method to be learned here. Through careful scene analyses, suggested practical applications, and complementary amusing (if not invigorating) anecdotes Alfreds discloses the most basic and effective tools necessary to build "character", "plot", and essentially "drama". Tools which are ever so often desguised in a mantle of methodic complexity and fussiness.
How does one reconcile the concept of the free(d) actor on stage - as proposed, for example, by David Mamet (read "True and False") - and the intrinsic value of a systematic approach to the craft, such as Stanislavskys?
Alfreds never asks this question per se; however, it seems he does (at least unwittingly) provide a path through the thicket...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the integrity of theatre, 3 Sep 2011
This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
I love this book. It's precious to me. I honour its writer, its skills, its craft. The book honours the dream; and does all that is in its power to help you realise it.
I bought the book as a first step into a new direction, a fragile interest, and I read page after page with delighted interest, and I feel my eyes being opened to all that theatre encompasses and involves, the good, the bad and the ugly :).
I recommend it with all my heart, for all who love the stage, this space where "ideas are made into experience", where actors and audience share an experience of imagination.
I love Alfreds' purism, his definitions - result of many years as a director, his anecdotes, his ideas. He is frank and realistic about the frustrations theatre can entail. His writing is refreshing, in every possible way. A great read, whether you're working in theatre or not.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great for actors, 16 April 2010
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A. O'Shea "Drama Queen" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
great break down of text analysis, deals with stanislavski system very well but also other theatre practitioners. great for any level of actor who is serious about there craft.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent., 14 April 2014
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This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
Perfect insight into the world of rehearsals and the role of the director. I liked it so much I have since bought the sequel 'What Happen's Next?'!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true exponent of live rather than dead theatre, 10 Feb 2010
By 
Robert Hale (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
Mike Alfreds is a theatre director of huge knowledge and experience. His approach to creating theatre is rigorous, searching and above all values the spontaneous act of performing. The book details a philosophy and a series of exercises which create the conditions for a play to emerge, deepen and make itself anew each night. I have had the privilege of working with Mike and have followed performances of specific plays over the course of their run and can attest to the fact that each performance is different and unique. This is due to the painstaking work done in the rehearsal room which ultimately allows the actors to find new impulses each night, rather than try and repeat the same old moves and gestures that can result in the slow death of a piece. If you are a lover of theatre that is truly alive, this book contains practical secrets that will help you create the terrain to make it happen. Essential reading, but more essential for us directors to put it into practise.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars According to me every theatre lovers should read it, 8 April 2011
This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
I read this book in 2011.I recommend this book everybody who wants to read about theatre.
Firstly,one can find the most important knowledge and experiences in terms of theatre.
Secondly,It is very easy to read and understand.
Thirdly, knowledge,experience and practice were equally shared with readers by Mike Alfreds.I learned many things from Mike Alfreds.I will read this book again and again. Because every time I find new things in it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read again and again, 1 Nov 2010
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J. A. B. Hill (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
I had seen three of Mike Alfreds' productions and worked with someone who had worked with him (A high and inspirational spot of my acting life). I have now read this book twice since purchasing and will read again and again - the thoughts and practical exercises contained herein are not only a refreshing reminder of the possibilities for what can often become (and is often required to be) an off-the-shelf business (and here I'm talking about theatre), but for daily life too. On reading it, I remembered "Ah, this is why I became an actor!" Buy it!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for actors and directors, 17 Nov 2009
By 
Barbara Houseman (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
This is wonderful book. It offers a clear insight into Mike's way of working and the reasoning behind it. He's shares his knowledge and experience as generously in this book as he does in life.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 11 Sep 2009
By 
Robert Shaw "Know-It-All" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
I have been lucky enough to work with several directors who follow the tools of Mike Alfreds, but if you haven't had that opportunity this book tells you everything you need to know.

The book is written in such a way that you can just skip to the sections you're most interested in without reading through the areas that wouldn't necessarily apply to you. Mike Alfreds truly understands the mind of the actor and from that position has been able to write one of the most useful books an actor/director can own.

Just buy it!!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation, 5 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor (Paperback)
I am about to run a Director's Workshop for an amateur company and this book has completely thrown me. I now need to rethink most of my ideas about the relationship between actors and directors. It has been a revelation. As an actor it has opened my eyes as to the difference between "dead" acting and "alive" performances. It will be a huge influence on all my work in the theatre from now on.
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Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor
Different Every Night: Freeing the Actor by Mike Alfreds (Paperback - 11 Oct 2007)
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