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We have all the best books on acting to help you become a star of the stage. They cover a range of techniques.

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Acting Techniques Books

We have all the best books on acting to help you become a star of the stage. They cover a range of techniques.

  • Blowing the Bloody Doors Off

    Michael Caine

    Product Code: BXKSY
    Paperback
    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.
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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  • Performing Shakespeare

    Oliver Ford Davies

    Product Code: BJPBI
    Paperback
    Drawing on a lifetime's experience of playing Shakespearean roles, Oliver Ford Davies offers practical advice to actors, directors and drama students on a wide variety of scenes, characters, speeches and individual lines from almost every one of the plays. The three core sections of "Performing Shakespeare" take us through the whole process of Preparation, Rehearsal and Performance, preceded by discussions of the Elizabethan actor and Shakespeare's language. Also included are revealing interviews with other notable Shakespearean actors including Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Harriet Walter, Simon Russell Beale and Juliet Stevenson.
    • £9.49
    • RRP £10.99
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  • National Youth Theatre Monologues: Speeches for Young People

    Product Code: BGMOB
    Paperback
    An invaluable new collection of audition speeches drawn from material produced by world-leading youth arts organisation the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. Edited by NYT Associate Artist Michael Bryher, the book contains over 75 monologues all taken from plays performed by the NYT, by writers such as Zawe Ashton, Moira Buffini, Carol Ann Duffy, Brian Friel, James Graham, Dennis Kelly, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Gbolahan Obisesan, Evan Placey and Jack Thorne. Also included are tips on performing the speeches from current and former NYT members, plus advice on preparing for auditions.
    • £10.49
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Musical Theatre Auditions and Casting

    Neil Rutherford

    Product Code: BDXBU
    Paperback
    Musical theatre is a tough and over-crowded industry. Yet, despite the huge competition, many performers find auditioning difficult with little knowledge of what the directors, creative teams and producers are looking for, or how to win the panel over with their unique talent. As a leading international casting director, Neil Rutherford has seen thousands of hopefuls audition over the years. Uniquely, he also understands what it is like to audition from his years as a professional actor in musical theatre. This book provides a unique perspective on the musical theatre audition process and how to improve the chances of landing a role. With wit, humour and insight, Neil Rutherford guides the reader through the crucial elements of musical theatre auditions, opening up the process of casting and auditioning to the thousands of hopefuls trying to secure work in this industry every year, as well as anyone involved in musical theatre. With a foreword by Tony-award-winning director Bartlett Sher, the book also contains contributions from some of the world's leading directors and musical directors, including Sir Richard Eyre and Jerry Mitchell, adding further valuable insight from those at the centre of the musical theatre world. This book is a vital tool for anyone hoping to improve their audition chances and survive in the world of musical theatre.
    • £17.99
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  • Acting Shakespeare's Language

    Andy Hinds

    Product Code: AZRJN
    Paperback
    In this inspirational new manual, Andy Hinds shares what he has learnt over thirty years of teaching the speaking and acting of Shakespeare's texts. In simple steps he brings the reader to a full understanding of how Shakespeare's language 'works', lucidly outlines a number of practical guidelines, and provides simple, test-proven exercises to put each guideline into practice. Key points include: -Acting Solo Speeches -Pronunciation -Imagery and imagistic language -Acting Shakespeare's Verse -Acting Shakespeare's Prose -Breathing The essential guide for all actors, students, teachers or directors tackling Shakespeare's plays or speeches and wishing to release the full dramatic power of his words.
    • £12.39
    • RRP £14.99
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  • More Golden Rules of Acting

    Andy Nyman

    Product Code: CBLFK
    Paperback
    Andy Nyman's first book, The Golden Rules of Acting, has become a bestseller in the acting world. Now he returns to bring you more priceless nuggets gleaned from more than thirty years in the acting business. This book will help you to... Learn to love auditions and self-tapes (yes, really!) Look after your mental health Deal with success and failure Burst a few bubbles that need bursting Written with the same candid wit as his first book, this is every actor's new best friend in handy paperback form. 'With great humour, wisdom and panache, Andy Nyman presents tasty advice for any actor. He knows that the more rules and craft under your belt, the more daring and original you will be as an artist' Glenn Close 'As with the first volume, this book gets to the heart of what being a working actor is about. No faff, no mystery, just practicalities that are always worth being reminded of' Martin Freeman Praise for The Golden Rules of Acting: 'Probably the most important book on acting and actors I've ever read; period! Keep it by your bedside at all times!' Liam Neeson OBE 'I absolutely devoured this book. Yes, it's witty but it's also sincere, informative, practical and humble in its truths' Toni Collette 'Sage advice and wisdom for actors, and non-actors alike... truthful, eye-opening and insightful, reading it feels like getting tips and advice from a friend down the pub; it is a goldmine of information' Huffington Post 'Andy's distilled guidebook is smart, hilarious, and just might get you work!' Neil Patrick Harris
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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  • Virtuoso

    Murray Pomerance (Independent

    Product Code: BXHTG
    Paperback
    Elizabeth Taylor's electrifying performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The milkshake scene in There Will be Blood. Leonardo DiCaprio's turn as Arnie in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? What makes these performances so special? Eloquently written and engagingly laid out, Murray Pomerance answers the tough question as to what makes an exceptional, or virtuosic performance. Pomerance intensively explores virtuosic performance in film, ranging from classical works through to contemporary production, and gives serious consideration to structural problems of dramatization and production, actorial methods and tricks, and contingencies that befall performers giving stand-out moments. Looking at more than 40 aspects of the virtuosic act, and using an approach based in careful meditation and discursion, Virtuoso moves through such themes as showing off, effacement, self-consciousness, performative collapse, spontaneity, acting as dream, acting and femininity, virtuosity and torture, secrecy, improvisation, virtuosic silence, and others; giving special attention to the labors of such figures as Fred Astaire, Johnny Depp, Marlene Dietrich, Basil Rathbone, Christopher Plummer, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alice Brady, Ethel Waters, James Mason, and dozens more. Numerous scenic virtuosities are examined in depth, from films as far-ranging as Singin' in the Rain and The Bridge on the River Kwai, and My Man Godfrey. As the first book about virtuosity in film performance, Virtuoso offers exciting new angles from which to view film both classical and contemporary.
    • £24.99
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  • Acting: Cut the Crap, Cue the Truth

    Natalie Burt

    Product Code: BWEFI
    Paperback
    This new resource for both budding and existing actors fills a gap in the drama school curriculum by boldly posing questions and suggesting answers about life in the industry that before now have been neglected, avoided or ignored. Starting from the 3rd year of drama school, and on to life as a working actor, this book offers information that is current, relevant and from the frontline. Using an informal, unapologetic and at times humorous tone it highlights the most productive and constructive ways to succeed whilst mapping out and commenting on the perks and pitfalls that an actor must face. Devoid of gimmicks and quick-fixes, it offers professional advice for those about to graduate, continuing right through the career of a working actor. Chapters concentrate on working in the theatre, on screen and in voiceovers whilst also addressing more practical, day to day issues such as finance, auditions, getting/keeping an agent, as well as how to function when out of work - something no one mentions at drama school! Without claiming to be a book of answers or a ticket to success, it is an honest account of what the life and business of being an actor is actually about, with no other intention than to motivate, encourage and prolong the careers of the actors of tomorrow. Written by a young, tenacious actor herself, this is advice from the horse's mouth, from a person who has been through it and is still doing it. This book also features conversations with up-and-coming professionals in the industry, including directors, agents, casting directors and other working actors. A book not only to assist actors in earning their title, but one that is designed to ensure that they keep it.
    • £13.49
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Blowing the Bloody Doors Off

    Michael Caine

    Product Code: BUAFJ
    Hardback
    (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
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Directing Screen Performances

    Robert Klenner (Acting Head of

    Product Code: BTXWY
    Hardback
    The core goal of Directing Screen Performances is to teach aspiring directors how to prepare and work with actors. Through a practical exploration of the major approaches to contemporary screen acting, you will learn how to formulate your own effective modes of communication to craft compelling performances. Directing performances for the screen starts well before the actor is cast and finishes well after the last slate is shot. In this book you will learn how to analyze a script, brief the casting director, rehearse the actors, decide on the visual treatment that enriches their performances, direct effectively on set and finesse the character in the edit. The director's process is clearly defined and augmented with illustrations, photographs and graphics, and each chapter concludes with practical exercises to consolidate the new knowledge.
    • £75.00
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  • Directing Screen Performances

    Robert Klenner (Acting Head of

    Product Code: BTXLZ
    Paperback
    The core goal of Directing Screen Performances is to teach aspiring directors how to prepare and work with actors. Through a practical exploration of the major approaches to contemporary screen acting, you will learn how to formulate your own effective modes of communication to craft compelling performances. Directing performances for the screen starts well before the actor is cast and finishes well after the last slate is shot. In this book you will learn how to analyze a script, brief the casting director, rehearse the actors, decide on the visual treatment that enriches their performances, direct effectively on set and finesse the character in the edit. The director's process is clearly defined and augmented with illustrations, photographs and graphics, and each chapter concludes with practical exercises to consolidate the new knowledge.
    • £24.99
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  • Impro

    Keith Johnstone

    Product Code: BSIRK
    Paperback
    In this landmark work Keith Johnstone provides a revelatory guide to rediscovering and unlocking the imagination. Admired for its clarity and zest, Impro lays bare the techniques and exercises used to foster spontaneity and narrative skill for actors. These techniques and exercises were evolved in the actors' studio, when he was Associate Director of the Royal Court and then in demonstrations to schools and colleges and ultimately in the founding of a company of performers called The Theatre Machine. Divided into four sections, 'Status', 'Spontaneity', 'Narrative Skills' and 'Masks and Trance', arranged more or less in the order a group might approach them, the book sets out the specific approaches which Johnstone has himself found most useful and most stimulating. The result is a fascinating exploration of the nature of spontaneous creativity. 'If teachers were honoured in the British theatre along-side directors, designers and playwrights, Keith Johnstone would be as familiar a name as are those of . . . Jocelyn Herbert, Edward Bond and other young talents who were drawn to the great lodestone of the Royal Court Theatre in the late 1950s. As head of the script department, Johnstone played a crucial part in the development of the 'writers' theatre.' Irving Wardle
    • £14.99
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  • A Life-coaching Approach to Screen Acting

    Daniel Dresner (Freelance, UK)

    Product Code: BSBFU
    Paperback
    Combining life-coaching and screen-acting techniques in one accessible handbook, this helpful guide empowers actors to overcome personal inhibitions and approach their work, characters and careers with confidence to produce real and believable acting on screen every time. Structured to build absolute confidence and understanding of yourself before you take on a new role and play someone else, this book employs life-coaching techniques to give you the conviction to face a fulfilling but potentially daunting career as an actor. After mentoring you towards self-assurance, Dresner moves on to examine essential elements of a screen actor's craft, such as emotions, imagination, nerves, focus, listening and line-learning. This is a book that not only enables you to shed your inhibitions, but also equips you with the tools and practical thoughts to create powerful, believable characters. Published in partnership with The Actors Centre, A Life-coaching Approach to Screen Acting includes online videos of hands-on coaching sessions between the author and professional actors and is ideal for readers and teachers looking to replicate the method in their own training.
    • £19.99
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  • A Life-coaching Approach to Screen Acting

    Daniel Dresner (Freelance, UK)

    Product Code: BSBFT
    Hardback
    Combining life-coaching and screen-acting techniques in one accessible handbook, this helpful guide empowers actors to overcome personal inhibitions and approach their work, characters and careers with confidence to produce real and believable acting on screen every time. Structured to build absolute confidence and understanding of yourself before you take on a new role and play someone else, this book employs life-coaching techniques to give you the conviction to face a fulfilling but potentially daunting career as an actor. After mentoring you towards self-assurance, Dresner moves on to examine essential elements of a screen actor's craft, such as emotions, imagination, nerves, focus, listening and line-learning. This is a book that not only enables you to shed your inhibitions, but also equips you with the tools and practical thoughts to create powerful, believable characters. Published in partnership with The Actors Centre, A Life-coaching Approach to Screen Acting includes online videos of hands-on coaching sessions between the author and professional actors and is ideal for readers and teachers looking to replicate the method in their own training.
    • £65.00
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  • Kathleen Turner on Acting

    Kathleen Turner

    Product Code: BSAYX
    Hardback
    Few actors have had a career as dynamic as that Kathleen Turner's; success has followed her from the television screen to major blockbusters, from indie films to the theater stage. Over her forty-year career, Turner has developed an instinctual knowledge of what it takes to be a successful actor, and, in her conversations with esteemed film professor Dustin Morrow, she shares these lessons with the world. With her iconic wit on full display, Turner dazzles readers with her shrewd insights on the craft of acting and charming anecdotes from her own storied career. Touching on each of her roles, she expounds on the lessons she's learned and describes her journey of discovery in the world of acting. An epic and intense one-on-one master class in acting from the best teacher imaginable, Kathleen Turner on Acting is a must for acting and directing students of every age, established actors and directors, filmmakers, theater pros, and artists of every stripe.
    • £16.99
    • RRP £18.99
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  • The Voice Exercise Book: The Warm-Ups

    Jeannette Nelson

    Product Code: BQEBA
    Audio
    Essential warm-up exercises for anyone who wants to use their voice more effectively. If you're using your voice in a professional capacity - as a performer, a public speaker, a teacher, or even for long hours over the telephone - then warming up is an essential part of ensuring best practice and vocal health. On this CD, Jeannette Nelson, Head of Voice at the National Theatre, provides three complete and easy-to-use voice warm-ups that she uses with actors and non-actors alike. Simply press play, and follow the instructions, either on your own or in a group. Each warm-up helps you release physical tension and prepare your breathing, open up your voice and improve your resonance, and get the speech muscles in your mouth working freely. There is also a warm-down for after you have been using your voice, to release any tensions, re-establish good muscle action, and keep healthy for the next time. `Jeannette's warm-up sessions are tremendous' ZoeI? Wanamaker CBE `Jeannette's knowledge is astonishing, and her approach so gentle and effective' Derren Brown `She makes voice production endlessly fascinating and fun. There is no one better' Rory Kinnear
    • £8.00
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  • The Improviser's Way

    Katy Schutte

    Product Code: BQCZH
    Paperback
    An inspiring and interactive workbook to help you develop skills for longform improvisation, by one of the UK's top improv performers and teachers. Structured as a twelve-week course, this book provides techniques, advice and exercises that can be done on your own or in groups - with activities to complete as you go - for learning faster and becoming (more) amazing at improvisation. It draws on the author's own experience of performing and teaching improv around the world, with added gems of wisdom from key experts. Starting with the basics of improvisation, it moves on to explore areas of the craft such as rehearsals, character, editing, form and style; plus career advice including how to cope with bad gigs, jealousy, fear of missing out and your Inner Critic. The Improviser's Way is ideal for improvisers at any level - from those new to improv entirely, through those familiar with shortform who are looking to extend their reach, to experienced longform performers and teachers looking to refresh their approach and embrace new ideas. It is also invaluable to anyone looking to discover more about this popular, thrillingly creative and empowering form of performance. By the end, you won't just be a better improviser - you'll be a better person!
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • The Voice Exercise Book

    Jeannette Nelson

    Product Code: BLONS
    Paperback
    Fall in love with your voice. Get to know how it works. You will soon feel how good it is to sound like you. In The Voice Exercise Book, Jeannette Nelson - Head of Voice at the National Theatre - shares the voice exercises she uses with many of Britain's leading actors to help to keep their voices in shape. Her belief is that all of us, not just actors, can learn to use our voices well. Whether you perform professionally or you just want to be understood clearly and easily, you can improve your voice by knowing how it works and by practising simple exercises. The aim is not to 'fake it' - to try to sound like someone else. It is to find your authentic voice: to be honestly and clearly you in any situation. 'Jeannette's warm-up sessions are tremendous and this book extends those exercises.' Zoe Wanamaker CBE; 'Jeannette's knowledge is astonishing, and her approach so gentle and effective.' Derren Brown; 'She makes voice production endlessly fascinating and fun. There is no one better.' Rory Kinnear; 'A must for anyone who is serious about producing a strong, clean noise from their voice box.' Lenny Henry CBE
    • £10.39
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Playing the Mask

    John Wright

    Product Code: BKVWZ
    Paperback
    A new book from the bestselling author of Why Is That So Funny? 'Masks are empowering... They enable you to take risks. They provoke you into working with the reckless logic of a six-year-old or the enigmatic stillness of someone wiser than you'll ever be. But above all, masks let you be you without your habitual limitations.' In Playing the Mask, award-winning theatre-maker and teacher John Wright explores and demystifies mask-work: what masks do, how they do it, and, above all, what they can teach us about acting. This book is a wonderfully accessible introduction to a fresh and innovative acting technique for actors, theatre-makers and teachers to use in training and rehearsal. A mask releases the actor to be playful, and playfulness generates ideas, finds meaning, develops characterisation - and is infinitely more fun than traditional training. Rather than a dry guide to making masked theatre, it is about, for instance, playing Lady Macbeth in Red Nose, or Hamlet in the mask of The Victim, The Ogre or The Fool, or even Romeo and Juliet in grotesque half-masks... All in the name of liberating your creativity and, ultimately, improving your performance. Extensively illustrated with a rich variety of masks, this inventive and pragmatic book is full of invaluable games and exercises drawn from the author's own workshops, his experience as co-founder of both Trestle and Told by an Idiot, and his pioneering mask and clown work in many professional productions. 'Brilliant, entertaining and accessible' --Paul Hunter, from his Foreword
    • £10.99
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Different Every Night

    Mike Alfreds

    Product Code: BJYYJ
    Paperback
    "Different Every Night" is the culmination of a lifetime of work in the theatre, the most complete rehearsal methodology in print since Stanislavsky. It offers a vital masterclass for actors and directors, full of sound practical advice and guidance, and is packed with techniques for bringing the text to life and keeping it alive - both in rehearsal and performance.
    • £12.89
    • RRP £14.99
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  • The Improvisation Book

    John Abbott

    Product Code: BJUII
    Paperback
    The "Improvisation Book" takes the teacher step-by-step through a series of graded improvisation exercises. It also contains a unique set of 96 Improvisation Cards. Drawn at random these cards determine Character and Scenario. The endless combinations ensure that the teacher never need run dry!
    • £12.89
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Performance, Style and Gesture in Western Theatre

    Nicholas Dromgoogle

    Product Code: BJSOF
    Hardback
    Nicholas Dromgoole tells the story of performance from a fresh and unusual point of view, describing the development - from ancient Greece to contemporary stages and film - of western Europe's surprising and largely unknown variety of acting styles. Using the idea of a culture's shared 'language of gesture', he explores the growth, evolution and impact these languages have had on our engagement with and understanding of theatre.
    • £29.89
    • RRP £29.99
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  • Stage Fighting

    Jonathan Howell

    Product Code: BIZER
    Paperback
    "Stage Fighting" reveals the practicalities of choreographing realist fight scenes on stage in a way that is both convincing for the audience and safe for the actors. All kinds of combat are explored, ranging from ritualised swordplay through to the slaps and punches of a bar-room brawl. The book takes the reader behind the scenes and explains how the illusion of the fight is created, looking at topics such as working with a partner; warming up; training, rehearsing and performing; and creating realistic sound effects.
    • £14.19
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  • Respect for Acting

    Uta Hagen

    Product Code: BIXUY
    Hardback
    Respect for Acting "This fascinating and detailed book about acting is Miss Hagen's credo, the accumulated wisdom of her years spent in intimate communion with her art. It is at once the voicing of her exacting standards for herself and those she [taught], and an explanation of the means to the end." --Publishers Weekly "Hagen adds to the large corpus of titles on acting with vivid dicta drawn from experience, skill, and a sense of personal and professional worth. Her principal asset in this treatment is her truly significant imagination. Her 'object exercises' display a wealth of detail with which to stimulate the student preparing a scene for presentation." --Library Journal "Uta Hagen's Respect for Acting ...is a relatively small book. But within it, Miss Hagen tells the young actor about as much as can be conveyed in print of his craft." --Los Angeles Times "There are almost no American actors uninfluenced by Uta Hagen." --Fritz Weaver "This is a textbook for aspiring actors, but working thespians can profit much by it. Anyone with just a casual interest in the theater should also enjoy its behind-the-scenes flavor." --King Features Syndicate
    • £14.39
    • RRP £17.99
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