Performing Arts Books

  • BAPXU
    • £21.99
    Funny, lively and unpredictable, stand-up comedy is above all a medium to be enjoyed. Popular as a good night out and packing the TV schedules, stand-up permeates British society and culture. Ubiquitous though it is, we are generally reluctant to consider comedy's social consequences. When comedians offend we seem ready to consider the potential for stand-up to do some wider harm, yet we rarely consider the good that it might do. This book looks at the social and political impact of stand-up comedy in both its positive and negative forms. Drawing on exclusive interviews with comedians such as Stewart Lee, Josie Long, Joe Wilkinson and Mark Thomas, and examples of comic material on everything from revolution, terrorism and homosexuality, to knitting and the inefficiency of the home shower, it explores comedy's role in determining our attitudes and opinions. While revealing the conventions comics use to manage audience response, Sophie Quirk demonstrates how comedy audiences allow themselves to be manipulated, and the potential harm - and real benefits - that may arise from 'just' being funny.
  • BBNLD
    • £23.99
    The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy examines how contemporary writer/performers are influenced by the comedic vaudevillians of the early 20th century. By tracing the history and legacy of the vaudeville era and performance acts, like the Marx Brothers and The Three Keatons, and moving through the silent and early sound films of the early 1930s, the author looks at how comic writer/performers continue to sell a brand of themselves as a form of social commentary in order to confront and dispel stereotypes of race, class, and gender. The first study to explore contemporary popular comic culture and its influence on American society from this unique perspective, Rick DesRochers analyzes stand-up and improvisational comedy writing/performing in the work of Larry David, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Dave Chappelle. He grounds these choices by examining their evolution as they developed signature characters and sketches for their respective shows Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and Chappelle's Show.
  • BDHLT
    • £17.99
    'This is the kind of book that troubles grey-suited committees of academic peers. It's too enjoyable. But that, given its subject, is just what it ought to be, and it treats that subject seriously ...There isn't a "dull" page anywhere in the book.' - Professor Peter Thomson, Studies in Theatre and Performance Comedy is changing: stand-up comedians routinely sell out stadia, their audience-figures swollen by panel-show appearances and much-followed Twitter feeds. Meanwhile, the smaller clubs are filling up, with audiences as well as aspirants. How can we make sense of it all? This new edition of Getting the Joke gives an insider's look at the spectrum of modern comedy, re-examining the world of stand-up in the internet age. Drawing on his acclaimed first edition, Oliver Double focuses in greater detail on the US scene and its comedians (such as David Cross, Sarah Silverman, Louis CK, Demetri Martin and Margaret Cho); the 'DIY' comedy circuit and its celebrated apostles and visionaries, from Josie Long to Stewart Lee; the growing importance of the solo stand-up show; the role played by Twitter (including an interview with the organiser of the world's first comedy gig on Twitter), and the driving force that is the TV guest slot, be it on Mock the Week or Live at the Apollo. With expanded sections on joke construction, as well as ways to challenge the audience, and a host of new and updated exercises to guide the aspiring comedian, this new edition of Getting the Joke is the only book to combine the history of stand-up comedy with an analysis of the elements and methods that go into its creation. Featuring a range of interviews with working comedians - from circuit veterans to new kids on the block - combined with the author's vast experience, this is a must read for any aspiring stand-up comedian.
  • BEZBZ
    • £34.95
    Working at the cutting edge of live performance, an emerging generation of artists is employing digital technologies to create distinctive forms of interactive, distributed, and often deeply subjective theatrical performance. The work of these artists is not only fundamentally transforming the experience of theater, it is also reshaping the nature of human interaction with computers. In this book, Steve Benford and Gabriella Giannachi offer a new theoretical framework for understanding these experiences -- which they term mixed reality performances -- and document a series of landmark performances and installations that mix the real and the virtual, live performance and interactivity. Benford and Giannachi draw on a number of works that have been developed at the University of Nottingham's Mixed Reality Laboratory, describing collaborations with artists (most notably the group Blast Theory) that have gradually evolved a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to combining practice with research. They offer detailed and extended accounts of these works from different perspectives, including interviews with the artists and Mixed Reality Laboratory researchers. The authors develop an overarching theory to guide the study and design of mixed reality performances based on the approach of interleaved trajectories through hybrid structures of space, time, interfaces, and roles. Combinations of canonical, participant, and historic trajectories show how such performances establish complex configurations of real and virtual, local and global, factual and fictional, and personal and social.
  • ACNCX
    • £9.09
    • RRP £9.95
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    First published in 1979, the latest edition of this pioneering study in "the World of Art" series surveys a full century of performance, from the Futurist manifesto of 1909 to the second decade of the new millennium. Art historian and gallery curator Rose Lee Goldberg explains how a medium once used only in sporadic outbreaks of artistic dissent has become, over the course of a century, a vital and integral part of the contemporary mainstream and a global phenomenon.
  • AFDKO
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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    This practical and inspirational book introduces readers to the value of storytelling throughout life, discussing the importance of traditional tales, and how they can transform our lives from childhood through to old age. Children develop emotional intelligence by being immersed in stories that deal with the challenges they face in growing up. Josie Felce discusses the use of stories in the Steiner-Waldorf school curriculum, and hopes to pass on this wisdom to a wider audience. She goes on to discuss the therapeutic value of stories throughout our adult lives, how they help us to approach challenges creatively, giving examples of how stories can be used in group development sessions. Felce considers the difference between telling and reading a story, offering practical advice on body language and presentation skills. Throughout the book she recommends suitable stories for different age groups and situations, with examples of how to adapt stories and tailor them for your audience.
  • AHLEQ
    • £21.89
    • RRP £25.00
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    Live, or performance, art is one of the most controversial and hotly discussed areas of art practice to emerge in the second half of the twentieth century. The history of live art is one of challenge to audiences, art traditions and cultural values. With elements of performance now part of the practice of many of today's best-known artists, and boundaries between visual art, theatre and live art more and more blurred, this collection is long overdue. Leading artists and thinkers assess the relevance of live art now, its impact within the visual arts and the broader cultural sphere. Hugo Glendinning's stunning colour photographs of performance events are combined with numerous essays examining the political, philosophical and cultural resonances of the work of a diverse range of international live artists, both historical and contemporary. Accessible, critically astute and expansive, Live is an indispensable resource for all those with an interest in some of the most vibrant and contested issues in art today.
  • AJAOP
    • £9.89
    • RRP £9.99
    Confidence is essential for any stand-up comic and having confidence in your material is the first step to having greater confidence on stage. It is said that proper preparation makes for professional performance and this book provides the tools to achieve this, offering down-to-earth practical advice and a logical progression from identifying your stage persona, thinking about your audience and the craft of honing comedy material to fit your persona and audience, through to structuring your stand-up set, preparing for when things might go wrong, and last but not least - progressing your career. Get Your Act Together is a book for anyone who wants to be serious about becoming a stand-up comic and wants to do it well.
  • ALOFJ
    • £22.89
    • RRP £25.00
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    In Victorian England, everyone went to the pantomime, from Queen Victoria and her family to the humblest of her subjects. The English Pantomime is one of the most popular, least examined of all theatrical forms. It's been the festive mainstay of the English stage since the eighteenth century, and it has survived by its ability to evolve. This continual evolution is traced by Jeffrey Richards in the first history of panto through its 'Golden Age' in Victorian England. He explores the spectacle, the slapstick, and the talent for subversion that nineteenth-century pantomime had - and still has today. He shows the panto, with its remarkable actors, managers, producers and punters across the country from Drury Lane to Blackpool, to be a remarkable cultural barometer of its times. This is a treat as rich as turkey and Christmas pudding.
  • AMVRR
    • £10.89
    • RRP £10.99
    A new edition of Be A Great Stand-Up, now fully revised and updated with new material on setting up and running a comedy night and mining almost any subject for jokes. Logan Murray has successfully taught the techniques of stand-up comedy to thousands, and in this book he distils his years of experience into the essential skills for a great and enjoyable performance. He will help you find your creative streak and your funny side, build the confidence to deliver, and explain the finer details of stagecraft, from dealing with hecklers to coping with props. There is a full guide to the practicalities, from finding gigs to securing an agent, with plenty of valuable hints, tips and advice. Drawing on Logan's years of teaching and his own successful stand-up career, with top tips from some of the most well-known people in the business, it is guaranteed to bring a smile to both your face and that of your future audience. As well as full updates throughout the book, this new edition contains fresh material on how to set up and run a comedy night, mine any subject for jokes and advice on festivals.
  • BSZRP
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
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    A collector's edition of the classic, illustrated, and comprehensive history of magic and the occult In the occult classic The Mirror of Magic, renowned Surrealist Kurt Seligmann (1900-1962) draws from his encyclopedic practitioner's knowledge and extensive antiquarian collection to offer a comprehensive, illustrated history of magic and the occult from Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt through the 18th century. He explores the gods and divinatory arts of the legendary Sumerians and the star-wise Babylonians, including the birth of astrology. He examines the afterlife beliefs of the ancient Egyptians and the dream interpretation practices and oracles of ancient Greece, including the mysteries of Eleusis and the magical philosophy of Plato, Socrates, and other Greeks. He uncovers the origins of Gnosticism and the suppression and banishment of magic by the post-pagan, Christian emperors of Rome. Seligmann reviews the principles of alchemy, sharing famous transmutations and allegorical illustrations of the alchemical process and explores the Hermetica and its remarkable adepts. Investigating the Middle Ages, the author discusses the work of European magicians of the time, including Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, Agrippa, Nostradamus, and Pico Della Mirandola. First published in 1948, this history of magic and the occult seeks to "mirror" the magical worldview throughout the ages. Beautifully illustrated with images from the author's rare library, this collector's edition features all of the artwork--more than 250 images--from the original 1948 edition.
  • BRZLS
    • £23.99
    • RRP £30.00
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    In this important new survey, Catherine Wood proposes performance not as a genre of art separate from object-making but as an attitude that has infiltrated the entire terrain of contemporary art. From the musical-theatricals of Marvin-Gaye Chetwynd to the public encounters created by Tino Seghal and the social activism of Tania Bruguera, a hugely divergent set of practices has emerged in the past twenty to thirty years which embrace the worlds of sculpture and painting, spectacle and protest. Examining in turn individual, social and object-based approaches in the field, Wood first examines the influential performance art of the 1960s to 1980s: the body art of the Viennese actionists; the raw performances of Yoko Ono and Chris Burden; and the experiments of the Japanese Gutai group among others. She then explores how these sources have been revisited, reformed or rejected by contemporary artists in the twenty-first century. This impressive book encompasses international artists who fall outside the traditional European and North American focus, giving the reader the broadest and most up-to-date insight into the subject yet published.
  • BKGVT
    • £24.00
    • RRP £30.00
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    In THEFT BY FINDING, David Sedaris opened up his written diaries (and himself) to the world in an unprecedented way. Now, in this illustrated volume, readers will for the first time be able to experience the elaborate, three-dimensional, handmade form that his diaries have always taken. For, in addition to being an unparalleled chronicler of the world around him, Sedaris has always been a keen observer and collector of the art, objects, and ephemera that are part of his visual landscape.A celebration of the odd and unexpected, the beautiful and the ugly, and the humorous and sensitive reflections so familiar to any fan of his writing, DAVID SEDARIS DIARIES (1977-2016): A VISUAL COMPENDIUM offers unique insight into the author's view of the world and stands alone as a striking, collectible volume in itself. Compiled and edited by Sedaris's longtime friend Jeffrey Jenkins, and including interactive components, postcards, and never-before-seen photos and artwork, this is a necessary addition to any Sedaris collection, and will enthrall the author's fans for many years to come.
  • BIAIT
    DK
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
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    Discover historical insights, lesser-known facts, and incredible photography of iconic movies including Mother India, Mughal-e-Azam, Sholay, and Bajirao Mastani with this gorgeous celebration of the world's biggest film industry. Bollywood charts the world of Hindi cinema year-by-year from the pioneering studios of the 1930s, through the Golden Age, to the age of Big Money in the 21st century and it's biggest modern stars.With over 1,000 films produced every year, the glitter and charm of Bollywood is unrivalled anywhere else in the world. Bollywood takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of Hindi cinema's biggest blockbusters, with stunning film stills and plot timelines, as well as insightful biographies of iconic stars including Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, and Shahrukh Khan.Bring the spectacle home and be enchanted by the glamour and colour of Indian cinema with this glittering homage to Bollywood!
  • BOJIH
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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    `Cooperman! The Life of Tommy Cooper' is a hilarious look at one of Britain's best-loved comedians. For almost four decades, Tommy Cooper was the most popular entertainer in the country, and certainly the most imitated. This is the story of the man and his magic, his life, and his times. This volume contains hundreds of his favourite jokes, tricks, and sketches, as well as behind-the-scenes stories from his friends, family, and fellow artistes. This entertaining and informative account provides an insight into the fun and humour of Tommy Cooper. It is intended as genial aide-memoire to remind fans why they loved this British comedy giant. Cooperman! is an authorised biography, presented with the blessing of Cooper's family and estate. Ian Carroll is a co-writer and creator of `Just Like That! The Tommy Cooper Show', a theatrical play currently touring across the UK to both critical and audience acclaim.
  • BSYVM
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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    The double act has been at the heart of British entertainment for over 150 years, yet there has never been a book detailing how this form of comedy continues to develop. From music hall turns such as Flanagan & Allen, to variety acts who managed to make the transformation to television such as Morecambe & Wise, to more recent performers - Armstrong & Miller, Mitchell & Webb - The Double Act explores the dynamics of this form of entertainment. It encompasses the often neglected field of female double-acts, such as Victoria Wood & Julie Walters and French & Saunders, and the acts associated with alternative comedy and the Edinburgh Fringe, from Rik Mayall & Ade Edmondson to Stewart Lee & Richard Herring. There would also be chapters on the double-acts created by TV sitcoms - e.g. Tony Hancock & Sidney James, Terry & June, George & Mildred - and on the subtle art of the straight man.
  • BRYMZ
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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    This hilarious and irreverent autobiography is from award-winning British stand-up comedian, Romesh Ranganathan. His book is highly recommended by Jonathan Ross, and The Guardian has said that "His ability to produce bitingly fresh gags marks him out the crowd".

    Starting his career as a math teacher, Romesh then made his comedy debut in 2010 which has since seen the success of his two Edinburgh Festival shows and his critically acclaimed 2015 BBC series, Asian Provocateur.

    And now, for the first time, Romesh tells the full story of how he got to where he is today. From the delights of Sri Lankan hospitality to his struggles as a child, teacher and now parent, to his adolescent flirtation with a rap career and his attempts to make it in comedy, Straight Outta Crawley is Ranganathan's irresistibly funny and original memoir.
  • BSIYE
    • £15.19
    • RRP £18.99
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    'Elis and John are my go-to place when I need a bloody good laugh. Properly funny!' Sarah Millican Comedians Elis James and John Robins have captured the hearts and minds of a generation, and it's time those hearts and minds had a book. Elis and John met in 2005 performing stand-up comedy in a pub called The Yellow Kangaroo in Cardiff. They eyed each other suspiciously before Robins offered the limpest handshake in the history of the world. 'It was a power play,' says Robins. 'I may even have raised it for him to kiss.' James expands: 'It was one of the weirdest things I'd ever experienced, but having known John now for over a decade, it was the tip of the iceberg. I can honestly say he's the oddest man I've ever met.' Little did they know that ten years later they would be presenting a radio show together that would make them comedy royalty... Ok, radio comedy royalty...Ok, commercial digital indie radio royalty...But with a podcast! Now, The Elis James and John Robins' Show has become cult listening, and that cult has registered for charitable status, published quarterly accounts and been given a full blessing by the Archbishop of Broadcasting. It's official: Elis and John are a religion, and this book is their Holy Vible. Have you ever failed to Keep It Session? Is your new flatmate a complete coin? Have you ever eaten Space Raiders on the toilet and written 'Grief Is Living' in your journal? Then this book is for you. If not, don't worry, it won't be long before you're making up games, looking at Freddie, or facing your own personal farthing-gate. Our obsessions make us what we are, and though you may never have addressed a will to Brian May or cried watching Ronnie O' Sullivan make a 147, you'll have done something similar, and Elis and John are here to tell you that you're not weird, so come on in, and taste the vibe! Or should I say, READ the vibe!
  • BHKVY
    Joshua Jay
    • £14.39
    • RRP £17.99
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    Toss the tuxedo. No more impaling women in boxes. Lose that top hat and set the rabbit free. Magic is getting a makeover. Forget those tired birthday party tricks or overproduced nonbelievable illusions. Joshua Jay's "Magic" is a complete course, jam-packed with over a hundred amazing but easy-to-learn effects. Much more than a collection of tricks, this book teaches both the mechanics and presentation necessary to perform each trick - since only a mastery of both (plus a lot of practice) makes a real magician. In "Magic", the performance scripts are topical (so you can transition seamlessly from a real conversation into a trick), the props are familiar (often right in front of you), and the magic is unbelievable (leaving your audience perfectly flabbergasted). Chapters cover a wide-range of scenarios in which you will learn to make money appear, predict thoughts and phone numbers, control a participant's decision, and demonstrate superhuman memory. As a bonus, "Magic" recasts some of the classic prop-tricks that historically require rubber thumbs or trick card decks, into new modern effects.
  • BHMCR
    • £13.59
    • RRP £16.99
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    Anyone responsible for organising a voluntary or public event will want to do it safely and well, complying with the legislation relating to different aspects of their event. This book will help you to research, plan, organise, manage and deliver any event, match, show, tournament or function that will be attended by more than a handful of people. You may be running a gymkhana, fete, fun run, steam fayre, half marathon, carnival, school sports day, jumble sale, tennis tournament, car boot sale, model aircraft show or even a huge pop festival or Formula 1 car race. Whatever it is, the principles are the same. As event manager you will need to research, plan, liaise with authorities, obtain permissions and licences, comply with legal requirements and then deliver the event to the public. Contents: 1. Introduction; 2. The event manager; 3. The event objective; 4. Planning the event; 5. Health & safety; 6. Type of event; 7. When to run the event; 8. Defining your target audience; 9. Audience size; 10. Advertising; 11. Event attractions; 12. Event requirements; 13. Accommodation and services; 14. Event site; 15. Traffic management; 16. Sign posting; 17. Permissions; 18. Car parking; 19. Radio communications; 20. Staffing; 21. First aid; 22. Security; 23. Insurance; 24. Emergency and normal procedures; 25. Formal presentation; 26. Event manager's manual; 27. Money; 28. Accounts; 29. Video diary/evidence; 30. Setting up; 31. Site maintenance; 32. Strip down/clear up; 33. Final debrief 34. Final report; 35. Conclusion; Annex A; Annex B; Index.
  • BKWVY
    • £13.59
    • RRP £16.99
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    Can you keep a secret? Inside this book you will find many, from the mind of one of the most talented magicians in the world: Dynamo. In this fully illustrated guide to modern magic, Dynamo shows you how you can perform magic yourself. Learn how to make water freeze instantly, read your friends' minds, make chewing gum float 360 degrees around your head, slice a banana without even touching it, discover superhuman strength and many more mind-blowing illusions. A magical masterclass, The Book of Secrets will be the first step on an exciting journey for budding magicians, providing hours of breathtaking fun for all the family.#BeTheMagic
  • BRICE
    • £13.59
    • RRP £16.99
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    In HOW TO PRODUCE COMEDY BRONZE, legendary TV producer Jon Plowman lifts the hood on the comedy industry so you can peer inside and wonder how any of it ever got made in the first place. In a career spanning 30 years Jon has learned (almost) everything there is to know about comedy and now wants to share his wealth of knowledge, before he becomes completely demented and forgets how to do it. Working with Fry and Laurie, travelling with the cast of Absolutely Fabulous, saying 'yes' to The Office - together these stories combine to tell the uncensored story of how TV comedy works, from the first germ of an idea to the after-party at the Emmys - all through a life in comedy. Read this book and if you're not careful learn how to make the world laugh at your ideas too!
  • BKZIV
    • £16.89
    • RRP £19.99
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    'The naughtiest, helpiest, laughieoutloudiest and goodest book I've ever done reading on. Give that girl a banana!' DAWN FRENCH *****THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERSARAH MILLICAN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH, FEEL NORMAL AND PROBABLY SNIFF YOUR LEGGINGS. Part autobiography, part self help, part confession, part celebration of being a common-or-garden woman, part collection of synonyms for nunny, Sarah Millican's debut book delves into her super normal life with daft stories, funny tales and proper advice on how to get past life's blips - like being good at school but not good at friends, the excitement of IBS and how to blossom post divorce. If you've ever worn glasses at the age of six, worn an off-the-shoulder gown with no confidence, been contacted by an old school bully, lived in your childhood bedroom in your thirties, been gloriously dumped in a Frankie and Benny's, cried so much you felt great, been for a romantic walk with a dog, worn leggings two days in a row even though they smelt of wee from a distance, then this is YOUR BOOK. If you haven't done those things but wish you had, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. If you just want to laugh on a train/sofa/toilet or under your desk at work, THIS IS YOUR BOOK.'Of course Sarah Millican's book will make you laugh out loud, but there are moments where she will touch you deeply. The dirty bitch.' KATHY BURKE
  • BOHRY
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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    My comedy career began in 1971, which proves I have no comic timing. In 1971 there were no comedy clubs, no comedy agents and not much comedy future. Inspired by Spike Milligan, John Dowie embarked on his comedy career in a time when such a thing was virtually unheard of, and then, just as alternative comedy began to be recognised by popular culture, he quit. And so began his next obsession - riding his bike. Having been blessed (or cursed) with an addictive personality, Dowie quickly realises that what was once a simple hobby - cycling - will soon become something very different... This book follows a similar route to his cycling habits: it meanders from place to place, occasionally gets lost but is unfailingly entertaining. Wending his way through France and Holland, round the lanes of Norfolk and over the hills of Devon, Dowie expertly leads his readers on a delightful journey through the trials, tribulations and triumphs of his life so far.