|'St Anthony', artwork created by Derek Power, words by Mike Garry|
"St Anthony, St Anthony please come round,
because something is lost that cannot be found"
St Anthony is the patron saint of lost things. Given the University of Westminster’s link with the poet Mike Garry , author of the superb poem St Anthony, this year’s Being Human Festival theme - 'Lost of Found' - was something of an open goal for us.
The (AHRC / British Academy-funded) Being Human festival runs in late November, and is all about displaying the hidden stories that humanities research can bring into the light. And once we started digging further into our own University archives, we started to come across more and more extraordinary stories.
Chief among them was the story of the original Soho Poly theatre - radical forerunner of today’s Soho Theatre on Dean Street - which operated out of a tiny basement room belonging to the University from 1972-1990. Many of the country’s best known writers, actors, designers and directors worked here during this time. This secret space quickly became the centre piece of our Being Human project, and, for the whole week beginning 20 November, visitors will be able to come and visit London’s most important ‘lost’ theatre.
|Courtesy UoW Archives|
Our research also uncovered other inspiring stories of creative endeavour – including a series of public lectures from 1917 given by Louie Bagley, then Head of the School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, on 'Poets and Poetry of Today'. The final name chosen for our event (curated by Matt Morrison of the English Department and Guy Osborn of the Law School) makes reference to both these discoveries: 'Disrupting the Everyday: Found Theatre and Found Poetry'. It offers an opportunity to experience an exciting and various programme of events including a newly commissioned piece of digital theatre, live poetry readings, and an exhibition of rare Nobby Clark photographs. And all of this to be enjoyed in the specially re-opened Soho Poly basement itself.
Book here and come along to be surprised and delighted.
This blog entry is jointly authored by Guy Osborn and Matt Morrison. For Matt's blog see here