Faber Members get 10% off their first order

Let Me Play the Lion Too

Michael Pennington

An expert guide to the theatre for actors and theatre professionals, from one of Britain’s most acclaimed actors.

1 in stock

Date Published
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.

How do you prepare for your first day on the set? Why might a bad audition lead to a good job offer? How should you research? What’s the effect of a long tour on your love-life? Can you have a glass of wine before a matinee? What’s the difference between transitive and intransitive corpsing? What is stage fright?

In Michael Pennington’s highly personal guide and memoir there are sections on rehearsals, on television then and now, on who does what on a film set, on the disciplines and rewards of musical theatre, and five directors discuss why the scenery is better on radio. Disability and racial bias in the theatre are discussed and we sometimes hear from other, younger voices who are following parallel paths.

Infectiously enthusiastic, both conversational and profound, Let Me Play the Lion Too draws on the author’s fifty years of experience to celebrate the deadly serious, sometimes hilarious, often misunderstood but infinitely enriching life of a professional actor.

Critic Reviews

'As honest as it is hilarious. A must read.'

Felicity Kendal
Critic Reviews

Perhaps an implicit theme underlying Let Me Play The Lion Too is the difference between conscientious, hard-working professionals and an acclaimed genius...He writes evocatively of the 'nauseated fear' of first nights and the melancholia of last nights when, within hours, the set is dismantled, people disperse and the entire production is 'gone beyond recovery'...Pennington describes the soap studio atmosphere brilliantly. Madness seems to loom.

Roger Lewis, Daily Mail
Critic Reviews

'If viewed as a mini-memoir, Pennington is amusing and often thoughtful, and some theoretical remarks on his craft are illuminating. His belief that a good actor should "imply the opposites in your characters without inconsistency - the tenderness in a fighter, the courage in a coward" strikes me as dead on.'

William Moore, The Independent

Recently a triumphant King Lear in New York, Michael Pennington has been a leading actor for fifty years. For the RSC, of which he is an Honorary Associate Artist, and for the English Shakespeare Company, which he co-founded, he has played Hamlet, Timon of Athens, Berowne, Edgar, Mercutio, Angelo, Richard II, Coriolanus, Macbeth, Henry V, Leontes and Jack Cade. He…

Read More