UCL News


Bloomsbury celebrates the Bloomsburys

29 June 2004

A festival to mark the centenary of the formation of the Bloomsbury Group has been organised by the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre and the New London Orchestra.

The New London Orchestra The event, which begins on 20 June, encompasses poetry, comedy, art and music, as well as workshops and guided tours.

The loose network of artists and writers who would later become known as the Bloomsbury Group first met in 1904 at the Gordon Square home of Thoby Stephen. He and his sisters, Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, hosted parties which were frequented by like-minded artists and writers, including Slade School art history tutor Roger Fry.

The week-long series of events and performances at the UCL Bloomsbury recognizes the significant contribution the group made to the arts.

An installation exploring the sounds of Bloomsbury will be on display in the UCL Bloomsbury Gallery throughout the week. 'Bloomsbury Soundscapes' has been recorded by local residents in conjunction with the New London Orchestra and plays everything from excerpts of birdsong and traffic noise to overheard snatches of conversations.

Among the workshops taking place are 'Writing the City', a one-day creative writing workshop examining how authors have approached the subject of London. This will be followed by a literary tour of Bloomsbury before participants return for an afternoon of writing. Two further tours of the area will be hosted by Michael Freeman, former manager of the UCL Bloomsbury theatre and John Bird, founder of the Big Issue.

The New London Orchestra will host an open rehearsal and music workshop for local schoolchildren on 22 June. The orchestra will then perform 'Bloomsbury - A Musical Celebration of the Bloomsbury Group' in the evening. The concert, which is supported by the UCL Friends Programme, will include music by Britten, Elgar and Debussy.

24 June will be devoted to the 14th annual Woolf conference - 'Back to Bloomsbury' - on the writer's life and work, followed by a performance of Orlando by the Stephen Pelton Dance Company of New York, which runs for two nights.

The week-long celebration ends on 26 June with a poetry slamming workshop for local schools during the day and a gala evening performance of Jason Ford's latest film, New Original Town.

Image: The New London Orchestra.

For a full programme of events, use the link below.

Link: UCL Bloomsbury