Exit Pursued by a Badger: An Actor's Journey through History with Shakespeare
We are engaged in performing four shows by night and restaging four different shows by day. And restaging all the understudy work as well. This is a lot of work. And my mind has turned to slush.
Nick Asbury was in the ensemble from the Royal Shakespeare Company who, over the course of two and a half years, performed eight history plays by Shakespeare in repertory, beginning with the overthrow of Richard II and ending with the death of Richard III: a sequence of productions both critically acclaimed and watched by over 250,000 people. To keep a record of his involvement in this extraordinary and ambitious project, Nick wrote a Blog which was posted on the RSC website. This in turn became a massive success, regularly notching up 6,000 hits a week from avid followers around the world.
Through Nick's engaging, observant, often hilarious words, we experience the camaraderie of actors, the terror of forgetting lines, technical difficulties, money problems, finding strange things in the bath, thirty-three broadsword fights and, and, of course, the ever-present threat of being assaulted by demented badgers after a performance.
Nominated as one of 'Six Inspiring Biographies or Memoirs Every Actor Should Read' by Drama Bookshop New York, this really is a must have book for all actors and theatre fans.
"Death casts a shadow over the book; not just the deaths in the Histories but Asbury mourning his father as he performs them, and the heartbreaking fleetingness of theatre; all that liveness and then one night, as he writes, "the lights go out and the next day someone comes in with a huge angle grinder and cuts this set to pieces and sells it on for scrap metal".
'His reflections - on death, the ritual and mystery of theatre, the importance of play - give the book depth, but where it really shines is in his evocation of the organized (and passionate) chaos backstage.' Times Literary Supplement
'There are times when you read a book and you just know it’s something a bit special. Such is the case with Nick Asbury’s Exit Pursued by a Badger…. superbly well written the sort that tells a great deal in very few words, conjuring up images in the way of a poet or song writer. Nick’s book is also very funny…. he writes from the inside, from the heart. What you won’t do is read this book just once. You’ll go back to it again and again, because Nick Asbury has written a small literary jewel that will become a classic.' Steve Newman, http://bookstove.com