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Stage Directions covers half a lifetime and the whole range of Frayn’s theatrical writing, right up to a new piece about his latest play, Afterlife. It is also a reflection on his path into theatre: the ‘doubtful beginnings’ of his childhood, his subsequent scorn as a young man and, surprisingly late in life, his reluctant conversion. Whatever subjects he tackles, from the exploration of the atomic nucleus to the mechanics of farce, Michael Frayn is never less than fascinating, delightfully funny and charming. This book encapsulates a lifetime’s work and is guaranteed to be a firm favourite with his legions of fans around the world.
There is much to enjoy and profit from here ... These fugitive articles, introductions to plays, and postscripts written to be read after seeing them, are excellent.
Frayn writes engagingly and entertainingly ... Here we see Frayn as a playwright in its true meaning, as a maker rather that a writer of plays, as a crafts-man and a problem-solver ... Frayns' book has something in it for writer, reader, actor, spectator, translator, historian, professional and layman alike. Affectionate towards his subject without being indulgent, Frayn is never pretentious and never impenetrable: this is writing on theatre as it ought to be.
This deeply enjoyable collection ... as good an account of what actually happens in a theatre as I have ever read.
This book easily stands alone as a collection of thought-provoking essays on the stage by one of Britain's most talented writers ... Frayn is at his marvellous best ... This is an affectionate and generous but measured account of the craft of theatre, the sweat and the inspiration.
Stage Directions is still a good read and can act as either a fine reminder or introduction to so many of the plays of Michael Frayn.
By fireside or poolside, Frayn's Stage Directions will be an absorbing read.
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