Exit Pursued by a Badger: An Actor's Journey Through History with Shakespeare Paperback – 22 Jun 2009
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About the Author
Nick Asbury has performed on stage all over the world, and on screen in shows such as The Inbetweeners and Coronation Street. Having spent many years at the Royal Shakespeare Company, he appeared in their award-winning Histories cycle which gave rise to this bestselling book Exit Pursued By A Badger (Oberon 2009). He lives in Stratfordupon- Avon.
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Top Customer Reviews
Nick Asbury is a born diarist and chronicles his experience passionately, wittily and at times very movingly, especially when relating events in his and other company members' personal lives to the themes Shakespeare explored himself. There is much humour too - among many unforgettable hilarious episodes, one of my favourites is when Lex Shrapnel, a terrifically fiery Hotspur who is supposed to hurl his gauntlet aggressively at Aumerle (Jimmy Tucker) in Richard II, in one performance let go too soon, resulting in the glove sailing in the wrong direction across the stage, reducing Nick to corpsing uncontrollably with the others just about holding on until they got off stage!
The book contains a long newly written introduction by Nick covering the events leading up to the point at which the blog starts, and also includes a number of responses to the blog which show the impact this theatrical experience had on many of the members of its audience.Read more ›
Firstly, the blog was only started half way through the cycle - so you don't even get a full picture of the task. Secondly, while it is fascinating to read the day to day problems and joys of a working actor working on such a monumental task, and while Asbury is a very good writer, the nature of a blog is very different from a book and I'm in two minds as to the extent to which this works - particularly as general interest for anyone interested in acting that perhaps did not see the plays. A book is a more permanent record and requires a different style to the blog style.
The book also contains some nice, albelit relatively small, production pictures as well.
Asbury has provided a good insight within this context - but I finished the book hoping that one day he decides to sit down and write of his experiences in a more conventional book style. The excellent introduction chapter proves that he is an excellent writer, but I think a collection of blog entries has limited appeal. This is not a criticism in any way of the author, but rather the nature of the project itself.
Nick Asbury was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company when they set out on the, frankly, ludicrous task of performing all eight of Shakespeare's history plays with the same company of actors. His blogs throughout the process form the spine of the book but it is so much more than simply a book about acting or about those show's in particular.
Nick writes with passion, honesty, humour and, above all, heart about the much maligned business of 'shouting in the evenings' and the resulting book is an absolute joy to read. Cutting through the luvvy nonsense and egos and guff, Nick recounts the amazing and unique experience the company went through with fabulous clarity and joy.
A book for anyone interested in acting, theatre, Shakespeare and life. Can't recommend it highly enough.
However Asbury's open and engaging prose means that this book is not merely a nostalgic memento for those who experienced The Histories but welcomes those whose first encounter with The Histories, the RSC, or indeed Shakespeare himself is through picking up this book.
What is perhaps most memorable about 'Exit Pursued by a Badger' is Asbury's willingness to write not just an open and engaging memoir about his time with the Royal Shakespeare Company, but also to write of the trials and tribulations of life as an actor, the complexities of Shakespeare and, perhaps most notably of all, being attacked by badgers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an amazing insight into "behind the scenes" Shakespeare. It's the sort of book you can read all at once or in stages. Whichever, you don't forget what's happened! Read morePublished on 12 July 2012 by Mr. R. Errington
Nick Asbury's account is vivid and a fun insight into the daily gruel faced by these trojan actors. One feels as though one is actually there sweating with them. Read morePublished on 3 April 2010 by La Pucelle
I am not a writer, nor an actor, and I don't even read or go to the theatre very much, which is why this book was such a revelation. Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 2010 by Mrs. Mikka Styles
Michael Boyd's RSC production of the Shakespeare history "octology" which ran for several hundred performances in Stratford and at the Roundhouse in Camden between February 2006... Read morePublished on 12 Dec. 2009 by Diacha