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This is a detailed account of the theatrical fortunes of A Midsummer Night's Dream on the British stage, from the 1590s to the 1990s. The substantial, illustrated introduction traces the rise of the play from theatrical neglect in the eighteenth century through the spectacular productions of the nineteenth century to its current high status. The authoritative New Cambridge Shakespeare text of the play is accompanied by notes on actors' interpretations, settings and textual alterations. The author considers the cultural changes which have affected the play's popularity as well as the conceptions of individual directors from David Garrick and George Colman, via Madame Vestris and Beerbohm Tree, Granville Barker and W. Bridges Adams to Peter Brook, Robert Lepage and Adrian Noble. The book shows theatre history as cultural history. It will be invaluable to students of Shakespeare in performance at graduate level, working in departments of English or drama/theatre and to those intrigued by the changing reputation of Shakespeare.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521575652
ISBN-10: 0521575656
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Pages: 252
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 13-Sep-1996
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Of late many classic titles - including the Bible - have been turned into manga, in a 21st-century version of the venerable Classics Illustrated comics. This take on the Bard boils his play down to approximately 20 words per page, drastically abridging the text, though keeping intact the original language and meter. A fully colored dramatis personae reduces the characters to sound bites and shines in comparison to the flat, gray-toned images that murkily tell the story itself. As drawn by Brown, the characters are decidedly more Western-looking in their styling than is typical to most manga, and the adaptor's choice of setting is an anachronistic mishmash of quasi-antique and modern, a choice that will leave sophisticated readers knowledgeable with the text slightly puzzled. The Tempest (ISBN: 978-0-8109-9476-8), drawn by Paul Duffield, follows an identical template. These attempts to convert Shakespeare into visual language fall flat, although the slick manga styling alone may attract some new readers to these works. (plot summary, author's biography) (Graphic fiction. 13 & up) (Kirkus Reviews)


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