SPEAKER, PLAYWRIGHT, and now AUTHOR
“Thanks for a great talk. From the reactions of your audience it was clear that you very much hit the spot! At a time when audiences are increasingly diverted by Powerpoint presentations it is refreshing to find a speaker who can hold a group enthralled with the spoken word alone. It is something you are able to achieve in spades!
Thank you again for your support of the Bristol National Trust Centre’s Talks programme”. Dave Moore.
Returned to Bristol NTC on Saturday 16th December 2017 with GEORGE BERNARD SHAW: PLAYING THE CLOWN
Brian’s theatre career started in 1959, direct from National Service, as Trainee Manager at the London Palladium, and has taken him to forty-three different countries including three residencies in the Middle East; eight tours of the Indian sub-continent and two circumnavigations of the globe.
He has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and London Festival Ballet Companies, Scottish Opera, Nottingham Playhouse and Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop Company.
As he approached retirement he started to ‘branch out’ - directing amateur operatics; writing scripts, and giving Talks. Details of his Talks and Presentations, and of his Scripts, fill the pages of this website.
In amongst all of this he finally found time to write the long-promised autobiography which he called MEANDERINGS: A RIVER AND A LIFE. Again, details can be found towards the back of the website.
In 1585, when Armand-Jean du Plessis (later Cardinal de Richelieu) was born, France
existed only as a geographical area: neither language nor law provided any unity.
Loyalties were feudal, religious and/or regional. Richelieu dictated both the military
strategies which provided France with new defensible borders, and inaugurated the
unifying reforms which moulded the state’s own national cultural identity.
In the process Richelieu discovered the power of cultural propaganda, and sought
control of the country’s literary and artistic activities and institutions.
Working closely with the royal architect Lemercier, the Cardinal planned buildings of
enormous extravagance, including the church at the Sorbonne, where he was proviseur,
and the magnificent Chateau and ‘walled town’ on the family estate at Richelieu.
The Palais-Cardinal in Paris (later the Palais Royale) included a theatre, and he collected paintings and sculptures by many of the outstanding artists of the time, now on view in Paris, Orleans and Tours. He also founded the Academie Francaise.
left: the Sorbonne church in Paris.
right: entry to the walled town of Richelieu, ‘cite du Cardinal’
built alongside the huge Chateau (since demolished) on the du Plessis estate in Touraine. Just inside the
arch was my shop, and my home
for five fascinating years.