Page extent: 288
ISBN: 9781783190645
Binding: HardBack

Covering Shakespeare: An Actor's Saga of Near Misses and Dogged Endurance

David Weston


David Weston has spent a lifetime acting in Shakespeare’s plays, and has been directed by the likes of Sir Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn and Michael Croft. Chosen as Ian McKellen’s understudy in the RSC’s King Lear, David toured the world and recorded his experiences in his diary, which became the award‐winning Covering McKellen: An Understudy’s Tale, called ‘Salty, evocative and informative’ by the Daily Mail. It went on to win the prestigious S.T.R. Theatre Book of the Year Prize for 2011.

In Covering Shakespeare Weston goes even further, tracing his sixty‐two year association with the Bard. He has appeared in twenty‐nine of the thirty‐seven plays, many several times, and has worked with all the major companies to the outmost limits of the Fringe, from Hollywood to Hong Kong, with the great, the mediocre and the forgotten. He has stories and reminiscences about them all, as well as advice for young actors written in his inimitable style.

The book also contains a synopsis of each play and table outlining the total number of lines per character in each of Shakespeare’s plays, rediscovered from an 1889 edition of Evenings with Shakespeare: A Handbook to the Study of His Works.

Shortlisted for the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography 2015

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781783190645
Binding HardBack
Page Extent 288


'a mixture of theatrical history, opinionated views and personal reminiscences. Sharp insights, anecdotes and vibrant character sketches pour from [Weston's] pen, as do dismissive put-downs... His book should be compulsory reading for any aspiring actor still labouring under the delusion that the profession is in any way glamourous... Weston may never have played Hamlet during his long career, but he has achieved something possibly more valuable. He has become, in Hamlet’s phrase, one of the abstract and brief chroniclers of the time.’ Mail on Sunday

‘After the success of his first book, I look forward immensely to reading this one.’ Dame Judi Dench

'[An] excellent book' Michael Billington, Guardian

‘Should be in the pocket of every young actor – and also those of us who are not so young.’ Patricia Hodge

‘Weston gives the readers a front row seat as well as fascinating backstage glimpses.’ Martin Jarvis

‘It’s a real pleasure to spend a few hours in the company of Mr Shakespeare and Mr Weston.’ Ian McShane

'David Weston’s book is not only informative but extremely entertaining. He certainly knows his subject both on the page and on the stage’ Michael Blakemore