‘This book gives some of the very best of Shakespeare’s twenty-first-century colleagues an opportunity to share insights that can only come from playing him’ Nicholas Hytner, from his Foreword
Twelve leading actors take us behind the scenes of landmark Shakespearean productions, each recreating in detail their memorable performance in a major role.
- Roger Allam on his Falstaff in both Henry IV plays at Shakespeare’s Globe
- Eileen Atkins on Viola in two productions of Twelfth Night seventeen years apart
- Simon Russell Beale on Cassius in Deborah Warner’s modern-dress Julius Caesar
- Chiwetel Ejiofor on his Donmar Warehouse Othello, directed by Michael Grandage
- Sara Kestelman on Hippolyta and Titania in Peter Brook’s iconic white-box Dream
- Ian McKellen on one of Shakespeare’s most demanding of roles: King Lear
- Michael Pennington on stepping in at the eleventh hour as Timon of Athens
- Alan Rickman on re-evaluating the melancholic Jaques in As You Like It
- Fiona Shaw on Shakespeare’s Shrew, Katherine, in Jonathan Miller’s production
- Patrick Stewart on his Las Vegas-set Shylock, a role he has played many times
- Harriet Walter on Imogen in Shakespeare’s late romance, Cymbeline, at the RSC
- Zoë Wanamaker on her National Theatre Beatrice, directed by Nicholas Hytner
Each actor leads us through the choices they made in rehearsal, and how the character works in performance, shedding new light on some of the most challenging roles in the canon. The result is a series of individual masterclasses that will be invaluable for other actors and directors, as well as students of Shakespeare – and fascinating for audiences of the plays.
‘Absorbing and original… Curry’s actors are often thinking and talking as that other professional performer, Shakespeare himself, might have done.’ TLS on Shakespeare On Stage: Vol. 1
Blog Post: Enjoy extracts from the book, including insights into Othello, Beatrice, Lear and Katherine Read more >>
Julian Curry is a writer and actor who has appeared in many of Shakespeare’s plays. His extensive stage credits include leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and in London's West End. He has acted in twenty-one of Shakespeare's plays.
He is also well known as Claude Erskine-Brown in the popular television series Rumpole of the Bailey. Numerous other TV credits include Inspector Morse, Sherlock Holmes, The Misanthrope, King Lear, Kavanagh QC, The Wyvern Mystery, A Fine Romance and Midsomer Murders. Among many movies are The Missionary, Fall from Grace, Rasputin, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Escape to Victory (starring Pelé).
His one-man entertainment Hic! or The Entire History of Wine (abridged) has been performed over a hundred and fifty times, from Hong Kong to Bermuda to San Francisco, and sold out as a cartoon-illustrated book. He has also written and recorded A Guide to Wine for Naxos Audiobooks.
He is the author of Shakespeare On Stage, shortlisted for the 2010 Theatre Book Prize, and Shakespeare On Stage: Volume 2, both published by Nick Hern Books.
Sir Nicholas Hytner is an English theatre director, film director, and film producer. He was the Artistic Director of the National Theatre, London, 2003-2015.