Artistophanes is the first creative genius in Western stage comedy, and by common consent one of the supreme masters of his craft. Much of his stock-in-trade - physical slapstick, bawdy (ranging from outright obscenity to subtle double entendre), tragic parody, surreal fantasy, lampoon, dazzling verbal wit - is highly familiar to a twentieth-century audience reared on Laurel and Hardy, Groucho Marx and Frankie Howard; further removed from present-day conceptions of comedy are Aristophanes' haunting lyricism, his deep religious feeling, and his passionate concern for the moral and political well-being of his fellow citizens. How would Artistophanes' works have first been staged in the fifth century BC at the Theatre of Dionysos in Athens? What would have been their original effect on the great festival audiences of the Lenaia and the City Dionysia? How would the actors have interpreted the lines, how would they have 'played' the jokes and comic routines of which the extant texts are blueprints? Treating the eleven surviving plays essentially as scripts for performance, and drawing on his own considerable 'behind-the-scenes' experience as a scriptwriter, producer and actor, Kenneth McLeish brilliantly analyses the components of Aristophanes' Greek old comedy, and the theory and evolution of the comic theatre itself. The Theatre of Aristophanes constitutes a major edition to Aristophanic scholarship, a field long dominated by textual and historical studies; it is aimed at the non-specialist, and it will be required reading for all those seeking to present Aristophane in the modern theatre. This 1980 hardback book is in a fair condition. It is an ex-library book and so the sleeve is wrapped in a protective sleeve and their are library stamps, numbers written in pen and the remains of a library returns sheet on the inside of the front and back cover and throughout the first few pages. The sleeve is in good condition, with some minor creasing to the top and bottom of the spine and an old price sticker on the back. It is difficult to view the hard cover in great detail, due to the protective library sleeve, but it appears in good condition apart from some minor creases to the top and bottom of the spine and to the corners. There is some water damage to the reverse of the inside front page that only seems to have affected that page. The 182 pages appear to be in good condition though there are some notes written in pencil throughout and and some scratches and creaming to the page block, only visible when the book is closed. The book, which contains nine line drawings, should appeal to anyone with an interest in ancient history and the history of comedy and theatre.