on 14 February 2012
I have read Michael Pennington's books before and know that he will take you into the life of an actor, director, writer or just entertain you. This book covers Shakepeare's life and works as well as Michael's love of all things Shakepeare and his career over 40years.
Fascinating and very readable, whether you like Shakepeare or not. You will share Michael's enthusiasm for his subject very easily.I love it.
on 4 April 2012
Actor and author Michael Pennington's "Sweet William" is that rare creature, an engagingly reader-friendly book of insightful and extensive scholarship. I would strongly recommend it to anybody with an interest in theatre, Shakespeare, politics, history or for that matter the English language. Drawing from his experience of a lifetime largely devoted to acting and directing Shakespeare the author not only offers masterful analyses of the plays themselves from the point of view of performance (actor / director / audience) but sets them with wholly plausible audacity in the intimate political and social context of their time. This tone of irreverent but well grounded speculation characterises much of the book. Using text from right across the canon as a starting point, he also offers us enjoyable and persuasive insights into Shakespeare's personal life beyond the known "facts". And threaded through all this he provides vivid vignettes from his own life as an actor and director along with a rich overview of the changing face of acting over the last half century (and beyond). This is a masterful interweaving of scholarship with original and idiosyncratic themes written in a delightfully irreverent button-holing style.
on 18 June 2013
Love Michael Pennington on stage. His Wars of the Roses was an unforgettable experience. He does what he promises in this book, talking of his response to plays and players, with ease, authority and a very readable style. A good read