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Other Useful Reference Works:

The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales

edited by Jack Zipes

This comprehensive guide is as wonderfully thorough and cross-referenced as we've come to expect from the Oxford Companions, and it deserves a place on the bookshelf of any lover of children's literature or films. Arranged alphabetically, "The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales" covers authors, illustrators, individual titles, and countries of origin for the fairy tales of Europe, from medieval times through the era of Walt Disney. Each entry is handily marked with asterisks when there's a related section to read; "The Little Mermaid" has asterisks highlighting both Hans Christian Andersen and Disney, whereas the larger section of Victorian Fairy Painting has 19 asterisks in its three pages of text. While authors and stories generally don't get more than a few paragraphs of detail, you'll find the quantity of entries most impressive. Beyond standard fairy tales, authors of classic children's literature and adult fantasy are often included, if their works rely in any way on earlier myths or tales - Terry Pratchett and Maurice Sendak are two examples. Larger sections devoted to regional differences are lengthy and fascinating, and they include Portugal, Spain, France, North America, Britain, and Italy. The book also has plenty of illustrations. While they're all in black and white, the variety of artistic styles is wonderful, and each plate is large enough to show charming details of giants, maidens, witches, and all the classic characters of these beloved stories. Whether your heart lies with Edward Gorey or Kate Greenaway, you're sure to enjoy the facts behind your favourite tale.

Encyclopaedia of Pantomime

This encyclopaedia represents the first attempt ever to provide an accessible and comprehensive reference source for the pantomime and intended for the use of students, enthusiasts and general readers alike.

The book includes a detailed chronology following the curious development of the pantomime since its earliest roots in the commedia dell'arte and other ancient traditions, an essay on the contemporary pantomime and a guide to writing pantomimes, a selection of notable quotations about the pantomime, an A-Z section, and appendix covering related children's plays, a bibliography and a comprehensive index.

Lighting and Sound

Neil Fraser 

This book is an introduction to the art of theatre lighting and sound. It can be sued by the novice who aims to become an expert, or by the experienced technician to improve working methods, pick up new ideas and skills, and confirm old ones. It can be read as a whole or dipped into for specific references. The book is designed to give readers instant access to information and ideas.

Making Musicals

Tom Jones

The lyric'librettist of The Fantasicks, the longest-running show in the history of American theatre, here takes on a new role as a guide through the magical world of the stage musical. He begins his tour with a brief history, tracing the musical's origins to the variety shows and operettas of the early 1900s, from which gradually emerged the works of such masters as Kern, Berlin, Gershwin and Porter, and a tradition best exemplified by the mid-century clasics of Rodgers and Hammerstein. A break-up of that tradition, reflecting the immense changes in every aspect of postwar American life, was inevitable. So gradually new forms evolved, and today we have the "Dance Musical", the "Concept Musical", the "Rock Musical" and the "Sung-Through Musical", all running alongside shows, some hugely successful , that revive or try to reinvent the past.

How to create a musical, whatever its style, is Tom JOne's concern in the longer second part of his book. He draws generously on his own experiences, with composer Harvey Schmidt, in creating not only The Fantasticks but all their other shows. Together these musicals become a constant frame of reference as Jones explains how to get started, how to work with composers, set designers and other collaborators, how to find the spark for an effective lyric, how to create a musical rather than a play with music and how to go about getting produced.

Never preachy or pedantic, always ready with an illuminating anecdote, Tom Jones has produced just the book - warm, charming, funny, useful - that we would expecty from the man who wrote the words of The Fantasticks.

Stage Management and Theatre Administration

Pauline Menear & Terry Hawkins 

Staging a play or a musical can be exciting, demanding and rewarding. It can also be exhausting, frustrating and chaotic. But a good stage management team can turn a potentially embarrassing production into a smooth-running, trouble-free success.

Stage Design and Properties

Michael Holt 

The kind and amount of design work you will do on a production will depend on the script you have, the size and nature of your theatre company and its budget. However, you can get an idea of your function and responsibilities by considering the simple question, Why a designer?

Hot Irons

Howard Brenton

Diaries, Essays, Journalism 

The first autobiographical book by one of Britain's most controversial playwrights. 

288 pp hbk : 1 85459 123 1

The Guinness Who's Who of Film Musicals and Musical Films

This encyclopaedia covers the complete history of the genre, from the birth of the film musical with The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson in 1927, right through to the Oscar winning Walt Disney classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.

354 pp : pbk ISBN 0851127878

Collins - Musicals

Michael Patrick Kennedy & John Muir

Collins Musicals is an invaluable guide to this hugely popular art form, presenting essential information on over 180 major - and some not so major - musicals in an accessible, yet scholarly, way.

The entry for each musical includes:

  • The composer, lyricist and the first UK and US performances
  • Principal characters, plot synopsis and hit songs
  • Original stage cast and film credits
  • Recommended recordings
  • Diverting background information, reviews and anecdotes featured in an entertaining "Did You Know?" section.

The guide also includes potted biographies for many of the composers and lyricists, plus an overview of the origins and development of the musical, an a glossary of terms.

Covering everything from mould-breaking productions such as Show Boat, through the shows of Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe, to the theatrical extravaganzas of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Collins Musicals is an indispensable reference source for musical devotees and newcomers alike.