From the Royal Shakespeare Company - a modern, definitive edition of Shakespeare's most unusual and provocative histories. With an expert introduction by Sir Jonathan Bate, this unique edition presents a historical overview of King John and Henry VIII in performance, takes a detailed look at specific productions, and recommends film versions. Included in this edition are interviews with three leading directors - Gregory Doran, Josie Rourke and Gregory Thompson - providing an illuminating insight into the extraordinary variety of interpretations that are possible. This edition also includes an essay on Shakespeare's career and Elizabethan theatre, and enables the reader to understand the play as it was originally intended - as living theatre to be enjoyed and performed.
Ideal for students, theatre-goers, actors and general readers, the RSC Shakespeare editions offer a fresh, accessible and contemporary approach to reading and rediscovering Shakespeare's works for the twenty-first century.
JONATHAN BATE Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, University of Warwick, UK, and the editor of The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He has held visiting posts at Harvard, Yale and UCLA and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine's College, Cambridge, and a Governor and Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. A prominent critic, award-winning biographer and broadcaster, he is the author of several books on Shakespeare, including The Genius of Shakespeare (Picador), which was praised by Sir Peter Hall, founder of the RSC, as 'the best modern book on Shakespeare.' In June 2006 he was awarded a CBE by HM The Queen 'for services to Higher Education'. ERIC RASMUSSEN Professor of English at the University of Nevada, USA, and the Textual Editor of The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama and has edited volumes in both the Arden Shakespeare and Oxford World's Classics series. He is the General Textual Editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project - one of the most visited Shakespeare websites in the world. For over nine years he has written the annual review of editions and textual studies for the Shakespeare Survey.
Introduction.- King John.- Henry VIII.- About the Text.- Key Facts: King John.- The Life and Death of King John.- Textual Notes.- Scene-by-Scene Analysis.- King John in Performance: The RSC and Beyond.- Four Centuries of King John: An Overview.- At the RSC.- The Director's Cut: Interviews with Gregory Doran and Josie Rourke.- Key Facts: Henry VIII.- The Life of King Henry the Eighth.- Textual Notes.- Scene-by-Scene Analysis.- King Henry VIII in Performance.- The RSC and Beyond.- Four Centuries of King Henry VIII: An Overview.- At the RSC.- The Director's Cut: Interviews with Gregory Doran and Gregory Thompson.- Shakespeare's Career in the Theatre.- Beginnings.- Playhouses.- The Ensemble at Work.- The King's Man.- Shakespeare's Works: A Chronology.- Kings and Queens of England: From the History Plays to Shakespeare's Lifetime.- King John Family Tree.- The History Behind the Histories: A Chronology.- Further Reading and Viewing.- References.- Acknowledgements and Picture Credits