Shakespeare by McBean PB
The celebrated photographer Angus McBean is now best known for his portraits of Vivien Leigh, Audrey Hepburn and The Beatles. However, he always considered that his finest achievement was to record the works of our greatest playwright.
In his forty-year career he captured over 160 different productions of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon or London and, before his death in 1990, he planned that the best of these photographs should be brought together in print from the archives of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
At last his intention is being fulfilled with a magnificent new book, Shakespeare by McBean. This presents a dazzling array of the photographer’s trademark glamorous images when working at the Stratford theatre between 1945-1962, long regarded as a golden era in British acting. The book includes every one of Shakespeare’s 37 plays and all the period’s greatest theatrical names – Olivier, Gielgud, Scofield, Burton, Quayle, Redgrave, Richardson, Ashcroft and Evans – are represented in some of their most famous performances along with actors then starting their careers like Diana Rigg and Peter O’Toole.
Many of the 350 pictures, chosen mostly by McBean himself on his last visit to Stratford with his friend and biographer, Adrian Woodhouse, are previously unpublished and include over 50 of his beautiful and surprising 1950s colour images. To go with the photographs Woodhouse affectionately chronicles McBean’s roller-coaster life and career while also celebrating the craft of acting, costume and theatre design at what is now the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Paperback: 240 pages
Dimensions: 31.5 cm x 24 cm
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