David Jones – Poet, Artist and Soldier : Tom Durham

David Jones – Poet, Artist and Soldier : Tom Durham

At our May meeting, Tom Durham, an actor who loves communicating poetry, gave us an interesting presentation on the poet, artist and soldier David Jones (1895-1974). Tom had first met him as a boy when Jones had an exhibition at the Tate Gallery but did not realise until many years later that he was David Jones , the author of In Parenthesis. He began with his own poetic tribute to David Jones from his work Lodgings: ARecollection for the Sake…

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Mervyn Peake in Sussex

Mervyn Peake in Sussex For our very well attended April meeting, Dr. Miles Leeson gave us an interesting, illustrated presentation on the author of the Gormenghast, gothic fantasy trilogy. He focused on Peake’s golden period between 1940-1945 when he was living and working in Sussex. From an early age he was obsessively writing short stories and showed talent in drawing and painting. Through projected photos and drawings we gained a greater appreciation of a gifted and visionary writer and artist…

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Christopher Luscombe, RSC Director – Al Senter Interview

Members and visitors packed the hall for a spellbinding March afternoon as Al Senter interviewed theatre director and actor Christopher Luscombe, to give us an insight into directing, acting and meetings with well known actors. Christopher’s direction of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” was the first topic, with Al asking him what was the secret of getting the most out of Shakespeare. Christopher said he had always worked in comedy and enjoyed making the most of the comic situations in the plays.…

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The Wit and Wisdom of Oscar Wilde

Historian Mark Perry Nash presented  a lively talk on Wilde to the Society on 7th February, 2018.  He explored Oscar’s brilliant but eccentric personality and shared some of Oscar’s witticisms and quotations from his many plays and prose writings.  He gave some background to Oscar’s early life.  His father was an accomplished ophthalmic surgeon and his mother Jane a talented, if controversial journalist. Getting ‘inside the head’ of this amazing man is all but impossible.  Oscar Wilde’s ‘genius’, as he…

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Readings on the theme of “Love and Laughter.”

Our members provided an entertaining afternoon of readings on the theme of “Love and Laughter ” at our January meeting. Louise and Marjorie were unable to attend as both were suffering from flu so the meeting was hosted by Lois, supported by Mary and Robbie. Brian was away in Australia. Readings from Evelyn Waugh, Dylan Thomas, Laurie Lee, Roger McGough, Ogden Nash, John Betjeman, Walter de la Mer , and W.H. Auden among others, provided amusing food for thought. There was even…

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Christmas Lunch 2017

  Our first Christmas party in our new venue at Boxgrove was a delightful afternoon of good food and amusing entertainment. Members and guests were welcomed with sparkling wine and nibbles with time to chat before sitting down to traditional Christmas lunch of smoked salmon, followed by turkey with all the trimmings and finishing with Christmas pudding. Between courses we were entertained by our Patron Simon Brett and members John Clegg and Pat Sparkes. Their selection of Christmas readings included…

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A Dog, a Butler and a Caravan

Nigel Gossop gave us a very interesting talk on Dr. Gordon Stables (1837-1910), a prolific writer of boys adventure stories and regular contributor to The Boys Own Paper, where his stories were often published in serial form. Few, if not all, members of the Society had heard of Dr Stables before the talk at the November AGM. And the intriguing title of his talk did not give much away Nigel, with the aid of a selection of interesting illustrations  enlightened…

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My Life as an Actor – John Clegg

  John gave us a very entertaining talk in October. Here is an abbreviated account of Barbara Stewart’s report. After boarding school, John won a place at RADA and enjoyed life in London and the company of fellow thespians-to-be. It was amusing to hear of his encounter with the young Judi Dench, whom he didn’t think was suited to Shakespearean roles! John recounted how he really learnt his craft by working in ‘Rep’ around the country. He has always admired…

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Language of Love – Elizabeth Cassie

Our September 2017 meeting was a delightful presentation by actress Elizabeth Cassie on The Language of Love. Her readings ranged from Sappho and Ovid to the more familiar territory of Wordsworth, Betjeman, Herrick, Dylan Thomas, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Yeats and the poets of the sixties, such as Adrian Henri and Brian Patten.   There was something old and something new for all of us to enjoy with more than 30 poets featured. Elizabeth kindly shared her list with us…

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Iris Murdoch: Richard Wilby Talk

Around forty members turned up, braving the heavy rain, for the first of our afternoon meetings on August 2nd to listen to Richard’s talk, which was enlivened with readings from Iris’s works by member Marjorie James. Richard told his audience about Iris’s life and work as a teacher of philosophy and as one of the foremost novelists of the 20th century. Iris was born in Dublin in 1919 but her family soon moved to West London where she spent her…

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