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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the {theatre} category


Orson Welles: The One-Man Band


Vassili Silovic’s 90-minute documentary about the uncompleted films of Orson Welles’ later years was a revelation when it appeared in 1995. Orson Welles: The One-Man Band was shown on UK TV as The Lost Films of Orson Welles but “one-man band” is more appropriate, not only because of the bizarre song-and-dance sequence he filmed in […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {theatre} | 1 comment »


Welles at 100


Orson Welles: A First Biography (1946) by Roy Alexander Fowler. Happy birthday, Orson. The premature celebrity biography is nothing new, as this small volume from the Coulthart library demonstrates. Welles was only 31 in 1946 but was already the director of three feature films. If I’m less of a Welles obsessive today it’s because many […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {science fiction}, {television}, {theatre} | 2 comments »


John Yunge-Bateman’s King Lear


When Majesty turns to folly! John Yunge-Bateman (1897–1971), aka “Yunge”, is another British illustrator whose work I’d not noticed until now, possibly because this 1930 edition of King Lear is an early creation in a derivative style the artist abandoned. The ten black-and-white drawings are closer to Harry Clarke than Aubrey Beardsley, and a couple […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators}, {theatre} | 2 comments »


Les Theatres d’Ombres Chinoises


Ombres Chinoises—”Chinese shadows”—were the specialty of Alber, prestidigitateur, according to this French volume from 1896. The diagrams show examples of Alber’s tableaux, and also the technical aspects of his articulated figures, some of which seem caught midway between Javanese shadow puppets and Lotte Reiniger’s animated silhouettes. One of the commissions I’ve been working recently features […]

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Weekend links 246


Love Hunter by Victo Ngai. • “The strangeness of the lyric style, the misuse of words and awkward phraseology that have been criticized even by Poe’s fervent admirers, are here taken as virtues, heightening as they do, a given poem’s conscious and calculated formalism.” Marjorie Perloff reviews The Poet Edgar Allan Poe: Alien Angel by […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {theatre} | 2 comments »


Wildeana 14


BookBench by Trevor Skempton. Continuing an occasional series. Recent (and not-so-recent) Wildean links. • The BookBench above is one of several pieces of street furniture placed around London last autumn all of which were based on literary works past and present. Trevor Skempton’s design for Oscar Wilde was based on The Importance of Being Earnest […]

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The Importance of Being Oscar


Picking up where we left off, I was thrilled to find that Micheál MacLiammóir’s one-man dramatised biography of Oscar Wilde had finally made it to YouTube. The Importance of Being Oscar was MacLiammóir’s 100-minute magnum opus, an acclaimed condensation of Wilde’s life and work first performed at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in 1960. Hilton Edwards […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {gay}, {television}, {theatre} | 2 comments »


Return to Glennascaul, a film by Hilton Edwards


Another return, and another short ghost story. Return to Glennascaul (1951) has been presented at times as Orson Welles’ Ghost Story even though it was written and directed by Welles’ friend, Hilton Edwards. Welles is the narrator, and plays himself in the framing section. The story is a version of the old “Vanishing Hitchhiker” urban […]

Posted in {film}, {theatre} | 1 comment »


The Edge Is Where The Centre Is


Design by Rob Carmichael. “I am afflicted by images, by things that are seen, pictures of things. They are extraordinary, momentary, but they stay with me.” (David Rudkin, 1964) “The pattern under the plough, the occult history of Albion – the British Dreamtime – lies waiting to be discovered by anyone with the right mental […]

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Weekend links 231


Design by Julian House. Always good to hear of a new release on the Ghost Box label, and a new album by The Advisory Circle (due on 5th December) is especially welcome. From Out Here is described thus: “Exploring darker territory than 2012’s more pastoral As The Crow Flies, The Advisory Circle hint at a […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {electronica}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {science}, {theatre} | Comments Off


Wildeana 13


Oscar Wilde, no. 26 (1882). One of a series of photo portraits taken by Napoleon Sarony when Wilde was in New York. Every day is an anniversary for something. Among other things, October 16th 2014 is the 160th anniversary of the day that Oscar Wilde was brought to Earth in a spaceship—see Velvet Goldmine for […]

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Saragossa Manuscript posters


Polish poster (1965) by Jerzy Skarzynski who was also the film’s production designer. I love The Saragossa Manuscript, both the novel by Potocki and the movie by Has. I saw the film three times which, in my case, is absolutely exceptional. Luis Buñuel in My Last Sigh (1983) No surprise that a lifelong Surrealist was […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {surrealism}, {theatre} | 4 comments »


Salomé and Wilde Salomé


Three years on and Al Pacino’s recent pet projects—Salomé and Wilde Salomé—have yet to be given a general release. Salomé is the one I’m most eager to see, a filmed performance of the Oscar Wilde play with Jessica Chastain in the title role. There is at least a trailer now, which gives an intriguing taste […]

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Flowers: A Pantomime for Jean Genet


Flowers (1986) by the Lindsay Kemp Company. Photos by Maya Cusell. Weidmann appeared before you in a five o’clock edition, his head swathed in white bands, a nun and yet a wounded pilot fallen into the rye one September day like the day when the world came to know the name of Our Lady of […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {gay}, {theatre} | 3 comments »


Afore Night Come by David Rudkin


RSC programme, 1962. Not a review, this, you can’t really review a stage play you’ve never seen. Following the re-viewing of David Rudkin’s White Lady I’ve gone back to some of the published plays. If all you know of Rudkin’s work is his television drama, the plays are instructive for showing the consistency of his […]

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Weekend links 217


Le Petit Journal, June 16, 1912. Via Beautiful Century. • Occult art by Nicomi Nix Turner, Daniel Martin Diaz, Amy Earles and William Crisafi. Related: Illustrations by Ernest M. Jessop for The Witches Frolic by Thomas Ingoldsby. • “Our definition of ‘Industrial’ then was a very broad one, it’s definitely not so much now.” Chris […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {television}, {theatre}, {work} | 2 comments »


Blaine L. Reininger: An American Friend


Blaine L. Reininger, Tuxedomoon co-founder, singer, violinist and composer, is profiled in this 50-minute documentary made by George Skevas for Paraskinio, a Greek television series. Tuxedomoon have long been popular in Europe, and seem to have struck a particular chord in Greece. These days Reininger is something of a star over there, a fact which […]

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Tuxedomoon: some queer connections


UK poster insert by Patrick Roques for Desire (1981). Yes, more Tuxedomoon: there’s a lot to explore. It’s always a pleasure when something that you enjoy one medium connects to things that interest you elsewhere. From the outset Tuxedomoon have had more than their share of connections to gay culture—to writers especially—but it’s more of […]

Posted in {books}, {burroughs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {theatre} | 2 comments »


Tuxedomoon on La Edad de Oro, 1983


La Edad de Oro (The Golden Age) was a Spanish television show which only ran from 1983 to 1985 but during that time it managed to cause a considerable stir, first by showcasing in lengthy programs many musical groups that would have been unknown to the Spanish public (or the public of their native countries, […]

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Weekend links 213


No Tears for the Creatures of the Night (2005) by Will Munro. • Steve Barker’s On The Wire show on BBC Radio Lancashire is one of the longest-running music shows on British radio but it’s not broadcast in London so you seldom hear it mentioned at all. (It’s also the only radio show I’ve appeared on, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {theatre} | 4 comments »



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