Some Waugh-Themed Entertainments

–Merton College, Oxford and the Lennox Berkeley Society have announced an afternoon program of lecture and music: “To celebrate Lennox Berkeley’s four years as an undergraduate at Merton (1922–6), and to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his death.” This will take place on Saturday, 2 March beginning at 130pm at Merton College. Among the items on the schedule is a talk by Selina Hastings:

Biographer of Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and W Somerset Maugham, Hastings will talk about Lennox Berkeley and his Oxford contemporaries during the Brideshead years.

The talk will be followed by tea service and an organ recital of Berkeley’s music as well as Choral Evensong in the Merton College Chapel. The topic of greatest interest to our readers would be a discussion of what music Berkeley played or perhaps even composed for one of his earliest public performances in Oxford. This was the music he provided to accompany the premiere of the Evelyn Waugh-Terence Greenidge film The Scarlet Woman. This took place at the Oxford University Dramatic Society which sponsored the performance in December 1925. Berkeley was a contemporary of Waugh and Greenidge at Oxford, graduating in 1926 with a Fourth Class degree in Modern Languages.

Admission is free. Details are available here.

–And here’s a performance that slipped beneath the EWS News radar. On 6 October 2017 a play entitled Brideshead Obliterated was performed at an Off-Off-Broadway venue called Dixon Place. This is located on New York’s Lower East Side and is described as “An artistic incubator since 1986, a Bessie and Obie Award-winning non-profit institution committed to supporting the creative process by presenting original works of theater, dance, music, puppetry, circus arts, literature & visual art at all stages of development.”

The production was described  on the venue’s website:

A young artist becomes romantically entangled with a family of disgraced English aristocrats, and his life is never the same. Part literary deconstruction, part orgiastic karaoke party, this reimagining of the 1945 novel Brideshead Revisited interrogates assimilation, desire, and the longing to go home.

The script was by Elise LeBreton (“on the literary staff of Roundabout Theatre Company, a former Kennedy Center Dramaturgy Fellow, and a member of The Williams Project. Elise holds a BS in Theatre from University of Evansville and an MFA in Acting from Brown/Trinity Rep.”) The production was directed by Dan Rogers (” a 2015 Drama League Directing Fellow and holder of an MFA in Directing from Brown/Trinity.”)

Here’s a link to a short trailer posted on A search on the internet uncovered no reviews of this one-night performance. Anyone reading this who may have attended or participated in the performance is invited to comment as provided below.


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