Alec Guinness: A Celebration by John Russell Taylor (Pavilion, £12.95).
John Gielgud: A Celebration by Gyles Brandreth (Pavilion, £12.95).
The Ages of Gielgud, edited by Ronald Harwood (Hodder & Stoughton £9.95).
DarIngs Of The Gods by Garry O'Connor (Hodder & Stoughton £9.95).
alive would dispute the last statement.
Recently publishers have shown their interest in the acting profession and four more volumes are now available. Pavilion (Michael Joseph) are responsible for two splendid productions.
One is about Alec Guinness, the other features John Gielgud who has been the subject of one other book and shares honours with three other stars of the theatre in yet another.
The many illustrations in the book clearly show that Sir Alec Guinness is the chameleon of British stage and film. Readers of the Catholic Herald will remember him especially as G. K. Chesterton's Fr. Brown and as the Cardinal in Brigid Roland's The Prisoner which he played both on stage and screen. It was at this time in the midfifties that he became a Catholic.
Another theatrical knight just ten years senior, Sir John Gielgud, has graced the English stage for well over half a century and this book, equally profusely illustrated, will remind theatregoers of many memorable performances.
Ronald Harwood's book is made up of tributes from 14 distinguished men and women, to name but a few J C Trewin, Harold Hobson; playwrights Christopher Fry and Arnold Bennett.
One of the pictures chosen by Brandreth of his second assault on King Lear is strongly reminiscent of yet another nobleman of the stage, Laurence Olivier.
It is Laurence Olivier who, with his wife Vivien Leigh, is the subject of the fourth book which relies on text rather than illustrations. It is about one year in the lives of both of them when they were superstars just after the Second World War and they toured Australia and New Zealand —