Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A Rambling Theatre Memoir by Gielgud

Sir John Gielgud's reflections on his career as an actor and director of Shakespeare's works will be of great interest to many, in particular those who work in the theatre. On the other hand, as a book, this is not what it could have been.

The book appears to be a memoir dictated to its co-author, and the reflections and remembrances move in a jumbled stream of consciousness, reflecting very lazy organization. The chatty approach makes for a mixed bag, with interesting anecdotes and observations about the theatre, but without a throughline that would help the reader return to these subjects later. Even Gielgud's famously bitchy sense of humor is subdued here, as if he were doing his very best to behave himself.

The photographs are also organized in no apparent order, although for some reason the Hamlet photographs are all together, as are most (but not all) of the Prospero photographs. It is a stream of consciousness mirroring the rambling nature of the memoir.

Acting Shakespeare. John Gielgud with John Miller. (2000) Applause.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I tend to be a rambling type person, but it doesn't work well in a memoir.