Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare in Performance by William Shakespeare


Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare in Performance by William Shakespeare

The audio CD with this edition of Much Ado About Nothing contains a series of unique recordings to illustrate how different actors place their own interpretation on the play. Hear Sir John Gielgud as Benedick and Dame Peggy Ashcroft as Beatrice in a 1950 production. Compare that to a contemporary version from 2003. There are also superb performances from Alan Ayckbourn, Amanda Root and Samuel West. The text is illustrated throughout with photographs from notable productions, including Kenneth Branagh's 1993 film and RSC productions featuring Harriet Walter, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and Janet Suzman. The book also takes you behind the scenes with reproductions of set drawings, costume designs and scene edits, including costume renderings from the 1958 production at the Shakespeare Memorial Theater. As well as the playtext, there are articles covering a range of topics including 'In Production: Much Ado About Nothing through the Years' by Jeffrey Kahan, 'Much Ado About Nothing in Popular Culture' by Douglas Lanier, 'A Voice Coach's Perspective on Speaking Shakespeare' by Andrew Wade and 'In the Age of Shakespeare' by Thomas Garvey. The Sourcebooks Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing is an invaluable tool for students of all ages from GCSE to A Level and beyond.


'First there are accessible and interesting essays about how the plays have been performed and interpreted over the years. Then there is the text, with helpful notes on the facing pages. Finally - and most innovatively - there is a CD at the back, which provides many and various extracts from the play. Useful to anyone studying or teaching Shakespeare at secondary school or college level.'

'This intriguing series focuses on Shakespeare in performance... The books themselves are packed with information - photographs of key performances, essays on productions, and interviews with actors and directors. Opposite each play text an extensive glossary explains unfamiliar words, and the audio clips are marked alongside corresponding scenes... The CDs reinforce the beauty and power of the language in performance, and will undoubtedly enhance anyone's understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare's plays, as they were meant to be experienced.'

'This new Shakespeare book and CD brings Shakespeare's plays leaping to life. This innovative format contains text, audio and illustration... This is a revolutionary resource.'

[Review of Richard III] 'A complete package for anyone wanting to study the play itself, and the performance dimension... It is complemented by an excellent CD which includes narrative by Derek Jacobi set alongside contrasting performances from major productions of the play with some of the greatest stage interpretations of the Bard's work.

About the Author

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later.

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Book Info


Mixed media product
Contains CD-Audio and Paperback
416 pages


William Shakespeare
More books by William Shakespeare


Publication date

1st March 2007



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