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

Archive for the {theatre} category


Weekend links 306


• The Midian Books Occulture catalogue launched this week sporting a cover that I pieced together for Midian’s Jonathan Davies. The design pastiches the look of the Process Church magazines of the early 1970s; inside there’s a haul of Process material on sale together with COUM/Throbbing Gristle ephemera (that’s Cosi Fanni Tutti on the right, […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {theatre} | Comments Off


Night’s black agents


Poster by Edmund Dulac (1911). This month sees a profusion of events marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death so here’s my contribution, a rundown of Macbeths-I-have-seen on screen and stage. I’ve mentioned before that Macbeth and The Tempest are my favourite Shakespeare plays, two dramas concerned with magic of very different kinds. Macbeth is […]

Posted in {film}, {occult}, {television}, {theatre} | 5 comments »


In Germany before the war


1: Fritz Haarmann (1879–1925) Arrow shows Haarmann’s attic residence in Rote Reihe, Hanover. Haarmann was one of several serial murderers haunting Weimar Germany, variously nicknamed “the Butcher of Hanover”, “the Vampire of Hanover”, “the Wolf Man”, etc. for his sexual assault, murder and dismemberment of at least 24 boys and young men between 1918 and […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {sculpture}, {theatre} | 6 comments »


Shadowland covers


Not the horror magazine, this is an earlier American title that ran from 1919 to 1923. Shadowland covered the arts in general with a preference for stage and film. The thing that immediately sets it apart from other film magazines of the period is the cover art by AM Hopfmuller; many of the paintings resemble theatre […]

Posted in {art}, {dance}, {design}, {film}, {magazines}, {theatre} | 1 comment »


Edmund Dulac’s Tempest


This is a copy of The Tempest that I managed to miss when I was looking for illustrated editions a few years ago. When Edmund Dulac is away from his beloved (and mythical) Arabia or Persia his work tends to resemble that of Arthur Rackham, and that’s what you get in this volume from 1915, […]

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Weekend links 290


The Royal Mint celebrates 400 years of William Shakespeare with new £2 coins. The “Tragedies” design gives Britain the Gothiest coin of all time. • “I hate successful films that travel on an easy wave of ‘good taste’: for me, that is simply anti-culture.” Cinematographer Luciano Tovoli talks to Alexandra Heller-Nicholas about photographing Dario Argento’s […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {science}, {theatre} | 2 comments »


Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies


The particularly British sub-genre of folk horror receives a substantial examination in Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies, a 500-page collection of essays, interviews and artwork edited by Andy Paciorek. Featuring essays and interviews by many great cinematic, musical, artistic and literary talents, Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies is the most comprehensive and engaging exploration to […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {television}, {theatre}, {work} | 2 comments »


Hugo Steiner-Prag’s The Ancestress


Another handful of macabre illustrations by Hugo Steiner-Prag. As before, these are minor works compared to the Golem illustrations and his illustrated Poe but it’s good to find something new. The Ancestress (1816) was a tragedy by Austrian dramatist Franz Grillparzer in which a woman killed by her husband for infidelity returns to haunt future […]

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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 »



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