Psychoanalyst and former England cricket captain Mike Brearley investigates the art of the director. How does the director make the actors perform for him or her? What really goes on in rehearsal? How do you get inside a character? Is there a method? And what's it like to watch the cast finally take the stage leaving you in the stalls?
Through interviews with eminent directors like Sam Mendes and Sir Peter Hall, and actors Juliet Stephenson and Simon Russell Beale, Brearley identifies the skills required, the challenges to be overcome, the ground rules, the pitfalls and the triumphs of the director's work.
He talks to directors Peter Hall, Sam Mendes and Katie Michell and to actors Simon Russell Beale and Juliet Stevenson, about what happens in the rehearsal room. How do you begin? Is the author always right and what is the point of improvisation? What exactly is motivation? And how easy is it to let go when the first night comes?