Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Jane Austen Goes to Gloucester

I am so thrilled to announce that I am appearing at Gloucester Cathedral this October, introducing a performance of An Evening with Jane Austen, starring Adrian Lukis and Caroline Langrishe. I'll be chatting about the day Jane Austen almost crossed paths with the Prince Regent, before signing copies of Life in the Georgian Court!

22nd October, 7.30pm (VIP reception at 7.00pm)


Spend a magical evening in the company of Jane Austen’s most memorable characters from the comic absurdity of the Dashwoods, to the heartfelt passion of Wentworth and Anne, not to mention the charming duplicity of the notorious Mr. Wickham. Set in the magnificent surroundings of the Royal Pavilion’s Music Room the evening consists of duologues performed by actors Caroline Langrishe (Judge John DeedLovejoy) and Adrian Lukis (Mr Wickham in the BBC production oPride and PrejudicePeak Practice) alongside Regency-era musical entertainment from harpist Camilla Pay and soprano Rosie Lomas.
Author Catherine Curzon will introduce the performance and will sign copies of her book, Life in the Georgian Court, during the interval.
To book, click here!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Othello's Guilt

Othello's Guilt, a monologue from William Shakespeare 

Adapted by Roberto Cavosi
Starring Marco Gambino
Directed by Roberto Cavosi

20 September to 1 October 2016
Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm (Sunday Matinees at 3.00 pm Only) 
No Monday Performances

Tickets - Full £15 / Concessions £12 (OAP, Student or Equity) 

£10 Friends of The Rose and Southwark Residents (Only available directly from The Rose, there are a limited number of tickets available for each performance.) 

Please note all performances are in English except on Tuesday 27 September when the performance will be in Italian with a post-show talk with Prof. Sonia Massai from King's College and Actor Marco Gambino.

Othello and Iago fuse to become a single force bent on self-annihilation.
A highly-wrought, interior and poetic study of personal anguish and self-destruction.

Othello and Iago fuse to become a single force bent on self-annihilation. The two characters constantly mirror each other, as if Othello’s jealousy needs to be fed by Iago’s inner voice. Jealousy is a monstrous interior force, which can devour anyone. Iago represents this cannibalistic energy and will that ends up devouring his own double: Othello. A highly-wrought, interior and poetic study of personal anguish and self-destruction.

Roberto Cavosi’s work absorbs and transforms the psychological intensity at the heart of modern and contemporary theatre, from Pirandello to Beckett. Othello’s Guilt is a monologue adapted and directed by Cavosi inspired by Shakespeare’s play.

The production is a 50 minute monologue with actor Marco Gambino, who returns to The Rose Playhouse after performing a brief extract of the play at The International Voice in Shakespeare conference on Six Characters in search of author. He has recently received international acclaim after appearing in popular Italian television series Squadra Antimafia, and Inspector Montalbano. 

The Rose Playhouse, Bankside’s first theatre, 1587. 

The Rose is an indoor archaeological site, it is advisable to dress with an extra layer as there is no heating. There are also no toilets so please use Shakespeare’s Globe just a few hundred meters away.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Almack’s Role in the Regency World

It's a pleasure to welcome Tammy Andresen, to peek into Almack's!

---oOo---


As someone who is new to writing Regency, I feel like I am sifting through a treasure trove. There are so many jewels, it is difficult to know which one to pick up and explore. But, Almack’s is a large ruby in the chest of sapphires and gold.

Henry Luttrell wrote:

“All on that magic List depends;
Fame, fortune, fashion, lovers, friends;
'Tis that which gratifies or vexes
All ranks, all ages, and both sexes.
If once to Almack's you belong,
Like monarchs you can do no wrong;
But banished thence on Wednesday night,
By Jove, you can do nothing right.”

Almack’s Assembly Rooms opened on 12 February 1765 on King Street, St. James. It is named after the owner, though it is unknown if this was his actual name or a pseudonym to cover his Scottish roots. 

The rooms were quite elegant and hosted a ladies club for dancing and both male and females were able to gamble. It was one of the first to admit the fairer sex. But, it wasn’t until the 1790s that the ton favored the spot and the ladies club dwindled.

As it grew in popularity, it became the place for ladies of good standing to be seen by eligible gentlemen and became referred to as “The Marriage Mart”.

Almack’s was able to do this because it was necessary to obtain a voucher for the year, in order to attend. These vouchers were giving annually and were nontransferable, costing about ten guineas. Exclusivity was the key to its success. Mother’s sought after a voucher to Almack’s and those vouchers were controlled by an elite committee.


While it often kept out the nouveau riche in favor of the titled, a title did not guarantee you entrance. It was more important that a patron be well mannered and cultured. Even a duke or duchess could find themselves without a voucher.

The establishment continued this trend by closing its doors for admittance at 11 pm and only then did it serve supper. A simple fair of bread and butter, cakes, and tea with perhaps some lemonade. The point was to see and be seen.

Almack’s was in existence long after the Regency era ended and became Willis’s Room in 1871.


It is most striking to me, how little some things change. It ties us to the past and makes the stories I read and write that much more poignant.


About the Author

Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachussetts. Her childhood was spent on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy spent many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

*Find Taming a Duke’s Reckless Heart*
Written content of this post copyright © Tammy Andresen, 2016.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Dr Johnson's Birthday Supper: Book Now

This is an opportunity not to be missed and a must for any Georgian calendar. On 22nd September, celebrate Dr Johnson's birthday in his own home, in the company of myself and the fabulous Georgian Dining Academy!

Book your tickets now via this link!


Beyond the historic taverns of Fleet Street and through the winding alleyways you'll find a modest 18th Century townhouse. Welcome to 17 Gough Square, built about 1700 by a City father whose name it bares. This house is a rare survivor, not only has it stood up against modern development within the City but is the only surviving residence of the great Dr Samuel Johnson, author of the Dictionary. 

Johnson lived in the house between 1748 and 1759, and it was here he was to carry out the major work of compiling the Dictionary, which for over one hundred years was to be the standard work on the English Language. Not only was this house a place of study and work, but it was often the setting for meetings between Johnson and some of the most well-known names of the 18th Century. Their portraits and possessions line the walls and rooms of this historic home.


With that in mind it seemed the perfect place to host a Georgian Dining Academy dinner to celebrate the great man. And on the 22nd Sept we are delighted to welcome you to step back in time through the door of 17 Gough Square. Serving our infamous gin punch in the very room that Johnson and his scribes worked on the Dictionary. You'll enjoy a delicious 3 course meal within the first floor rooms (opened up by truly unique & original 18th Century panelling!) The courses will be interjected with small talks on Dr Johnson, his guests, and his time within the house. Talks will be given by Georgian Dining Academy hosts Miss B & Miss Kitty Pridden, and our guest of honour Catherine Curzon will be giving her own talk on the meeting between Johnson and the King, George III. 


We're delighted to be able to host a dinner within these historic walls, and the opportunity to enjoy the house after hours should not be missed. Our events are light-hearted and while we do encourage our guests to dress up and "play Georgian" it is not obligatory. The Georgian Dining Academy has also recently launched its long awaited website, where you can find full information on all our upcoming events and photos and testimonials from our previous dinners.



The house itself is a delightful example of 18th Century architecture and home life, with many of its original features being retained. Georgian Dining Academy is working with Dr Johnson's House, and funds from the sale of tickets will go to the house. These funds are spent on the continued upkeep and running costs of the house, and maintaining and conserving the historic items, portraits and books housed within its walls. More details of the house can be found www.drjohnsonshouse.org/



Monday, 12 September 2016

The Salon on Tour!

The salon is closing its doors for a couple of weeks to allow its keeper to do some gadding about! 

Don't forget that Majesty's Book of the Month, Life in the Georgian Courtis available now and if you'd like to hear me speak, please do pop along to one of the forthcoming events below:


cover
An Evening with Jane Austen, 4th September 2016, Brighton 
Last week, I was so lucky to be a part of this marvellous event. With readings by Caroline Langrishe, Adrian Lukis and Ben Whitrow and music from Rosie Lomas and Camilla Pay, it was truly a privilege to introduce the performance. My first signing of Life in the Georgian Court was held in the banqueting room of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, during the interval; quite a place to make my debut!

Sam & George: When Dr Johnson met George III, 18th September 2016, Lichfield (link)

In the city of Dr Johnson's birth, Catherine Curzon will transport audiences back in time to 1767, when the creator of the dictionary met the King of Great Britain amid the bookshelves of the royal library. 

Dr Johnson's Birthday Supper with the Georgian Dining Academy, 22nd September, London (tickets)

A delicious 18th Century inspired 3 course meal served in the historic rooms where Johnson wrote the legendary dictionary. Catherine Curzon will regale diners with tales of Johnson's 18th Century London.

An Evening with Jane Austen, 22nd October 2016, Gloucester (tickets)
Spend a magical evening in the company of Jane Austen’s most memorable characters at a special candlelight performance. Caroline Langrishe and Adrian Lukis will be joined by Catherine Curzon, who will introduce the performance and sign copies of her book during the interval.



Thursday, 8 September 2016

Sisters and Suitors

Since opening the doors of the salon, I've been fortunate to get to low some utterly wonderful people and one of the nicest is Rosie Lomas, An Evening with Jane Austen's staggering talented soprano. Rosie is performing at the Jane Austen Festival this Sunday with her brand new show, don't miss it!

Sisters and Suitors – Music and love in S&S concert

Sisters and Suitors – Music and love in S&S concert

Holburne Museum
£18.00
Sisters and Suitors – an evening of music and love! – 7pm (duration 1½ hours with interval)
Exploring love in its many forms in Sense & Sensibility, Soprano Rosie Lomas and the Literary Music Ensemble return to the Jane Austen Festival and the Holburne with a musical programme inspired by Sense and Sensibility. Discover how Elinor and Marianne’s private battles between passion and propriety are mirrored in the music, art and ideals of their day.
Tickets: £18
Venue: Portrait Gallery, The Holburne Museum, Gt Pulteney Street BA2 4DB

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Kindness of Fairy Children

Today, we take our last visit to the pages of  The Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany, Volume 82 (1818). This time, the mysterious CTCS shares the tale of a sickening girl whose life was saved by the kindness of fairy children.

Many, indeed, are the traditionary stories afloat in Clydesdale, which prove that the fairies are not to be looked upon as uniformly malignant, but rather that there are two orders, the members of the one distinguished for their goodness, generosity, and loving kindness towards man, while those of the other are no less remarkable for their irritableness, peevishness, and malignity. 

An old woman in the moors of Avondale, who lived with her only daughter, a lively lass of twenty-two, was entirely dependent upon the industry of her child for bread. A wasting seized the industrious girl, and, after consultations had been held with every medical gentleman in the neighbourhood, her case was given up as hopeless, and her aged and helpless parent was plunged into the utmost distress. In her extreme necessity she applied to the only never-failing source or consolation, and besought the Father of mercies “that he would not leave her when she was old and grey-headed, but that he would yet spare her beloved bairn to close her auld an’ feeble sen, whilk had lang sensyne been shut to all the vanities of this wearie world.” 

The prayers, says the story, of the waefu’ widow, are always accepted. A coagful of loaf and milk was placed at her door every morning, and a little phial, of a reddish liquid, and a small loaf, as white as snow, which she rightly conjectured were for her daughter. Upon this diet she lived sparely, but was contented and thankful, and her daughter recovered slowly, but surely. Anxious to behold the immediate hand that blessed her in so extraordinary a manner, the old woman watched one morning and saw two beautiful children, a boy and a girl, bring the food, and place it on the threshold, the girl carrying the medicine for the daughter, and the boy the provisions for the mother. Having carefully performed this operation, their eyes were thrown upwards for a moment, with an expression of great devotion. 

As they were turning to depart, the old woman, who, as the story goes, declared that “they war sae unco bonnie, an’ sweet-lukan, that she couldnae be fleyit,” could not help exclaiming, “fair fa’ ye, my bonnie bairns, may ye be as gude as ye’re bonnie, an’ as happy as ye’ve made me.” 

The boy looked on her with an evanescent frown, mixed with pity. “Was it not aneuch, wanweirdit woman, that ye sould hae been servit wi’ meat and drink, but ye boud alsae pry into things on whilk ye maun na turn your ee? Nevertheless, lest ye sould imagine an evil thocht agains the hand that feeds, I will tell you that we are Gude Fairies an’ live for ever mare in happiness an’ bliss.” The fairies instaritly vanished, and the old woman continued to receive her daily supply of provisions till her daughter recovered when it ceased. 

There are innumerable stories remaining in this country, illustrative of the peculiarities of the fairy mythology; but, as I have not Scott's Essay on that superstition by me, I am afraid to mention any more at present, lest I should perhaps transmit to you some which are already contained in that curious and valuable performance. 

I shall, therefore, in the meanwhile, conclude with saying, that, if this be deemed worthy of a place in your valuable Miscellany, I shall as soon as possible transmit you several more stories of the Scottish fairies hitherto unpublished, and likewise some account of the Clydesdale belief concerning Wraiths. 

I remain your obedient servant,


CTCS