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Performing Hamlet: Actors in the Modern Age

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Hamlet is arguably the most famous play on the planet, and the greatest of all Shakespeare's works. Its rich story and complex leading role have provoked intense debate and myriad interpretations. To play such a uniquely multi-faceted character as Hamlet represents the supreme challenge for a young actor. Performing Hamlet contains Jonathan Croall's revealing in-depth inter Hamlet is arguably the most famous play on the planet, and the greatest of all Shakespeare's works. Its rich story and complex leading role have provoked intense debate and myriad interpretations. To play such a uniquely multi-faceted character as Hamlet represents the supreme challenge for a young actor. Performing Hamlet contains Jonathan Croall's revealing in-depth interviews with five distinguished actors who have played the Prince this century: Jude Law: 'You get to speak possibly the most beautiful lines about humankind ever given to an actor.' Simon Russell Beale: 'Hamlet is a very hospitable role: it will take anything you throw at it.' David Tennant: 'No other part has been so satisfying. It was tough, but utterly compelling.' Maxine Peake: 'Hamlet was a way of accessing bits of me as an actress I've not been able to access before.' Adrian Lester: 'Working with Peter Brook on Hamlet changed me as an actor, and for the better.' The book benefits from the author's interviews with six leading directors of the play during these years: Greg Doran, Nicholas Hytner, Michael Grandage, John Caird, Sarah Frankcom and Simon Godwin. Many other productions are described, from those starring Michael Redgrave, Alec Guinness and Paul Scofield in the 1950s, to the performances of Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott and Paapa Essiedu in recent times. The volume also includes an updated text of the author's earlier book Hamlet Observed, and an account of actors' experiences of performing at Elsinore.


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Hamlet is arguably the most famous play on the planet, and the greatest of all Shakespeare's works. Its rich story and complex leading role have provoked intense debate and myriad interpretations. To play such a uniquely multi-faceted character as Hamlet represents the supreme challenge for a young actor. Performing Hamlet contains Jonathan Croall's revealing in-depth inter Hamlet is arguably the most famous play on the planet, and the greatest of all Shakespeare's works. Its rich story and complex leading role have provoked intense debate and myriad interpretations. To play such a uniquely multi-faceted character as Hamlet represents the supreme challenge for a young actor. Performing Hamlet contains Jonathan Croall's revealing in-depth interviews with five distinguished actors who have played the Prince this century: Jude Law: 'You get to speak possibly the most beautiful lines about humankind ever given to an actor.' Simon Russell Beale: 'Hamlet is a very hospitable role: it will take anything you throw at it.' David Tennant: 'No other part has been so satisfying. It was tough, but utterly compelling.' Maxine Peake: 'Hamlet was a way of accessing bits of me as an actress I've not been able to access before.' Adrian Lester: 'Working with Peter Brook on Hamlet changed me as an actor, and for the better.' The book benefits from the author's interviews with six leading directors of the play during these years: Greg Doran, Nicholas Hytner, Michael Grandage, John Caird, Sarah Frankcom and Simon Godwin. Many other productions are described, from those starring Michael Redgrave, Alec Guinness and Paul Scofield in the 1950s, to the performances of Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Scott and Paapa Essiedu in recent times. The volume also includes an updated text of the author's earlier book Hamlet Observed, and an account of actors' experiences of performing at Elsinore.

28 review for Performing Hamlet: Actors in the Modern Age

  1. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    A page-turning reveal of the major English productions of Hamlet from 1950 to the modern age. From Alec Guinness to Benedict Cumberbatch. The actors and directors reveal how they approached the role and how each production built upon and differed from the others. And whether they failed or succeeded. I loved this, I've been captivated by this play since I was 14 and I always will be. This book was pure sugar for me. A page-turning reveal of the major English productions of Hamlet from 1950 to the modern age. From Alec Guinness to Benedict Cumberbatch. The actors and directors reveal how they approached the role and how each production built upon and differed from the others. And whether they failed or succeeded. I loved this, I've been captivated by this play since I was 14 and I always will be. This book was pure sugar for me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Watson

  3. 4 out of 5

    Francis

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Buck

  6. 5 out of 5

    Justin D

  7. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rohan Newton

  9. 5 out of 5

    anouk

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  11. 5 out of 5

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  12. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  13. 4 out of 5

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  14. 4 out of 5

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  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cowen Bailey

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  18. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark Ludmon

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt Bogen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  22. 5 out of 5

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  23. 5 out of 5

    Xanna

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andy Olson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jamila

  26. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

  27. 5 out of 5

    K. L.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristine West

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