There is now considerable support for the view that a performance by an actor of genius can constitute a critical interpretation of a play and that only through such performance studies can a completely valid judgement about the play be made. In this paperback edition of a pioneering work, Dennis Bartholomeusz reconstructs from prompt copies, playbills and contemporary accounts, the major interpretations of the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth on the English stage from 1611 to the 1960s and relates the outstanding peformances of Burbage and Olivier, Siddons and Thorndike to the overall production history of Macbeth.
'Can specialists, limiting themselves to a single issue, avoid disaster? Mr Bartholomew, looking into the insights of the players, suggests that it is possible. This is an admirable work ...' Frank Kermode, The New York Review of Books '... a book of enormous interest and value ...' Norman Marshall, Drama 'With an intimacy which is a tribute not only to the quality and abundance of his evidence, but also to Mr Bartholomeusz's skills and imagination in using it, we see how Betterton, Garrick, Mrs Siddons, Kemble, Macready and Olivier created the roles that set the standards for their own day, through their close and meticulous encounters with the text.' The Times Literary Supplement