Antony and Cleopatra has the strangest stage history of any of Shakespeare's major tragedies. Richard Madelaine explains how the play's challenging complexity has at different times inhibited or promoted its success on the stage, and accounts for the remarkable resurgence of performances in the last twenty years. Madelaine provides the only detailed, extensive and up-to-date history of the play on stage and screen, in and beyond Britain. His introduction and commentary examine the ways in which cultural factors have shaped the performance of the play, and how actors have tackled the main parts, in particular the exotic eroticism of Cleopatra. In the process he reveals not only the rich plurality of possible readings of the play, but also changing attitudes to Shakespeare.
'Cambridge has come up with an excellent new series, Shakespeare in Production, which is going to be invaluable to anybody studying, acting, or producing his plays.' Plays and Players Applause Magazine 'Shakespeare in Production ... is ... ideally suited to people like me: people as interested in the stage history of a Shakespearean play as in its text. What distinguishes these editions, and makes them of particular interest to drama and theatre departments, is their unique concentration on theatrical production.' Studies in Theatre Production 'The publisher claims that the Shakespeare in Production series offers students and researchers the fullest possible staging of individual Shakespearean texts, and this volume certainly does so. The editor's lengthy overview of the play gives a full account of its representation and reception, and this is reinforced practically with extensive line-by-line notes on the New Cambridge edition text.' Australian HES 'I cannot recommend too highly the whole series (a bargain at GBP16.99 for each play) to all theatre lovers, theatregoers, theatre practitioners, and anybody who enjoys Shakespeare.' Robert Tanitch, What's on in London