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In the Company of Actors: Reflections on the Craft of Acting (Theatre Arts (Routledge Paperback)) Paperback – January 24, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Zucker (film studies, Concordia Univ., Montreal) has fashioned a sweet valentine to her love of theater by assembling 16 interviews with prominent British actors--including Judi Dench, Nigel Hawthorne, Ian Richardson, Miranda Richardson, and Fiona Shaw--who will for the most part be familiar to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with theater and film. Following Zucker's brief career-synopsis introduction, each actor discusses his or her family background, training, preparation, approach to creative problems, work in different media, national identity, and technique. A testament to her prowess as an editor and researcher, Zucker is equally present and absent in the text, letting each actor take center stage in a smooth narrative undisrupted by questions. It's an unmitigated delight to read the insights, rants, and kvetchings of some of the brightest stars in the English-speaking theatrical firmament. For all libraries.
-Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Interviewing 16 Irish and British actors, Zucker doesn't waste a word on anything as silly as one's love life or as ephemeral as one's next movie, play, or TV special. That is impressive, given that her interlocutors include Alan Bates, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, and Nigel Hawthorne. Zucker instead focuses on the vocation of acting. She emphasizes how one trains for the profession and prepares for a role, and she illuminates the differences between acting onstage and acting onscreen. We learn that some, such as Janet McTeer and Eileen Atkins, found their vocation quickly, thanks to guiding parents or observant teachers; that others, like Hawthorne, came to acting after false starts in other fields; and that some cannot stand acting for the camera, while others easily flit from medium to medium. We learn how many do in-depth research before taking on a character and how many subscribe to "the method" style of acting. Yet these are never academic discussions. Each interview is also a portrait of a person at a specific time and place in her or his career. Jack Helbig --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Theatre Arts (Routledge Paperback)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (January 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878301399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878301393
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,795,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Carole Zucker has just given us the finest book ever written on British actors.'In the Company of Actors...' is an entertaining, informative and thorough investigation into the lives and craft of some of Britain and Ireland's most popular and accomplished thespians. This particular book is so far away from the standard "actor's biography" that it would be futile to compare it to any other publication around today. It simply stands apart on all level. It is most certainly destined to become a classic. Meeting with such famous figures as Eileen Atkins, Alan Bates, Nigel Hawthorne, Stephen Rea and Miranda Richardson (among others), the author is cleverly dissolving herself into the background of the interviewing process, thus allowing the actors to really open up and to freely speak about what constitutes acting for theatre, film and television. Zucker succeeds in creating a climate of intimacy never before reached (in any given interview), and her book will make you feel like a privileged reader with a direct access into the minds of these extremely talented people. There are even moments of self-revelation which makes 'In the Company of Actors..' a brillant excercise in deep social interaction. It is an impressive display of professional savoir-faire on the part of Mrs. Zucker and a major contribution to acting studies as a whole. For the aspiring actor, the book also offers a lot of insights into the business. Whether it be Stephen Rea explaining the differences between the Irish, British and American film industries, or Academy Award nominee Janet McTeer discussing the difficulty of being a woman actor (in a male-dominated world), the book covers all bases from all angles, and no stones are left unturned.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Don't let the "reflections" of the title throw you: this is no drowsy academic tome. This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in actors and acting. Many of the subjects are relatively unknown on this side of the Atlantic, but if you care about the process of real acting, this book will take you in, chapter by chapter. Critic Kenneth Tynan said "The study of actors should be a full-time task, worthy of the same passionate scholarship which lepidopterists devote to butterflies." What we have here is that passion's result, and Carole Zucker has given voice to the butterflies.
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Format: Hardcover
Carole Zucker has just given us the finest book ever written on British actors.'In the Company of Actors...' is an entertaining, informative and thorough investigation into the lives and craft of some of Britain and Ireland's most popular and accomplished thespians. This particular book is so far away from the standard "actor's biography" that it would be futile to compare it to any other publication around today. It simply stands apart on all level. It is most certainly destined to become a classic. Meeting with such famous figures as Eileen Atkins, Alan Bates, Nigel Hawthorne, Stephen Rea and Miranda Richardson (among others), the author is cleverly dissolving herself into the background of the interviewing process, thus allowing the actors to really open up and to freely speak about what constitutes acting for theatre, film and television. Zucker succeeds in creating a climate of intimacy never before reached (in any given interview), and her book will make you feel like a privileged reader with a direct access into the minds of these extremely talented people. There are even moments of self-revelation which makes 'In the Company of Actors..' a brillant excercise in deep social interaction. It is an impressive display of professional savoir-faire on the part of Mrs. Zucker and a major contribution to acting studies as a whole. For the aspiring actor, the book also offers a lot of insights into the business. Whether it be Stephen Rea explaining the differences between the Irish, British and American film industries, or Academy Award nominee Janet McTeer discussing the difficulty of being a woman actor (in a male-dominated world), the book covers all bases from all angles, and no stones are left unturned.Read more ›
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