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Great Shakespeare Actors: Burbage to Branagh

Thursday 26 March 2015

1 Hour


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One of the leading authorities on Shakespeare’s life and work Professor Stanley Wells looks at the work of 40 of the greatest Shakespearean actors. Wells first establishes that Shakespeare himself was not the first of the great actors and then looks at the lives and performances of English and American actors and actresses that have interpreted the Bard from Elizabethan times to the present day. Through such as David Garrick, Sarah Siddons, Charlotte Cushman, Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft, Janet Suzman, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, and Kenneth Branagh, he examines what it takes be a great Shakespearean actor.

Wells is emeritus professor of Shakespeare studies at the University of Birmingham, honorary president of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, honorary emeritus governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, editor of The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies and author of Shakespeare For All Time, Looking for Sex in Shakespeare, and Shakespeare, Sex, and Love.