Richard's Himself Again: A Stage History of Richard III

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Greenwood Press, 1992 - Drama - 287 pages
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One of a handful of great Shakespearean roles, the part of Richard of Gloucester has maintained its importance from the beginning of its performance history in the late 1690s and has assumed an identity extending even beyond the play. The range of interpretation has been startling, with many actors also taking liberties with the text. Most of the greatest Shakespearean actors have tried the part, though some have carefully avoided it. Successful Richards have had to create an archetype of evil who nonetheless must be comprehended in vivid human terms. Among the most memorable Richards are David Garrick, William Frederick Cooke, Edmund Kean, J.B. Booth, William Charles Macready, Edwin Booth, Richard Mansfield, Robert Mantell, John Barrymore, Alec Guiness, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Ian Holm, Antony Sher, and Anton Lesser.

This dynamic stage history of Richard III covers all major English and American interpretations and some foreign-language productions to the present day, setting the stage in the context of prevailing theatrical practices within each era. Focusing on the play and role as vehicles for actors and theatre practitioners, Richard's Himself Again demonstrates how theatrical issues have shaped the acting norm, which in turn has been reshaped by the individual performers. While utilizing volumes of source material including promptbooks, biographies, memoirs, and reviews, Scott Colley injects his own spirit into the narrative, achieving a lively, personable tone. The resulting book will appeal to theatregoers as well as to academic and professional specialists.

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Cibbers Richard III
Garrick Kemble and Cooke
Kean and the Romantic Hero

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About the author (1992)

SCOTT COLLEY is Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

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