Michael Morpurgo OBE is a national treasure. With books such as ‘Private Peaceful’, ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ and ‘The Wreck of the Zanzibar’ he has enchanted a whole generation of children, weaving stories for them in a way that is neither contrived nor condescending. His is a rare gift.
In 2007, Michael’s novel ‘War Horse’ was adapted for the stage by the National Theatre. Five years on, it continues to play to packed audiences of all ages and has been turned into a blockbuster film by Steven Spielberg, propelling Morpurgo to household-name status.
Michael’s own story is as strange and surprising as any he has written, and is shot through with the same thread of sadness found in almost all his work. How did this supremely unbookish boy who dreamed of becoming an army officer become a bestselling author and Children’s Laureate instead? What personal price has he paid for success? And why, amidst his triumphs, is he now haunted by regret?
In a unique collaboration, Maggie Fergusson explores Michael Morpurgo’s life through seven biographical chapters, to which he responds with seven stories. The portrait that emerges is one of light and shade: the light very bright, the shade complex and often painful.
Thus begins the life story of one of the most celebrated characters in British theatrical history, in the first of Coward's autobiographies, first published in 1937. Displaying an early dedication to the theatre, Present Indicative hints at the success that would come to Coward as actor, playwright, novelist and performer. Each line is punctuated with his trademark effervescent wit, making this book a comic tour de force in it's own right, as well as a "must read" for anyone with an interest in the British stage.
"He is simply a phenomenon, and one that is unlikely to occur ever again in theatre history" Terence Rattigan
Peter Brook is the modern stage's greatest inventor. For over fifty years he has held audiences spellbound with his critically acclaimed productions. Now he has finally written an account of his life. Born in 1925 in London, at twenty-one Brook became the enfant terrible of British theatre directing major post-war productions of Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon, opera at Covent Garden and new plays in London's West End. He even made films. In 1964 he produced Peter Weiss's Marat/Sade for the RSC and his whole approach to theatre became radicalised. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Brook began exploring the roots of non-Western theatre which once again changed his view of what theatre could be for actors and audiences. His journey took him to Paris where he founded a company at the Bouffes du Nord theatre where he still works today. Brook's biography charts all the stages of his aesthetic and spiritual journey, and touches on all parts of a career that has been widely reported but never previously talked about from his personal perspective.
"First there was the master conjurer adept at musicals, farces, opera and Shakespeare. Then there was the philosopher-king. . . who has devoted his energies to a quest for a theatre that was simple in form and rich in meaning" (Michael Billington)
Famed American actress Demi Moore at last tells her own story in a surprisingly intimate and emotionally charged memoir.
For decades, Demi Moore has been synonymous with celebrity. From iconic film roles to high-profile relationships, Moore has never been far from the spotlight—or the headlines.
Even as Demi was becoming the highest paid actress in Hollywood, however, she was always outrunning her past, just one step ahead of the doubts and insecurities that defined her childhood. Throughout her rise to fame and during some of the most pivotal moments of her life, Demi battled addiction, body image issues, and childhood trauma that would follow her for years—all while juggling a skyrocketing career and at times negative public perception. As her success grew, Demi found herself questioning if she belonged in Hollywood, if she was a good mother, a good actress—and, always, if she was simply good enough.
As much as her story is about adversity, it is also about tremendous resilience. In this deeply candid and reflective memoir, Demi pulls back the curtain and opens up about her career and personal life—laying bare her tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages, her struggles balancing stardom with raising a family, and her journey toward open heartedness. Inside Out is a story of survival, success, and surrender—a wrenchingly honest portrayal of one woman’s at once ordinary and iconic life.
Now she can only observe while her family manage their grief in their different ways. Her father, Jack is obsessed with identifying the killer. Her mother, Abigail is desperate to create a different life for herself. And her sister, Lindsay is discovering the opposite sex with experiences that Susie will never know. Susie is desperate to help them and there might be a way of reaching them...
Alice Sebold's novel The Lovely Bones is a unique coming-of-age tale that captured the hearts of readers throughout the world. Award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery has adapted it for this unforgettable play about life after loss.
In this chronicle of the Thirty Years War of the seventeenth century, Mother Courage follows the armies back and forth across Europe, selling provisions and liquor from her canteen wagon. As the action of the play progresses between the years 1624 and 1646 she loses her children to the war but remains indomitable, refusing to part with her livelihood - the wagon. The play is one of the most celebrated examples of Epic Theatre and of Brecht's use of alienation effect to focus attention on the issues of the play above the individual characters. It remains regarded as one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century and one of the great anti-war plays of all time. The Berlin production of 1949, with Helene Weigel as Mother Courage, marked the foundation of the Berliner Ensemble.
This volume contains expert notes on the author's life and work, historical and political background to the play, photographs from stage productions and a glossary of difficult words and phrases. The play is translated by Brecht scholar John Willett who did more than anyone else to make Brecht's work available in the English language.