Based on Peter Holland's wide experience as a reviewer of stage productions, the book explores the full extent of Shakespeare performances in England over the last decade. As a regular reviewer for Shakespeare Survey and the BBC, Holland has examined the variety, the strengths and the problems of English productions. His introduction points out general themes which are taken up in the detailed chronological account of productions by several English companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Cheek by Jowl, Northern Broadsides and the English Shakespeare Company. A final chapter compares the English experience with productions elsewhere. Peter Holland's reviews are individually thoughtful, provocative and illuminating; cumulatively they show that there is no one English Shakespeare style but a rich and often bewildering variety.
'... excellent new book ...'. The Guardian 'This is a lucidly written book [and] a rich source of reference to return to time and again, as we read, teach, or write about a Shakespeare play, or need to review one ourselves, and sense the need to enhance the experience by a reliable account of its stage potential.' Folio ' ... a comprehensive, richly detailed and thoughtful record of the period of Shakespearean production under scrutiny. In view of the broad readership which the book is likely to attract, this is to be welcomed ... English Shakespeares addresses in detail a brief slice of what is already theatrical history, but there are valuable lessons to be drawn from it about the possible futures of both Shakespearean production and production criticism.' Cahiers Elisabethains 'Mixing precise references to textual choices with analyses of acting, set design, direction, and the use of theatrical space, Holland sets a high standard with his thoughtful and sympathetic approach ... this book is a must not only for students of drama in performance, but also for theatregoers in general. A reliable if occasionally controversial record, Holland's book is a thoughtful mixture of journalistic immediacy and academic distance.' New Theatre Quarterly Book Reviews