Launch of new NCF report

You are invited to the launch of a major new report


Speakers Cornered : Twenty-first century Britain's culture of silence

by Oliver Wiseman

Monday 8th December 6.30 to 8pm

55 Tufton Street London SW1P 3QL

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What's happening to free speech?

Amongst the areas covered in this important report are:

Silence in Class: Free Speech on Campus

Artists Licensed: The Cowardice of the Art World

Still a Town Called Sue: England’s Flawed Libel Laws

No Joke: Regulating Online Speech

Jesus and Mo and Milton: Multiculturalism, religion and hatred

Oliver Wiseman is the assistant editor of Standpoint magazine. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics, where he read law.

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Submitted by peterwhittle on Mon, 2014-12-01 14:01.


You are invited to a private viewing of


Cityscapes: An exploration of urban landscapes

Austin Cole RBA: Prints of London, New York, Rome and Beijing

Edward Beale: Paintings of London

Claire Edwards: Paintings of London and France

Monday, 24th November 6.00pm to 8.30pm

55 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3QL

RSVP to Lynne Evans at

Cityscapes runs thereafter until December 10th and will be viewable by appointment


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Submitted by peterwhittle on Sat, 2014-11-15 19:10.


A Chelsea Pensioner walks among the ceramic poppies which form the Tower of London's commemoration of the beginning of World War One.


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Submitted by peterwhittle on Mon, 2014-08-04 16:25.

Pincher Martin

In the Times today, Geoff Brown gives a four-star review to Pincher Martin, the new one-act opera by Oliver Rudland

Chalk up one more British opera soaked in the wake of Peter Grimes. Sea sounds are everywhere: gulls crying, the waves’ rolling thunder, growlings from the ocean floor. There’s also the visual component: video footage of monster swells, exploding warships — all in aid of another uncomfortable story taken from a literary source, William Golding’s Pincher Martin.

The composer Oliver Rudland, just over 30, took a gamble in wresting his third opera from an existential novel exploring the levels of consciousness in a torpedoed Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in the Second World War; a novel, moreover, with much aqueous music in its prose. But the gamble paid off handsomely. This is an eloquent, succinct opera that creates much more pleasure than you’d imagine from the spectacle of an unlikeable egotist besieged by hallucinations on an Atlantic rock.

In the Royal College of Music’s Britten Theatre, the cast, it’s true, didn’t always make their words distinct. Yet the drama of the moment still drove us on. Britten’s direct influence popped up occasionally, as did John Adams: friendly visitors in a tonality-washed score that offered Miles Horner’s damaged hero and the figments of his mind plenty of lyrical ammunition. Indeed Colette Boushell sang so exquisitely that I wanted much more of her character, a peacetime victim of Martin’s jealousy and lust. In the pit, Mark Austin’s Faust Ensemble incisively handled Rudland’s individual scoring — string textures flecked with lone brass notes, percussion shivers and droplets of harp.

What a joy, too, to find music and film seamlessly integrated. I wasn’t so convinced of the rock encrustations creeping over scattered props: a perky green car, desk, a grandfather clock. But it didn’t much matter: in music and design, if not always in words, Pincher Martin pinched and gripped. This opera deserves to live.

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Submitted by peterwhittle on Wed, 2014-07-30 16:31.