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Nigel Hawthorne on Stage
by Kathleen Riley
Hardback, 2004, 380pages, ex-lib in good condition

This book is the authorised and fully documented history of the late Sir Nigel Hawthorne's fifty-year career in the theatre. It presents an appraisal of post-war theatre by focusing on the personal journey of one of Britain's finest and most respected actors. Sir Nigel gave his approval to the book while writing his autobiography because he saw the two projects as essentially complementary. It provides the detailed analysis of his stage work, which he himself did not attempt, but it has been illuminated and enriched by the personal insights derived from his own generous interviews and those conducted with some of his close friends and colleagues in the theatre. The book comprises three distinct sections. The first (chapters 1-5) is concerned with the developmental phases of Hawthorne's career and the influence exerted by certain individuals and theatre companies on his evolving style and philosophy. It includes his amateur and early professional performances on the South African stage; his relocation to England in 1951 and involvement with provincial repertory companies; his temporary return to South Africa in 1957 and work with the revolutionary Cockpit Players; his life-changing discovery by Joan Littlewood; and his years with the English Stage Company at the Royal Court, the Sheffield Playhouse, and the Young Vic. The second section (chapters 7-10) explores the distinctive qualities of the mature actor, and the affirmation of his unique gifts and artistic principles. These later chapters constitute a case study of his theatrical methodology, having particular regard to his dissection of the text; his research into and preparation for a role; and his interaction, during the creative process, with writers, directors and fellow actors. Among Hawthorne's performances given special attention are those in "Privates on Parade", "Shadowlands", "The Madness of George III" ... Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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