Hampton Court, Herefordshire to reopen to visitors

Hampton Court - Herefordshire

HAMPTON COURT IN Herefordshire, the main filming location for the last seven episodes of the first series of Survivors and a regular travel destination for fans of the show, re-opens to visitors on Wednesday 8 July 2020.

Hampton Court estate has been closed to public access during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions that were imposed towards the end of March. Lockdown meant that the estate remained shut even as its usual April opening date passed.

From 8 July, the estate will again open to visitors (from Wednesday to Sunday each week).

Details of exactly which facilities and services will be available, and what social distancing arrangements will be in place, are to be published shortly.

Carolyn Seymour to appear at Nottingham’s EM-Con, 1-2 May 2021

https://nottingham.em-con.co.uk/guest/carolyn-seymour/

CAROLYN SEYMOUR WILL be a guest at both days of the upcoming Nottingham EM-Con 2021 convention, being held at the city’s Motorpoint Arena on 1-2 May 2021.

Seymour will be offering both autographs and ‘photoshoot’ opportunities for visiting fans, both of which can be booked in advance.

We’re happy to welcome Carolyn Seymour to our guest line up for EM-Con Nottingham. Carolyn has many credits to her name, most notably are the ones in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5, and Star Trek: Voyager. Others include roles in Quantum Leap, Space 1999 and many others. Gamers will know that more recently Carolyn voiced the roles of Queen Myrrah in Gears of War, and Dr Chakwas in Mass Effect.

While none of the convention’s promotional material mentions Seymour’s involvement with Survivors, the event is a great opportunity for fans of the series to meet up with Carolyn face-to-face.

Almost thirty convention guests have been confirmed by the EM-Con team so far, including Blake Harrison (Inbetweeners), Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones), Norman Lovett (Red Dwarf) and John Ross Bowie (Big Bang Theory). Other names will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the show, which are available in ‘General Admission’ format along with four ‘added feature’ bands (Bronze to Platinum), can now be purchased online from the EM-Con site.

EM-Con 2021 Nottingham
Motorpoint Arena, Bolero Square, Nottingham NG1 1LA 11
1-2 May 2021.

Note: This event was originally scheduled for 2-3 May 2020, and then rescheduled to 18-19 July 2020, before being rescheduled again to 1-2 May 2021.

Denis Lill on tour in The Lady Vanishes

Poster for the 2019 national theatre tour of The Lady Vanishes, which features Survivors actor Denis Lill in the cast

DENIS LILL IS out and about “treading the boards” once more in a national touring production of The Lady Vanishes, a new adaptation of the classic 1938 Alfred Hitchcock big-screen thriller. Very appropriately, this latest live version has been brought to the stage by the Classic Thriller Theatre Company.

Lill plays the role of Charters, one of a pair of cricket enthusiasts sharing the ill-fated train journey through the country of Bandrika. The play has been commissioned by the Bill Kenwright company, responsible for numerous touring theatre shows within the UK. Lill has been a cast member on many previous productions, including a number of the Agatha Christie plays for which the firm is especially well regarded.

The tour began in Swindon in early September, and has moved on to runs in Weston-Super-Mare, Bury St Edmunds, Coventry, Cambridge, Derby and Darlington. The tour continues with runs at Horton, Exeter, Brighton, Yeovil, Torquay and Croydon, and concludes in Eastbourne in early December.

A review in the Teesdale Mercury by Arts Critic Andrew Mercury offers a very positive assessment:

Cricket loving Charters, Denis Lill, and Caldicott, Ben Nealon […] bring a touch of comedy to the proceedings and show we perhaps have not changed that much as the Englishman abroad.

The set (Morgan Large) effortlessly transforms from the station to the interior of the train and back again. The atmosphere is enhanced with subtle lighting (Charlie Morgan Jones) and sound (Dan Samson). Direction by Roy Marsden is slick throughout.

The intrigue and suspense of The Lady Vanishes will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow the twists and turns trying to spot the red herrings.

This new production is directed by Bill Kenwright regular Roy Marsden (who appeared as a cast member in the third series of Survivors back in 1977 as The Captain in “Long Live the King”).

For full information on dates and locations, and to buy tickets online, visit the The Lady Vanishes site.

A publicity shot of Denis Lill in the 2019 touring production of The Lady Vanishes
Charters (Denis Lill) and Caldicott (Ben Nealon) in The Lady Vanishes
The cast of the 2019 national touring production of The Lady Vanishes
A production still of the full cast of the new production of The Lady Vanishes (Lill, right)
A publicity shot for the 2019 touring production of The Lady Vanishes, which features Denis Lill in the cast
Iris (Scarlett Archer, left), Ms Froy (Gwen Taylor), Charters (Denis Lill) and Caldicott (Ben Nealon) in a scene from The Lady Vanishes

Posting Letters to the Moon completes New York run

LUCY FLEMING AND Simon Williams completed the New York run of their spoken-word production Posting Letter to the Moon earlier this week.

The three week run at 59E59 Theatres was the first overseas tour for the show which offers “a romantic, funny, and touching portrait of life during the early 1940s featuring readings of wartime letters between Oscar- nominated actress [and Lucy Fleming’s mother] Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and her explorer and writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming).”

Speaking to Hollywood Soapbox, during the run, Fleming suggests that the letters shared by her parents reveals:

the depth of their love and the bravery they showed each other from thousands of miles apart, the jokes they sent each other to keep their spirits up, their optimism throughout the five years of World War II when nobody knew who was going to survive, the way they dealt with the deprivations of rationing of food, petrol and clothes.

A copy of the full-colour programme from the US run is available for download below.

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams take Posting Letters To The Moon show to New York

LUCY FLEMING AND Simon Williams will travel to New York in May to perform a three-week run of their acclaimed narrated two-hander Posting Letters to the Moon.

The ninety-minute show offers a “romantic, funny, and touching portrait of life during the early 1940s featuring readings of wartime letters between Oscar- nominated actress Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and her explorer and writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming).”

Posting Letters to the Moon will feature of part of the “Brits Off Broadway 2019” season which aims to introduce New York theatre audiences. to innovative new productions from the world of British theatre.

The New York run of the show opens at the 59E59 Theatres venue on Tuesday 14 May 2019 and continues daily (excluding Mondays) until Sunday 2 June 2019 (with matinee and evening shows on Saturdays). Tickets can be purchased online from the 59E59 Theatres site.

Show Info

Compiled by Lucy Fleming
With Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams

Posting Letters To The Moon is a romantic, funny, and touching portrait of life during the early 1940s featuring readings of wartime letters between Oscar- nominated actress Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and her explorer and writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming).

Their daughter, Lucy Fleming, alongside her own husband, Simon Williams, reads these touching and amusing letters that tell of Celia’s experiences during the war: coping with a large isolated house full of evacuated children, learning to drive a tractor, dealing with rationing, holidays in Cornwall where she took to surfing, and all the while accepting offers, when she could get away, to act — for David Lean, Noël Coward, wartime propaganda films, and ultimately starring in the classic film Brief Encounter.

59E59  Theatres
59 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
USA

Prior to, and following, their appearance at the festival in New York, Fleming and Williams continue performances of the show in the UK with dates at:

  • Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis DT7 3QB (26 April 2019) [tickets]
  • Churchill War Rooms, London SW1A 2AQ (8 May 2019) [invitation only]
  • Regal Theatre, Tenbury Wells WR15 8AE (20 June 2019) [venue]
  • Farnham Maltings, Farnham GU9 7QR (9 July 2019) [venue]

Denis Lill on tour in The Case of the Frightened Lady

The Case of the Frightened Lady poster - portrait

DENIS LILL HAS recently begun a national theatre tour in a Classic Thriller Company production of The Case of the Frightened Lady. This latest production from the company is an adaptation of Edgar Wallace’s acclaimed murder mystery, and includes in its ensemble many of the same cast members that Lill has appeared with in previous touring productions by the Agatha Christie Company, including Witness for the Prosection, Death on the Nile and Then There Were None.

When Inspector Tanner is called in to investigate a ruthless murder at Mark’s Priory, the grand ancestral home of the Lebanon family, he quickly discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. The household is controlled by the family physician, the footmen behave more like guests than servants and the secretary Isla is afraid for her life. As Tanner moves closer to the heart of the mystery he uncovers a shocking and closely guarded secret…

Building on the phenomenal decade long success of The Agatha Christie Company, which sold over two million tickets around the UK, comes a new thrilling chapter. Following this year’s acclaimed production of Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone, the Classic Thriller Company returns with a brand new adaption from the legendary “King of the detective thriller”, EDGAR WALLACE – the brains behind one of the most iconic films of all time, KING KONG.

Widely recognised as the most popular writer of the early 20th century, Edgar Wallace’s gripping page-turners are regarded as the bedrock of the modern thriller and The Case of the Frightened Lady remains one of his most celebrated works. Adapted for film several times, this is your chance to catch this chilling, captivating and complex thriller live on stage…

The Case of the Frightened Lady poster - landscape

The tour got off to an excellent start, with the opening run at The Theatre Royal in Windsow earning a rave review in the Slough Observer. Performances across the ensemble cast all garnered praise, with Denis Lill “from long-running drama The Royal and Only Fools and Horses” described as “wonderful” in the role of Dr Amersham.

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Book tickets

29 Jan-3 Feb Weston-Super-Mare Playhouse 01934 645544 Book
online

5 – 10 Feb Guildford, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre 01483 440000 Book
online

12 – 17 Feb Crawley, The Hawth Theatre 01293 553636 Book
online

19 – 24 Feb Aylesbury Waterside Theatre 08448 717627 Book
online

26 Feb-3 Mar Chesterfield Pomegranate 01246 345222 Book
online

5 – 10 Mar Cardiff, New Theatre 02920 878889 Book
online

12 – 17 Mar Barnstaple Queens Theatre 01271 316063 Book
online

19 – 24 Mar Stoke-on-Trent, Regent Theatre 08448 717649 Book
online

26 – 31 Mar Edinburgh, Kings Theatre 01315 296000 Book
online

3 – 7 Apr Woking, New Victoria Theatre 08448 717645 Book
online

21 – 26 May Milton Keynes Theatre 08448 717652 Book
online

11 – 16 Jun Coventry, Belgrade Theatre 024 7655 3055 Book
online

18 – 23 Jun Southend Palace Theatre 01702 351135 Book
online

2 – 8 Jul Swansea Grand Theatre 01792 475715 Book
online

23 – 28 Jul Leeds Grand Theatre 08448 482700 Book
online

30 Jul – 4 Aug Bury St Edmonds, Theatre Royal 01284 769505 Book
online

2 – 6 Oct Glasgow, Theatre Royal 08448 717647 Book
online

More live dates for Lucy Fleming’s and Simon Williams’ Posting Letters to the Moon

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams in Posting Letters to the Moon

LUCY FLEMING AND Simon Williams will appear on stage together in additional spoken-word performances of Posting Letters to the Moon, a reading of the wartime letters between the actress Ceila Johnson and her husband Peter Fleming.

A romantic, funny and very touching portrait of life during the early 1940s featuring readings of wartime letters between Oscar-nominated actress Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and her explorer and writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming).

The letters read by their daughter Lucy Fleming (Miranda in The Archers, Survivors) and her husband Simon Williams (Justin in The Archers, EastEnders, Upstairs Downstairs) are full of love and warmth and we get an insight into a young mother’s life whose husband has gone to war.

‘…this intimate and simply spellbinding performance … revealing an abundance of love and affection between ordinary people caught in extraordinary times.’ British Theatre Guide, March 2017

Posting Letters to the Moon logo

Dates

TIVOLI THEATRE, WIMBORNE – MATINÉE
Sunday, 11 March 2018
3.00 pm – 4.20 pm
19 West Borough, Wimborne BH21 1LT
01202 885566
https://www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk
Tickets £15/discounts (plus booking fees)

YVONNE ARNAUD THEATRE, GUILDFORD
Thursday, 22 March 2018
7.45 pm – 9.15 pm
Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX
+44 (0)1483 44 00 00
http://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/
Tickets £17 (inc of booking fees)

THE MILL AT SONNING THEATRE
Wednesday, 11 April 2018
4 pm
Sonning Eye, Reading RG4 6TY
0118 969 8000
http://www.millatsonning.com/
Tickets £20.00 to include a glass of Champagne served on stage with a Q & A after the show.

CHIPPING NORTON THEATRE, CHIPPING NORTON
Thursday, 12 April 2018
7.45 pm – 9.00 pm
Chipping Norton Theatre
2 Spring Street,
Chipping Norton
OX7 5NL
01608 642350
http://www.chippingnortontheatre.com
Tickets £12.50/£10.50 concessions (plus booking fees)

FORUM THEATRE, MALVERN
Saturday, 19 May 2018
7.45 pm – 9.15 pm
01684 569256
Grange Rd, Malvern WR14 3HB
http://www.malvern-theatres.co.uk

DEVIZES ARTS FESTIVAL
Tuesday, June 12 2018
7.30pm
Assembly Room
Devizes Town Hall

Lucy Fleming gives reading at commemoration for Major Valentine Fleming MP

Lucy Fleming gave a reading at an event in Nettlebed Village Club this evening (16 May 2017) to commemorate the life of her grandfather (and father of Ian Fleming) Major Valentine Fleming, the Henley MP who died 100 years ago.

Concert to commemorate MP killed in the Great War

THIS time 100 years ago the MP for Henley was Major Valentine Fleming from Nettlebed.

The father of four boys — one of whom, Ian, would later find global fame as the creator of James Bond — Valentine was a close friend of Winston Churchill and a leading light of the South Oxfordshire community.

Elected to parliament in 1910, it was in his capacity as the local MP that he was asked to officially declare open Nettlebed Village Club when it opened its doors for the first time in 1913 — the construction of the building having been funded by Valentine’s father, Robert, the Scottish financier and philanthropist.

Major Valentine Fleming

The following year, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria saw the First World War break out in Europe. Billed at the time as “the war to end all wars”, the conflict would run from July 28, 1914, to November 11, 1918.

Valentine joined “C” Squadron of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and went to France to fight — later rising to the rank of major.

By his own account, in a letter written to a fellow officer, the cavalry regiment initially had little more than “a tour of the principal French watering places” followed by a “very dull” fortnight hanging about Dunkirk and St Omer.

But then on October 30 he and his men were told by General de Lisle to occupy a line of trenches near Messines.

“This was disagreeable,” wrote Valentine, “as projectiles of every variety were exploding with a disquieting regularity over the ground of our advance. Luckily we had no man hit — I can’t think why — which put some heart into the men. We began to wonder how to fix the bloody bayonets with which we had been issued two days previously.”

After serving with distinction for nearly three years, Valentine was killed by German bombing in the Gillemont Farm area of Picardy on May 20, 1917.

For his war service, Valentine was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order. His obituary was written by Churchill and his portrait still hangs above the bar at Nettlebed Village Club.

With the centenary of his death approaching, a special “commemoration evening” has been organised in Valentine’s memory in partnership with Nettlebed Folk Song Club, which stages a regular series of Monday night concerts throughout the year.

This will take place at the village club on Tuesday (May 16) from 7.30pm.

The main act for the evening will be Coope, Boyes and Simpson, who are widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on the music of the First World War period.

In 2014, having been involved with the In Flanders Fields Museum for almost 20 years, they issued In Flanders Fields — a two-CD album intended as a homage to the music and song of the First World War.

The evening will also include a performance by Steve Knightley, of folk legends Show of Hands, together with a reading from Valentine’s granddaughter, the actress Lucy Fleming. Henley singer-songwriter Megan Henwood will also perform.

Proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Nettlebed Village Club roof fund.

Henley Standard. 2017. ‘Concert to commemorate MP killed in the Great War‘, Henley Standard, 15 May. http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/music/109799/concert-to-commemorate-mp-killed-in-the-great-war.html

The event was also previewed in: Staff Reporter. 2017. ‘Valentine Fleming Commemoration Concert: Remembering the Great War’, Maidenhead Advertiser, 15 May. http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/news/bands-and-music-news/115338/valentine-fleming-commemoration-concert-remembering-the-great-war-at-commemoration-concert.html

Posting Letters to the Moon – new dates, new web site

Posting Letters to the Moon - web site

Additional dates have been added to the short tour of Posting Letters to the Moon, and a mini-website has been set up to promote current and future appearances.

In addition to the dates, previously advertised on this site, additional readings of the wartime letters between Fleming’s mother Celia Johnson and her husband Peter Fleming read by Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams have been confirmed:

ALHAMBRA CINEMA, KESWICK
Sunday, March 5, 2017
18:30-21:30
Includes a screening of Brief Encounter
£15 per head including refreshments, live performance and film
W: Keswick Alhambra | E: alhambracinema@gmail.com | T: 01768 772195

UPSTAIRS @ THE GATHER, ENNERDALE CENTRE
Ennerdale Bridge CA23 3AJ
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
19:30-21:30
The Gather Ennerdale Centre
£8 per head (plus book fee) via Eventbrite
E: bookings@ennerdalecentre.com | T: 01946 862453

NETTLEBED VILLAGE CLUB
Nettlebed Village Club, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 5DD
Friday, 21 April
19.30 for 20.00
Tickets £15 | Please ring Sue on 01189 345 960 for ticket details
Charity Evening to raise money for the Nettlebed Club’s Roof Fund

The Posting Letters to the Moon tour is previewed in Cumbria Life:

Posting Letters to the Moon - Cumbria Life
Image by Angela Jackson.

The reading of Posting Letters to the Moon at The Dukes, Lancaster on 1 March is reviewed on the British Theatre Guide site

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams come steeped in their own theatrical fame, either from stage, film or TV appearances, or on radio in The Archers. This very week they both also appear in new cinema release The Viceroy’s House, which just happens to be set in New Delhi where her father was stationed.

So she can be excused if her voice just occasionally falters as she reads her mother’s adoring words of love to her father. Some people may think it was just acting, but a sold-out auditorium knew otherwise—and promptly stifled its own sniffles when her husband joked: “Pull yourself together!”

It was that kind of evening, one of sharing in another family’s heartfelt love.

An image from the Getty Images archive, pictures Peter Fleming, Celia Johnson and a young Lucy Fleming in 1955:

 

The Posting Letters to the Moon tour is covered in:

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams – ‘Posting letters to the moon’ – at Carnforth Station Heritage Centre

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams appear at the Carnforth Station Heritage Centre Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9TR) on Thursday 2 March at 19:30 to deliver a reading of the wartime correspondence between Fleming’s mother Celia Johnson and husband Peter Fleming.

These letters from Celia to her husband tell of her experiences during the war – from coping with a large isolated house full of evacuated children, learning to drive a tractor, dealing with rationing, occasional holidays in Cornwall where she took to surfing, and all the while acting for David Lean, Noel Coward and starring in the classic film Brief Encounter in 1945.

Not only are the letters highly engaging, but they also provide a fascinating historical insight into that time of true austerity and fearfulness.

Carnforth Railway Station was the filming location for the pivotal scenes in the 1945 film Brief Encounter in which Celia Johnson starred. Tickets for the event (‘Posting letters to the moon’) are £9:00 and are only available from the Centre.

Other performances are scheduled for Wednesday 1 March 2017 (Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster) and Saturday 4 March (Glenridding Public Hall, Glenridding).

Posting letters to the moon - Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams

The Westmorland Gazette carries a short preview of the event:

Brief Encounter actress Celia Johnson’s daughter Lucy Fleming to perform at Carnforth Station Heritage Centre in Posting Letters to the Moon

THE daughter of actress Celia Johnson is to make a special appearance at Carnforth railway station this spring, where her mother filmed famous scenes from Brief Encounter in 1945.

Actress Lucy Fleming and her husband Simon Williams – of Upstairs, Downstairs fame – are to appear in Posting Letters to the Moon, when they will read wartime letters between Lucy’s mother and father, Peter Fleming.

Described as touching and amusing, the letters from Celia to her husband tell of her experiences during the war, from coping with a large, isolated house full of evacuated children, to learning to drive a tractor, dealing with rationing, and all the while accepting offers of work when she could get away – for David Lean, Noel Coward, wartime propaganda films and ultimately in 1945 starring in the classic Brief Encounter.

“It was a joy to discover these letters, and I hope you will find them as funny and moving as I do,” said Lucy, whose uncle was James Bond author Ian Fleming.

The performance is to take place at Carnforth Station Heritage Centre on Thursday, March 2, at 7.30pm. The pair will also be taking their show to the Dukes Playhouse, Lancaster, on March 1, and Glenridding Public Hall on March 4.