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Our theatre, dance and performing arts books cover a huge variety of cultural events and are perfect for anyone who cares about the arts.

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Theatre, Dance & Performing Arts Books

Our theatre, dance and performing arts books cover a huge variety of cultural events and are perfect for anyone who cares about the arts.

  • BXKSY

    Blowing the Bloody Doors Off (Paperback)

    Michael Caine

    Hollywood legend and British national treasure Michael Caine shares the wisdom, stories, insight and skills that life has taught him in his remarkable career - and now his 85th year. One of our best-loved actors Michael Caine has starred in a huge range of films - including all-time favourites - from the classic British movies Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job to the Hollywood blockbusting Dark Knight trilogy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules. Caine has excelled in every kind of role - with a skill that's made it look easy. He knows what success takes - he's made it to the top of his profession from the toughest beginning. But as he says 'Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it.' Now in his 85th year he wants to share everything he's learned. With brilliant new insight into his life and work and with his wonderful gift for story, this is Caine at his wise and entertaining best.
    • £5.99
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  • BQYMQ

    Paul O'Grady's Country Life (Paperback)

    Paul O'Grady

    This fascinating and hilarious glimpse into Paul O'Grady's life in the country tells all about his precious dogs, his favourite recipes, the benefits of growing your own produce, and much more.

    O'Grady has lived in rural Kent for over a decade and in his warts-and-all account of country living he discusses the trials and tribulations of moving away from the city.

    Written with his charm and witty humour, this book covers some of O'Grady's brilliantly funny and classic stories, ranging from how he birthed a lamb to what he had to do to lure a cow out of his kitchen while naked from the waist down!
    • £7.09
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  • BYHVU

    The Bad Luck Lighthouse (Paperback)

    Nicki Thornton

    The twisty-turny sequel to the bestselling The Last Chance Hotel - Agatha Christie meets Harry Potter! In solving the mystery of the Last Chance Hotel, Seth has discovered a bewildering new world of magic. But the truth about his mother's fate and other secrets remain, stolen away with the firefly cage by his nemesis, the wicked Tiffany Bunn. Determined to chase her down - and prove himself as a magician - Seth and his cat Nightshade are quickly embroiled in the latest MagiCon case, a murder investigation at a deserted lighthouse ...
    • £6.89
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  • ADWYS 6 years +

    The Ballet Book (Paperback)

    Darcey Bussell

    Perfect your port de bras, pas de deux and learn how to dance adagio and allegro. Find out the best way to look after your ballet shoes and make sure your make up is just right for your first night on stage. Contains everything you need to know to become a ballet dancer, from the best ballet dancer in the business, Darcey Bussell.
    • £6.89
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  • BZBJI

    The New Me (Paperback)

    Halle Butler

    'A dark comedy of female rage' Catherine Lacey 'Funny and infuriating, shocking, clever, and hugely entertaining' Roddy Doyle 'If you loved My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, don't miss this' Bustle In a windowless office, a woman explains something from her real, nonwork life - about the frustration and indignity of returning her online shopping - to her colleagues. One wears a topknot. Another checks her pedometer. Watching them all is Millie. Thirty-years-old and an eternal temp, she says almost nothing, almost all of the time. But then the possibility of a permanent job arises. Will it bring the new life Millie is envisioning - one involving a gym membership, a book club, and a lot less beer and TV - finally within reach? Or will it reveal just how hollow that vision has become? 'Made me laugh and cry enough times to feel completely reborn' The Paris Review 'A definite work of millennial literature. Wretchedly riveting, with the sick, obsessive pleasure of looking under a bandage at a wound' The New Yorker 'So darkly funny and acutely observed that it feels like a documentary' Andrew McMillan 'Anyone who has ever felt like their life is going nowhere - and to make it worse, going nowhere in an achingly slow manner - will recognize themselves' Nylon
    • £7.19
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  • BXLKI

    This Is Shakespeare (Hardback)

    Emma Smith

    This book argues that so much of what we know about Shakespeare is actually untrue or irrelevant. It thrives on revealing and not resolving the ambiguities of the Bard's works - and how they reflected the topical issues of the time.
    • £16.00
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  • BXGIJ

    I'm a Joke and So Are You (Paperback)

    Robin Ince

    Evening Standard's the Best Comedy Books of the Year, 2018 Skinny's Book of the Year, 2018 'Joyfully entertaining. Full of warmth, wisdom and affectionate delight in the wonder and absurdity of being human.' Observer 'Funny, honest and heart-warming.' Matt Haig What better way to understand ourselves than through the eyes of comedians - those who professionally examine our quirks on stage daily? In this touching and witty book, award-winning presenter and comic Robin Ince uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some of the biggest questions we all face. Where does anxiety come from? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? What is the key to creativity? How can we deal with grief? Informed by personal insights from Robin as well as interviews with some of the world's top comedians, neuroscientists and psychologists, this is a hilarious and often moving primer to the mind. But it is also a powerful call to embrace the full breadth of our inner experience - no matter how strange we worry it may be!
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  • BUAFJ

    Blowing the Bloody Doors Off (Hardback)

    Michael Caine

    (2)
    'Chatty and engaging . . . he often comes across as endearingly humble' SUNDAY TIMES 'Thoroughly engaging' SUNDAY EXPRESS magazine 'Fabulous storytelling' PRIMA Hollywood legend and British national treasure Sir Michael Caine shares the wisdom, stories, insight and skills that life has taught him in his remarkable career - and now his 85th year. One of our best-loved actors Michael Caine has starred in a huge range of films - including all-time favourites - from the classic British movies Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job to the Hollywood blockbusting Dark Knight trilogy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules. Caine has excelled in every kind of role - with a skill that's made it look easy. He knows what success takes - he's made it to the top of his profession from the toughest beginning. But as he says 'Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it.' Now in his 85th year he wants to share everything he's learned. With brilliant new insight into his life and work and with his wonderful gift for story, this is Caine at his wise and entertaining best.
    • £15.89
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  • BSYES

    Me. You. Not a Diary (Paperback)

    Dawn French

    Me You is a pocket diary without the diary part. Or the pocket. Me You: Not A Diary is everything you loved about the original but without the calendar pages. To keep a working diary alongside Dawn, we recommend the hardback edition of Me You: A Diary. Me You is a place for me and you to reflect on the patterns and changes of the year. It's full of my thoughts about the seasons, the months and what matters. It's your guide to reflecting on the year you've just had - or the one still to come. Dive in, the paper's lovely . .
    • £7.19
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  • BSILN

    It's Not Me, It's Them (Paperback)

    Joel Dommett

    As a 17-year-old virgin working . . . for Virgin, Joel Dommett has grand ambitions. Firstly, he is going to swap suburbia for the bright lights of Showbiz. Secondly, he is going to find 'the one' - and sets himself the very achievable target of finding her in the first fifty people he's definitely going to sleep with. What follows is a series of disastrous romantic encounters, including carpets mistaken for toilets, futile grand gestures and the catfishing to end all catfishing. Featuring genuine teenage diary entries and told in Joel's trademark self-deprecating style, this is the brilliant first book from the UK's most exciting comedian.
    • £9.09
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  • BSAYE 8 years +

    The Magic Misfits (Paperback)

    Neil Patrick Harris

    The first in a funny and magical new middle grade series from Emmy award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris. Do you believe in magic? Carter doesn't. He knows magic tricks are just that - tricks. And as a street magician he's also pretty good at them. But then Carter runs away from his conman uncle and he finds himself alone and in danger from dastardly carnival ring leader, B.B. Bosso. He could really use some magic now . . . A chance encounter with the mysterious Mr Dante Vernon leads Carter to a magic shop, where he teams up with five other like-minded kids and the MAGIC MISFITS are born! Can the gang use their magical talents to save the day and stop B.B. stealing a priceless diamond?
    • £6.89
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  • BPKUG

    How to be Champion (Paperback)

    Sarah Millican

    Sarah Millican is one of Britain's favourite comedians and in her autobiography she recalls some of the daftest and funniest experiences of her life.

    From being contacted by an old school bully to living in your childhood bedroom in your 30s and being unceremoniously dumped in a Frankie & Benny's, this is an honest and hilarious book full of confessions about life and all its embarrassments.

    She also talks about how she was good at school but not so adept at making friends; the way she changed her life for the better after her divorce; and the excitement (!) of IBS .
    • £8.39
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  • BOIDB

    Believe Me (Paperback)

    Eddie Izzard

    "Don't get somewhere as fast as possible. Get somewhere as good as possible" Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Marathon runner. Political campaigner. Fashion icon. Human. There is no one quite like Eddie Izzard. This is the story of how he broke through. His relentless optimism has led him to always do things his own way, even if it didn't work first time, and his incredible self-belief has pushed him to keep on trying, even if it didn't work the second or third time either. Whether he was putting on teddy bear shows on boarding school beds or swordfighting on the streets of London, Eddie never stopped trying to achieve his dreams of becoming a performer. Brimming with his distinctively surreal humour and disarming candour, Believe Me tells the story of a boy who never took no for an answer. "This book is a raw, honest exploration of what it means to live your truth, to be unapologetically ambitious. It's about being brave. And hilarious." Chelsea Handler 'King of the Universe . . . Comic genius . . . Entertainment incarnate' Telegraph "Laughter trumps sorrow in candid comedian Eddie Izzard's Believe Me" Vanity Fair
    • £7.19
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  • BIQYC

    The Pitmen Painters (Paperback)

    Lee Hall

    In 1934, a group of Ashington miners and a dental mechanic hired a professor from Newcastle University to teach an Art Appreciation evening class. Unable to understand each other, they embarked on one of the most unusual experiments in British art as the pitmen learned to become painters. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends, their work was taken for prestigious collections and they were celebrated throughout the British art world; but every day they worked, as before, down the mine. "The Pitmen Painters" premiered at Live Theatre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in September 2007, before transferring to the National Theatre in 2008.
    • £9.89
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  • APNNJ 6 years +

    Ballet (Hardback)

    Susan Meredith

    How do ballet dancers dance on the tips of their toes? Why do they wear tutus? Beginner readers can find answers to these questions and more in this colourful information book. Illustrated with stunning photographs and illustrations accompanied by short, informative text developed with reading experts.
    • £3.99
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  • AEWVJ 14 years +

    Ballet and Modern Dance (Paperback)

    Susan Au

    This cornerstone of the "World of Art" series is a succinct, vivid and authoritative guide to the rich history of western dance in all its incarnations from 16th-century court ballet to the genre-shattering contortions of 21st-century theatrical dance. Updated for the new millennium to feature the latest styles, performers and technology, this third edition reaffirms its status as the essential introduction to the subject.
    • £9.79
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  • BZBSE

    A Right Royal Face Off (Paperback)

    Simon Edge

    It is 1777, and England's second-greatest portrait artist, Thomas Gainsborough, has a thriving practice a stone's thrown from London's royal palaces. Meanwhile, the press talks up his rivalry with Sir Joshua Reynolds, the pedantic theoretician who is the top dog of British portraiture. Fonder of the low life than high society, Gainsborough loathes pandering to grand sitters, but he changes his tune when he is commissioned to paint King George III and his large family. In their final, most bitter competition, who will be chosen as court painter, Tom or Sir Joshua? Two and a half centuries later, a badly damaged painting turns up on a downmarket TV antiques show being filmed in Suffolk. Could the monstrosity really be, as its eccentric owner claims, a Gainsborough? If so, who is the sitter? And why does he have donkey's ears? Mixing ancient and modern as he did in his acclaimed debut The Hopkins Conundrum, Simon Edge takes aim at fakery and pretension in this highly original celebration of one of our greatest artists.
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  • BYLSA

    A Hitch in Time (Paperback)

    Andy Smart

    A hilarious journey through the rumbustious early life of a comedy-circuit veteran, from Liverpool to Pamplona on a 72,000-mile road trip. Combining memoir, travel writing, and a wealth of unbelievably hilarious anecdotes, this autobiographical extravaganza chronicles the amazing early life of entertainer Andy Smart. Whether it's running with the bulls in Pamplona, juggling with pig's kidneys, drinking beer on the roof of a fast-moving train or living on the beach in Biarritz, Andy's early life comprised a series of jaw-dropping feats and bizarre situations from which, amazingly, he emerged unscathed to hitchhike to another location and fight another day. Living on his wits, sleeping rough and accepting lifts that get him into bizarre and often dangerous situations, Andy's six years spent on the road stand as a unique record of life as it was in the late 1970s and early 80s. In this hilarious memoir, they are juxtaposed with a host of earlier memories, resulting in a unique collection of dazzling funny stories that have been told and retold in countless bars and comedy clubs as well as on his regular guest spot on TalkSport Radio, but are collected together here for the first time in written form.
    • £10.39
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  • BYLDU

    Come Back to Me (Seal Island 3) (Paperback)

    Daniela Sacerdoti

    From the bestselling author of WATCH OVER ME, Daniela Sacerdoti's latest Seal Island novel is a romantic, moving and uplifting story of three different lives, connected by a thread. ** Over 1 million copies sold of Daniela Sacerdoti's novels ** Three separate lives. Three broken hearts. Haunted by his wife's death, Matt arrives on Seal Island determined to be alone and unable to escape his grief. In the island's hospital, a young woman named Rose lies in a coma, trapped by the memories of events leading up to her accident. Grace, the island's doctor, is at the heart of the community. Only she knows how much she regrets turning down the chance of love and a family years ago. For these three people hope seems gone. But life is about to offer an unexpected new beginning... Readers adore the captivating novels of Daniela Sacerdoti 'A love story that will satisfy even the most hopeless romantics' Daily Express 'Beautifully written and atmospheric' The Sun 'A great book' Lesley Pearse 'Emotional. I couldn't put it down' Daily Mail 'I fell in love with this book' Prima magazine
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  • BYIDB

    Peril en Pointe (Paperback)

    Helen Lipscombe

    Ballet Shoes meets Murder Most Unladylike in this fresh and funny spy story! Milly yearns to dance like her ballerina mum - but during the biggest performance of her life, she messes up and her mum disappears. Six months on, Milly receives an unexpected invitation to join the Swan House School of Ballet. Thrilled, Milly accepts, only to find that Swan House is no ordinary ballet school: it's a ballet school for spies. Can her new skills help her discover the truth about her mother's vanishing act?
    • £5.59
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  • BYHKN

    And Then We Danced (Paperback)

    Henry Alford

    "Captivating...equal parts memoir and cultural history, Henry Alford seamlessly interweaves heartwarming and hilarious anecdotes about his deep dive into all things dance" (Misty Copeland, The New York Times Book Review). When Henry Alford wrote about his experience with a Zumba class for The New York Times, little did he realize that it was the start of something much bigger. Dance would grow and take on many roles for Henry: exercise, stress reliever, confidence builder, an excuse to travel, a source of ongoing wonder, and-when he dances with Alzheimer's patients-even a kind of community service. Tackling a wide range of forms (including ballet, hip-hop, jazz, ballroom, tap, contact improvisation, Zumba, swing), Alford's grand tour takes us through the works and careers of luminaries ranging from Bob Fosse to George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp to Arthur Murray. Rich in insight and humor, Alford mines both personal experience and fascinating cultural history to offer a witty and ultimately moving portrait of how dance can express all things human. And Then We Danced "is in one sense a celebration of hoofer in all its wonder and variety, from abandon to refinement. But it is also history, investigation, memoir, and even, in its smart, sly way, self-help...very funny, but more, it is joyful-a dance all its own" (Vanity Fair).
    • £8.79
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  • BYGJS

    On Streisand (Hardback)

    Ethan Mordden

    She said, "I became a singer because I couldn't get work as an actress," but Barbra Streisand not only became both but revolutionized the two professions. Her music transformed the smooth, uninflected style of the Frank Sinatras and Ella Fitzgeralds into an engine of dramatic vocalism in which each song is like a miniature three-act play. And Streisand's films changed forever the ideal of how a movie star chooses roles, going from musicals to dramas to comedies, from period fare to ultra-modern tales, from Funny Girl to The Way We Were to Yentl. mainstream show-business principal to deconstruct an artist On Streisand begins with a broad year-by-year outline of the landmark achievements and a few of her more whimsical escapades, as when Rex Reed apologizes for an oafish interview piece and she responds with "I had more respect for him when he hated me." This is followed by a long essay on how Streisand's idiosyncratic self-realization marks her as a unique national treasure, an artist without limits. Then comes the major part of the book, a work-by-work analysis. This section is broken down into separate chapters, each organized chronologically: the stage shows, then the television shows and concerts, then the movies, and last (because longest) the recordings. Throughout, Mordden follows Streisand's independence, which he sees as her central quality. Throughout all of the chapters on Streisand's shows, concerts, films, and recordings, Mordden illustrates how she was exercising individualistic control of her career from her very first audition, and how the rest of her professional life unfolded from that point. pioneered an intense and even passionate singing style at A book written by an opinionated expert whose prose is consistently full of flair and wit, On Streisand: An Opinionated Guide will appeal to general readers in all aspects of American life that Streisand has touched, from film to television to popular music to stardom. Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Further, like Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson she was one of the new wave actors of the 1960s who broke away from the standard models for movie stars. But Streisand has much greater range than others of this kind, as comfortable in musical comedy as in serious drama. Thus, she has moved from the madcap roles of Hello, Dolly! and What's Up, Doc? to the tale of a young woman at war with patriarchal religious fundamentalism (in Yentl) and the insanity hearing of a prostitute who has killed (in self-defense) and whose parents want to put her away to keep her from revealing that her step-father has preyed on her sexually. Further, Streisand has directed three of her films, rare enough for an actor but perhaps especially for a woman. An American Original, Streisand is controversial as well, as all Originals are. Mediocrities may be dull, but they never get bad reviews; Streisand has irritated many a sensibility. As she herself has said, "I'm a liberal, opinionated Jewish feminist-I push a lot of buttons." There is as well the "I'm so wonderful" vanity that has haunted some of her later work, as when she records duets with the rich and famous but isolates herself from them, letting the editing of the tapes bring them together, as if she were an ice princess who might melt upon human contact. Streisand, as her own movie producer, has also been accused of recutting the director's final version to flatter her shots over those of her colleagues. And The Mirror Has Two Faces seems designed to let Streisand direct her own Cinderella tale, not unlike the old Hollywood romances in which the secretary takes off her glasses and the boss cries, "Miss Johnson!...Clarice... Why, you're... you're beautiful!" Nevertheless, Streisand has been, in all, an invigorating artist, not only unique but extraordinary. It would be impossible to imagine what American culture would have been like without her.
    • £13.59
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  • BYAPB

    Venice Saved (Paperback)

    Simone Weil

    Towards the end of her life, the French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil (1909-43) was working on a tragedy, Venice Saved. Appearing here in English for the first time, this play explores the realisation of Weil's own thoughts on tragedy. A figure of affliction, a central theme in Weil's religious metaphysics, the central character offers a unique insight into Weil's broader philosophical interest in truth and justice, and provides a fresh perspective on the wider conception of tragedy itself. The play depicts the plot by a group of Spanish mercenaries to sack Venice in 1618 and how it fails when one conspirator, Jaffier, betrays them to the Venetian authorities, because he feels compassion for the city's beauty. The edition includes notes on the play by the translators as well as introductory material on: the life of Weil; the genesis and purport of the play; Weil and the tragic; the issues raised by translating Venice Saved. With additional suggestions for further reading, the volume opens up an area of interest and research: the literary Weil.
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  • BYALR

    Art Rebels (Hardback)

    Paul Lopes

    How creative freedom, race, class, and gender shaped the rebellion of two visionary artists Postwar America experienced an unprecedented flourishing of avant-garde and independent art. Across the arts, artists rebelled against traditional conventions, embracing a commitment to creative autonomy and personal vision never before witnessed in the United States. Paul Lopes calls this the Heroic Age of American Art, and identifies two artists--Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese--as two of its leading icons. In this compelling book, Lopes tells the story of how a pair of talented and outspoken art rebels defied prevailing conventions to elevate American jazz and film to unimagined critical heights. During the Heroic Age of American Art--where creative independence and the unrelenting pressures of success were constantly at odds--Davis and Scorsese became influential figures with such modern classics as Kind of Blue and Raging Bull. Their careers also reflected the conflicting ideals of, and contentious debates concerning, avant-garde and independent art during this period. In examining their art and public stories, Lopes also shows how their rebellions as artists were intimately linked to their racial and ethnic identities and how both artists adopted hypermasculine ideologies that exposed the problematic intersection of gender with their racial and ethnic identities as iconic art rebels. Art Rebels is the essential account of a new breed of artists who left an indelible mark on American culture in the second half of the twentieth century. It is an unforgettable portrait of two iconic artists who exemplified the complex interplay of the quest for artistic autonomy and the expression of social identity during the Heroic Age of American Art.
    • £23.99
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If you’re a big fan of all that can be performed on a stage, you won’t be able to resist our brilliant theatre books.

Dazzling dance books

Explore a range of dance styles, including ballet and street dance, in our great dance books, perfect for anyone who loves to move.

Thrilling theatre books

Our thrilling theatre books are perfect for thespians and theatre fans alike. Discover books about the most famous Shakespeare plays, genres of drama and guides to acting, directing and all aspects of putting on a production.

A range of performing arts

Theatre and dance aren’t the only things that can be performed on a stage. Explore all forms of performance with our performing arts books, covering topics such as stand-up comedy and magic.