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Shakespeare in the Theatre: An Anthology of Criticism (Oxford Shakespeare Topics)


Shakespeare in the Theatre: An Anthology of Criticism (Oxford Shakespeare Topics) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Shakespeare in the Theatre offers a rich, varied, and wonderfully evocative collection of eyewitness accounts of Shakespearian performances over the centuries. Theatre generates an excitement that stimulates fine prose: here are Hazlitt's famous accounts of Edmund Kean as Richard III and Hamlet, Bernard Shaw on Forbes-Robertson's Hamlet and his hilarious descriptions of Augustin Daly's productions, Max Beerbohm on Gordon Craig, and Kenneth Tynan on Olivier and Wolfit. Here too are lesser-known pieces by great writers: the German novelist Theodor Fontane on Charles Kean, Evelyn Waugh on Olivier, Virginia Woolf on Twelfth Night at the Old Vic. Taken together these pieces represent an appreciation of the work of the finest Shakespearian interpreters, and a survey of changing styles of Shakespearian production--ranging right across the canon--from the seventeenth century to the present, in England, America, and further afield.

The collection also provides extensive coverage of the postwar period right up to the present day, with vivid accounts of landmark productions by directors such as Peter Brook, Peter Hall, John Barton, Deborah Warner, Trevor Nunn, and Declan Donellan. Stanley Wells introduces the volume with an essay on "Shakespeare and the Theatre Critics," and supplies each review with a helpful headnote and explanatory references. This unique compendium will delight all lovers of the Bard and avid theater-goers of all kinds.

About the Author

Stanley Wells is the general editor of The Oxford Shakespeare/Oxford World's Classics Shakespeare ostses. Formerly Director of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, he is now Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Professor Emeritus in the University of Birmingham.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Shakespeare and the Theatre Critic

c.1700 Colley Cibber on Thomas Betterton as Hamlet

c.1738-9 Thomas Davies on Cibber as Justice Shallow in 2 Henry IV

(?1744-68) Thomas Davies and James Boaden on David Garrick and Mrs Pritchard in Macbeth

(uncertain date) Thomas Davies on Garrick as King Lear

1774-5 Georg Christoph Lichtenberg on Garrick as Hamlet

22 May 1776 Henry Bate on Garrick as King Lear

(uncertain date) Charles Lamb on Robert Bensley as Malvolio and James William Dodd as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night

(uncertain date) Sir Walter Scott on John Philip Kemble as Macbeth and in Coriolanus's death scene

(uncertain date) Julian Charles Young on Kemble as Coriolanus and Sarah Siddons as Volumnia in Coriolanus

15 Feb. 1814 William Hazlitt on Edmund Kean as Richard III

27 Feb. 1814 Thomas Barnes on Kean as Richard III

14 Mar. 1814 Hazlitt on Kean as Hamlet

21 Jan. 1816 Hazlitt on A Midsummer Night's Dream, adapted by Frederic Reynolds, with music by Sir Henry Bishop

4 Nov. 1816 Leigh Hunt on Kean as Timon of Athens

21 Dec. 1817 John Keats on Kean as a Shakespearian actor; with John Hamilton Reynolds on Kean on Richard Duke of York (in the Merrivale adaptation of the three Henry VI plays)

4 Oct. 1818 Leigh Hunt on Kean as Othello

31 Oct. 1819 Leigh Hunt on William Charles Macready as Richard III

5 Dec. 1819 Leigh Hunt on Macready as Coriolanus

25 Apr. 1820 anon. review of Kean as King Lear

c.1832 James E. Murdock on Kean as Posthumus in Cymbeline

c.1837 Helena Faucit on herself as Hermione, with Macready as Leontes, in The Winter's Tale

14 Fen. 1838 John Forster on Macready as King Lear

18 Mar. 1838 Forster on Macready as Coriolanus

1 844 James Robinson Planche's description on Ben Webster's neo-Elizabethan The Taming of the Shrew

15 Oct. 1853 Henry Morley on A Midsummer Night's Dream produced by Samuel Phelps

3 Sept. 1854 Morley on Phelps's Pericles

1856 Theordor Fontane on Kean's production of The Winter's Tale

24 Apr. 1858 anon. review of Kean's production of (and performance in) King Lear

(uncertain date) Henry Austin Clapp on Charlotte Cushman as Queen Katharine in Henry VIII

10 Apr. 1875 Joseph Knight on Tommaso Salvini as Othello

Jan. 1879 Edward Dutton Cook on Henry Irving as Hamlet

(uncertain date) William Winter on Irving as Shylock

8 Nov. 1880 anon. Times review of Edwin Booth as Hamlet

6 July 1895 Bernard Shaw on The Two Gentlemen of Verona, produced by Augustin Daly

15 July 1895 Shaw on Daly's A Midsummer Night's Dream

(uncertain date) Winter on Ada Rehan as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew

2 Oct. 1897 Shaw on Johnston Forbes-Robertson as Hamlet

1898 William Archer on Julius Caesar produced by Herbert Beerbohm Tree

5 Feb. 1898 St John Hankin on Julius Caesar produced by Herbert Beerbohm Tree

30 Sept. 1899 Max Beerbohm on Beerbohm Tree's production of King John

13 Nov. 1899 anon. review of Richard II produced by William Poel

4 Dec. 1899 C. E. Montague on Frank Benson as Richard II

30 May 1903 Beerbohm on Much Ado About Nothing with Ellen Terry as Beatrice and designs by Gordon Craig

7 Nov. 1903 Beerbohm on The Tempest at the Court Theatre, London

8 Apr. 1905 Beerbohm on H. B. Irving as Hamlet

28 Sept. 1912 John Palmer on The Winter's Tale directed by Harley Granville-Barker

1 Jan. 1922 Granville-Barker on Twelfth Night directed (in French) by Jacques Copeau

20 Nov. 1922 Stark Young on John Barrymore as Hamlet

1923 Herbert Farjeon on Nigel Playfair's production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, with Edith Evans as Mistress Page

30 Aug. 1925 Hubert Griffith on Hamlet directed by Barry Jackson

30 Sept. 1933 Virginial Woolf, on Twelfth Night directed by Tyrone Guthrie

18 Nov. 1934 James Agate on John Gielgud as Hamlet in his own production

17 Oct. 1935 Agate on Gielgud's production of Romeo and Juliet, with Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft, Laurence Olivier, and Edith Evans

12 Nov. 1937 John Mason Brown on Orson Welles's production of Julius Caesar

1944 Ronald Harwood on Donald Wolfit as Lear

1947 Kenneth Tynan on Olivier as Richard III

1947 Tynan on Olivier and Ralph Richardson in Henry IV, Parts One and Two

1947 T. C. Worsley on Guthrie's production of Henry VIII

1950 Richard David on Measure for Measure directed by Peter Brook, with Gielgud and Barbara Jefford

1955 Evelyn Waugh on Titus Andronicus directed by Brook, with Olivier as Titus

1959 John Russel Brown on All's Well that Ends Well directed by Guthrie

1959 Laurence Kitchin on Olivier as Coriolanus, directed by Peter Hall

1962 Kitchin on Brook's production of King Lear with Paul Scofield as Lear

1964 Ronald Bryden on Olivier as Othello

27 Aug. 1965 Bryden on Peter Hall's production of Hamlet with David Warner as Hamlet

1970 Robert Speaight on Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

1973 Peter Thomson on Richard II directed by John Barton

1976 Roger Warren on Macbeth, directed by Trevor Nunn, with Ian McKellan and Judi Dench

1978 Warren on Love's Labour's Lost, directed by Barton

29 June 1984 Stanley Wells on Antony Sher as Richard III, directed by Bill Alexander

1985 Nicholas Shrimpton on a production of the first quarto version of Hamlet

1985 Warren on Howard Davies's production of Troilus and Cressida at Stratford-upon-Avon

1986 Wells on Henry IV, Parts One and Two, and Henry V, directed by Michael Bogdanov

11 Apr. 1987 Michael Billington on Antony and Cleopatra directed by Peter Hall

1987 Wells on Titus Andronicus, directed by Deborah Warner at Stratford-upon-Avon

1989 R. L. Smallwood on Othello, directed by Trevor Nunn at Stratford-upon-Avon

3 Oct. 1990 Paul Taylor on The Tempest, directed by Brook

6 Dec. 1991 Taylor on As You Like It, directed by Declan Donellan for Cheek by Jowl

1993 Peter Holland on Richard III, directed by Barrie Rutter for The Northern Broadsides

1996 Smallwood on The Comedy of Errors, directed by Tim Supple

Product Details

Wells, Stanley
Wells, Stanley
Wells, Stanley
Compiled by:
Wells, Stanley
Wells, Stanley
null, Stanley
Wells, Stanley W.
Wells, Stanley
Oxford University Press, USA
Theater - History & Criticism
Literature/English | Drama | Shakespeare
Shakespeare, William
Theater -- Reviews.
Drama-Shakespeare Plays
Edition Description:
Oxford Shakespeare Topics Paperback
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
16 halftones
7.99x5.37x.72 in. .87 lbs.

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