Gillian Slovo
Ten Days
24 January 2018

Gillian Slovo is a novelist, playwright and memoirist. Although a long-term resident of the UK her roots are in Africa and specifically South Africa where her parents were prominent members of the anti-apartheid movement. Forced into exile they continued the struggle from abroad until Gillian’s mother was assassinated by the South African security services.

James Runcie
After Good and Evil: The Grantchester Mysteries
21 February 2018

Does the world need another amateur detective, effortlessly solving the murder mysteries which have baffled the professional crime solvers? When the character is Sidney Chambers, the compelling central character of James Runcie’s Grantchester Mysteries the answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’ Because Sidney is a vicar as well as an amateur sleuth he must confront, not just the need to find the culprit guilty of murder and protect innocent suspects, but the ethical dilemma involved when having to decide between respecting the confidences available only to the clergy and telling the truth.

Margaret MacMillan and Ann MacMillan
Two Distinguished Sisters in Conversation
18 April 2018

A journalist and historian come together to talk about war, its causes, its consequences and the overwhelming impact it has on people’s lives. That they are sisters and the great granddaughters of that towering figure in twentieth century history, Lloyd George, adds to the interest of the occasion. Margaret is a history professor at Oxford, warden of St Antony’s College and winner of numerous prizes for her historical writing including the Duff Cooper prize and the Samuel Johnson prize. Her books on the First World War, The War that ended Peace: how Europe abandoned peace for the First World War and Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World consider both how Europe stumbled into such a terrible conflict and how post war diplomacy failed to create the conditions for a lasting peace.

Jonathan Croall
Performing Hamlet and King Lear: Conversations with Actors and Directors
16 May 2018

In a long and varied career Jonathan has worked as a journalist and an editor in publishing, and has written many books, including biographies of John Gielgud and Sybil Thorndike. In the words of one reviewer Jonathan ‘has staked a convincing claim to being Britain’s leading theatrical commentator and biographer.’ His conversations with, among many others, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jude Law, David Tennant, Simon Russell Beale, Derek Jacobi and BLS patron Julian Glover, are the basis for his books, Performing King Lear and Performing Hamlet. The star actors revealed their mixed emotions at taking on a great Shakespearean role, how they worked on developing it in rehearsal, and their struggles to escape the shadow of legendary past performers.