August 25, 2011


Costume Drama: Fashion from 1790 to 1850

Sudley House, a grand Victorian merchant's residence, makes the perfect setting for an exhibition on the development of men's and women's fashion at a time of great social and economic change - and, as the curators note, "the era of Jane Austen". Many of the rare early items come from National Museums Liverpool's own collection. Highlights include a man's court suit embroidered with multicoloured silks and sewn with hundreds of silver sequins; a white cotton lawn day dress with fashionable sleeves, originally worn by the wife or daughter of a sea captain engaged in the slave trade; and a gold-and-white silk evening dress with a train. Contemporary fashion plates, engravings and drawings fill in the historical context. The exhibition continues until 7 May 2012.


The Faith Machine

In 2008, Alexi Kaye Campbell's debut play The Pride was produced in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court and won an extraordinary range of prizes, including the John Whiting Award for Best Play and a Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright. Campbell is now reunited in the same venue with the same director, Jamie Lloyd, for an equally bold new drama running from 25 August to 1 October. On a beautiful September morning in New York, Sophie forces Tom into a decision that will take them from the US to the UK and then to a remote Greek island, raising deep questions about the relationship between faith and capitalism and even the true meaning of love.


War Correspondent: Reporting under Fire since 1914

Reporting from war zones is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, although it is frequently also seen as one of the most exciting. What pressures does it involve, and how has the job changed since the pioneering days of Martha Gellhorn and Philip Gibbs or their successors, Clare Hollingworth, Richard Dimbleby and Alan Moorehead? The Imperial War Museum North has mounted the UK's first major exhibition about British war correspondents (until 2 January 2012), many of whom have contributed candid commentary on their experiences. Items on display include the bullet that deflected into Kate Adie's leg in Lebanon, a burka worn by John Simpson for his secret entry into Afghanistan in 2001 and the Reuters Land Rover that was hit by a rocket in Gaza in 2006.


The Conspirators

The dictator has fled and a new government is in power. But with demonstrators on the streets and widespread concern that the revolution is about to be betrayed, the police, the army and intelligence services decide they need to protect their fledgling democracy. But just as they are about to form a secret revolutionary council, they learn that a real conspiracy is taking place. Written in 1971, Václav Havel's drama offers a fascinating insight into his political thinking at the time and anticipates many of the dilemmas that would later be faced by post-communist Eastern Europe. Directed by Sam Walters in its first-ever full production in English, The Conspirators will run at the Orange Tree Theatre from 31 August to 1 October.


9/11: Ten Years On

A decade after the attacks of 11 September 2001, these shocking events still raise a number of fundamental issues for our society. Did they mark a watershed in international relations? What brings terrorist campaigns to an end, and what sort of legacy do they leave? And what have we learned about the relationship between counterterrorism, civil liberties and human rights? Such crucial topics form the basis for an all-day symposium at the British Academy on 2 September, jointly hosted by the University of St Andrews and the academy itself. It will be followed by a lecture by Jason Burke, journalist and author of The 9/11 Wars, who will tell the story of "a world changed forever when the hijacked planes flew out of the brilliant blue sky above Manhattan".

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