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Year of the King: An Actor's Diary and Sketchbook - Twentieth Anniversary Edition Paperback – July 1, 2006


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Year of the King: An Actor's Diary and Sketchbook - Twentieth Anniversary Edition + Shakespeare Lexicon and Quotation Dictionary: A Complete Dictionary of All the English Words, Phrases, and Constructions in the Works of the Poet (Volume 1 A-M + Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary and Language Companion
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Limelight Editions; 20 Anv edition (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879103353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879103354
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Antony Sher was born in South Africa and shot to fame as an actor for the Richard III that is the subject of this book. Other roles at the RSC include the Fool to Michael Gambon's Lear, Tamburlaine, Cyrano, Macbeth (with Harriet Walter) and, this year, Iago. He has published three novels, a book of his paintings and drawings and an autobiography, Beside Myself (Hutchinson 2001). His first play, I.D., premiered at the Almeida in 2003 with Sher in the lead. He was knighted in 2000.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By michael_bergman on December 25, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Year of the King" is a fine opportunity to watch an actor prepare for a role. In this case, the actor, Antony Sher, on the verge of leaving the Royal Shakespeare Company, is offered Richard III, one of Shakespeare's most complex and twisted characters. The book is Sher's journal, filled with a mixture of backstage anecdotes, evocative illustrations by Sher, and moments when the acting process becomes clear, inspired, and thought-provoking. Sher opens his life to the reader, taking us from the initial speculation ("Will they ask me to play Richard?") to the rehearsal processes and character work to the performances. Sher's writing is compelling, honest, and comfortably readable, without even the tiniest bit of ego that so often plagues this kind of journal. It is a glimpse into the process, both artistic and personal, that an actor endures in pursuit of a character. I have used "Year of the King" as a textbook in an acting class, as an example of how one can use a journal, and as a foundation for a course in theatre criticism. I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in theatre and classical acting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey C. Gillespie on September 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
South-African born actor/diarist Anthony Sher writes the book on the physical process of character development with his excellent memoir on the evolution of his character for the title role in William Shakespeare's "Richard III".

Sher drew upon the natural terrain in the Western Cape region of southern africa to inform the physicality of his character and to create one of the most memorable interpretations of Richard in Stratford history.

This book is an invaluable source for working actors as well as for non-actors who wish to better understand and appreciate the intuitive actions of the artist in search of excellence.

Antony Sher's other books include the memoirs Woza Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus in South Africa, with Gregory Doran (1997), Beside Myself (2002), Characters (1990), and Primo Time (2005); the novels, Cheap Lives (1995), The Indoor Boy (1996), Middlepost (1989), and The Feast (1999); and the play "ID" (2003).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jorge Avalos on December 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book written by an actor. Richard III the role all the actors of the world want to play. For me it has been useful and interesting. The edition by ARDEN, THE WARS OF THE ROSES, LOOKING FOR RICHARD AND THE YEAR OF THE KING ARE A COMPLETE MATERIAL TO LEARN ABOUT SHAKESPEARE AND THIS AMAZING PLAY.
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By KAS on August 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the shit out of this. It's a peek inside an actor's head during the process of creating his character (Richard III). Blunt, brash and honest--even when it makes him look bad.

Oh, you should know that while I am highly DRAMATIC (jazz hands)--I am no actor.
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