London’s International Festival of Words and Ideas

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Past Events

Meet the Author
Kevin Bloom, Janet Suzman
Thursday, 3 March 2011

Experience the event as it happened:

Video Audio

When his cousin was killed in the Zululand hills, journalist Kevin Bloom’s reporting of South Africa’s tempestuous social upheaval took on a deeply personal aspect. Bloom explored what life is like for white South Africans under majority rule and how tragedy still haunts the re-born rainbow nation.

Kevin Bloom – award-winning South African journalist and editor – wrote Ways of Staying in response to the brutal murder of his cousin in the hills of Zululand.

Janet Suzman - born and educated in Johannesburg, left for London and trained at LAMDA. Suzman’s long career includes playing many of the major heroines for the RSC and also various plays in the West End, a notable Cleopatra, Hedda, and Masha amongst them. She has twice won the Evening Standard Best Actress Award. Hedda Gabler was chosen as the BBC’s 50th Anniversary Classic Drama repeat. In 1987 at The Market Theatre, Jo’burg, she directed John Kani in Othello, seeing it as a protest play, and also filmed it for Channel Four TV. She has written and directed her own responses to Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard setting it in a liberated new South Africa, and adapted Brecht’s Setzuan to a mythical Soweto. Her production of Hamlet (The Baxter Theatre, Cape Town) was invited to open the RSC’s Complete Works Festival in 2006.

She recently directed Antony and Cleopatra starring Kim Cattrall at The Liverpool Playhouse, and herself starred in a new play, The Dream of the Dog, which played at The Finborough and then transferred to Trafalgar Studios last spring.

She is vice-President of LAMDA and President of the Conference of Drama Schools. Hon. D. Lit from the universities of London (QMW), Warwick, Leicester, Southampton, Kingston, Middlesex and Capetown.

 

The JBW Newsfeed

The JC's Gerald Jacobs encapsulates the festival experience as "huge yet informal. Cerebral yet accessible." JBW is, he writes, "hard to resist."
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The Jewish Daily Forward''s Anne Joseph shares her impressions of the conversation between Deborah Treisman, fiction editor of The New Yorker,...
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Video

 
Highlights from the 2015 festival are now online.