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9 June Fundraiser preview: acting and theatre books

Books for London have about 2,000 new quality books from the Stage by Stage series, by Phillip Freund, that we’re going to be selling as part of our fundraiser this Saturday. Normally these books retail for about £30-45 each, but we’re selling them for £3, or the whole set for £10!

We also have Acting – A Drama Studio Source Book, by John Miles-Brown on offer for £2!

Here’s a look at what will be on offer on Saturday. Why not come to our book sale and grab a couple?

The Birth of Theatre 

The Birth of Theatre, traces the evolution of classical drama from its beginnings in Egyptian and middle eastern religious ritual and particularly the Greek mystical cult of Dionysus, through the golden age of the Periclean period in Athens, and ending with the major Roman playwrights of the late republican and early imperial age.

The book includes detailed discussions of the extant plays — tragedies and comedies — of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. This is followed by accounts of notable productions and revivals, especially in the USA and Britain over the past fifty years and earlier where descriptions or assessments are available. The book moves on to discuss the development of Middle and New Comedy in Greece and the works of Plautus, Terence and Horace.

Oriental Theatre: drama, opera, dance and puppetry in the Far East

In Oriental Theatre, Philip Freund takes us beyond the barriers of culture and language to introduce us to the theatrical traditions and stagecraft of India, China, Japan, Korea and the many independent lands surrounding them. He describes the challenges that exponents of both Eastern and Western drama are facing as our cultures clash as never before and at the same time demonstrates how universal is the impulse to dramatize our experience. This comprehensive account will help Western audiences to gain a better understanding of Oriental drama and will greatly enrich the resources available to those who work in the theatre.

Dramatis Personae: the rise of medieval and renaissance theatre

The book traces the return of religious theatre and ritual, with Passion Plays, Mysteries and Moralities taking over from classical drama while folk farce flourishes throughout the Middle Ages. Starting in Italy with the revival of classical works, the Renaissance produces whimsical new dramatic forms including commedia dell’arte, as well as exalted musical innovations culminating in resplendent operas and opulent ballets.

The author studies the impact of the Renaissance in Spain, France, Germany, Holland and in England. The author gives a detailed summary of Shakespeare’s plays and how they have been interpreted through the centuries since their first performance. The book also discusses the personalities and scripts of many of Shakespeare’s contemporaries – Ford, Beaumont, Fletcher and others now less well known – before evoking the lives and output of Jonson and Webster, two great dramatists who outlived the Bard.

Laughter and Grandeur: theatre in the age of Baroque

Until now there has never been a wide-ranging and comprehensive study of theatre in the Age of Baroque, the period from the early seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth. Here is a broad yet closely studied account of what happened behind the scenes and on stage above the sputtering, smoky footlights that were often merely rows of candles. Philip Freund graphically evokes the leading playwrights and performers, composers and singers, choreographers and dancers, some of whom were deemed immortal and others who were once famous and subsequently forgotten but who are here restored to their rightful place in the pantheon of international theatre. Wide in scope, it is packed with tales of a host of kings and players, tormented dramatists and joyful singers and dancers. It is a cast that includes Louis IV, Charles II, Moliére, Racine, Voltaire, Beaumarchais, Davenant, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Gay, Purcell, Handel and many more, and its stages include St Petersburg, Venice, Madrid, Copenhagen, Paris and London.

Acting – A Drama Studio Source Book John Miles-Brown

Acting: A Drama Studio Source Book is an invaluable handbook for drama teachers and students for use in the experimental atmosphere of the studio. It describes the basic elements that contribute to a sound technique and illustrates them with a wide range of ideas for informal practice by groups. All the suggestions and examples can be freely adapted to suit different levels of ability and different circumstances. Subjects covered include: relaxation; posture; breathing and voice; warming-up exercises; acting without dialogue; improvisation; imagination and dramatic truth. There is also a section suggesting scenes suitable for rehearsal. The book should prove invaluable to a wide range of students — from secondary and higher education as well as drama schools — and to the dedicated amateur.

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