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Culture Vultures - April 2022

Here's Corinne back on video with her pick of April's cultural highlights. Enjoy!

April 1 from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm Fantasy and Puppetry

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic and the University of Glasgow are happy to announce Fantasy and Puppetry, a star-studded event filled with puppets real and imaginary (although hopefully not haunted) as well as Brian and Wendy Froud, William Todd Jones, Howard Gayton, Mary Robinette Kowal, Terri Windling, and Marita Arvaniti. From discussions about the creation and use of puppetry to build fantasy worlds on stage and screen, to a round table panel about the use of puppets as fantasy characters and puppetry as part of the magical/supernatural elements of fantasy narratives, this event is no (April Fool's) joke!

2 April 4.00 to 5.00 Mystery of painting from the UK and France

Art has a way of awakening our sense of the past and thus enables us to reflect upon meaning in our own lives. Tour guide, John Ward will be exploring the mystery of how paintings carry their time with them into an ever expanding present moment. The Spirit of the Entente Cordiale By the time the United Kingdom and France signed Entente Cordiale in 1904, there were already many exciting art movements flourishing in both nations. Join tour guide, Isabelle as we criss-cross the Channel in search of those artists who have influenced and enhanced this most interesting and affectionate relationship.

4 April 6.00 to 7.00 The Boxgrove People

The Boxgrove People: Early Humans In Britain Half a Million Years ago. We now know that humans, of one species or another, left an archaeological trace in Britain that extends back almost a million years. But it is around half a million years ago that we start to get sites preserved well-enough to tell us in detail about how they lived. In this talk Dr Matt Pope will share the latest finding of research on one of our greatest archaeological localities, Boxgrove, where remarkable preservation has allowed us to reconstruct the life of these early humans, sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis. In the lecture we’ll learn about how they survived in challenging environments, how they worked together as a community to share food and technology and how they might relate to the later Neanderthal populations of Northern Europe. There is still so much we don’t know about the Boxgrove people and their world but there are few early humans that we get to know, by the traces they left, in such close detail.

5 April at 2.00 William Shakespeare

An online tour dedicated to a man who probably never went to Manchester. But why should that matter? The city centre is alive with mementos to William Shakespeare and dedications to his protagonists. Ed presents seven obvious locations in Manchester city centre.

7 April at 6.30 to 7.30 The Worst Films ever made

Quota quickies’ are cheap, quickly made British films of the 1930s. They were funded by Hollywood studios purely to comply with British legislation which stipulated that for every Jean Harlow or Jimmy Cagney classic shown in Britain, there had to be a certain percentage of British-made films shown too. Small producers worked around the clock to churn out films as cheaply and quickly as possible to service this demand, and thus the ‘quota quickie’ was born. Some were destined never to be seen at all. Some were only shown in cinemas in the early mornings while the cleaners were doing their work.

7 April at 6.30 learning from Dune the Book and Film

Paul is hailed as the Messiah when he lands on Dune. This massively assists him in organising an uprising. What is it about religion that galvanises people? We explore how the importance of belief in a greater power is shown in both the book and the movie.

13 April at 7.30 Hidden Hands

Hidden Hands is not about manuscripts that changed the world, but about how surviving manuscripts connect us to lives in the past; without manuscripts, their stories would be erased. From the Cuthbert Bible, to works including those by the Beowulf poet, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Sir Thomas Malory, Chaucer and Shakespeare, join Mary Wellesley as she delves into their production and preservation. Find out how these priceless glimpses into history have survived the ravages of fire, water and deliberate destruction to form a picture of both English culture and the wider European culture of which it is part.

18 April Easter Folklore 6.00

Say ‘Easter’ to most people, and they’ll think of eggs, rabbits, Jesus, hot cross buns, or ancient pagan deities. The whole celebration has become something of a mishmash of all these things. There are sombre overtones for the religious, and fun treats for the secular. In a lot of ways, it’s become like Christmas or Halloween. But how did all of these things come to be associated with a Christian festival? This talk will explore the origins and folklore behind Easter's links with eggs, bunnies, and bonnets (and more!)

April 20 at 7.30 to 8.30 Container Gardening

Learn about decorative and vegetable container gardening from local gardening expert, Ken Brown. Discover how to plant a beautiful container and successfully grow fresh vegetables.

28 April at 6.30 to 7.30 The Gentleman’s Magazine

The monthly miscellany The Gentleman’s Magazine was launched in January 1731 by printer and publisher Edward Cave. It was the first periodical to use the term magazine in this way. Cave’s new venture was an immediate success. For decades it was the top-selling periodical in Britain with thousands of regular readers throughout the British Isles, and even abroad. This talk by historian Dr Gillian Williamson looks at why Georgian readers were so loyal to The Gentleman’s Magazine and what this can tell us about changes taking place in Georgian society.

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