Queen Victoria comes to Canterbury

Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

General bookings opened today for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee at the Canterbury Festival. This is a show I’ve devised which recreates the tour around London taken by Queen Victoria on 22 June 1897, to mark the sixtieth year of her reign. In taking the audience around London, the show integrates photographs, eye-witness testimony and original films (from the BFI National Archive) of the procession, shown in correct sequence. The eye-witness testimony, including the words of Kier Hardie, Edward Burne-Jones, Molly Hughes, Beatrice Webb, Mark Twain and Queen Victoria herself, is read by Neil Brand (an actor as well as our most celebrated silent film accompanist) and Mo Heard, with Stephen Horne playing the piano. And I’m the presenter.

The show is taking place Friday 19th October, 8.00pm, at the International Study Centre, which is in the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral. Tickets are an entirely reasonable £12, and full details of how to book are on the Festival website.

2 responses

  1. Hello, are you planning to show the Diamond Jubilee films shot by R.W. Paul and John Nevil Maskelyne? Do these even still exist?


  2. Four or five of the films that R.W. Paul shot exist (the number is unclear since you could call films shot from the same position one film or more), at the British Film Institute. The show I gave in Canterbury last year featured some of these and other films of the Jubilee taken by Lumiere, Prestwich, Joly-Normandin, Gaumont and Velograph. Some or all of the Paul films are included in the BFI DVD RW Paul: The Collected Films.

    One of Paul’s films is available online from the New Zealand Film Archive, here: http://data.filmarchive.org.nz/search/details_film.php?ref_no=F11225.

    Despite much publicity before the event, Maskelyne did not produce any films of the Jubilee procession, apparently because he was allotted a poor view and couldn’t get any pictures because people’s heads were in the way.


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