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This book writes a performance history of Antony and Cleopatra from 1606 to 2018. After considering the particular challenges Shakespeare’s script offers any actors, directors or designers who stage it, the book looks in detail at Antony and Cleopatra on the Jacobean stage and then at Dryden’s All for Love (the play that replaced Shakespeare’s from the Restoration to 1849). Fast-forwarding across a number of Victorian adaptations and early twentieth century English productions, it arrives at 1953, when, directed by Glen Byam Shaw at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre with Peggy Ashcroft as Cleopatra and Michael Redgrave as Antony, the play’s modern performance history begins. Thereafter, chapters offer in-depth analyses of fifteen productions by (among others) the Royal Shakespeare Company, Citizens’ Theatre Glasgow, Northern Broadsides, Berliner Ensemble and Toneelgroep Amsterdam in five countries and three languages. Combining close readings of theatre records – promptbooks, stage managers’ reports, costume bibles, reviews – with deep historical contextualisation, it sees how, and what, this play has meant each time it has brought its thoughts on power, race, masculinity, regime change, exoticism, love, dotage and delinquency into alignment with a new present. It ends seeing Shakespeare’s black Cleopatra restored to the English stage. Tragedy, comedy, history, farce: this book demonstrates that in performance Antony and Cleopatra is all four.

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Even by the standards of Shakespearean comedy, As You Like It tests theatrical logic. Unlike other Shakespearean comedies, comic closure is not compromised by pain, punishment or death; nor does the play returns its characters and audiences to a 'real' world in which the fantastic may be put to the test. This book focuses on the performance of As You Like It in the twentieth century. It offers a summary of the prehistory that provides its background and context. The book examines the play as a text for performance on the early modern stage. It is examined not by conjecturally reconstructing a performance that may or may not have taken place, but by mining the script for clues as to how it might have been handled by its first players. It pays particular attention to three contrasting RSC productions: Michael Elliott's of 1961, which launched Vanessa Redgrave's legendary, epoch-defining Rosalind; Buzz Goodbody's of 1973, and Adrian Noble's of 1985. The book addresses two productions beyond the English (and English-speaking) theatre context. The first of these, seen at l'Atelier in Paris in 1934, is Jacques Copeau's redaction Rosalinde; the second Peter Stein's monumental four-hour production for the Schaubühne Berlin in 1977. It focuses on two all-male versions of the play: Clifford Williams's for the National Theatre in 1967, and Declan Donnellan's for Cheek by Jowl in 1991 and 1994. The book draws substantially upon the first-hand audience experience of a recent production, Blanche McIntyre's for Shakespeare's Globe in 2015.

The afterlives of Ophelia in Japanese pop culture
Yukari Yoshihara

interventions in the conceptualisation of the character as an embodiment of ‘natural’ femininity. Hamlet as a ghost story Hamlet was adapted as a ghost story in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Japan. The earliest kabuki-style adaptation of Hamlet by Robun Kanagaki ( 1886 ) is set in a feudal Japanese castle haunted by the ghost of King Hamlet in samurai armour; 6 an adaptation of Hamlet by Tsutomu Inoue ( 1888 ) is

in Shakespeare and the supernatural
Antony and Cleopatra, 1677–1931
Carol Chillington Rutter

given in five acts, with an interval of ten minutes after Act II’ – that is, a single interval placed just after Cleopatra in 2.5 sends Alexas away to grill the Messenger on Octavia, to ‘Bring me word how tall she is’ (line 118). Ten minutes’ interval – with more than three big acts to follow. The programme does not, unfortunately, give the running time of the performance. But that single ‘interval of ten minutes’ is perhaps the best marker of the shift from Dryden's theatre across three hundred years into the twentieth century, from the introduction and then

in Antony and Cleopatra
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Looking toward the future
Michael D. Friedman and Alan Dessen

In the preceding pages, I have used the name ‘Shakespeare’ as a convenient shorthand for the creative force behind the text of Titus Andronicus ; however, contemporary critical developments suggest that the term is, in fact, somewhat misleading. Post-Restoration editors, reacting to the play’s violent horrors and stylistic shortcomings tended to deny the existence of Shakespeare’s hand in the tragedy entirely. However, twentieth-century editors, while acknowledging the arguments against Shakespeare

in Titus Andronicus
Caesar at the millennium
Andrew James Hartley

The challenge for Julius Caesar in the twentieth century was the negotiation of the play’s politics once Welles had demonstrated the triumphs and perils of making explicit comparison with recent or contemporary events. From the Second World War onwards the oratory, heroism and spectacle of the nineteenth century were steadily replaced by more modernist notions of

in Julius Caesar
Romantic comedy
R. S. White

, for example as a ‘wise fool’ or self-conscious jester, who comments on, sees through, and punctures the follies of others, or as a ‘natural’ who is himself foolish (Bottom, Dogberrry, Costard). 11 The works of Frye and Barber in particular were very influential in academic approaches and college teaching in the mid twentieth century and they are often cited with approval in studies of

in Shakespeare’s cinema of love
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Kate McLuskie and Kate Rumbold

the twentieth century, in T. S. Eliot’s influential formulation, as ‘the way of life of a particular people living together in one place’, ‘the assemblage of its arts, customs, religious beliefs’. Moreover, according to Eliot, ‘these things all act upon each other and to fully understand one you have to understand all’. 1 Eliot’s formulation posits a symbiotic relationship between a

in Cultural value in twenty-first-century England
Eric Klingelhofer

overseas activities, the proto-colonial period may be generalized as c . 1450–1650. The ‘planting’ of English colonists in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries is recognized as an important step in English colonialism and a turning point in Irish history, but twentieth-century politics and policies discouraged its study. 2 The colonist in Irish nationalist history was no more than a ‘predatory Protestant’. 3 After recent revisionist work by historians, however, such publications as The Illustrated Archaeology of Ireland have recognized the significance

in Castles and Colonists
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Nicoleta Cinpoeş

non-Shakespeare plays of the period) before appearing, again, as self-independent editions. In 1959, Philip Edwards’s trailblazing edition finally reclaimed the play’s position in the history of early modern drama, thus securing its presence in the curriculum, and a renewed interest towards it and its author in the second half of the twentieth century. A number of independent editions followed (Cairncross in 1967, Mulryne in

in Doing Kyd