Sixty-Six Books: 21st-century writers speak to the King James Bible

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9781849432276: Sixty-Six Books: 21st-century writers speak to the King James Bible
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The King James Version of the Bible (KJV) is a foundation stone of the English language. The KJV was composed as a collective project and written to be spoken. Sixty-Six Books has been created, in the spirit of the original, in the same way. Pulpit to print; stage to page; mediated through many forms oral and written, the KJV has, since its inception, been a fundamental part of written and spoken English. This is a work that has travelled to every continent of the globe. It has been shared as a melodic instrument of inspiration, illumination and mutual understanding; and it has also been wielded as a tool of colonial oppression. Sixty-Six Books is a fresh interpretation of the KJV for the new millennium, celebrating and challenging the traditions and achievements of this great work on the occasion of its 400th anniversary. The curators of this project have gathered together a formidable and inspiring line-up of the best established and emerging writing talent to produce a new version of the KJV for the twenty-first century. Each writer has created anew a book of the KJV - as prose, poetry, drama, performance, song, or ground-breaking digital form. Each writer has spoken back to the KJV with untrammeled inventiveness of the imagination. The voices of Sixty-Six Books, drawn from across five continents, innovate, transmute, transpose, reinvent and talk back to four hundred years of history. All the works that make up Sixty-Six Books are written to be spoken. Culminating in major performance events at the Bush Theatre and Westminster Abbey in 2011 in London, Sixty-Six Books is a contribution towards the mutual curiosity, tolerance, and force of collective enterprise and shared humanity that characterizes the international and ancient arts of writing and spoken performance. Named as one of 'the finest' drama training books of 2011 by The Stage.

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Brings together a team of the country's most exciting emerging and established directors, designers, performers, and artists to create an experience that culminates in a major performance event at the Bush Theatre's new home, which is collected here, in this beautifully produced book. Includes Janette Winterson, Billy Bragg, and Nick Labutte, to name a few.

Review:

Nothing short of miraculous...the written word has turned to the flesh of living theatre. 4 Stars --The Times

...a tremendous idea...You get intensely felt pieces (such as Caroline Bird's response to Leviticus); stories told from a new perspective (such as Stella Duffy's tender Ruth); and thoughtful, personal interpretations, such as Neil Bartlett's lovely little monologue from a middle-aged man who recalls reading from Numbers as a child. 4 Stars. --The Financial Times

It's a confection that embodies the ethos of the Bush, drawing together the talents of a fantastically wide spectrum of creative artists... This is truly 'event theatre' ...this colossal homage is deliciously varied and inventive. --Evening Standard

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