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Dramatic Exchanges Reviews

Dramatic Exchanges by Daniel Rosenthal

Dramatic Exchanges

The Lives and Letters of the National Theatre

Daniel Rosenthal

4.80 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Profile Books Ltd
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publication date: 1 Nov 2018
ISBN: 9781781259351

A unique collection of correspondence between the most celebrated actors, directors and playwrights of the past 50 years

4 stars out of 5
Susannah Clapp
1 Dec 2018

"Daniel Rosenthal’s absorbing collection of letters"

...Daniel Rosenthal’s absorbing collection of letters... But sometimes the natural ellipses of letters are less intriguing than tantalising... Still, the stuff is rich: in disagreements, descriptions and analyses... Alongside the dreaming is precision and intensity. Peters Hall and Shaffer wrangle painfully and affectionately... A striking correspondence centres on the technical complications involved in staging Alan Ayckbourn’s water-logged play Upstream... Elsewhere, it is turns of phrase and startling insights that grip...  Letters catch thoughts and feelings on the wing. Then buff them up. As theatre should.


5 stars out of 5
Simon Callow
17 Nov 2018

"both a revelation and a celebration"

The oddly stirring history of how this remarkable institution came to be has been recounted at thrilling length by Daniel Rosenthal in The National Theatre Story. Here, he tells a different tale, brilliantly evoking the day-to-day life of a great theatre... The genius of Rosenthal’s book, which is both a revelation and a celebration, is to tell this story in the participants’ words... The immediacy of these exchanges, the sense of the current moment and its pressures, is so much more vivid than any emotion recollected in tranquillity... The presence of rarely heard voices is a great strength of the book.

5 stars out of 5
Sarah Crompton
4 Nov 2018

"vivid and dramatic"

Five years ago, Daniel Rosenthal wrote the official history of the National Theatre, a doorstop of a book that is impressive in its comprehensiveness but rather dismaying in its lack of colour. This companion volume, a collection of letters, covers the same ground but in a more vivid and dramatic way... Chronologically en route, it whisks through the personnel and the plays with brio, well-judged illustrations and incisive editing... But it is also revelatory to see what an impact an artistic director or a director can have... An alternate history lurks in this engrossing book’s margins...