The English Actor

Peter Ackroyd


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Reaktion Books
18 March 2024
ISBN: 9781789148398
416 pages

From the publisher

An original and superbly entertaining appraisal of the uniquely English approach to stagecraft.

The English Actor, now in paperback, charts the uniquely English approach to stagecraft, from the medieval period to the present day. In thirty chapters, Peter Ackroyd describes, with superb narrative skill, the genesis of acting – deriving from the Church tradition of Mystery Plays – through the flourishing of the craft in the Renaissance, to modern methods following the advent of film and television. The biographies of the most notable and celebrated actors are explored, right up to the present day. Ackroyd gives us an original and superbly entertaining appraisal of how actors have acted, how audiences have responded and what we mean by the magic of the stage.