The Irving Society Newsletter No 71


Tuesday 29th September 2015

Following the success of the visits to Richmond, Surrey (2013) and Bristol (2014), a trip has been organised to Northampton by Society member Paul Campion on Tuesday, 29th September 2015.  The day is planned to include a guided tour of Northampton Guildhall (designed by Edward Godwin), a visit to Northampton Museum (where we hope to see Irving’s shoes used in ‘Faust’), a walk around the ‘Theatre’ area to see the exteriors of the Royal Theatre and Derngate Centre and a visit to 78 Derngate, the only house designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in England.

As an addition to our interest in Irving and the 19C Theatre, members may wish to visit All Saints Church and the Market Square. All are located in the town centre.
A light lunch will be available, if required, at The Parlour, 72 Giles Street.
Those who stay overnight on Monday 28th before the tour, may wish to visit the Derngate Centre to see the musical Hairspray on Monday evening at 7.30pm.  There are several hotels and B&Bs near the centre of the town of which The Park Inn (by Radisson) is c7 minutes from Northampton Station and has car parking.

Members must make their individual booking for:

The Derngate Centre:

or call the Box Office on: 01604 624811.

Hotel and transport

A train currently leaves London Euston at 09.49 hrs and arrives in Northampton at 10.44 hrs but these times may change under the autumn schedule. Members will be met outside Northampton Station at c10.45hrs. Return trains to London are frequent. Car travel is not recommended as day parking is inconvenient and expensive.

Members are asked to apply ASAP. The final date for bookings to be received by Paul Campion is 19 September. The minimum number of visitors acceptable to take part on the trip is 10, the maximum is 20. The cost for the day, which does not include refreshments or travel, is £10.

Details of timings etc will be sent well before the day to those who have booked.

Book your place

Please click here to download the booking form.



Notice of Sale

Of interest will be two items offered for sale by Society member Alan Stockwell MBE –

Ellen Terry Jubilee programmeSouvenir programme of Ellen Terrys Jubilee matinee on 12 June 1906.

This is 12” x 9½” with thick card covers. These have become detached as the spine has failed. All pages are present but connected with very loose stitching.

Bradford AlhambraProgramme of Sir John Martin-Harvey in The Only Way  Wk Comm 3 April 1939

Typical 12 page programme of the time. Mostly ads, but it contains photos of Martin-Harvey and Turner Layton – the following week’s attraction. This item is from the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, a date on Martin-Harvey’s farewell tour. The actor would have been 75 at the time and died five years later.

Offers are invited for both items, either together or separately. Contact



Park Theatre

We’re delighted to announce that the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park has released details of its Autumn Season, and that they will be staging:

The Knight From Nowhere and The Bells
Written by Andrew Shepherd/ Leopold Lewis
Directed by Chris Lawson
Park Theatre, London
24th Nov – 19th Dec 2015

A celebration of the life of Sir Henry Irving adapted from ACS Random’s 2005 production playing in a double bill with The Bells – the play that made Irving an overnight star on the 25 November 1871.

Tickets are on sale now with a £10 online offer with the promo code: KNIGHT

Casting for versatile actors able to play a variety of roles in both productions is due to take place from 21 July.
Interested parties should visit:


General Notices

  • The Chair is delighted to announce that she has acquired permission from the estate of Herbert Farjeon to include in the forthcoming edition of First Knight his article about his admiration for The Guv’nor entitled Irving: My Hero-Worship.  As Farjeon says, “There was more animal magnetism in his shadow than in the substance of any star now visible”.  We eagerly await sight of it in the next edition, which is due for release in October!
  • Members are invited to submit content for inclusion in either of the Society’s publications, and submissions should be sent directly to  Submissions for inclusion in The Irvingite will be considered by the Honorary Secretary, and submissions for inclusion in First Knight will be considered by the Editorial Sub-Committee.
  • Members are reminded that, due to requests from the membership, forthcoming publication dates for the Society’s journal and newsletter will be staggered in order to provide more regular contact throughout the year- as well as to capture time sensitive updates and information.  The next issue of First Knight will be published in October 2015, and the next issue of The Irvingite will be published in December 2015.
  • As a reminder, should any members no longer wish to retain single or multiple back issues of First Knight, the Editorial Committee would be pleased to receive such copies to meet the needs of those seeking to fill gaps in their collection – lost or mislaid – or for the benefit of newer members seeking to add to their collection.


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