1st Edition

Shakespeare’s First Folio Cue Scripts – Tragedies A New Window on Shakespeare

By Patrick Tucker Copyright 2025
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    Opening up a new window to see Shakespeare’s words in a different light and gathering his intentions in a simple, clear way, this book presents the Cue Scripts from the Tragedies in Shakespeare’s First Folio.

    The book invites readers to approach Shakespeare’s texts the way his actors would have – not studying the complete text and drawing conclusions from it, but working from a Cue Script, where all the lines for a particular character are written, with just a two- or three-word cue as to when they should speak. As an actor himself, Shakespeare knew that his actors would have little time to do more than learn their lines for the next imminent performance – for this reason, he placed in the first lines of every Cue Script a range of crucial information on the character’s motives and intentions. Studying the cues and following the playwright’s clues opens up a whole new understanding of the roles, and provides a way of approaching a play that is authentic, quick, and creates an impactful performance. Examples of Cue Script scenes, along with a summary of the various clues that were written to help the original actors, are included in the book.

    A practical and unique resource for students, teachers, performers, and directors alike, Shakespeare’s First Folio Cue Scripts – Tragedies helps demystify Shakespeare’s texts, provides new approaches to scene studies, and sheds new light on Shakespeare’s most popular works.

    To access the additional downloadable Cue Scripts and other materials, visit www.routledge.com/9781032698854.

    1. Introduction  2. The First Folio  3. Cue Rolls and the Book  4. How to Use this Volume  5. New Diagnostic Tool  6. Mini-Packages  7. Packages  8. Beginnings  9. Beginning Examples  10. The 28 Clues


    Patrick Tucker has been directing Shakespeare’s words in the theatre since 1964. He has directed almost 200 television programmes and over 200 theatre productions, with director credits including the BBC, the Royal Shakespeare Company, a Russian sit-com in Latvia, and a feature film.  He co-founded and ran the Original Shakespeare Company, putting on three Cue Script productions at Shakespeare’s Globe in London as well as in Australia, Canada, Germany, Jordan, and the USA. He has run screen acting masterclasses for over 40 years, lectured and taught worldwide, and is the author of Secrets of Screen Acting 4th edition, The Actor’s Survival HandbookSecrets of Acting Shakespeare 2nd edition, and Secrets of Screen Directing.