20th Jan 2014 · The Tabernacle · 7pm
Maureen Lipman on life as competitive sport
Ian Kelly on Casanova
Simon Jenkins on England’s 100 best views
Vicky Pryce on prisonomics
Stephen Grosz on the examined life
for tickets and descriptions of other evenings in 2014 go to 5×15 — 5 speakers 15 minutes each.
Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s last self-portrait (1640-41) is a work of huge international importance and the only portrait of the artist ever likely to be made available for acquisition by a public collection in the UK. The National Portrait Gallery is trying to raise the £12.5 million required to acquire and ensure the painting remains in Britain when it is sold after four centuries in private ownership.
Van Dyck, born in Antwerp in 1599, is one of the greatest artists to have worked in Britain. He turned British portraiture away from the stiff, formal approach of Tudor and Jacobean painting, developing a distinctive fluid, painterly style that was to dominate portraiture well into the twentieth century.
From the NPG: “This particular painting dates from the very end of Van Dyck’s life and presents a direct, intimate image of an artist at work. He shows himself fashionably dressed but apparently in the act of painting, the line of his right shoulder and sleeve suggesting his hand is applying paint to a canvas just out of sight. For the present-day viewer it conveys a sense of direct engagement with Van Dyck as an individual, despite the passage of almost 400 years. Within a year of producing this portrait Van Dyck would be dead, buried in Old St Paul’s Cathedral with the epitaph: ‘Anthony Van Dyck – who, while he lived, gave to many immortal life’.”
The painting will be on show at the National Portrait Gallery throughout our fundraising campaign.
To Donate: Save Van Dyck’s Self-portrait.
Sam Mendes directs Simon Russell Beale as King Lear which opens in January 2014. “An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. His favourite, Cordelia, says nothing.”
When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools.
King Lear | National Theatre | South Bank, London.
The Almeida Theatre revival of Ibsen’s Ghosts will be transferring to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios next month.
The production opened to acclaim at the Almeida described by the FT as a glittering, dark and brilliant drama. From the Trafalgar: “Controversy and hidden pasts are suddenly and painfully exposed as wealthy widow Mrs Alving prepares to open a new orphanage in memory of her seemingly beloved husband. Her treasured son Oswald’s return from Paris and her relationship with old friend Pastor Manders are no longer the source of joy they once were, as secrets are turned into a frightening and desperate reality.”
The Ghosts Play London,
London has been presented with a large Norwegian tree each winter for over 60 years as a token of friendship and gratitude for Britain’s assistance during World War II. For 2013, the Christmas tree will be lit at 6pm on Thursday 5th December, at a ceremony featuring the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the Mayor of Oslo, St Martin in the Fields choir and the Salvation Army.
Lighting of the Norwegian Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square – NBCC.
After reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids, the profound portrait of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, I’m eager to see Smith in person (with her son) for the first time. Of her last show the Guardian said, “a standing ovation ends an insightful, surprising and very entertaining glimpse into a true artist’s heart”.
From the Cadogan: “Patti Smith ranks among the most influential female rock and rollers of all time. Ambitious and unconventional she has been listed amongst TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world as well as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest artists.
An evening of words and music will see Patti charm as much as challenge, dignified during her readings, but primal in her rock performance. 35 years of transcending artistry landscapes alongside long term collaborator Tony Shanahan and son Jackson Smith, prepare for an evening of seeing a true artist, poet, revolutionary and musician.”
An evening of words and music with Patti Smith, Tony Shanahan and Jackson Smith at Cadogan Hall.
Review from Guardian on June concert
I have David Sedaris to thank for keeping me entertained during my brief spell living in Connecticut, which entailed spending many hours in my car. I had all of his CDs and they were genuinely laugh out loud funny. Many of his sketches related to anecdotes about his eccentric family, to the point where I felt like I knew them. Which is why, when i read this week’s New Yorker article “Then we were Five” which began “In late May of this year, a few weeks shy of her fiftieth birthday, my youngest sister, Tiffany, committed suicide.“, I actually felt like i lost someone that i knew.
Despite this setback, Sedaris is returning with his unique humour to Cadogan Hall for three nights in March.
Praise for other Sedaris shows:
‘David Sedaris isn’t a stand-up, or even much of a showman. But in his own dry and unassuming way, he’s one of the finest comic talents currently living on this planet.’ (The Guardian)
‘He has a Bennett-like way with a pause, and pitch perfect comedy timing…’ (The Scotsman) * * * *
‘Profanity seldom sounds this refined, phrases so expertly massaged, or laughs so lovingly engineered.’ (The Herald) * * * *