a curious invitation last tuesday society
a curious invitation robert carlyles house last tuesday society national trust london
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Jude Kelly

Tuesday 12th July 2016
Doors open at 6:30 pm, Talk commences at 7:00 pm

Joan Littlewood trained as an actor at RADA but went onto became one of Europe's most famous radical Theatre directors. Long banned from broadcasting by the BBC because of her Communist party associations, she was a life long left-wing thinker and remained under surveillance by MI5 into the 1950s.

Variously described as a subversive genius and 'The Mother of Modern Theatre", her pioneering Theatre Workshop broke the mould of British drama. The musical Oh What a Lovely War (currently revived in this year of the first world war's centenary) is one of her most celebrated creations and was developed using the Theatre Workshop's unique methods. Richard Harris, Brian Murphy and Barbara Windsor were amongst the many British actors who were her proteges.

In this talk Jude Kelly, the artistic director of London's Southbank reveals an intimate, detailed portrayal of British Theatre's favourite rebel and her legacy.

Jude Kelly
Jude Kelly is a theatre director and producer and currently the artistic director of London's Southbank. Described In 2013 as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by BBC's Woman's Hour, she is an OBE, hold several honorary degrees from international universities and represents Britain within UNESCO on cultural matters. She was the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse and has won many awards for her theatrical directorial work.

Tickets £20 including a glass of prosecco. Please click here to buy.


5th April 2016
Geoffrey Marsh on David Bowie

3rd May 2016
Peter Berthoud on London Spectaculars -
the City's Forgotten Theatrical Pleasures

14th June 2016
Brian Robinson on Laurence Olivier

12th July 2016
Jude Kelly on Joan Littlewood

19th September 2016
Antonia Fraser on Harold Pinter

11th October 2016
Neil McKenna on Oscar Wilde - the Dramatist

8th November 2016
Ian Kelly on Samuel Foote

In 1863, a French wine merchant called Daniel Nicholas Thévenon and his wife arrived in England in a bid to escape the clutches of creditors in Paris. So began a story that grew out of bankruptcy and culminated in the creation of Regent Street’s Café Royal: a truly remarkable and original establishment with what was considered at one point to have the greatest wine cellar in the world and was reputed for its excellent hospitality, dining and entertainment. 

Frequented by writers and artists such as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the conversations, inspirations and discussions at ‘The Café’ were profound. Arthur Conan Doyle, H G Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling, W B Yeats, Walter Sickert and James McNeill Whistler were all patrons. Distinguished figures such as Winston Churchill, Augustus John, D H Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Noël Coward, Jacob Epstein and Graham Greene were also often seen.