As a Man Grows Younger

This new play for one voice by Howard Colyer, performed at the Jack Studio Theatre 19-23 February, was the fruit of an idea and subsequent conversations between myself and Howard a couple of years ago, when it transpired that he was one of the miniscule number of people I knew, who had knowledge of the Italian writer Italo Svevo. Thanks to the play, the number is no longer miniscule! Svevo, pen name of Ettore Schmitz, lived, mostly in Trieste (but also in Charlton…) across the 19th and 20th centuries and was greatly inspired by the Austro-Hungarian culture of the time, Freud included. He was ‘a mixture of things’, full of contradictions and self irony – the perfect basis for James Joyce (his English teacher and friend) to transform him into Leopold Bloom of Ulysses. Well, if you came to the play you’ll know all this. And if you’re intrigued enough to read Svevo’s works, I recommend his novel Confessions of Zeno.

Let me just add that feedback and reviews have been mostly complimentary and I want to thank Howard, Director Kate Bannister, Designer Karl Swinyard and their technical crew for a fantastic job. And of course David Bromley, who in his portrayal of Svevo and Joyce gripped us for 70 minutes with his energy and acting skills. A superb, faultless performance.

Stage photography by Tim Stubbs Hughes.

David Bromley as Svevo
David Bromley as Joyce

Events

February 4

West Greenwich Library
146 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8NN

UNIVERSITY POETRY CHALLENGE
Blake Morrison and Cherry Smyth will introduce students from Goldsmiths and University of Greenwich respectively to showcase their poetry-writing skills. With the participation of poet Sascha Akhtar.

Door opens at 6.30 for a 6.45 start. All welcome.

February 25

West Greenwich Library,
146 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8NN

WRITING DOWN DEEP
Jan Fortune of Cinnamon Press will launch her own book, Writing Down Deep, grown from her blog on writing. Not a how-to, but a volume rich with ideas, exercises and reflections.

Door opens at 7 for a 7.30 start. All welcome

March 10 – POSTPONED UNTIL SEPTEMBER

Graham Fawcett‘s lecture/performance on American poet Elizabeth Bishop.

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) is not widely known in this country. Unaccountably so, given her profound and varied output, her literary prizes and her interesting life.

But for a true insight and some wonderful readings, do come to Graham’s talk with the wonderful Sue Aldred as second reading voice. Plenty of time to whet your appetite by reading up on Bishop…

Venue to be confirmed.

March 24

West Greenwich Library,
146 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8NN

Two poets bringing their voices from further afield: Omar Sabbath – British Lebanese living in Dubai, and Edward Ragg, who lives in China.

Door opens at 7 for a 7.30 start. All welcome

April 28

West Greenwich Library,
146 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8NN

TWO GIRLS AND A BEEHIVE
Rosie Jackson and Graham Burchell will launch Two Girls and a Beehive, their collaborative collection of poems, due to be published by Two Rivers Press (Reading) earlier that month. The poems follow the life and explore much of the work of visionary artist Stanley Spencer, as well as giving voice to his complex personal life and the relative invisibility of artist Hilda Carline, his first wife.

Door opens at 7 for a 7.30 start. All welcome

May 12

West Greenwich Library,
146 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8NN

Readings by the wonderful Chrissie Gittins and Wendy French

Door opens at 7 for a 7.30 start. All welcome

June 23

West Greenwich Library,
146 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8NN

NIGHT WATCHED
Celebrating the Solstice with Graham High‘s poetic look at the Astronomers Royal, plus other poets bringing us their take on the night skies…

Door opens at 7 for a 7.30 start. All welcome