Hamlet: The Shakespearean Director (Carysfort Press Ltd.)

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9781904505006: Hamlet: The Shakespearean Director (Carysfort Press Ltd.)
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An exploration of modern directors approaches to 'Hamlet'

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About the Author:

The Author: Mike Wilcock lectures on Shakespeare and on directing at University College, Dublin. He has arranged courses on the challenges of transposing Shakespeare to cinema at both the Irish Film Centre and the UCD Centre for Drama Studies. In 1996, he completed a doctoral dissertation on ‘Shakespeare and the Director’ at University College, Dublin. He has directed more than twenty theatre productions, including some of the major Shakespearean tragedies. In the 1980s he ran the English Department at Newpark, Blackrock, and more recently was appointed an Assistant Principal.

Review:

«By devoting an extensive chapter in his study of the Shakespearean director to Guthrie, Mike Wilcock reminds us of how innovative and influential this remarkable Irish director was in the middle years of the last century and how his work opened the way for many others who followed ... [‘Hamlet, the Shakespearean Director’] ... is an important study from which all of us who love Shakespeare and who understand the importance of continuing contemporary exploration may gain new insights.» (Joe Dowling, Artistic Director, The Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota)
«‘I could see in Hamlet the history of the theatre.’ This remark by Edward Gordon Craig provides a suggestive starting-point for Mike Wilcock’s lively and imaginative study. The stage-history of ‘Hamlet’ in modern theatre is used to illuminate the directorial practices of Stanislavski, Meyerhold, Brecht, Barrault, Guthrie and Brook, The drama of the play is shown to be a sounding-board for the ideas and aspirations of the often dictatorial directors. In Wilcock’s intriguing study, Hamlet reads the director as the director reads ‘Hamlet’.» (Nicholas Grene, Professor of English Literature, Trinity College Dublin)
«Wilcock ... manages with grace and facility to pull off the difficult trick of re-analysing ‘Hamlet’ and deconstructing the directors at the same time, in the process making the reader reconsider all his preconceptions about both the play and directors. What more can one ask of a book that is furthermore scholarly without being tedious (a rarity in itself) and is entirely free of cant and jargon.» (Tom Dulack, Professor of English, University of Connecticut, author of ‘In Love with Shakespeare’, ‘Breaking Legs’, Winner of the 2002 Kaufmann-Hart Prize for New American Comedy)
«[In] ‘Hamlet, the Shakespearean Director’ ... Mike Wilcock ... offers an interesting and thought-provoking perspective on the history of the modern director, propelling his study largely through his analysis of the brilliant, controversial, and influential theatrical director and designer Gordon Craig early in the 20th century ... a unique satisfaction of reading Wilcock’s investigation is his own insight based on his own experiences as director and teacher of Shakespeare. His choices and interpretations are quite sensible and well informed, yet at the same time there is a strong personal voice that permeates the scholarship. This combination of scholarship and personal criticism and interpretation makes for a much stronger study than it could have been if simply limited to that of a scholarly-research exercise.» (Don B. Wilmeth, Asa Messer Professor, Professor of Theatre and English, Brown University; Editor, ‘Cambridge Studies in American Theatre and Drama’)

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