“Michael Pennington is a great Shakespearian actor who writes with the authority of an academic. His book analyses the plays, the characters and the playwright's life. It will intrigue, entertain and challenge students, actors and their audiences.” — Ian McKellen
“Irresistibly readable.” — Peter Brook
Michael Pennington's solo show about Shakespeare, Sweet William, has been acclaimed throughout Europe and in the US as a unique blend of showmanship and scholarship. In this book, he deepens his exploration of Shakespeare's life and work—and the connection between the two—that lies at its heart.
It is illuminated throughout by the unrivalled insights into the plays that Pennington has gained from the twenty thousand hours he has spent working on them as a leading actor, an artistic director and a director—and as the author of three previous books on individual Shakespeare plays.
With practical analysis, wonderfully detailed and entertaining interpretations of characters and scenes, and vivid reflections on Shakespeare’s theatre and ours, the result is a masterclass of the most enjoyable kind for theatregoers, professionals, students and anyone interested in Shakespeare.
Michael Pennington has played leading roles in Shakespeare’s plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the English Shakespeare Company (of which he was co-founder and joint Artistic Director), the Peter Hall Company and the BBC. He has also directed several of the plays, and is the author of three books on individual Shakespeare plays (Hamlet, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream). He has toured his solo shows, Sweet William and Anton Chekhov, throughout the world.