RP 183Arianna 499Arianna 482Arianna 521Arianna 341Arianna 507Arianna 513Arianna 314Arianna 439Arianna 145Arianna 175Arianna 469Arianna 294Arianna 361Arianna 544Arianna 103Arianna 275Arianna 110Arianna 246Arianna 222Arianna 155Arianna 119Arianna 30Arianna 101Arianna 61Arianna 12977 ImeneoArianna 35Arianna 30Arianna 21Arianna 1864 Imeneo81 ImeneoArianna 3Arianna 550Arianna 40Arianna 36374 Imeneo305 Imeneo105 Imeneo269 Imeneo66 Imeneo110 Imeneo60 Imeneo220 ImeneoRP 586RP 313RP 116RP 46848 Imeneo181 Imeneo132 ImeneoRP 6RP 362RP 43RP 25101 ImeneoRP 6RP 64

GOD ROT TUNBRIDGE WELLS

16th March 2015

MONDAY 16 MARCH 7PM
St George’s, Hanover Square
St George Street, London, W1S 1FX

GOD ROT TUNBRIDGE WELLS
A TALE OF WOE AND BLOODY-MINDED PERSISTENCE

Directed by Tony Palmer

Tony Palmer will introduce the film and take questions afterwards.

This film was originally shown in 1985 on Channel Four, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the birth of that honorary ‘British’ composer, Georg Frederic Handel. It caused a predictable furore.

First, it was written by John Osborne, and what the hell did he know about music?

“A trashy comic strip”, was among the more generous of reviews. Trevor Howard, in what turned out to be his last major film, was thought incoherent at best and absurd at worst. As for me, well.....!!! Osborne was amused (although not surprised) by all of this virago, especially when he was struck down with pneumonia and lugged off to a hospital in, yes, you guessed it, Tunbridge Wells. “Mr Osborne”, he was told by a very sexy nurse (his description, as he related in The Spectator), “this is punishment for having mocked our lovely town. How can you say ‘God Rot Tunbridge Wells’? Oh naughty Mr Osborne”.

Only the music escaped criticism. Mackerras (another honorary ‘Brit’) and his fiery cast – Emma Kirkby, James Bowman, Elizabeth Harwood, John Shirley-Quirk, Simon Preston, Anthony Rolfe-Johnson, Valerie Masterson, Andrei Gavrilov, the English Chamber Orchestra - were rightly praised for making Handel sound, well, like Handel, full of life and fury, and not the usual syrupy stodge served up by a massed choir of thousands.

Looking back over twenty years later, I can see why the film caused the purists to wet their pants. Not for the first (nor the last) time, John Osborne had taken aim at an icon of ‘British’ culture, and come up with an altogether radical view of a national treasure. Mackerras adored the film, and for a time I was told went round slightly misquoting one of Handel’s speeches from the film. Handel/Osborne/Trevor Howard says, with appropriate insouciance: “What have I done for the Georges of England?” Mackerras said: “What have I done for the Handels of England?” Rescued them, great Sir. Rescued them.

Why the title? Well, for the answer you have to see the film!

TICKET PRICE: £10
unreserved seating



www.tonypalmer.org

Handel
Tony Palmer
 

Past Events

PAVLA FLAMOVA 20th April 2017 More Details
CHANDOS ANTHEMS 19th April 2017 More Details
WILLIAM WALLACE 19th April 2017 More Details
GALINA AVERINA 5th April 2017 More Details
CANZONI ITALIANE 29th March 2017 More Details
BLOOMSBURY WALK 29th March 2017 More Details
SHAKED BAR 27th March 2017 More Details
FARAMONDO 25th March 2017 More Details
FARAMONDO 23rd March 2017 More Details
GUILDHALL SCHOOL 23rd March 2017 More Details
FARAMONDO 21st March 2017 More Details
FARAMONDO 20th March 2017 More Details
COME AND SING 18th March 2017 More Details
HANDEL MESSIAH 1st December 2016 More Details
CHANDOS 300 7th April 2016 More Details
HSC FINAL 4th April 2016 More Details
HANDEL ELPIDIA 31st March 2016 More Details
MUSICA DA CAMERA 23rd March 2016 More Details
HANDEL BERENICE 17th March 2016 More Details
YOUTHFUL MASTERY 11th March 2016 More Details
RCM BAROQUE 9th March 2016 More Details
MISSA ROMANA 17th April 2015 More Details
ROMAN CANTATAS 16th April 2015 More Details
SING MESSIAH 28th March 2015 More Details
DIE TAGESZEITEN 19th March 2015 More Details
HANDEL SEMELE 10th March 2015 More Details

London Handel Festival

London Handel Society
PO Box 79,
Ilminster,
TA19 9WP

Social

RSS Feeds