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Special Events

Stop the First World War

Tue 7 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.

From Ivory Tower to Activist:

Persistent Dissent: Bertrand Russell's response to the War and Conscription.

Chris Bratcher

At the onset of WWI, Bertrand Russell was aged 42, an eminent don at Trinity College, Cambridge, regarded in awe for his ten years' labour on Principia. Culturally and by birth, he was a leading member of the liberal intelligentsia. His anticipation of the cataclysm started his lifelong reasoned and passionate dissent from the conventional varieties of Establishment England. The talk first covers his reasoned objections to the war and his analysis of the failures of diplomacy (and its meretricious course under Sir Edward Grey, the Liberal Foreign Secretary).

In his opposition to the war, Russell discovered new bedfellows: socialists and pacifists; and a world of censorship. His defiant championing of the No Conscription Fellowship in 1916, and his condemnation of the treatment of Conscientious Objectors, resulted in his imprisonment and the loss of his academic fellowship.

Chris Bratcher is a former Chair of Conway Hall Ethical Society, and has given talks, largely on ethical issues at Conway Hall over many years.  He has developed a special interest in Bertrand Russell arising from his academic discipline of philosophy, and from a lifelong involvement in Peace and the CND movements.

Ramsay MacDonald and World War One

John Grigg

Ramsay MacDonald resigned his leadership of the Labour Party over his opposition to the First World War allowing Arthur Henderson to take over the leadership.

The Labour Party was a federation Trades Unions, the Independent Labour Party (ILP) and the Fabians. The ILP backed MacDonald, while the TUs supported the war. The ILP did not exactly suit MacDonald, Many were pacifists which MacDonald was not and some were Marxists or near-Marxists for whom war was the inevitable product of Capitalism. MacDonald believed the matter was more complex.

John Grigg, Treasurer of Labour Heritage and a researcher into local Labour History in West London and one time Labour Leader of Hounslow Council.

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


Courses & Workshops

MusicUpClose - Musical Responses to War

Wed 8 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

Curated by Professor Barbara L. Kelly

Session Two: Musical Responses to War
Wednesday 8 October, 19.00
Presenter: Dr Barbara Kelly
Works to be performed: Debussy Cello Sonata etc.

In this second session, we look at how composers responded to war.  War was often evident in the music they wrote as well as in their private letters and public pronouncements.  Those unable to take part in the fighting often used their art to support the war effort.  Elgar and Debussy are good examples.  Prevented by age and illness to defend their country, they wrote musical tributes for the King Albert book.  It was a political and artistic tribute by politicians and artistic figures in response to the German invasion of Belgian in 1914.  We will hear Elgar’s Carillon and an extract of Debussy’s Berceuse Heroique.  Debussy liked to hide musical clues in his music.  If you listen closely, you can hear the Belgian national anthem in the Berceuse and a musical contest between Germany and France in En Blanc et noir.  The highlight of the evening is a performance of Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano.  Here private and public lives merge as we puzzle over the significance of this majestic work by a dying musician and national figurehead.

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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Sunday Concerts

Fujita Trio

Sun 12 Oct 2014, 18.30

Photo by Aidan Woodcock

Arisa Fujita violin
Honoka Fujita cello
Megumi Fujita piano 

Mozart Trio in C K548
Smetana Trio in G minor Op.15
Beethoven Trio in B flat Op.97 'Archduke'

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

Doors open at 17.30. Start 18.30


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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.

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


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)


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

Curated by Professor Barbara L. Kelly

Session Three: Jane Bathori – A Voice in the War


Wednesday 22 October, 19.00
Presenter: Dr 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.

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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Community

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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