My Current Talks

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The Glory of MGM's Musicals

The Glory of the MGM Musicals. In the 1940s and 1950s MGM produced some of the greatest film musicals ever seen. The Arthur Freed unit revolutionised how musicals were made, and signed up the top directors, choreographers, composers and lyricists of the era. The songs written for the films became classics and made stars of the actors and actresses appearing in them. You will enjoy watching clips from some of these great movies and learn about the trials and tribulations that went into these films. If you love film musicals this is the talk for you.

The Fabulous '50s

The Fabulous ’50s. A fun look back at the decade of the 1950s. We take a look at how we lived during this period in the UK including the fashions, wireless, television, films and of course the music – the birth of Rock & Roll which gave us such stars as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Bill Haley.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – their lives, lovers and legacy. This talk is a feast for the eyes. We look at the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and at the paintings that made them famous. The brotherhood led to the Arts and Craft Movement in which William Morris, a great friend of the members, embraced their art through textiles and wallpaper. Eventually it became so popular that it was copied by architects, jewellers, interior and fashion and evolved into the style known as Art Nouveau.

The Golden Age of Hollywood

This talk is a wonderful opportunity to visit what is considered the golden age of Hollywood, when people visited the cinema to forget the impact of the Great Depression. It was during this period that the people flocked to see the Busby Berkeley musicals, the birth of technicolour and the first film from Walt Disney. Two of the greatest films in cinema history were made during this period. There are lots of clips of the stars and music of this era and you can wallow in pure nostalgia. A real treat for film fans of this era.

The Roaring 20s

Relive the decade of the five F’s – Fashion, Flappers, Fabulous Inventions, Films and Fun. Learn how the younger generation wanted to forget about past traditions of behaviour and instead wanted to ‘Live for the moment’ following WWI. We see how The Bright Young Things went too far and made themselves unpopular with the general population. Find out who the stars of Hollywood were and the music which defined the era as well as the change in fashion. A light hearted talk with short videos which will have you on the edge of your seat.

ENSA - Every Night Something Awful

The Story of ENSA – “Every Night Something Awful”. When WWII was declared, the government felt entertainment was important to keep up people’s morale. The Entertainments National Service Association was set up and entertainers were encouraged to join; over 50,000 answered the call.

So join me and enjoy a trip down memory lane learning about the artists who would become household names and loved by millions of troops fighting around the world.

The Impact of WW1 on Women

the role of women was strictly in the home and being educated or holding down a profession was not encouraged. This talk shows how WWI changed that and women were at last welcomed into the workplace. After the war, with the fight for women’s suffrage being high on the agenda, things were never the same and we look at how women fought on and how things stand in the present day.

Victorian London Street Life

This is a fascinating insight into how the poor people of London lived and survived in the late nineteenth century. The fear of the Workhouse with personal stories, details of the sorts of food that was popular and the plight of working children are just a few of the topics covered. We follow them throughout a typical day, ending in a Music Hall.