Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
on 26 May 2012
I was amazed to see that the rating for this book was only two stars. That was until I realised that three of the four reviewers were not reviewing the content!!!! They complained that the book was a paperback instead of a hardback as advertised. Well, it was advertised as a paperback when I bought it and I would have complained if I had received a hardback book as it is hard enough to lift it now!
The book weighs 2 lbs 4 oz, measures 9 1/4" long, 6" wide and over 2" wide, and has a whopping 737 pages! And Amazon are selling it for just £13. This has got to be one of the best bargains in town.
The reason it is a bargain is because the content is superb. As this is not a book I have the time to read from cover to cover, I have been just consulting the pages that relate to the Matthew Bourne work I am immediately concerned with. So, after seeing Nutcracker! on stage, I am reading the relevant pages. The book is in the form of an interview between dance critic Alastair Macauley and Matthew Bourne. We find out how how each work came into being, who the collaborators were, what changes and decisions were made along the way, in short, everything you would want to know and I am speaking as someone who knows little about dance. However, I did find out much more about the dances and the book really enhanced my enjoyment of the stage works.
After Nutcracker! I saw Bourne's Early Adventures on stage and, again, the book was very useful in finding out more about the dances. I have also now bought the DVD box set so the book will be useful when I get to the other works. The book covers work in detail up until Dorian Gray in 2008, including his choreography for musicals like My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, South Pacific and Oliver!
Especially useful are the appendices. The first contains scenarios of The Car Man, Play Without Words, Edward Scissorhands and Dorian Gray. The second has examples of Bourne's pre-rehearsal notes for leading actors. The third has details of tours. The fourth is the most useful as it has detailed credits for each dance work until Lord of the Flies in 2011, including each piece of music used and the composer. Most useful.
To sum up, the content of this book is indispensable. Yes, the quality of the paper and many photos is not the best but that would have made the book even heavier and more expensive. Highly recommended.