• Theatre Book Prize Winner

    The winner of this year’s Theatre Book Prize for books published in 2016 is Stage Managing Chaos by Jackie Harvey.

    The announcement was made at a reception at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane this (Tuesday) morning when the authors received their awards from Sir Richard Eyre.

    It’s about a National Theatre production of Fernando Arrabal’s The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria in the company’s early years at the Old Vic by a director who never seemed to be at rehearsal.

    At the presentation critic Aleks Sierz, one of the judges along with actress Nichola McAuliffe and V & A Theatre Collections Curator Cathy Haill, called the book:

    “Really thrilling, the story of a slow car crash told with impressive clarity and enormous readability. It is a tale of missed deadlines, unauthorized absences, technical hitches, impractical designs, desperate, sobbing actors, controversial nudity and backstage backstabbing. An irresistible concoction of events! But the paradox is that out of this disastrous process came a production that many critics thought was amazing.”

    The director was Argentinian enfant terrible Victor Garcia, admired by Ken Tynan but Sir Laurence Olivier, then in charge, had a bad feeling about what might happen. He asked Jackie, then a stage manager with the company, to keep a rehearsal diary for his information. That forms the core of the book. It’s a wonderful insight into what the job is really like and, for the reader at least, very, very funny as star Anthony Hopkins is nearly driven to breakdown.

    The winner had hot competition. The other contenders were

    Nobody Knows but Everyone Remembers
    by Mark Long (People Show)

    Categories: Theatres

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