Friday, August 26, 2011

The Peake blog is back

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed rather fewer new items than usual while we had a short break after the intense activities of the centenary period. However, there are now new things to report.

First, some films:

Michael Foreman, Sebastian Peake and Zoe Wilcox from the BBC programme about the British Library.

Sebastian Peake speaking at the National Archives, Kew. More information on the exhibition of the Hitler drawings here.

Some reviews:

In The Spectator, by John Spurling. And another by John Spurling.

Centenary comments in Design Week. Followed by an announcement also in Design Week about the forthcoming set of Peake books to be published by the Queen Anne Press.

Some exhibitions:

In the mean time the exhibition of illustration originally curated by Patrick Gyger for Maison d'Ailleurs has now travelled from Chichester to Carlisle and where it's currently on show at Tullie House. Sebastian Peake will be giving a talk there on 8th September.

Anyone travelling to Carlisle might like to also visit The Wordsworth Trust at nearby Grasmere where the illustrations for The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner are on permanent exhibition.

The next venue for this show is the Laing Gallery in Newcastle. This will be from 15th October 2011 to 8th January 2012.

And a concert

The Mervyn Peake concert given by the David le Page Trio at Candie Gardens on Guernsey on 29th August was very well received by a full audience, 200 of whom then attended the exhibition of Sark drawings at the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery.

Alison Eldred

Titus Awakes reviewed by Michael Moorcock

"A fascinating, intensely personal homage, "Titus Awakes," with its themes of baffled love and loss, takes the scraps of notes and list of chapter titles, turning them into a testament of Maeve's devotion as she sends Titus off into a world even more dream-like than the original."

So writes Michael Moorcock, in the Los Angeles Times.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Lunchtime Concert in Guernsey

A free concert is being held in Candie Gardens on Bank holiday Monday, 29 August 2011.

This year Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery is remembering the centenary of the birth of the artist and writer Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) with the exhibition ‘Mervyn Peake’s Sark’. The exhibition explores the work produced while Peake was on the island of Sark and it will remain at the museum until 11th September.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The History of Titus Groan - a review

If there was anyone who could successfully reduce the three Titus Books and Maeve Gilmore's Titus Awakes into six hours of BBC radio drama then it had to be Brian Sibley whose knowledge of the books is so thorough. I know it was a huge undertaking for him, so that makes it all the better both for him and for the original authors that Elisabeth Mahoney has written such a much-deserved review in The Guardian.

Congratulations and many thanks to Brian and to all those involved in this production.

Alison Eldred

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Centenary photos

The various events which took place in July were so fast and furious that it's taken until now to report back. Perhaps the best way to sum it up is to show some photos which, I think, suggest the variety of venues and the good spirit of all those involved.

From the top: the opening of the Mervyn Peake and Maeve Gilmore exhibition at the Viktor Wynd Gallery on 9th July; the exhibition of the Hitler drawings at the National Archives at Kew; Sebastian Peake, Jon Fawcett and Brian Sibley at the opening of the exhibition at the British Library; and Miranda Richardson, Brian Sibley, Zoe Wanamaker, China Mieville, John Sessions, Sebastian Peake and Farah Mendelsohn on the panel at one of the talks at the British Library.

The Peake conference at Chichester University was organised very efficiently by Bill Gray and Jane Carroll, and below their photo is a good trio of Peake people who all gave fascinating talks - John Vernon Lord, Brian Sibley and Peter Winnington. Below them, just leaving at the end of the conference, two more people who both presented marvellous papers - Matthew Sangster and Zoe Wilcox from the British Library. There will be a full report in the next issue of Peake Studies, which I would recommend.

There were many more events and many people who were involved in so many different ways - and there have been some excellent reviews. The Peake family are so grateful to the people who been involved, not least the publishers who produced such a rich new selection of books in time for the celebrations.

Click on the image above to enlarge it.

Alison Eldred

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Radio 4 blog on The History of Titus Groan

Brian Sibley has contributed to the Radio 4 blog where he discusses the way in which he moves from Gormenghast to Titus Alone and Titus Awakes in the current radio adaptation . Brian's own contact with Maeve Gilmore when she was writing Titus Awakes make his own views of it all the more apt.