Martineau Society Conference - 26 July 2018

Harriet Martineau Society Conference in London 2018
This year the Martineau Society Conference was held in Dr Williams's Library, Bloomsbury, London, and Val wrote a short dialogue for this between Harriet Martineau and Charlotte Bronte. The performance was given in the library after the conference dinner by (pictured above) Matilda Thorpe on the left playing Harriet and on the right Catherine Harvey playing Charlotte. Val's grandmother Vera Wheatley wrote the first really important biography on Harriet Martineau, first published in 1957.

English PEN event for Centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth - 17 July 2018

English PEN event for Centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth
Val was one of the people at this PEN event at which the prison letters of Nelson Mandela were read aloud to the audience. It was a deeply moving and profound evening.

The event marked the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and the publication of The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela, published by Liveright. It was directed, produced and hosted by the acclaimed performer and director Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE.

A selection of Nelson Mandela’s letters were passionately read by a group of wonderful writers from the UK and South Africa, including Jay Bernard, Jackie Kay, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Ben Okri, Sahm Venter (editor of the book), Zoe Wicomb and Gary Younge. Award-winning composer Errollyn Wallen MBE performed a new piece of music inspired by the letters, composed especially for the event.

You can listen to this below.