An accessible short introduction to Hamlet, ideal for students and theatre-goers alike
Hamlet is the most studied and performed of Shakespeare's tragedies. This accessible introduction offers a springboard into the play, taking a hands-on, performance-based approach, exploring the challenges and the rewards it presents to actors, audiences and students.
Springboard Shakespeare: Hamlet has a three-part structure: whether you're watching or reading, Ben Crystal takes you through exactly what you need to know Before, During and After the play. He combines a genuine passion and understanding of Shakespeare with his experience as an actor, giving the reader a clear route to thinking about, understanding and enjoying Hamlet.
Ben Crystal is an actor and author. His books include The Shakespeare Miscellany, Shakespeare's Words and Shakespeare on Toast.
Having Crystal as a companion through the stickier parts of Hamlet and Macbeth is like going to the theatre with an intelligent friend. The Independent How different it might have been if we'd had Ben Crystal's sparky little books to introduce us. My Shakespearean epiphany would have come much sooner...[the books] lead newcomers into the play in question in a gentle, upbeat, unpretentious way. Fresh and slim, they're about as far as could be from dusty, dry study guides relating to school exams...much better than the average theatre programme...I'd like to see them on sale in theatre bookshops, and/or wherever there's a production of one of these plays...I'd also recommend them for classroom use. -- Susan Elkin The Independent on Sunday A highly worthwhile series, which should prove to be valuable for directors, actors and students...This formula really works. As an experiment, your dedicated reviewer tried out Macbeth in preparation for and following on from the Eve Best production of the Globe. The experience was definitely improved, with some of the tips on words and language proving especially helpful and enlightening... These really are excellent little guides that will prove informative to almost anybody with an interest in the subject. -- Philip Fisher British Theatre Guide
Hamlet is the most studied and performed of Shakespeare's tragedies. However, its dense but beautiful language can seem forbidding to students and audiences, giving the play a reputation of being 'difficult'. This accessible introduction to Hamlet offers a springboard into the play, breaking down any fears or preconceptions about it and taking a hands-on, performance-based approach. It combines ideas and critical information about the context in which the play was written, the ideas it explores and the challenges and the rewards it presents to actors, audiences and students. Springboard Shakespeare: Hamlet has a three-part structure: Before, During and After. Ben Crystal takes you through what you need to know and think about before you see or study the play, while you watch or read it, and after you have seen or read it. He combines a genuine passion and understanding of Shakespeare with his experience as an actor, to give the reader a clear route to thinking about and enjoying Hamlet, whether in the classroom or the theatre.
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