How do performances of Shakespeare change the meanings of the plays?
In this controversial new book, Sarah Werner argues that the text of a Shakespeare play is only one of the many factors that give a performance its meaning. By focusing on The Royal Shakespeare Company, Werner demonstrates how actor training, company management and gender politics fundamentally affect both how a production is created and the interpretations it can suggest.
Werner concentrates particularly on:
The influential training methods of Cicely Berry and Patsy Rodenburg
The history of the RSC Women's Group
Gale Edwards' production of The Taming of the Shrew
She reveals that no performance of Shakespeare is able to bring the plays to life or to realise the playwright's intentions without shaping them to mirror our own assumptions.
By examining the ideological implications of performance practices, this book will help all interested in Shakespeare's plays to explore what it means to study them in performance.
The Accents on Shakespeare series provides short, powerful 'cutting edge' accounts of and comments on new developments in Shakespeare studies. The volumes either 'apply' theory, or broaden and adapt it in order to connect with concrete teaching concerns. In the process, they also reflect and engage with the major developments in Shakespearean studies of the last ten years.
Since the New Accents series was established, 'theory' as a fundamental feature of the study of literature, the need for short, 'cutting-edge' accounts of and comments on new developments in literary studies has increased enormously. In the case of Shakespeare, Accents on Shakespeare supplies an exciting range of provocative new titles. The books in the series either apply theory, or broaden and adapt it to connect with teaching concerns. In the process they also reflect and engage with the major developments in Shakespearean studies of recent years.