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Here we provide links to resources which we have found particularly useful. We are not trying to provide an exhaustive list of Shakespeare-related material – the task is pretty well impossible – but those resources we have found particularly useful – Quality over Quantity (at least in our view). It is a work-in-progress. It will be a long time before it is complete to our satisfaction.

We provide links to books, DVDs / Films, web-sites. The books are in various sections as you’ll see below:


General Texts about Theatre:

How to Read a Play‘, Ronald Hayman, Methuan, 1977
A deceptively simple book that provides really helpful advice on how to read a play – imaginatively.

The Drama Handbook A guide to reading plays’, John Lennard, Mary Luckhurts, OUP, 2002
A great text book for those of you studying Dramaturgy and Play writing, and very helpful for The Director.

A brilliant book on theatre, by a great theatre director.

Shakespeare – the man:

William Shakespeare – A biography‘, A.L.Rowse, Macmillan, 1963
The best biography of Shakespeare we’ve read. Very evocative of Elizabethan England.

1599 – A year in the life of William Shakespeare‘, James Shapiro, Faber and Faber
Not an attempt to tell the story of the life of Shakespeare, but the story of one of the most important years in his life – 1599

Shakespeare’s plays – general:

Playing Shakespeare’, John Barton, Methuen Drama, 2006
The book of the DVD series. A must-have if you want to understand how Shakespeare constructs his lines and tells his actors how to play them. You need the book and the DVD.

Shakespeare’s Advice to the Players’, Peter Hall, Oberon Books, 2003
A description of the RSC’s approach to Shakespeare’s scripts in the heyday of the RSC, as developed particularly by Peter Hall and John Barton.

‘Shakespeare: The Invention of the human’, Harold Bloom, Fourth Estate , 2008
A brilliant description of the major Shakespearean characters in all the plays. Very helpful exploration of the plays. All part of Bloom’s theory of what makes Shakespeare so special – the inventor of human personality as we understand it today.

Shakespearean Tragedy, Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth‘, A.C. Bradley, Palgrave MacMillan, 1906
Well, I suppose it’s showing its age now, but it’s still wonderful stuff. My introduction to Shakespeare’s tragedies at school.

Shakespeare’s Festive Comedy: A Study of Dramatic Form and Its Relation to Social Custom’, C. L. Barber,  Princeton University Press, 1972
Does for comedy what Bradley does for tragedy, and also shows the influence of folk tales on Shakespeare’s plays. Another must-have.

DVDs and Films:

Playing Shakespeare’, John Barton, Acorn Media UK Ltd, 2010
Brilliant! A series of Shakespeare masterclasses led by John Barton, filmed for television in 1982, featuring some of the finest actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Judi Dench, Peggy Ashcroft, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Ben Kingsley and Sinead Cusack

The Chimes of Midnight’, Orson Welles, Mr Bongo, 2012
Welles’s take on Henry IV Part I & II (with a dash of Richard II & Henry V. Welles tells the story of Henry IV & Falstaff’s fight for the soul  of Prince Hal, with Falstaff (played by Welles) played more seriously than is conventional, offering a serious alternative philosophy of life to Henry IV.



Shakespeare online Resources:

    1. Theatre Insipirations – William Shakespeare
  1.              Costumes, Prose, and more: All about William Shakespeare

Shakespeare Meet-up Groups:

  1. New York, NY; 817 members
  2. Seattle, WA; 371 members
  3. Chicago, IL; 150 members
  4. Greensboro, NC; 82 members
  5. Paris, France; 386 members
  6. Brooklyn, NY; 401 members
  7. Canberra, Australia; 51 members
  8. Alexandria, VA; 71 members
  9. Harrow, United Kingdom; 67 members
  10. London, United Kingdom; 99 members
  11. Kansas City, MO; 35 members
  12. Alameda, CA; 87 members
  13. Baltimore, MD; 52 members
  14. London, United Kingdom; 163 members
  15. Chevy Chase, MD; 93 members
  16. London, United Kingdom; 125 members
  17. Post Falls, ID; 4 members
  18. Newton Center, MA; 61 members
  19. Santa Fe, NM; 97 members
  20. Manchester, United Kingdom; 92 members
  21. London, United Kingdom; 398 members
  22. Gold Coast, Australia; 41 members
  23. Portland, OR; 21 members
  24. Yokohama, Japan; 40 members
  25. London, United Kingdom; 19 members
  26. Fort Lauderdale, FL; 113 members
  27. Malden, MA; 38 members
  28. Boston, MA; 33 members
  29. Oldbury, United Kingdom; 28 members
  30. Mumbai, India; 139 members
  31. New York, NY; 731 members
  32. Roseville, CA; 3 members
  33. Zürich, Switzerland; 6 members
  34. Chicago, IL; 28 members
  35. Dublin, Ireland; 42 members
  36. Lombard, IL; 7 members
  37. Sunnyside, NY; 526 members
  38. Sunnyside, NY; 67 members
  39. Red Bank, NJ; 3 members

To be continued.