Published by Nick Hern Books
When Primo was first announced by the National Theatre, every performance sold out even before tickets went on sale to the general public
When the show opened in September 2004, Antony Sher's incarnation of a middle-aged Primo Levi recounting his year in Auschwitz was hailed as one of the most remarkable performances of recent years
In Primo Time Antony Sher tells of his long-held ambition to find a way of adapting Primo Levi's book If This is a Man for the theatre
He tells of the difficult negotiations with the Primo Levi Estate, who were adamantly opposed to any stage or screen version of the book
He tells of research trips to Auschwitz and the house in Turin where Levi was born and where he died. And he tells of the workshops and rehearsals through which he built a performance and shaped a show that would remain utterly true to the book
The two years that make up Primo Time also coincide with a troubling new factor in Sher's life as an actor
Early on in the book, he asks, 'If you're currently suffering from chronic stage fright, is it a good idea to write yourself a one-man show?'
His battle to conquer what he calls The Fear offers valuable insights into an actor's life, as does his relationship with Primo's inspirational - but ruthless - director, Richard Wilson - 'Victor Meldrew without the laughs!' complains Sher at one point
Primo Time is the story of a remarkable journey, often very dark, but also shot through with vital flashes of humour, culminating in a piece of theatre that goes a long way towards describing the indescribable
'At the end of this remarkable performance there was a silence unlike any other I have experienced in the theatre' ~ Daily Telegraph
For the DVD of the the stage adaptation of Primo Levi's Auschwitz memoir "If This is a Man"