Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Blood on the Stage, 480 B.C. to 1600 A.D.: Milestone Plays of Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem: An Annotated Repertoire

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Blood on the Stage, 480 B.C. to 1600 A.D.: Milestone Plays of Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem: An Annotated Repertoire

Article excerpt

Blood on the Stage, 480 B.C. to 1600 A.D.: Milestone Plays of Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem: An Annotated Repertoire. By Amnon Kabatchnik. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield, 2014. 382 p. Alkaline $125 (ISBN 978-1-4422-3547-2). E-book (978-1-4422-3548-9) available, $199.99.

Blood on the Stage: 480 B.C. to 1600 A.D. by Amnon Kabatchnik is the fourth book in a series about murders and mysteries in the theater world. This volume is a prequel and covers a much earlier time period than the other books by Kabatchnik. Previous books in the series cover the entire twentieth century; however, all are about crime, murder, and mystery in the world of stage productions.

There have been an untold number of volumes written in the field of theater history. Blood on the Stage stands out for its emphasis on some of the earliest recorded plays in written history. Unlike many other works that cover theater history broadly, this book is a collection of entries describing forty-eight different plays. Kabatchnik has pulled out selections that are "the most important theatrical works of mayhem and murder performed between 480 BC (Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus) and 1600 AD (Hamlet by William Shakespeare)" (xix). Most of these selections are well known plays; however, Kabatchnik has also included works that are more obscure in order to present a wider collection.

This book covers a unique portion of theater history. …

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