Playing Shakespeare: An Actor's Guide

Playing Shakespeare: An Actor's Guide

Playing Shakespeare An Actor s Guide Now in its first American edition Playing Shakespeare is the premier guide to understanding and appreciating the mastery of the world s greatest playwright Together with Royal Shakespeare Company act

  • Title: Playing Shakespeare: An Actor's Guide
  • Author: John Barton Luann Walther
  • ISBN: 9780385720854
  • Page: 233
  • Format: Paperback
  • Now in its first American edition, Playing Shakespeare is the premier guide to understanding and appreciating the mastery of the world s greatest playwright.Together with Royal Shakespeare Company actors among them Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Ben Kingsley, and David Suchet John Barton demonstrates how to adapt Elizabethan theater for the modern stage The diNow in its first American edition, Playing Shakespeare is the premier guide to understanding and appreciating the mastery of the world s greatest playwright.Together with Royal Shakespeare Company actors among them Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Ben Kingsley, and David Suchet John Barton demonstrates how to adapt Elizabethan theater for the modern stage The director begins by explicating Shakespeare s verse and prose, speeches and soliloquies, and naturalistic and heightened language to discover the essence of his characters In the second section, Barton and the actors explore nuance in Shakespearean theater, from evoking irony and ambiguity and striking the delicate balance of passion and profound intellectual thought, to finding new approaches to playing Shakespeare s most controversial creation, Shylock, from The Merchant of Venice A practical and essential guide, Playing Shakespeare will stand for years as the authoritative favorite among actors, scholars, teachers, and students.

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      233 John Barton Luann Walther
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      Posted by:John Barton Luann Walther
      Published :2019-04-13T13:49:48+00:00

    359 Comment

    This book is problematic in the sense that it tries to almost ignore how useless countless passages can be without seeing it played by the actors; the descriptions offered do not help one bit. However, I found a way of reading this book that made it extremely useful. The Royal Shakespeare Company's workshop of which this book is based is all on YouTube. I'd watch the hour long instruction video dedicated to each chapter of the book alongside reading it and highlighting important passages, then I [...]

    The only thing that prevents me from giving this book five stars is that it is sometimes difficult to figure out what the actors are doing differently with their acting based on Barton's suggestions. The text outside of this is extremely clear and helpful, but it's difficult to see why it's necessary at all to copy the speeches multiple times in the text when it's impossible to see what the actor is really doing with them. It would make as much sense to print it the first time and then indicate [...]

    Hands down the greatest and most insightful discourse on Shakespeare I have ever read. The book is basically a well-edited transcript of the partly scripted 1984 television series conducted by Barton with the Royal Shakespeare Company, whose ranks at the time were filled with the likes of Ian McKellan, Judi Dench, Ben Kingsly, and Patrick Stewart. Barton and Co. tackle the text from an actor's standpoint and really break the most intimidating aspects of Shakespeare down, revealing guidlines and [...]

    I learned more than I ever wanted to know about acting Shakespeare reading Playing Shakespeare. John Barton and a repertoire of experienced Shakespearean actors prove they know their stuff in this collection of lessons about acting, adapted from a BBC program that aired over the course of several weeks. Perhaps, then, this was a book more suited for actors who want to delve into Shakespeare than some average schmuck reader like me, but even still, I learned a lot.Each of the chapters discusses c [...]

    PLAYING SHAKESPEARE: AN ACTOR’S GUIDE by John Barton is a marvelous little book. It’s like sitting in on a Royal Shakespeare Company rehearsal and being introduced to all the subtlety that Shakespeare embedded into his work. The first dialogue between Romeo and Juliet is in sonnet form. Who knew? The text of the book is based on a television series from 1982 in which Barton discusses the finer points of acting Shakespeare with the likes of Ben Kingsley, Judi Dench, and Patrick Stewart. These [...]

    Although this book is wonderful in itself, I recommend it to be used alongside recordings of the television series of the same name. The book follows very closely the interaction between the director and actors in this Shakespeare workshop (which is itself staged and acted), but it cannot reproduce the voices and movements of the actors which are so much a part of their communication. On the other hand, the text is necessary, because it is helpful to see the verse and the verse markings in order [...]

    This book is largely a transcription of the 1984 television series, Playing Shakespeare. It's really best read as a companion to the series, which has recently been released on DVD. In the book form, you get all of the analysis and instruction, but don't actually get the experience of seeing and hearing the actors playing the lines. Experiencing the actual performances makes the points that Barton makes so much more vivid. (Really, I think the DVDs are essential viewing for anyone who is interes [...]

    This book has been criticized for trying to do in print what can only be done when you can hear: teach how to speak Shakespeare. This seems reasonable and is even truish, but while the TV series that spawned this book is a more satisfying experience, the book delivers lots of great ideas and the conversations between actors about roles they have played is priceless in any medium. This is a terrific book.

    I'd give it five stars if it came with the DVD (brilliant and findable on YouTube), but it's an excellent reference nonetheless, full of gems for the aspiring (or experienced) classical actor. Barton and his crew of actors leave no stone unturned discussing how to unpack Shakespeare and bring his characters to sympathetic life on stage.

    Very good as a companion to the TV series of the same name; if I had to choose one (DVD vs. book), I'd recommend viewing the series over reading about it, however. The "Exploring a Character" chapter suffers the most from not being able to view David Suchet's and Patrick Stewart's interpretations of Shylock.

    A marvelous book, but the TV series from which it is adapted is far MORE vital. While the book is obviously great (as a transcription of the series), it can't capture the results of the lessons, which is only one of the many joys of seeing that series with all those astounding actors performing these lines.Do yourself a favour and purchase the series!

    This book is a companion/transcript of a fantastic series put on by the BBC and RSC during the 80s which unlocked the language of Shakespeare for the actor and layperson alike. It is a must read for any actor or Shakespeare enthusiast. The video series itself has (thankfully) been released on DVD.

    I loved reading this in tandem with the miniseries. It was great fun to watch famous actors hash out how to perform Shakespeare. I also quite enjoyed reading the book because if will make me a much better reader of Shakespeare.If you can, watch the miniseries, rather than simply reading the book.

    A very good read but it is basically a transcription of the world famous video series. Therefore, you lack being able to hear any inflections in the scene work. On the other hand it's sometimes good to have things down on paper. Maybe if you had both that would be preferred.

    I don't think anything will beat the Playing Shakespeare series that was done for television however this almost word-for-word account almost makes up for it.John Barton and the rest of the members of the RSC have done a great job of explaining just how one can play Shakespeare.

    Delightful! Barton disects Shakespeare in a way that is imperrative to any classical actor. Though I do prefer to view the video sessions that the book was derived from, the book iself is nicely put together. No one does Shakespeare quite like Barton.

    I was first introduced to the teachings of John Barton via the British TV series Playing Shakespeare, which was rebroadcast on PBS in the mid 1980's. It's a fascinating look at the acting process that includes commentary by David Suchet, Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, Sinead Cusack and Ian McKellen.

    I found this book to be of tremendous help to me and my craft, I've read it 3 times and will probably read it many more times. My only quibble is that the book is only half of the experience, once you watch the DVDs you will taste a little slice of sublime majesty.

    Not sure why someone would read this - the gist of it is available as a TV program either on DVD or on YouTube. Considering how important voice and word stressing and pronunciation are to Shakespeare, why read the book when you can actually hear the examples with the video?

    Smart and useful - aims to help actors speak the text and make the arguments in the language understood while keeping the characters active

    actors: if you can't get your hands on the john barton tapes get em on this. shakespeare is meant to be acted and this is how to unlock it all and make it brilliant.

    The book is best used as a companion to the DVD series, but there's still some useful information that can be wrung from the text itself.

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