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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words, words, words, 6 Feb 2008
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This review is from: Playing Shakespeare (Performance Books) (Paperback)
John Barton is an epic figure in Shakespearean acting circles and rightly so. I found this book after watching a masterclass he filmed with Kevin Kline on Sky Arts, and just being bowled over by how much the actors, who were already good, improved under his tutelage.

This book consists of edited transcripts of a series of television programmes Barton made with some incredibly famous actors on how to Play Shakespeare. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It is absolutely fascinating to hear how different actors approach the same role, notably the chapter on Shylock in which David Suchet and Patrick Stewart compare their respective takes on the role.

Barton is eloquent and interesting as are his cast. The work is illuminating and underpins Barton's crucial reliance on what the text is doing, his belief is that Shakespeare uses both the words and the structure of the text to give the actors direction.

I must point out that I am not an actor myself, so how useful this is as a guide to acting I don't know. I am however, studying Shakespeare in production, and for this, this book is perfect. Well worth purchasing. A timeless classic.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Feb 2008 19:23:12 GMT
I will read it. You would also enjoy 'Performing Shakespeare' by Oliver Ford Davies. See my review of it on Amazon.
Ralph Blumenau

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 13:03:40 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
Performing Shakespeare: Preparation, Rehearsal, Performance - is this the one?
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