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Special Events

Stop the First World War

Tue 14 Oct 2014, 19.00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

Week 3:

British Labour Movement and the Outbreak of the First World War

Willie Thompson

An overview of the reactions, ranging from patriotic (or resigned) support for the government, to pacifism to, revolutionary opposition. to the First World War among  all the various elements of the labour movement; the Labour Party and the Independent Labour Party,  the socialist parties and the trade unions

Prof Willie Thompson (now retired), was for thirty years lecturer and subsequently professor of contemporary history at what became Glasgow Caledonian University. He was a member of the Communist Party from 1962 until its disbandment in 1991, and author of an unofficial history of the CP, published in 1992 and entitled The Good Old Cause. He currently lives in Sunderland.

A Movement Divided, The Labour Movement and the Great War

A Case Study The West Riding of Yorkshire

Prof Keith Laybourn

The important textile district of Yorkshire including Huddersfield and Bradford divisions also had a divided response to the First Wold War, while initially there was general support for the war, the focus of the talk is on the strength, nature and tactics of the oppositional forces.

Professor Keith Laybourn B.Sc, PGCE, MA, PhD, FRHistS, FHA, FHEA is one of Britain’s most distinguished labour historians. He is Diamond Jubilee Professor at the University of Huddersfield. His publications include A History of British Trade Unionism, c.1770-1990; The Evolution of the Welfare State; Britain on the Breadline: A Social and Political History of Britain, 1918-39; The General Strike Day by Day; and A Century of Labour: A History of the Labour Party, 1900-2000.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)

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Talks & Lectures

Vampire, Werewolves and Witches

Sat 18th Oct 2014, 10:30

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Society present

Vampire, Werewolves and Witches: the myth and the reality regarding some of the most horrific creatures imaginable

The modern vampire is suave debonair and sexy instead of pestilence ridden and undead. What does this drastic modern re-interpretation say about the culture of the twenty-first century audience? 

The werewolf is a common horror motif but what happened when people were accused of “lycanthropy” in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and who was worse - man or beast? 

Why and how are people still accused, abused and murdered in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries as witches?

11.00 Jessica Monteith on Vampires. The Modern Vampire: Suave and Debonair as we've never seen him before. Vampire in film and television have evolved from the undead, pestilence ridden revenants of the medieval and rennaissance eras, into handsome playboy figures. Why has there been such a drastic re-interpretation of the vampire, and what does it say about the twenty-first century audience that this new 'modern' vampire has permeated popular culture?

12.00 Deborah Hyde on Werewolves. The werewolf is a common horror motif, but what did people during the witch-hunt of sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe really mean when they accused someone of 'lycanthropy'? A discussion including films, history and analysis, during which we will found out who is worse - man or beast. Deborah writes, lectures internationally and appears on broadcast media to discuss superstition, religion and belief in the supernatural. She is currently writing a book ‘Unnatural Predators’.

1-1.45 lunch

1.45 Owen Davies on Witches. The persecution of witches in Europe and America – after the witch trials. Professor Owen Davies, University of Hertfordshire, has written widely on the social history of witchcraft, magic, ghosts, and popular medicine. In this talk he will explore why and how thousands of people, mostly women, were abused and murdered as witches in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

2.45-3.30 Roundtable.

3.30 END.

Presented by Steven Law

£10 (£5 students, Members of Conway Hall Ethical Society and the British Humanist Association). Free to friends of CFI UK

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Sunday Concerts

Benyounes Quartet

Sun 19 Oct 2014, 18.30

Zara Benyounes violin
Emily Holland violin
Tetsuumi Nagata viola
Kim Vaughan cello 

Mozart Quartet in C K465 'Dissonance'
Beethoven Quartet in F minor Op.95 'Serioso'
Brahms Quartet in A minor Op.51/2

£9 tickets, £4 for full-time students (free entry for under-16s)

Doors open at 17.30. Start 18.30

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Film & Theatre

Reel Rock

20 - 21 October 2014

Reel Rock Film Tour presents

Reel Rock

The riveting feature-length documentary about the bold men and women who redefined the limits of human possibility in the vertical realm.

This year’s Reel Rock Tour features the highly anticipated feature-length film Valley Uprising from Emmy award-winning adventure filmmakersThe documentary examines 60 years of climbing history, epic rivalry, adventure and rebellion in California’s legendary Yosemite National Park. Experience the climbing revolution and adventure son the big screen with the bold men and women who have redefined the limits of possibility in the vertical realm.

Tickets: £12.50/£11 concession

7:30pm - 10pm

Image of Stop the First World War

Special Events

Stop the First World War

Tue 21 Oct 2014, 19.00

Oppositions to the Great War

A series of talks and discussions every Tuesday evening at 7pm from September 30th to November 11th 2014.

Curated by Deborah Lavin, and presented by Conway Hall Ethical Society and the Socialist History Society.

Week 4:

Irish Labour and the First World War

On 8 August 1914 Jim Larkin wrote in the Irish Worker newspaper lamenting the fact that Ireland’s ‘best blood’ was pouring out of ‘every port in Munster, Leinster and Connaught’ to fight for the British Empire. ‘Take heed of what we say’, he urged, ‘for if you do England’s dirty work you will surely rue the day. Stop at home. Arm for Ireland. Fight for Ireland.’ complained that even staunch Irish Citizen Army men were enlisting. After John Redmond’s unconditional offer of support for Britain’s declaration of war, Ireland was not exempt from the patriotic wave that swept over the British Isles, and at the Rising in Easter Week 1916 there were actually more Irish workers fighting for the British on the Western Front than there were fighting against the British in Dublin, the bulk of the Irish labour movement remained opposed to the War. From the very beginning the conflict was seen as Ireland’s opportunity and importantly the British government found it impossible to introduce conscription in Ireland.

John Newsinger is professor of History at Bath Spa University. He is a member of the Socialist History Society and the London Socialist Historians Group. He has written extensively on the labour and trade union movement in Ireland, on aspects of imperialism and the left. His many books include Fenianism in Mid-Victorian Britain (1994); United Irishman: The Memoirs of James Hope (editor) (2000); British Counterinsurgency: from Palestine to Northern Ireland (2002); Rebel City: Larkin, Connolly and the Dublin Labour Movement (2004); The Blood Never Dried: A People's History of the British Empire (2006) and Jim Larkin and the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913 (2013).

Radical Liberalism and the Outbreak of WW1

This lecture will focus on the role of working class Liberal MPs (the LibLabs) in the prewar peace and arbitration movements and on the role of the radical Liberals including Charles Trevelyan and Arthur Ponsonby), who at the outbreak of war established the British Neutrality Committee and will consider Trevelyan's resignation from the Government together with John Burns and John Morley, on the issue of the declaration of war against Germany.

Duncan Bowie, reviews editor and history columnist of Chartist and a lecturer at the University of Westminster.

Entry £5/£3 (Ethical Society and Social History Society members)

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Special Events

New Scientist Live - Closing in on consciousness

Wed 22 Oct 2014, 18:30


New Scientist Magazine presents

New Scientist Live - Closing in on consciousness

Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, University of Sussex

Manos Tsakiris, Professor of Psychology, Royal Holloway, London University

Every day you sense the world around you and react to it. You think about it, plan ahead and have no doubt where "you" end and everything else begins. Your consciousness is so familiar you take it for granted, yet it is deeply mysterious and has intrigued philospohers and scientists for centuries. Recent research has revealed much about the subtleties of this state and what we still need to uncover.

Doors to Conway Hall will open at 6pm, the talk will commence at 6:30pm.

Tickets £14/£12

Tickets will only be available in advance through Eventbrite (subject to availability).

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Courses & Workshops

MusicUpClose - A Voice in the War

Wed 22 Oct 2014, 19:00

MusicUpClose V: Music under Fire – Music in London and Paris during World War One

Curated by Professor Barbara L. Kelly, with sound collective and musicians from Trinity Laban Conservatoire/Royal College of Music

Session Three: Jane Bathori – A Voice in the War

Wednesday 22 October, 19.00
Presenter: Barbara Kelly
Featuring: Choral group, VERISMO
Works to be performed: Ravel Histoire Naturelles, Satie Trois Mélodies, Debussy Chansons Charles D’Orléans, Ravel: Trois Chansons pour choeur mixte, Satie Parade etc.

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Today the spotlight is on the French singer, Jane Bathori.  She was given an amazing opportunity to direct the small but experimental theatre, le Vieux Colombier in Paris during the war.  She put on concerts of new music by composers including Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and she promoted the works of the youngest French composers, including Poulenc and Milhaud.  With an awareness of the musical past, she programmed early French, English and Italian repertoire and music associated with the French Revolution.  We are delighted that Olivia Ray will play the part of Jane Bathori, singing some of the works she made famous, such as Ravel’s Histoires naturelles.  The vocal ensemble Verismo will perform some special choral works in the ancient style by Debussy and Ravel.  These works will be interspersed with extracts from Bathori’s private letters to theatre director, Jacques Copeau, which give a fascinating insight into the difficulties of putting on concerts while Paris was under attack.  They give a vivid sense of her determination to contribute to the war effort musically.

Tickets for each session are priced at £10 adv. online (£12 on the door). There's a special discount for teachers and their students (14+ years old) at £35 per group for one single session.

Advance for all six sessions is £50 in advance. (which can be bought here)

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Film & Theatre

The Unbelievers

Thu 23 Oct 2014, 18:00

The Skeptic Mgazine presents

The Unbelievers: an evening with Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss

Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss live at Conway Hall, to discuss their recent documentary and the state of science and reason in modern times.

The Unbelievers documentary follows Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss as they speak publicly around the world. It includes interviews with Stephen Hawking, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Cameron Diaz, Woody Allen and many others.

Watch the documentary, then join the Q & A with Dawkins and Krauss at the event. If you want to take the DVD home, it'll be available to buy and get signed.

6-6.30 Drinks available

6.30 Documentary starts

7.45 - 8.15 Interval

8.15-9.15 Q & A with Prof. Richard Dawkins and Prof. Lawrence Krauss

9.15-10 DVD signing

Limited tickets available.

Standard £14.95, Concessions £9.95.

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This is Playful

Fri 24 Oct 2014, 09:30

Mudlark Productions presents

The Playful Conference 2014

Playful is back! Another year, another one-day conference full of thought, talk and play at Conway Hall on 24th October 2014.

The 7th Playful exposes secrecy and subterfuge as both problem and opportunity for the brilliant thinkers and creators who will unencrypt new worlds of play and supercharge your imagination. Expect a day of the unexpected, the funny and the bizarre in games, interaction, technology, design and beyond.

Registration £60 - £84 (plus booking fee).

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Film & Theatre

Going Solo

Fri 24 Oct 2014, 19:30

Going Solo

The Conway Collective presents

A night of two solo works-in-progress by India Crawford Legg and Sean Bruno

Big C, little c

India Crawford Legg - Swept Up Theatre

India has cancer. As shit as it is, she has decided it is still better than the Tories. And she has a power point presentation to prove it. Join her for an adventure through chemo as she realises that, without a god, she must believe in the beauty and benevolence of the national health service. 

What Ghosts are made of

Sean Bruno

A series of stories, monologues and songs exploring the complexities of love, work, life, death and the distinct possibility that none of really matters because we're probably all part of some computer simulation anyway.

Entry: Pay what you can on the night.

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