100 GREAT PLAYS FOR WOMEN by Lucy Kerbel (Nick Hern Books £10.99). Actresses have been complaining for a long time, and quite rightly, that there are not enough roles being written for them. Kerbel has come up with a list of entirely or predominately female casts which have been published. She has chosen one play per author and the range of plays is broad. There are familiar playwrights such as DH Lawrence, Lorca, Rattigan, Albee, Friel; but there are a whole host of lesser known writers. The book will be most useful for regional theatres, fringe theatres, drama schools and amateurs. I have always been surprised that Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles Souers, a French-Canadian modern classic, with 15 leading roles for women, has never had an all-star commercial production in London.
EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ACTING by West End Producer (Nick Hern Books £10.99). Everybody knows there are too many actors. 2,500 actors are entering the industry each year. Most of them are going to be out of work and leave the profession after two years. Most of them should take Noel Coward’s advice to Mrs Worthington to heart. This amusing book by somebody who knows the business inside out provides the sort of practical and jokey impractical advice that any actor, professional and amateur, will relish. The author is anonymous but he can be reached through Twitter where he has a cult following.