Mark White’s biography of Kenneth Branagh draws on new research and previously untapped archival materials to trace the vicissitudes of Branagh’s career as one of the most famous Shakespearean actors and interpreters of our time.
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From humble beginnings, Kenneth Branagh drove himself to dizzy heights of accomplishment. By twenty-one he had starred in a West End hit. At twenty-three he was playing Henry V for the Royal Shakespeare Company. By twenty-six he had established his own theatre company. Shortly after that he directed and starred in a movie version of Henry V, the start of a series of Shakespeare films that resulted in him being viewed by many as the leading interpreter of Shakespeare in the world. No actor of his generation achieved so much so rapidly. And yet no actor of his generation received such relentless criticism. Mark White explores this paradox in a new biography of Branagh. Based on extensive research in previously untapped archival materials and on numerous interviews, White traces the vicissitudes of Branagh’s career, examining his meteoric rise and the backlash that accompanied it.
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