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For nearly three centuries, actors have set down in print their reflections on the experience of performing Shakespeare's plays, resulting in a vast, heterogeneous and - remarkably - almost entirely unexamined body of material. Merely Players? brings together for the first time the diverse voices of actors writing about their experiences of playing Shakespeare, exploring the ways in which they discuss their embodiment with the performance and their own particular negotiations with the authority and tradition of the Shakespeare name. It is fascinating reading for scholars of Shakespeare, drama and theatre studies, practitioners and theatre-lovers alike.
Jonathan Holmes is lecturer in Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research interests include Renaissance Drama in performance, early twentieth century systems of actor training, and poetry in performance. He has published in Shakespeare Survey, New Theatre Quarterly and Studies in Renaissance Drama. He also works as a theatre director.