August Strindberg’s naturalistic play Miss Julie (Miss Julia) was the premiere production of the Scandinavian Naturalistic Theatre. While initially censored for content, the play has since become one of the most successful naturalistic dramas written, and has been performed on stages around the world each year since its premiere in 1888. Miss Julie has also been adapted numerous times for film, most recently by Liv Ullman with Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell in the roles of Miss Julie and Jean.
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Five daughters live together in a single household with a tyrannical mother. When the father of all but the eldest girl dies, a cynical marriage is advanced which will have tragic consequences for the whole family. Lorca's fascinatingly modern play, rendered here in an English version by David Hare, speaks as powerfully as a political metaphor of oppression as it does as domestic drama.
The House of Bernarda Alba premiered at the National Theatre, London, in March 2005.
'All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players'
When Rosalind is banished by her uncle Duke Frederick, who has usurped her father's throne, she flees to the forest of Arden where her exiled father holds court. There, dressed as a boy to avoid discovery, she encounters the man she loves - Orlando, similarly forced into exile by his older brother Oliver - and resolves to remain in disguise to test his feelings or her. A gloriously sunny comedy, As You Like It is an exuberant combination of concealed identities and verbal jousting, reconciliations and multiple weddings.
This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to As You Like It, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden some time in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He wrote about 38 plays (the precise number is uncertain), many of which are regarded as the most exceptional works of drama ever produced, including Romeo and Juliet (1595), Henry V (1599), Hamlet (1601), Othello (1604), King Lear (1606) and Macbeth (1606), as well as a collection of 154 sonnets, which number among the most profound and influential love-poetry in English.
If you enjoyed As You Like It, you might like Much Ado About Nothing, also available in Penguin Shakespeare.
'At once sublime poet and master dramatist'