Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker
17th - 21st October 2007 at the Edward Alleyn Theatre, Dulwich College
On the 18th of January, 1788 the first fleet of British prison ships, under the command of Arthur Phillip, arrive at Botany Bay in New South Wales, Australia and settle up the coast at Port Jackson, the site of current-day Sydney. Many of the prisoners have been convicted of minor theft (stealing a loaf of bread was crime enough to earn deportation) and many of their wardens are military men who fought and lost the war against the American colonies.
In the belief that arts and culture can have a humanizing effect on even the most hardened criminals, Governor Arthur Philip, in the face of considerable opposition from some of his officers, proposes that a play be staged, to be performed by the convicts. Thus armed with only two copies of the script of 'The Recruiting Officer', a cast of convicts who have never acted before and a leading lady who may be about to be hanged, Our Country's Good charts a moving story of the power of theatre and the ability of individuals to transcend their circumstances.
Tickets available from: The Box Office : 020 8693 4830 or The Art Stationers, Dulwich Village 17th October (preview performance) : £6.00
October 18th, 19th, 20th October : £8.00
With the death of Aubrey Beardsley in 1898, the world of the illustrated book underwent a dramatic change. Gone were the degenerate images of scandal and deviance. The age of decadence was softened to delight rather than to shock. Whimsy and a pastel toned world of childish delights and an innocent exoticism unfolded in the pages of familiar fables, classic tales and those children's stories like the Arabian Nights and Hans Christian Andersen's stories. These were published with lavish colour plates and fine bindings: these were the coffee table books of a new age.
As a result, a new generation of illustrators emerged. This new group of artists was intent upon borrowing from the past, especially the fantasies of the rococo, the rich decorative elements of the Orient, the Near East, and the fairy tale worlds of the Victorians. The masters of this new art form were artists like Edmund Dulac and Kay Neilson, whose inventive book productions, with those of Arthur Rackham , became legendary. Disciples gathered, like Jessie King and Annie French, the Scottish masters of the ethereal and the poetic, the Detmold Brothers, masters of natural fantasy, as well as those who remained in Beardsley's shadow: the warped yet fascinating works of Sidney Sime, a joyously eccentric coal-miner turned artist, Laurence Housman, master of the fairy tale, the precious inventions from the classics by Charles Ricketts, the Irish fantasies of Harry Clarke, himself a master of stained glass as well as the gift book, and the rich and exotic world of Alastair.
The exhibition of British fantasy illustration will be the first such exhibition in Britain and the first worldwide for over 20 years. Over 100 works will be exhibited, many never seen publicly before. The exhibition is curated by Rodney Engen.
The 13th London Festival of Chamber Music presents
4 concerts in Dulwich
The 13th season of the London Festival of Chamber Music will take place from 25 September to 20 October, with 16 concerts in 4 venues 'near where people live'. The concerts in Dulwich will take place on Fridays, September 28, October 5 , 12 and 19, 8pm, at the Saint Faith's Community Hall, Red Post Hill, SE24.
The 4 programmes present well known repertoire pieces by Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart (Clarinet Quintet), Brahms, Schumann, Mendelssohn (String Octet) and Spohr (Nonet), together with less familiar works by Galzunov (Novellettes), Françaix (Divertissement for Bassoon and String Quintet), Amy Beach (Piano Quintet) and Dohnanyi (Serenade).
As in previous years the English String Quartet will be joined by several renowned artists, including the oboist John Anderson, the bassoonist Daniel Jemison, the pianist Martin Jones, the clarinettist Andrew Sparling and the horn player Nicholas Korth.
The Festival' policy is to offer low ticket prices and good concessions and discounts. For more information and to receive a brochure please contact our office:
Our address is: 44 Gondar Gardens, London, NW6 1HG
Our website is: londonfestival.co.uk
Paul Joyce, who is perhaps better known as a photographer, film and documentary maker of programmes such as Reel Women is also an artist. This summer he had an exhibition at the Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica entitled 'Hollywoodland'. It was curated by his friend, the veteran Hollywood actor Dennis Hopper. Hopper said; "I've known Paul Joyce for over twenty years as an exceptional photographer. When I saw his paintings they were wonderfully L.A., perhaps only as an Englishman and a friend of David Hockney's could envision. They embody the colours and primitive renderings of special places lost in L.A."
His paintings take us on a veritable tour of the Southland's architecture; the past and the present, the gaudy and vulgar, the whimsical and beguiling. Along a thousand auto arteries we travel with him past banal motels littered with iron security bars, stucco walls skewed at odd angles, and slathered in sinister colours. Lush tropical plantings ooze saturated colour, taking centre stage in front of Chandleresque bungalows. (Jim Heimann)