September 8, 2011


The Sadler Gift

A century ago this year, Sir Michael Sadler (1861-1943) became vice-chancellor of the University of Leeds. He played a crucial role in developing the cultural life of the city and promoting links with the textile industry. When he left in 1923, he gave the university a substantial collection of artworks, as well as Kashmiri shawls he had brought back from educational assignments in India during the First World War. This exhibition at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery (until 17 December) brings together some 70 pieces from the donation, including works by Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry, Henry Fuseli and Duncan Grant alongside Japanese prints and Chinese paintings. A linked exhibition, Sadler and the Shawls, is being held at the University of Leeds International Textiles Archive from 13 September to 30 March next year.

Leeds and touring

The Go-Between

In L.P. Hartley's poignant account of innocence lost, The Go-Between (1953), an ageing man looks back to the oppressively hot summer of 1900, when he spent his holidays with a school friend in Norfolk and inadvertently became caught up in a doomed love affair that would go on to shape his whole life. Hartley's novel was made into a celebrated film, scripted by Harold Pinter and starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates, in 1970. Now playwright David Wood and composer Richard Taylor have created a musical version - an intimate chamber piece with a haunting score for solo piano - that will receive its world premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on 9 September, running there until 1 October. The production will then transfer to the Derby Theatre (6 to 29 October) and the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton (1 to 19 November).


Colour, Rhythm and Form: J.D. Fergusson and France

J. D. Fergusson was a key member of the renowned Scottish Colourists. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of his death, the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow is holding an exhibition (10 September to 8 January 2012). The gallery not only draws on its own substantial holdings, but also on a number of loans to explore the painter's lifelong interest in France, and the major Paris exhibitions where the Colourists first exhibited as a group in 1924, and again in 1931. Three paintings are on display in the UK for the first time since they were acquired by the French government in 1931.


Power of Making

Many people make things, whether in order to survive, as their chosen vocation or simply in a joyful spirit of creativity. The results can be used in all sorts of spectacular and imaginative ways, whether for medical innovation, entertainment, social networking or artistic endeavour. Now the Victoria and Albert Museum, in collaboration with the Crafts Council, has brought together more than 100 exquisitely constructed objects - ranging from a life-sized "crochetdermy" bear to a ceramic eyepatch, a fine metal flute to drystone walling - in order to demonstrate the sheer breadth and depth of craft's presence in modern life. Each object combines refinement with meticulous control and ingenious application. A thrilling snapshot of both amateur and professional "making" across the world in our time, the exhibition continues until 2 January 2012.


The Kitchen

It is the busiest time of day in a vast 1950s West End restaurant and orders for soup, fish, cutlets, omelettes and fruit flans are piling up. But although everything seems about to collapse, the chefs, waitresses and porters from all over Europe still manage to argue, flirt and dream of better things as they desperately struggle to keep up. One of Arnold Wesker's most powerful plays, The Kitchen offers a vivid, touching and highly unusual moment-by-moment picture of workplace life. It premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 1959 and has been performed in more than 30 countries. This new production by Bijan Sheibani continues at the National Theatre until 6 November.

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