A passionate, illuminating exploration of Shakespeare's greatest plays and characters, by the director of acclaimed theatre company Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.
Combining close textual analysis with practical insights based on his extensive experience of directing Shakespeare's plays, Andrew Hilton delves into a fascinating range of topics such as emotional truth in the comedies, the importance of the plays' social dynamics, the choice of settings and periods, making and withholding moral judgements, working with different versions of the texts, and even adapting them.
Throughout, Hilton urges us as audiences and theatre-makers to set aside our preconceived notions, and instead to approach Shakespeare's plays with an open mind, moment by moment, so that we can connect with them in fresh and vital ways.
'The clear-sightedness, wit and depth of knowledge and insight into the plays and their worlds is unparalleled... should be required reading for everyone approaching these plays... A fabulous book, brimful of wisdom and revelations and a gift to anyone interested in Shakespeare or, quite frankly, in people' John Heffernan, actor
'Andrew Hilton's Tobacco Factory Shakespeares were an inspiration... What audiences saw and heard was not a display but an uncovering. His productions did not add to the drama: they revealed it... In Shakespeare on the Factory Floor, Hilton has once again lit up Shakespeare: lucid and penetrating on the page and on the stage' Susannah Clapp, theatre critic of the Observer
'The detail and simplicity of Andrew Hilton's directing is as potent in his writing as it is in the rehearsal room... A wonderful book' Dorothea Myer-Bennett, actor
'Andrew Hilton has used his rich experience of many years to create a penetrating, timely and distinctive study of the plays… I only wish this book had been around when first I read Shakespeare. It would have opened my eyes and my mind much earlier' Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, Former Rector of the Royal College of Art and Chair of Arts Council England
'Andrew Hilton's fascinating book reveals how theatrical performance offers insights into longstanding questions of literary interpretation… Written in an engaging and readable style, it will be of interest to actors, directors, scholars and anyone who enjoys reading Shakespeare's plays or seeing them performed' Lesel Dawson, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol