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Playing For Real Actors on Playing Real People by Tom Cantrell, Mary Luckhurst

Playing For Real Actors on Playing Real People



Playing For Real Actors on Playing Real People by Tom Cantrell, Mary Luckhurst

This is the first book to explore how actors play real people. How do you capture Hitler, Mugabe, or a serial killer? How do you portray living monarchs or political leaders? Is it possible to embody a genius like Mozart, Woolf or Darwin? What are the pressures of performing an icon like Marlene Dietrich? Bringing together original conversations with award-winning actors, the line-up includes Jeremy Irons, Dame Eileen Atkins, David Morrissey, Henry Goodman, and Sir Ian McKellen.


'This collection of 16 question-and-answer style interviews with leading actors gives a fascinating insight into the methods, challenges and rewards of taking on roles of people in the public eye.' - 'This book of interviews brilliantly explores what it means for an actor to be playing Freud or Gordon Brown, Lawrence of Arabia or Charles Dickens. The actors'
answers are as various as the people being portrayed but the intriguing problem these interviews investigate is, for the first time, excitingly put centre

-stage.' - Peter Holland, McMeel Family Professor in Shakespeare Studies, University of Notre Dame, USA 'This invaluable book offers riveting and fascinating insights into the actor's process and the crucial question as to how fact might become fiction.' - Steve Waters, playwright and academic, University of Birmingham, UK

About the Author

MARY LUCKHURST is Professor of Modern Drama and a founder of the new Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York. She is an award-winning playwright and director and an authority on dramaturgy, acting, directing and political theatres. She has published Dramaturgy: A Revolution in Theatre for Cambridge University Press, edited two substantial volumes for Blackwells A Companion to Modern British and Irish Drama and the Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama, and two volumes of interview material for Faber& Faber On Acting and On Directing. She is the co-author of The Drama Handbook (with John Lennard) for Oxford University Press, and the editor of The Creative Writing Handbook for Palgrave. In 2006 she was declared to be one of the 50 best teachers and researchers in British Higher Education and made a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. TOM CANTRELL is a researcher at the University of York and is investigating performance process in contemporary documentary theatre. He is also a playwright and an actor, and teaches in the Department of Theatre, Film& Television.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th July 2010


Tom Cantrell, Mary Luckhurst

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Palgrave an imprint of Palgrave Macmillan


176 pages


Acting techniques



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