10 December 2014 / Events
Maggie Collins Lecture: George Speaight And The Juvenile Drama: A Centenary Celebration
Presented By Horatio Blood and Friends
George Speaight (1914-2005) was a founding member of the Society for Theatre Research, distinguished historian of popular entertainment, and toy theatre performer par excellence. To commemorate the centenary of his birth, Horatio Blood will explore George’s unique archive to illustrate the history of the English toy theatre: its survival, revival, influence and importance in the rediscovery of popular art during the twentieth century, and the role George played in these proceedings.
The evening will conclude with a grand performance on an outsize toy theatre of The Corsican Brothers. This play was the first of George Speaight’s public performances at Bumpus’s Bookshop in 1932, and he also performed it for Benjamin Pollock’s 80th birthday at The George Inn, Southwark in 1936.
Horatio Blood is an erratic transpontine showman with a particular passion for the toy theatre, about which he has written, lectured and curated exhibitions. His exuberant performances of classic melodramas on his outsize Corinthian Theatre have been presented at the Theatre Museum, Art Workers Guild, Guildhall Library, Scott Polar Research Institute and the National Theatre.