This book explores ten performances that have made Shakespeare a global icon. From the very first production of Hamlet to a digital-age remix, these ten productions chart the evolution of Shakespeare's reputation in response to social change and technological revolution.
Leading experts consider the impact and legacy of the first woman to act Shakespeare in 1660, the first black actor to play Othello in Britain in 1825 and King Lear's return to stage in the 1830s after an absence of almost 150 years. The authors also explore productions as diverse as Peter Brook's legendary A midsummer Night's Dream from 1970, an 'Original Practices'Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance, and a Shakespeare forgery staged at Drury Lane in 1796, among others.
Over 100 illustrations include the only surviving playscript Shakespeare's hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, and rare printed editions including the First Folio. These - and other treasures from the British Library's manuscript and rare book collections - feature alongside film stills, costumes, paintings and props.
This revealing book offers a fresh look at Shakespeare, reminding us that the playwright's iconic status have been constructed over the centuries in a process that continues across the world today.