To some extent the title of this book may easily be misleading. For, while it is certainly concerned with acting Shakespeare, it does not presume to tell anybody what to do while acting on the stage. Instead, the pages which follow contain suggestions which it is hoped may be useful to those engaged in preparing a Shakespearian role; and these suggestions are made by one who is very conscious of the difference between preparing a role and acting it.
Everything that is put forward here has been found of use in practice, either in preparation for actual productions at the Mermaid Theatre when it was in St. John's Wood and the Royal Exchange, or in exercises and in the preparation of roles at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Experience has led me to believe that there is probably nobody who will need to make use of everything in the book; on the other hand, the same experience suggests that there is nothing in it which will be entirely valueless to everybody. Yet it is equally certain that there are many people who will find that the suggestions made here are not needed, because they have already developed their own individual methods of overcoming the difficulties discussed.
It should be made clear from the start that this is no attempt to sell a method or a system; of necessity, system must be used in the presentation of the material, but the last thing which is desired is that on this account it should be thought that these suggestions are advocated as an indis-