Lectures will be held on-line at 2.30pm for a 2.45pm start. The Zoom link for each lecture will be emailed to all members a few days before the lecture.

Punch and Judy show

MONDAY 20 JANUARY 2020 11:00AM

Bertie Pearce

Punch and Judy – a subversive symbol from Commedia del’Arte to the present day


11am for coffee and biscuits

At Wyck Hill House Hotel, Burford Road, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1HY

Mr Punch – the most famous puppet character of all time. His comic irreverence gave ‘Punch’ magazine its title. This anarchic vitality has inspired opera, ballet and punk rock and an enduring popularity has seen his likeness on goods ranging from Victorian silverware to computer video games. Appearing in England in 1662, Punch is descended from the Italian clown Pulcinella of the 15th century Commedia del’Arte tradition. Even today this Lord of Misrule uses slapstick to dispense with oppressive authority, be it politicians, political correctness or the devil, while proclaiming his notorious refrain ‘That’s the way to do it!’.

In addition to his above lecture, Bertie will provide a magical surprise after our lunch!

Cost: Members £39, Guests £41

Please send your cheque made payable to The Arts Society Blockley and the completed booking form (on page 25) by 18 December 2019 to Naomi Brookes

Palm Tree Cottage, Station Road, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos GL56 0JZ

01608 652763, naomi.brookes@btinternet.com

BACS payments to The Arts Society Blockley,

sort code 30-95-75, account number 00088105

Please include your name as reference when paying by BACS


Bertie Pearce visited our society in December 2018 to great acclaim and we look forward to his return. He is the holder of a BA in Drama from Manchester University and a Diploma Internationale from the Ecole Internationale du Theatre, Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He lectures to cruise ship audiences, tours the world with his magic cabaret show and lectures to The Arts Society.

Australian art


Val Woodgate

Art down under – Australian art from the convict years to the modern era

Artistic responses to life in the strange new continent were initially seen through European, and especially British, artistic traditions. In the 19th century, Australian Impressionism & the Heidelberg School challenged the dominance of the ‘Victorian’ style, with Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and others producing works which became Australian icons. The First World War was a watershed in Australian and New Zealand history. No longer subservient to Europe, artists now found their own language to depict the unique landscape and culture Down Under. At the same time indigenous artists began to respond to contemporary life, while retaining many of the traditions of their ancestors.

Val Woodgate is a lecturer and guide in both Tate Britain and Tate Modern as well as at many other London galleries. She is a former member of the teaching team at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Val is also a lecturer at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester where she also runs courses.


Timothy Walker

Paradise lost and restored: 400 years of garden design in Oxfordshire

The history of English garden design can be told in different ways, but rarely can it be told ‘through the lens’ of one garden. The Oxford Botanic Garden was founded at the beginning of the 17th century and its design bears all the hallmarks of 17th century design. Through the next 400 years successive Horti Praefecti (head gardeners) changed the features reflecting the art of gardening, and very occasionally the science of botany. This talk looks at how the art of gardening has changed, or perhaps has not, in four centuries in Oxfordshire and how the Oxford Botanic Garden now reflects garden design at the beginning of the 21st century.

The title of the talk refers to the fact that one of the motivations for garden design remains the desire to create paradise on Earth. The meaning of paradise may now be less rooted in the Biblical account of the rise and fall of man, but there is still a clear vision of what we would like the world to resemble.

Since 1986 Timothy has given 1,500 public lectures. This was originally part of his work as Director of the Oxford University Botanic Garden from 1988 to 2014. Botanic gardens are often described as living museums, and garden curators lecture about them in the same way as museum curators talk about their collections. Timothy has been a college lecturer and tutor at Somerville College Oxford since 2014. Gardens are often thought of as places where science and art meet on equal terms. Timothy Walker’s lecture investigates this relationship.


Nigel Bates

Tantrums and tiaras

This lecture takes a look at life backstage at London’s Royal Opera House and the tribulations and triumphs of working with The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet companies. We look at the way artistic inspirations, the people involved and the very special Victorian building all function together to create world-class opera and ballet in a unique environment. Nigel’s lecture includes several performance video clips.

Nigel Bates is the Music Administrator of The Royal Ballet and has been a performer for nearly forty years in and out of the Royal Opera House, including seventeen years as Principal Percussionist with the Orchestra. He has worked with many of the leading figures in the classical music industry and was also a producer for both the BBC’s Maestro at the Opera and Pappano’s Classical Voices documentary series. Nigel is a regular contributor to the printed and online content of the ROH. He has given lectures for over twenty years, including those to arts societies and conservatoires in the UK and across Australia.


Pepe Martinez

From Bangladesh to Banksy – the story of London’s new East End

This vibrant new walk tells the incredible story of the transformation that the East End has gone through in recent times. Just a generation ago it was considered one of the worst slums in Britain, today it is one of the most important areas in Europe for the .com industries.

This walk will take you from the mass Bengali immigration of the 1970’s and give you some of the key moments in this incredible story. It will also introduce you to some key figures in its transformation including Banksy and Tracey Emin, before finishing in the middle of Britain’s Silicon Valley.

Pepe Martinez is an award winning London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. He was born in the East End and has lived there all his life. He is a accredited Institute of Tourist Guiding Trainer and is currently tutoring on the London Blue Badge training course.


Nicola Moorby

Turner v Constable – the great British paint-off

This is the story of the epic rivalry between the two giants of British art, JMW Turner and John Constable. As unlike in background and temperament as their paintings were in style, these two creative geniuses transformed the art of landscape. This lecture sets them head-to-head and examines their differences, their similarities, their battles and their shared triumphs. But who will ultimately be crowned star painter? As well as giving an overview of Turner and Constable, the subject provides an enjoyable overview of the British art world during the nineteenth century.

Nicola is an independent art historian specialising in British art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She studied at the University of York and Birkbeck College, London and was formerly a curator at Tate Britain. Nicola has curated a number of exhibitions and has published widely on JMW Turner, including contributions to the forthcoming online catalogue of the Turner Bequest. In addition, Nicola has published on Walter Richard Sickert and is co-author of Tate’s catalogue of works by the Camden Town Group.


Bertie Pearce

A Dickens of a Christmas and God Bless us everyone!

Charles Dickens has often been proclaimed as ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’ and indeed on hearing that Dickens had died a cockney barrow-girl said: ‘Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?’.  Dickens revived the Christmas traditions with his warm portrayal of Christmas in the domestic setting; with plum pudding, piping hot turkey, games, dancing  and family cheer by the hearth. Although he celebrated Christmas in numerous works it is his enduring master piece, ‘A Christmas Carol’ published on 19 December 1843, which immortalises the spirit of Christmas Cheer. Dickens was a man of extraordinary energy and talent: literary genius, reformer, public speaker, actor and amateur magician.
In his lecture Bertie Pearce reveals a Dickensian Christmas with readings, biographical details and, of course, his trademark conjuring tricks!

Such is his popularity, this is Bertie's third visit to us. He has a BA (Hons) in Drama from Manchester University and a Diplôme Internationale from the École International du Théâtre, Jacques Lecoq. He is also a member of the Inner Magic Circle.