Drawing on a lifetime of writing about theatre and film, Callow takes us behind the curtain and behind the camera to introduce us to the performers and performances that have shaped him as an actor and as a public persona. They include giants like Orson Welles, Charles Dickens, Tommy Cooper, Charles Laughton and Laurence Olivier.
"great narration, disappointing & irritating story"
A short life of Dickens which celebrates the impact of the theatre on his life and work. Two hundred years after his death, Dickens’s work is more popular than ever, in a variety of media, most of them undreamed of during his lifetime. Over the last few decades of intensive research, Dickens the man has become much better known to us and the sheer originality of his personality blazes forth as never before.
Dickens was one of the first true celebrity authors. Thousands of fans in Britain and America eagerly awaited each new installment of his stories, and flocked to see him on his legendary speaking tours. Not only did he create an incredible cast of characters on the page, but he was also a dazzling mimic and storyteller, and he wrote, stage-managed, and acted in plays for the public. Throughout his life, from his childhood performances to his legendarily powerful reading tours, Dickens was fanatical about the stage.
Insightful, incisive and enlightening, the first volume of Simon Callow's comprehensive biography of Orson Welles. Now in abridged audio, Callow's vastly entertaining chronicle of Welles's first 26 years seems even finer than it did in 1995. The author's ability to skewer his subject's evasions and lies while retaining critical affection for him is perhaps explained by the fact that Callow, an actor himself, understands the need to mythologise. Welles's innovative theatrical work in the 1930s has never been better described or analysed.
BookD returns talking to our first ever guest on the show, author and spy man extraordinaire Charles Cumming. Charles talks to me about his new book A Foreign Country, which is the first book in a new series featuring a new character: Thomas Kell. Charles is a brilliant crime and thriller writer, keeping you hooked through the story. He’s no different in the interview because, since the last time we got him in the studio to chat about his work, Cumming has been signed up to write the screen play for Trinity Six which was his first book published by HC towers last year. Hollywood beckons!
Simon Callow plunges headlong into Wagner's world to discover what it was like to be Wagner and to be around one of music's most influential figures. During a wildly unpredictable 69-year life, Richard Wagner became the hero of his era and the official protagonist of a new unified Germany: his music was its music. The architect of the vast four-day, 15-hour epic, he unleashed through his thousands and thousands of words gods and dwarves, dragons and songbirds, maidens and female warriors on horseback.