Kenneth Williams – Becoming A Cult

Here’s another interesting free (donations requested) event happening on Wednesday 19th January at 6.30pm GMT from Kensington and Chelsea Libraries and presented by Adam Endacott.

As one of Britain’s best loved and recognised personalities, Kenneth Williams declared himself a “cult in his own lifetime” but what made him so? This talk will look at the multifaceted talents of the iconic comedy genius who has continued to keep us all entertained through his legacy of work from his 40 year career in the world of entertainment. From early dramatic parts through to revue, the Carry On films, radio comedy and finally to the legendary chat show appearances, what was it that made Kenneth so unique?

Using footage, sound and images, this presentation will chart his success; showcasing the many faces of Kenneth whilst acting as a study of the talent which has made him a timeless national treasure.

Adam Endacott is a Kenneth Williams aficionado and dedicated fan since early childhood. He has spent his life documenting and collecting everything Kenneth. A Communications Director who lives in London, he is the author of The Kenneth Williams Companion which was published in 2018 and The Kenneth Williams Scrapbook published in 2021.

Please note this will be a Zoom webinar.

All those who book will receive the LINK TO JOIN 48hrs before the event, and on the day of the event in an email from the library.

Book tickets here


Around the World in theatres, anyone?

Where is this? Yes, it’s the Royal Opera House, but it’s not Covent Garden. Got it yet? Maybe not – because this Royal Opera House is in Mumbai!

Enjoy an online afternoon treat coming up on Thursday 25th November at 4pm UK time, as Terry Davis, Archivist of the Frank Matcham Society, gives a free online Zoom talk about his globe-trotting theatre experiences, assisted by technical whiz Richard Norman.

Terry’s theatre travels have, over many years, taken him right around the Globe. His talk with illustrations brings about a dozen examples of differing venues with many surprises, some even hilarious. His photo collection, aided by some movies, certainly shows that going to the theatre in distant countries offers a very different cultural experience to what we are accustomed to in the UK. Returning home, his closing surprise is to show us an opera house discovery situated in the Midlands that is loosely modelled on Glyndebourne.

Book your free tickets to this theatrical treat via TicketSource here


European Historic Theatres Day celebrations on Monday October 25th

Monday October 25th is Perspectiv’s European Historic Theatres Day, when our priceless theatrical jewels are celebrated across Europe (and in the UK).

Joining in the celebrations are the Frank Matcham Society who are hosting an online Zoom event at 4.00pm on the day.

Simon Goldrick and theatre consultant Peter Ruthven Hall will look back at the origins of the Belfast Grand Opera House (pictured above and below), the changes imposed on it since its opening in 1895 and a fuller description of the recent refurbishment that has transformed the 1895 building and 2006 foyer expansion.

You can obtain free tickets to the event here


“I was stabbed at the Adelphi Theatre. I cannot rest.”: Nineteenth-Century Theatre Ghosts, an online talk

Southport’s THE ATKINSON arts centre presents an interesting-sounding talk via Zoom which is just right for the Halloween season.

At 7.00pm GMT on Wednesday 3rd November, learn about theatre ghosts from Dr Catherine Quirk, Lecturer in Drama, Creative Arts Department, Edge Hill University.

To many historians, the Victorians invented the theatre ghost. Innovations in theatre technology over the first half of the nineteenth century meant that ghosts, vampires, fairies—all things supernatural—were an expected part of the business of the stage. But what happens when those who play the ghosts refuse to exit on cue?

This talk will explore the technologies that allowed ghosts to appear on the nineteenth century stage, and will tell the stories of some ghostly figures who keep the nineteenth-century stage with us to this day. Why were the Victorians so fascinated by the spectacle of a spectre? And why won’t their spirits leave the theatre?

Tickets for the hour-long event are free to members of The Atkinson and £5 for others. You can find details here and book tickets here

BOOKING AND JOINING NOTES: Booking is required before 4pm on Wednesday 3 November. The talk will be presented using Zoom. You will receive an email invitation to join a Zoom meeting just after 4pm on Wednesday 3 November.


Online discussion – Preserving Performance: Collecting at the Harry Ransom Center

A note for your diary today! Here’s an interesting discussion with Dr Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theatre & Performing Arts titled Preserving Performance: Collecting at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas in Austin. Texas. It’s another great free online event courtesy of the Friends University of Bristol Collection and runs today, 30 September, from 5.30pm to 6.45pm BST.

The Center holds one of the largest collections of American, British, and Irish playwright archives including the papers of David Hare, Lillian Hellman, Adrienne Kennedy, Terrence McNally, Arthur Miller, John Osborne, J. B. Priestley, Elmer Rice, Tom Stoppard, and Tennessee Williams, along with significant collections of writers like Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, Sam Shepard, and Oscar Wilde. Visitors to the Reading and Viewing Room can access over 1,100 audio and video recordings of Stella Adler’s master classes on acting and script interpretation, John Wilkes Booth’s promptbook for Richard III, Harry Houdini’s love letters to his wife Bess, and epic scene designs by artists like Boris Aronson, Norman Bel Geddes, Gordon Conway, and Eldon Elder.

There will be time for questions also.

You can register here