BRIAN FREELAND
   SPEAKER, PLAYWRIGHT, and now AUTHOR

 

BRISTOL NATIONAL TRUST CENTRE 19.10.2016

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“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

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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.

photo of G B Shaw: Playing The Clown at Beaminster Festival
courtesy of Mac McNamee, images photography.
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GEORGE BERNARD SHAW: PLAYING THE CLOWN
Tuesday 27th July 2017
 


Thanks to Nigel and Lois for two happy, wonderfully-organised days at
Beaminster - the Festival against which I shall judge all future Festivals.

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 FUTURE PLANS


NEW BOOK DUE SUMMER 2019
With MEANDERINGS almost sold out we are planning a new book scheduled for publication in 2019, hopefully in time for the late summer Festivals. Working Title: SEARCHING FOR MY TAMBOURINE.

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Beaminster 1


A NEW POWERPOINT PRESENTATION AVAILABLE FROM OCTOBER 2018
RICHELIEU: THE CARDINAL AND HIS ‘CITY’

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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.

Sorbonne Church
My arch into Richelieu

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.

RICHELIEU: THE CARDINAL AND HIS ‘CITY’
This new Powerpoint presentation melds the history of “the man who changed Christendom”
with some of my personal memories of French village life.


TALKS IN THE SOUTH WEST
I do more Talks in Devon than in my home county of Sussex, mainly as a result of publicity
engendered in the south-west by the premiere of my George Bernard Shaw presentation
PLAYING THE CLOWN at the 2013 Penzance Literary Festival.

Single long-distance bookings are not viable: economics dictate that I come over for a full week
and share out the expenses. Future south-west weeks already booking are:
w/c Monday 28th January 2019
w/c Monday 8th April 2019
w/c Monday 6th May 2019
w/c Monday 13th May 2019
w/c Monday 17th June 2019
w/c Monday 2nd September 2019
w/c 7th October 2019
w/c Monday 11th November 2019
w/c Monday 13th January 2020

 

mere


Your talks were much enjoyed: there were many good comments,
and much retelling of the most hilarious of your stories.
Thank you for the part you played in the success of Mere Literary Festival.
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What a wonderful time you gave us: I really haven’t laughed so much in ages.
The feedback has been amazing, all saying that your show was the highlight of the Festival. I’m sure that we shall be welcoming you back to Ilminster.
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