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Peggy Ashcroft 1907-1991
ISBN 0749301139 / 9780749301132 / 0-7493-0113-9
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In a career of great range and depth, Dame Peggy Ashcroft was an important part of most new movements in British theatre for more than half a century. Always preferring her place in a permanent company to personal fame, she made the Royal Shakespeare Company a living reality and helped to put the National Theatre firmly on the map when it moved to the South Bank. Apart from her excellence in classical roles, her willingness to take chances allied her to Beckett, Pinter, Duras and Albee. It was in her late seventies that she embarked on "A Passage to India" and "The Jewel in the Crown", and revealed her talent to a wider public. Michael Billington followed Dame Peggy's career closely for many years, and in this book he offers an insight into the life of a complex and private woman. Through conversations with her and contemporaries such as Sir John Gielgud, George Rylands, Sir Anthony Quayle and Sir Peter Hall, he sets out to show how she was a pivotal influence in British theatre. This edition has been revised after Dame Peggy's death, to include a postscript and updated chronology. [via]