Speaking Shakespeare

Patsy Rodenburg

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

In Speaking Shakespeare, Patsy Rodenburg tackles one of the most difficult acting jobs: speaking Shakespeare's words both as they were meant to be spoken and in an understandable and dramatic way. Rodenburg calls this "a simple manual to start the journey into the heart of Shakespeare," and that is what she gives us. With the same insight she displayed in The Actor Speaks, Rodenburg tackles the playing of all Shakespeare's characters. She uses dramatic resonance, breathing, and placement to show how an actor can bring Hamlet, Rosalind, Puck and other characters to life. This is one book every working actor must have.


Praise for Speaking Shakespeare

"As a teacher of Shakespeare, I have searched for years for a text that is readable, practical, illuminating and joyful. Finally, with Speaking Shakespeare, I have found it. In the words of my students, 'I love reading this book. I feel like I'm happening on some untold secret, and every note Rodenburg gives us is a clue on how to be great.'" --Janet B. Rodgers, Virginia Commonwealth University, in American Theatre

"...an excellent resource...there are gems in this book for novices and veterans alike."--Jeff Crockett, Dramatics

"I am an enormous fan of her work. What is wonderful about her is the directness and clarity of her teaching and her enthusiasm."--Judi Dench

"Patsy Rodenburg is one of the best teachers I have known; she is a constant source of strength and inspiration."--Antony Sher

"...rich with information and nicely focused. Recommended..."--Library Journal

Other praise for Patsy Rodenburg:
"In Rodenburg's capable hands, Shakespeare's complicated words and ideas become completely clear."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Patsy Rodenburg is the most respected voice coach in Britain...a dynamo of thoughts, suggestions and exercises. . . Ms. Rodenburg's work is never theoretical, always practical..."--Mel Gussow, The New York Times

"Seven steps to a thespian heaven. . . The Actor Speaks is a stimulating read and an invaluable reference for all actors. It could well become a landmark book."--The Stage

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Patsy Rodenburg

  • Patsy Rodenburg is the Director of Voice at London's Royal National Theater and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is the author of The Actor Speaks (Palgrave Macmillan 2000).
  • Patsy Rodenburg


Available Formats and Book Details

Speaking Shakespeare

Patsy Rodenburg

  • Trade Paperback