Oscar Wilde to Be Theme of Annual Betjeman Lecture

Giles Ramsey to speak at Bedford Park Society's event

Oscar Wilde (left) and Giles Ramsey (right)

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The Bedford Park Society's Annual Betjeman Lecture will be held on 14 September in the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre at the ArtsEd in Bath Road, Chiswick.

The theme of this year’s talk is the public and private life of Oscar Wilde and the speaker will be Giles Ramsay, independent theatre producer, director and lecturer.

Wilde is often described as the poster boy for Aestheticism — the movement linked to the social and artistic principles behind Bedford Park’s creation. Many of his friends were early residents of Bedford Park and he first met WB Yeats at Burlington House in Chiswick when the Yeats family were living in Bedford Park.

In this personal insight into Wilde, Giles Ramsay examines the life of one of the world’s most original and controversial artists. Born into a moderately respectable Dublin family, Oscar Wilde recreated himself as an international celebrity and wrote a series of short stories and plays that charmed the world. In 1890 he also published the last of the great myths — The Picture of Dorian Gray. Ten years later Wilde, devoured by his fame, his demons and his decadence, would be dead.

Giles Ramsay is an independent theatre producer, director and lecturer. A former Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham University, he is Course Leader in Theatre at The Victoria and Albert Museum and regularly lectures on the history and practice of theatre. He specialises in creating new work with artists in developing countries and is Founding Director of the charity Developing Artists. He has run theatre projects in Botswana, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Kosovo, Palestine, Mexico, Thailand and Zimbabwe.

He regularly lectures on the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth cruise ships and has given numerous talks at institutions ranging from The Foundation for Mexican Literature in Mexico City to The Royal College of Physicians in London.

This is an open event, and everyone is welcome to buy tickets which can be bought for £10 per person online (plus 70p booking fee) or you can pick them up from Postmark, 53 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick.

There will be drinks before the talk from 7pm with the lecture beginning at 8pm.

For further information about the Society email: information@bedfordpark.org.uk or check its website.

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August 14, 2022

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