The Essential Shakespeare Live

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More About This Title The Essential Shakespeare Live


The British Library and the Royal Shakespeare Company join forces to publish this remarkable treasury of live Shakespeare recordings. Selected from an extensive collection of recordings made by the British Library Sound Archive, this set offers scenes and speeches from some of the most celebrated Shakespeare productions in the history of the Royal Shakespeare Company. All the recordings in it are being published for the first time. The 20 extracts have been personally selected by RSC Associate Director, Gregory Doran. They cover a period of over four decades of exceptional Shakespeare performances, from Laurence Olivier as Coriolanus in 1959 to Judi Dench in All's Well that Ends Well in 2002. Here are some of the RSC's most celebrated productions—the now legendary Wars of the Roses from 1963, Peter Brook's King Lear with Paul Scofield, and John Barton's Richard II with Richard Pasco and Ian Richardson. Other notable actors represented include Peggy Ashcroft, Alan Howard, Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellen, Alan Rickman, Anthony Sher, Donald Sinden, Robert Stephens, Patrick Stewart, Janet Suzman, and David Warner. Two CDs with this booklet includes the texts of the extracts from the plays.


William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. Gregory Doran is the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His notable productions include Macbeth starring Antony Sher, which was filmed for Channel 4 in 2001, as well as Hamlet in 2008, starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart. His most recent productions include Morte D'Arthur and The Canterbury Tales.