How do performances of Shakespeare change the meanings of the plays?
In this controversial new book, Sarah Werner argues that the text of a Shakespeare play is only one of the many factors that give a performance its meaning. By focusing on The Royal Shakespeare Company, Werner demonstrates how actor training, company management and gender politics fundamentally affect both how a production is created and the interpretations it can suggest.
Werner concentrates particularly on:
The influential training methods of Cicely Berry and Patsy Rodenburg
The history of the RSC Women's Group
Gale Edwards' production of The Taming of the Shrew
She reveals that no performance of Shakespeare is able to bring the plays to life or to realise the playwright's intentions without shaping them to mirror our own assumptions.
By examining the ideological implications of performance practices, this book will help all interested in Shakespeare's plays to explore what it means to study them in performance.