Throughout the book Gaskill offers exercises and practice pieces for the actor to put the book's precepts to the test. He also draws illuminating instances from his own extensive work as a director, largely at the Royal Court and the National Theatre, and his book is rich in insights gained from extensive work with drama students at RADA.
WILLIAM GASKILL began directing at the Royal Court in 1957, when it was at the forefront of a theatrical revolution ushered in by Look Back in Anger. He was to direct equally groundbreaking work there, including Edward Bond's Saved with its controversial baby-stoning scene. In 1963 he directed the young Maggie Smith at Laurence Olivier's new National Theatre. He later joined Max Stafford-Clark to form Joint Stock, presenting some of the most significant work of the 70s and 80s. In a wide-ranging freelance career he has directed many productions of Brecht, Beckett and Shakespeare, and is currently an associate at RADA. He lives in North London.