On Sunday 16th July a programme entitled ‘Farjeonalia’ was given at Lauderdale House in Highgate, set in leafy Waterlow Park, where, at the height of the heatwave, a warm, but attentive and discerning audience enjoyed a programme devised and presented by Anne Harvey on the lives and works of the Farjeon family. With the help of actors and musicians, Stefan Bednarczyk, Richard Furstenheim and Tom Durham, childhoods were created, lives were explored, poetry and stories were read and songs sung. Amusing, informative and moving, the relationships between Eleanor, Harry, Bertie and Joe and their interaction with others were expertly drawn. The setting in Highgate, near where the family grew up, with walls lined with an exhibition of children’s art containing examples of the ‘Kings and Queens’ alluded to in the poetry and songs of the programme, added to the atmosphere. It is to be hoped that the artists will continue to delight audiences with this entertainment in the future.
In what is hoped to be an ongoing programme of AESS members using their experience to help enthusiastic amateurs, Graham Trew gave a one-day workshop at the City Lit on Saturday July 15th. At the invitation of Carole Gibb. Twelve singers presented songs by Britten, Bridge and Walton and there were also nine observers. Diana Wright was the experienced and sensitive accompanist. The lives of the composers were touched upon as well as their links with each other. The music and poetry of the songs were explored with the ideas and markings of the composers being examined and the singers being encouraged to see these as a means of not only expressing the wishes of the composer but using them as a means of communicating the language to the audience whilst retaining an individual interpretation.