From Library Journal: Harwood, author of The Dresser , led the production for BBC-TV of a 13-hour history of the theatre. His book is a by-product of that venture. An extremely attractive, well-illustrated volume, it sets forth in dazzlingly rapid fashion the highlights of theatre history from tribal rite to A Chorus Line , making the argument that theatre grew and changed by answering the immediate needs of its audience. The book is accurate as far as it goes, and the argument is sound, but it is not a piece of serious scholarship. It is intended for a popular audience. If the book lacks weight, it can certainly be recommended as an introduction to theatre history. Wickham's substantial, short theatre history is written by a major scholar and is the result of years of reading, thinking, and teaching about theatre. It surveys world drama from its origins in dance and ritual through the advent of television and places special emphasis on the role of actors and audiences in shaping that history. The text is detailed, thoughtful, and subtle; the generous illustrations are well chosen; each section contains a useful comparative chronology; the bibliography is very selective, but good. This is a serious text that has a lavish quality. Unlike Harwood's book, it is suited to the serious student or scholar of theatre. Recommended. Thomas E. Luddy, English Dept., Salem State Coll., Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Hardback in very good condition with dust jacket. This book looks like it has never been read as the page corners are still sharp. There is only some light shelf wear on the dust jacket which is barely visible. 1st edition, signed by the author.