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Opening Doors and Windows: A Memoir in Four Acts Hardcover – 17 Aug 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; 1st edition (17 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752454064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752454061
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,137,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'In these dangerous times, it is more important than ever that we try to understand the synthesis of chaos and order, freedom and discipline, intuition and ritual. And nobody has greater insight into these things than James Roose-Evans, who, alone amongst my teachers, opened the door to the nature of creativity for me at the beginning of my working life.' Mike Leigh

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written as expected: but do not expect a full biography. Childhood dealt with in full unhappy detail: but there is not, for my interests, enough detail about his life in the theatre and the arts: from founding the Hampstead Theatre in London to the Bleddfa Centre in remote Radnorshire; I'd like to know more about his life in Wales; nor is there enough about his later life as a priest at St Mary the Virgin, Primrose Hill, of Percy Dearmer fame. We need another book, please, dealing with his later doors and windows.
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Format: Hardcover
James has written about his life and the influence of a myriad meetings, partings and conversations with people who have shaped the creative and artistic thinking of a generation.Their impact on James' life and work means that this book is a wonderful source of personal reflection which he shares with the reader.I am sure that there are many, many individuals going about their lives who can reflect on their meetings and shared experiences with James Roose Evans and give thanks for those encounters.
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Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book by the legendary theatre director, james Roose-Evans. Roose-Evans is surely a unique theatre person in that he is also a non- stipendary Anglican priest. The mixture of worldly theatre memories and spiritual insights, makes this a most wonderful and moving book.
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Format: Hardcover
James Roose-Evans new book - Opening Doors and Windows is a carefully crafted story, one that only a sensitive and gifted author could produce. The jacket photograph, looking out from the security of home to the unexpected and wonderful world that entices the bold soul to step through the gate, is indicative of his strength of charactor - but achieved by lifting the latch and learning day by day. James mentions that at various times of his life the strong hand of the 'fear of the unknown' needs to be overcome and that we all need to move forward and take note of our heart felt desires - yes, don't we.

Read this book and then re read it. There is more to take in and enjoy than a single read can offer

This is a beautifully written book. Highly recommended
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Format: Hardcover
James Roose-Evans writes a refreshingly honest and fascinating story of his rich life. He has clearly made a significant contribution to the theatre in this country and through his work in America. Martha Graham, the great American choreographer and dancer, said of James : "You have vision and passion and that is rare." Her words are an apt summary of this man of courage, persistence and faith who founded the Hampstead Theatre in the face of numerous setbacks, which would have daunted many others. The author's Christian faith and deep spirituality pervade his story. This is a book which evokes the reader's own memories and provokes reflection and gratitude. A challenging, exciting and comforting biography which makes one want to meet the author.
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Format: Hardcover
These are both highly enjoyable and moving memoirs. The author is both a distinguished theatre director and an ordained Anglican priest and one of the key themes of the book is the need for ritual: the ability to give symbolic form to moments of transition and how this ability has atrophied in the modern world. The rituals of religious institutions have become remote and routine and we have not allowed ourselves alternative spaces of imagination. One such place can, and ought, to be the theatre but how often does that medium slip into the merely entertaining rather than a necessary space for discovering meaning.

But too there are wonderful vignettes here, drawing on a life fully lived: Of Tennesse Williams brooding silences shattered by faultless wit, of Helene Hanff coming onto the stage at the premiere of '84 Charing Cross Road' - the failed playwright discovering fame at the hands of an arranger of her words; and, of Sir John Gielgud's last stage performance in 'The Best of Friends'!

Perhaps the most moving testimony is to the gift of friends - especially friendships that transgressed any limits of age - and the ways of nurturing such relationships.
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