Recently selected as an Edexcel set text, Paul Elsams Acting Characters is an introductory handbook for the aspiring actor, compiled of twenty steps grouped into six sections to help create, present and sustain a believable character in most circumstances. It is fundamentally practical and avoids heavy discussion of theory, looking instead at how to use different voices and body language to convey character. According to a peer reviewer, the book is "both interesting for the casual enquirer and illuminating for the more serious practitioner". It de-mystifies the fundamental concepts of Stanislavskis teaching in an accessible way and it is this clarity and empathy with its readership that sets this book apart from its main competition, which the author describes as containing "a lot of rather mystical ideas on how actors go about their craft, but very little on the actual moment-by-moment skills you can work on".

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