Actors Discuss Roles in New Faber & Faber Series

News   Actors Discuss Roles in New Faber & Faber Series Faber & Faber is publishing a series of small, pocket-sized books in which actors discuss a role that they have played on stage.

The four just published are "Much Ado About Nothing," by Saskia Reeves, who played Beatrice for Cheek by Jowl in 1998; "Othello" by James Earl Jones, who first played Othello in 1964 and went on to star in the role in six different productions; "Henry IV Part II" by Simon Callow, who played Falstaff at Chichester, and "Henry VI Part I" by David Oyelowo, who played the role for the RSC.

Of the current crop of actor/writers, Simon Callow has the strongest literary credentials, having written books on his relationship with the agent Peggy Ramsay ("Love Is Where It Falls") and a biography of Charles Laughton, among other works.

Of the major stage stars of the twentieth century, Laurence Olivier wrote an autobiography, as did John Gielgud, while Michael Redgrave was the author of a remarkable collection of essays on the actor's craft. More recently the (film) actor Ethan Hawke has proved to be a good novelist as well as a popular actor. Michael Pennington has written about playing Chekhov, while a number of stage stars have produced volumes of autobiography: Timothy West (King Lear at the Old Vic earlier this year), for example.

The Faber & Faber series gives the personal take on playing a role that the public find so interesting, using extensive quotes from the plays involved to illustrate the point.