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

Tuesday March 5 at West Greenwich Library, 7-8.30pm

The Birth of a Book: Shakespeare in an Age of Anxiety plus A Taste of 154 – readings of some of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, and modern responses to them

Local author and scholar Neville Grant will talk about the writing of his new book, Shakespeare in an Age of Anxiety (Greenwich Exchange, 2023), about what inspired him to delve into this well-explored subject and to succeed in finding a plethora of unknown, intriguing (and some amusing) facts about the Bard, and many parallels with goings on in the 21st Century.

154 is a poetry collection published by Live Canon. Each one of 154 modern poets was asked to respond to one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets (not counting the ones inside his plays). We shall hear some of these inspired pairings, by and with Nick Eisen, Gillie Robic, Lorraine Mariner, NJ Hynes, Rosie Johnston and Doreen Hinchliffe.

Unmissable….

Free as always, with plenty of refreshments – and food for thought!

Neville Grant, best known locally as former editor of the Westcombe News, is a professional author who has published many textbooks on language and literature used in countries around the world. His  latest book, Shakespeare in an Age  of Anxiety (Greenwich Exchange 2023), written for the general reader, celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio – the collection of his plays published seven years after his death. The book looks at how a grammar school boy made it in London’s theatreland, how he survived Tudor politics, and gives an appreciation of each of his works in the order in which they were written, so one can trace his development as a writer.