* Illuminating introductions to King John and Henry VIII by award-winning scholar Jonathan Bate
* The two plays – with clear explanatory notes on each page
* Helpful scene-by-scene analyses and key facts about both plays
* An introduction to Shakespeare's career and the Elizabethan theatre
* Rich explorations of approaches to staging both plays featuring photographs of key productions of each
The most enjoyable way to understand a Shakespeare play is to see it or participate in it. This book presents a historical overview of two of Shakespeare's classical plays King John and Henry VIII in performance, recommends film versions, takes a detailed look at specific productions and includes interviews with three leading Directors – Gregory Doran, Josie Rourke and Gregory Thompson – so that we may get a sense of the extraordinary variety of interpretations that are possible - a variety that gives Shakespeare his unique capacity to be reinvented and made 'our contemporary' four centuries after his death.
Ideal for students, theatre-goers, actors and general readers, the RSC Shakespeare editions offer an accessible and contemporary approach to reading and rediscovering Shakespeare's works for the twenty-first century.