Peggy Ashcroft

Peggy Ashcroft

by Michael Billington (Author)


A biography of Dame Peggy Ashcroft who, the author contends, represents the heart of British theatre. This book encompasses not only her most important roles but also the part she has played in new movements in British theatre over the past 50 years. She discovered the theatre while a Croydon schoolgirl and dreamt of becoming part of a permanent company of actors after reading of the Moscow Art Theatre. Her work at Lillian Baylis's Old Vic is described, as are her major parts at The New, The Queen's and The Haymarket. In addition, the author expands on her involvement with the Royal Court under George Devine, the Royal Shakespeare Company under Peter Hall and Trevor Nunn, and the National Theatre in its move to the South Bank. The author attributes the credit she was given for her performances in The Jewel in the Crown and A Passage to India to her relentless perfectionism but even more so to her qualities as a woman. He describes her compassion for people, her tireless work for humanitarian causes and her curiosity about the world we live in. In writing this biography Michael Billington has drawn on conversations with Dame Peggy and her contemporaries including Sir John Gielgud, George Rylands, Sir Anthony Quayle and Sir Peter Hall. He also gives an account of the problems of an actor's life, aiming to give the layman a glimpse behind the scenes.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Edition: 1st Edition
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd
Published: 20 Oct 1988

ISBN 10: 071954436X
ISBN 13: 9780719544361