The Craft of Comedy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Craft of Comedy

1st Edition

By Athene Seyler, Stephen Haggard

Edited by Robert Barton


176 pages

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Paperback: 9780415527248
pub: 2012-12-21
Hardback: 9780415527231
pub: 2012-12-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203119020
pub: 2013-02-15
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"a work on the art and craft of comedy as important in its own way as works by Stanislavski and Chekhov"Oxford Theatre Companion

In 1939, a young, inexperienced actor wrote to a famous actress of his acquaintance, asking for advice on playing comedy. She responded enthusiastically, and they corresponded variously over the next year. The Craft of Comedy, a record of these exchanges, soon emerged as one of the few classic texts in the field of comedy acting.

This major new edition takes a brilliant book and makes it better. Editor Robert Barton has devised extensive supplementary material, including:

  • An introduction to the correspondents, the culture of the time, and the evolution of their book;
  • Summaries, definitions, and exercises and practice scenes for readers wishing to explore Athene Seyler’s invaluable advice;
  • Photographs, additional essays by Seyler, and a guide to easily accessed video clips of her performing.

Seyler’s lucid guidance, and Barton’s scrupulous editorship, ensure this legendary work’s rightful status is restored: as one of the great practical guides to the craft of comedy, and an essential resource for actors and students of acting.

About the Authors/Editor

Athene Seyler CBE (1889-1990) was a British actress and former president of RADA. She had a 42 year film career and a 60 stage career. The first edition of The Craft of Comedy was published in 1944.

Robert Barton is a prolific author whose publications include Acting: Onstage and Off (Wadsworth Cengage) Acting Reframes: Using NLP to Make Better Decisions in and out of the Theatre (Routledge 2011) Theatre in Your Life (with Annie McGregor, Wadsworth Cengage) Life Themes (Wadsworth Cengage) Style for Actors: A Handbook for Moving Beyond Realism (now in a revised edition by Routledge) Voice: Onstage and Off (with Rocco Dal Vera, Routledge, 2011)

Robert has written numerous articles for Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, The Player’s Journal and other professional journals. His column "Many Right Ways" appears in each edition of The Voice and Speech Review.

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