This book about the work of actor director John Bell is essential reading for anyone interested in Australian theatre and in Shakespearean performance. Adrian Kiernander makes use of the Stage on Screen archive of Australian theatre with extensive video excerpts of performances, and lucidly explains how, for over five decades, Bell has revived and reinvented theatre in Australia with his interpretations of radical new drama and particularly his innovative approach to staging Shakespeare’s plays. This scholarly book reveals why Bell deserves the reputation as a ‘national living treasure’ and a giant of the Australian theatre. It presents a perspective on recent history and national identity through the achievements of theatre and its evolution over time. From carnivalesque to circus, tragedy to farce, Bell has created theatre that is dynamic, vibrant and politically aware and that continues to challenge and excite audiences.