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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Acting Wales - Stars of Stage and Screen
Peter Stead
ISBN: 9780708316238 (0708316239)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Hydref 2002
Cyhoeddwr: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, Caerdydd
Fformat: Clawr Caled, 240x160 mm, 218 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Ar gael Pris Llawn: £8.99 
Ein Pris: £4.99 
Rydych yn Arbed: £4.00 (44.5%) 
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Llyfr Saesneg y Mis: Tachwedd 2002
Casgliad hynod ddifyr o draethodau yn portreadu nifer o actorion Cymreig ar lwyfan ac ym myd y ffilmiau yn ystod yr 20fed ganrif, gan gynnig asesiad o'u cyfraniad i ddatblygiad crefft actio ynghyd â thrafodaeth ar nodweddion penodol y theatr Gymreig. 16 o ffotograffau du-a-gwyn.

A fascinating collection of essays portraying the careers of various Welsh stars of stage and screen during the 20th century, assessing their contribution to the development of the craft of acting and discussing the distinct characteristics of the Welsh theatre. 16 black-and-white photographs.
Peter Stead is something of a stage-door Johnny, a man in love with actors and acting, enormously knowledgeable about them and eager to share his enthusiasm for greasepaint, the footlights and the silver screen.

In an essay, ‘On Acting’, he admits to having been smitten as a sixth-former after a school trip to Stratford and to have followed the careers of his heroes and heroines with something more than a schoolboy passion. He takes them seriously, believing that the theatre can influence and enhance a culture by endowing it with glamour, eloquence and role models.

The Welsh do not often see themselves on the boards or in the cinema, and yet we have produced more than our share of great actors. Why this should be remains a question for debate that is almost as impassioned as our obsession with rugby. We may not have a national theatre or our own film industry, so what is it that produces so many actors?

This book, elegantly written and infectious in its engagement with the theatre and cinema, discusses the careers of a dozen major stars, from Ivor Novello to Catherine Zeta Jones. In between are some of the great names, including Richard Burton, Stanley Baker, Kenneth Griffith, Anthony Hopkins and Siân Phillips. Each is considered against the background of his or her early years in Wales and, more critically, in terms of their own most memorable performances.

Peter Stead, a professional historian, has done his research in preparation for writing this superb book and has come up with some fascinating facts. His judgements are balanced, illuminating and entertaining. He is particularly astute with regard to Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins, the two Port Talbot lads who came to fame and fortune in Hollywood, and perceptive about younger talents such as Ioan Gruffudd and Matthew Rhys. He describes Catherine Zeta Jones as ‘our major export and virtually our only growth industry’. Even the ‘Taff Pack’ – Rhys Evans, Owen Teale, Daniel Evans et al – are treated seriously as actors.

There is an excellent chapter on television as a major medium for acting talent which enquires why London lost interest in Wales as a source of programmes that could be shown on the network.

The book concludes with the upbeat thought: ‘Now, as never before, a cohort of great Welsh actors is prompting Wales to say something significant about itself . . . We may yet act Wales into history.’

Meic Stephens

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio’r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Gwybodaeth Bellach:
Acting Wales
Stars of Stage and Screen
Peter Stead
pp viii211 216x138mm November 2002 hardback £14.99
ISBN 0708316239
. . . Stanley Baker, Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Siân Phillips, Rachel Roberts . . .
Why has Wales produced so many great actors, especially as it does not have a national theatre or cinema? Is it looks, the voice or a sense of the dramatic? Are the Welsh just natural declaimers and entertainers? These are some of the questions considered by Peter Stead in a dazzling discussion of Welsh acting on stage and screen, ranging from the career of matinee idol Ivor Novello down to the present impact of Catherine Zeta Jones and Ioan Gruffudd and the so-called Taff Pack.
In Acting Wales: Stars of Stage and Screen, Peter Stead puts forward a sociology of Welsh acting, inspired by the ways in which American and English critics have examined the role of acting within their respective cultures. He takes the view that acting can influence and enhance a culture by endowing it with new shades and depths of meaning. From that premise arise questions over and above the initial critical reaction to any particular performance. What aspects of Wales are reflected on stage and screen? In physical terms are there distinctively Welsh characteristics? How has the tension between Welshness and Englishness played out? How have individual actors related to Wales? This and so much more is examined as we look in detail at the lives and careers of more than twenty stars of stage and screen.
‘This book, elegantly written and infectious in its engagement with the theatre and cinema, discusses the careers of a dozen major stars, from Ivor Novello to Catherine Zeta Jones. In between are some of the great names, including Richard Burton, Stanley Baker, Kenneth Griffith, Anthony Hopkins and Siân Phillips. Each is considered against the background of his or her early years in Wales and, more critically, in terms of their own most memorable performances.
Peter Stead, a professional historian, has done his research in preparation for writing this superb book and has come up with some fascinating facts. His judgements are balanced, illuminating and entertaining.’
www.gwales.com
Peter Stead is a writer and broadcaster and an external professor at University of Glamorgan. He is the author of The Working Class and Film: the Feature Film in British and American Society and of biographical studies of Richard Burton and Dennis Potter. He is a board member of Sgrîn, the Media Agency for Wales, and a member of the Wales team which has won Radio 4's Round Britain Quiz three times in the last four years. He is seen here at the Cardiff launch of Acting Wales with John
Hefin.
 
From left: Bryn Roberts, Chair of BAFTA Cymru; Richard Houdmont, Deputy Director of the University of Wales Press; John Hefin who interviewed Peter Stead at the launch, and Peter Stead.
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer, hyd yma, i'r llyfr hwn.
 
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