Oops - a bit of a delay for this fortnight's blog. Apologies for that; it's been a busy start to the week. Still, I'm here now.
First, the written word. I've been privileged to have another item accepted for the prestigious Footprints of London blog. The blog features items written by members of the Footprints of London guiding co-operative, and thus gives a wealth of insight into a wide variety of London-related topics. You can find the blog here: http://footprintsoflondon.com/blog
My item is 'All the World's a Stage', and is an appreciation of the work of theatrical impresario Peter Daubeny in bringing World Theatre to the public attention. From 1945 until his death from a brain tumour thirty years later, Daubeny was a major figure behind the British stage. You can see how his career began to grow in Stage by Stage, his book of recollections published in 1952. His World Theatre Seasons at the Aldwych Theatre feature on my theatreland tour 'Behind the Magic Curtain', which is next up on Thursday 2 February:
This month I've been featuring East End Sundays. We've explored the maritime trade that brought two centuries' worth of vivid life to the riverside East End ('Tidemarks from the Pool'), taken a balanced view of the Ripper murders ('The Ripper Enigma') and seen the impact on Bethnal Green of the Second World War ('Just You Wait and See'). One more to come: an exploration of the borderland between the City and the East End which is Aldgate ('In and Out of the Aldgate'). That's on Sunday 29 January, and places are available! Details here:
Next month sees City Sundays, with four tours exploring important aspects of the City of London's story. We begin with where London's story really starts ('A Settlement Called Londinium'), we tune in to the echoes of Medieval London in today's City ('Before the Make-Over'), follow the destruction caused by the Great Fire ('A Most Horrid Flame') and round off with an appreciation of how engineering has shaped the City we have today ('Engineering Change').
February promises to be an interesting month, with a new tour on the stocks to be previewed on 18 February. This will be my presentation of riots and rebellions in the City. It will feature more recent activism like the Stop the City and Occupy London movements (the latter I'm moving from my tour 'Law and Order EC') as well as older activity, going back to Roman times.
The idea of the reduced-price preview is something I’ve taken from the theatre. As the first professional outing for a new tour will involve an element of feeling your way, I offer these first outings as previews, charging only a £5 flat fee. After all, it’s as much a tryout for me as it is a performance for the audience. You can't book for these, but you can reserve your place by e-mailing me on email@example.com or by texting 07982 132231: don't forget to give your name in your text!.
There are some other interesting projects brewing, but I can’t say anything yet – just watch this space!
In the spirit of trying to keep it reasonably snappy, that's all for now. Laters!
Pictures courtesy of Ann Flowers ('Sanctuary' 2016) and Hazel Screen (London Bridge 2014)