Joan Maud Littlewood was an English theatre director who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, is best known for her work in developing the Theatre Workshop. She has been called "The Mother of Modern Theatre", her production of Oh, What a Lovely War! in 1963 was one of her most influential pieces. Littlewood and her company slept in the Theatre Royal while it was restored. Productions of The Alchemist and Richard II, the latter starring Harry H. Corbett in the title role, established the reputation of the company, she conceived and developed the concept of the Fun Palace in collaboration with architect Cedric Price, an experimental model of a participatory social environment that, although never realized, has become an important influence in the architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries. Miss Littlewood, a musical written about Littlewood by Sam Kenyon, was performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2018. Littlewood was born in Stockwell and trained as an actress at RADA, but left after an unhappy start and moved to Manchester in 1934, where she met folksinger Jimmie Miller, who would become known as Ewan MacColl.
After joining his troupe, Theatre of Action and Miller were soon married. After a brief move to London, they returned to Manchester and set up the Theatre Union in 1936. In 1941, Littlewood was banned from broadcasting on the BBC; the ban was lifted two years when MI5 said she had broken off her association with the Communist Party. She was under surveillance by MI5 from 1939 until the 1950s. In 1945, after the end of World War II, her husband the communist folk singer Ewan MacColl, other Theatre Union members formed Theatre Workshop and registered it while staying at Ormesby Hall; the following eight years were spent touring. Shortly afterwards, when Gerry Raffles joined the troupe, MacColl and Littlewood divorced, though they still worked together for many years and Littlewood was godmother to MacColl's two children. Littlewood and Raffles were life partners until his death in 1975. In 1953, after an attempt to establish a permanent base in Glasgow, Theatre Workshop took up residence at the Theatre Royal in Stratford, east London, where it gained an international reputation, performing plays across Europe and in the Soviet Union.
One of Littlewood's most famous productions was the British première of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children, which she directed and starred in. Her production of Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be, a musical about the London underworld, became a hit and ran from 1959 to 1962, transferring to the West End; the works for which she is now best remembered are Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey, which gained critical acclaim, the satirical musical Oh, What a Lovely War!, her stage adaptation of a work for radio by Charles Chilton. Both were subsequently made into films, she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical for Oh, What a Lovely War!, becoming the first woman nominated for the award. Theatre Workshop championed the work of Irish playwright Brendan Behan. After Raffles's death in 1975, Littlewood left stopped directing. After a time of drifting she settled in France and became the companion of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the vintner and poet, wrote his memoirs, Milady Vine.
In the mid-1980s, she commenced work on Joan's Book. Littlewood died, of natural causes at the age of 87 in the London flat of Peter Rankin. Goorney and Ewan MacColl. Agit-Prop to Theatre Workshop: Political Playscripts, 1930-50. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-2211-8 Littlewood, Joan. Joan's Book: The Autobiography of Joan Littlewood. London: Methuen. ISBN 0-413-77318-3 MacColl, Ewan. Journeyman: An Autobiography. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 0-283-06036-0 Rankin, Peter. Joan Littlewood: Dreams and Realities. London: Oberon Books. ISBN 978-1-78319-084-3 BBC Obituary: Theatre's defiant genius Joan Littlewood at Find a Grave Joan Littlewood at the Internet Broadway Database Joan Littlewood on IMDb History of Theatre Workshop at Stratford East Theatre Archive Project Interview with Harry Greene A tribute to Joan Littlewood by Jackie Fletcher Joan Littlewood BBC Radio3: a personal, detailed portrayal'Behind the Seams' a 1938 BBC radio documentary, in which Joan Littlewood interviews miners at Willington Colliery, Co Durham
Oval is a district of south London, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated 2.1 miles to the south-east of Charing Cross. Oval straddles the border of south-west London and south-east London, is where the postcode SE11 converges with the postcodes SW8 and SW9. Oval is best known for the home-ground of Surrey County Cricket Club. Oval is within the borough constituency of Vauxhall; the Member of Parliament for the area is Kate Hoey of the Labour Party. The land here was, from the seventeenth century, used for a market garden; the name "Oval" emerged from a street layout, originated in 1790 but never built. The Montpelier Cricket Club leased ten acres of land from the Duchy of Cornwall in 1844, Surrey County Cricket Club was formed soon thereafter at a meeting at the Horns Tavern on Kennington Park Road. Oval ward is in the Vauxhall parliamentary constituency and is one of four wards in the borough's north Lambeth division, it includes some of the River Thames. In 2001, the National Census recorded a population of 11,983 for Oval.
At the Lambeth Council elections, 2010 residents of Oval ward elected two Labour Party Councillors and one Liberal Democrat Councillor. In the 2014 Lambeth Council election residents returned three Labour Councillors, Cllr Jack Hopkins, Cllr Claire Holland and Cllr Jane Edbrooke; the nearest tube stations are Oval and Vauxhall station. Lambeth Council profile for the ward Lambeth Council map of the ward Oval ward results on Lambeth website Lib Dem Councillor's blog Oval Labour blog census information
Vauxhall (UK Parliament constituency)
Vauxhall is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. Since the 1989 by-election, the seat has been represented by Kate Hoey, a Labour MP. 1950–1974: The Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth wards of Bishop's, Oval, Prince's, Vauxhall. 1974–1983: The London Borough of Lambeth wards of Bishop's, Prince's, Vassall. 1983–1997: The London Borough of Lambeth wards of Bishop's, Clapham Town, Larkhall, Prince's, Vassall. 1997–2010: The London Borough of Lambeth wards of Angell, Bishop's, Clapham Town, Larkhall, Prince's, Vassall. 2010–present: The London Borough of Lambeth wards of Bishop's, Clapham Town, Larkhall, Prince's, Vassall. Vauxhall is wholly within the London Borough of Lambeth; the core of the constituency - unchanged from the former Lambeth North - is delimited by the River Thames to the west and north and the boundary with Southwark to the east. The seat includes all of Vauxhall, North Lambeth, Stockwell and some of Brixton and north Clapham, its landmarks include the Oval cricket ground and the National Theatre.
Among Britain's most ethnically diverse constituencies, Vauxhall has Jamaican, Portuguese and Ecuadorian communities. The southern area of the constituency, Clapham Town, it consists of predominantly residential and terraced houses, populated by commuters and families. Clapham Town has provided large sums of Conservative support in recent times. At the northern tip of the borough is the Bishop's ward which has multiple million-pound flats which overlook the River Thames, Houses of Parliament and Lambeth Palace; the area has voted in parliamentary elections for Labour Members of Parliament since 1918, except in 1931. This includes the results of the former seat of Lambeth North. Since a 1989 by-election, the seat has been represented by Kate Hoey. Continuing a history as a safe seat for Labour, since her 1989 election, Hoey has achieved majorities of 9,100 to 20,200 votes; the 2015 result made the seat the 105th safest of Labour's 230 seats by percentage of majority. Despite Hoey being a prominent campaigner for leaving the European Union, Vauxhall voted to remain in the EU by 77.6% in the national referendum on 23 June 2016.
In the 2017 general election, this led to her seat being targeted by pro-Remain organisations and high-profile individuals seeking to oust her in favour of the pro-EU Liberal Democrat candidate. There had been a change.org petition calling for Hoey's deselection as the Labour candidate for the seat. It was tweeted by the local Labour Party in February 2017 that they would be "distancing" themselves from Hoey over her support for Brexit. Subsequently, the tweet has been deleted and the local party has confirmed that she has their "full support". While Hoey did increase her majority in 2017, the Liberal Democrat vote total more than trebled, they moved back into second place having fallen to fourth behind the Conservatives and the Greens in 2015. George Strauss was appointed Minister of Supply from 1947 to 1951 during the Attlee Ministry. Kate Hoey was Minister for Sport during the Blair Ministry; the local government wards in the constituency are entirely represented by Labour on Lambeth London Borough Council.
A single Conservative councillor represented the Clapham Town ward from 2002 until losing their seat by sixty votes in the 2006 Council Elections. Three Liberal Democrat councillors represented the Bishop's ward from 1990 to 2014, they failed to gain them back in 2018. At the 2018 council elections, Labour won all of the ward seats in the constituency; the Liberal Democrats finished second in the wards of Bishop's, Oval and Prince's. The Conservatives finished the runner up in Clapham Town and the Green Party in Vassall and Larkhall. List of Parliamentary constituencies in Greater London Politics Resources Electoral Calculus
New Labour refers to a period in the history of the British Labour Party from the mid-1990s until 2010 under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The name dates from a conference slogan first used by the party in 1994 seen in a draft manifesto published in 1996, New Labour, New Life for Britain, it was presented as the brand of a newly reformed party that had altered Clause IV and endorsed market economics. The branding was extensively used while the party was in government between 1997 and 2010. New Labour was influenced by the political thinking of Anthony Crosland, the leadership of Blair and Brown, as well as Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell's media campaigning; the political philosophy of New Labour was influenced by the party's development of Anthony Giddens' "Third Way", which attempted to provide a synthesis between capitalism and socialism. The party emphasised the importance of social justice, rather than equality, emphasising the need for equality of opportunity and believed in the use of free markets to deliver economic efficiency and social justice.
The "New Labour" brand was developed to regain trust from the electorate and to portray a departure from their traditional democratic socialist policies, criticised for its breaking of election promises and its links between trade unions and the state and to communicate the party's modernisation to the public. Following the leadership of Neil Kinnock and John Smith, the party under the New Labour brand attempted to widen its electoral appeal and by the 1997 general election it had made significant gains in the upper and middle-classes giving the party a landslide victory. Labour maintained this wider support at the 2001 general election and won a third consecutive victory in 2005 for the first time in the history of the Labour Party. In 2007, Blair resigned from the party leadership after thirteen years and was succeeded by his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. Labour lost the 2010 general election, which resulted in the first hung parliament in thirty-six years and led to the creation of a Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government.
Brown resigned as Labour Party leader shortly thereafter. He was succeeded as party leader by Ed Miliband, who abandoned the New Labour branding and moved the Labour Party's political stance further to the left. Miliband resigned in 2015 and was replaced by a socialist, Jeremy Corbyn, leading one MP to comment that New Labour is "dead and buried". First elected to parliament as Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, County Durham at the 1983 general election, Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour Party in 1994 after winning 57% of the vote in that year's leadership election, defeating John Prescott and Margaret Beckett, his first shadow cabinet role came in November 1988, when Neil Kinnock appointed him as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and in July 1992 was promoted to the role of Shadow Home Secretary on the election of John Smith as Leader of the Labour Party. Gordon Brown, who went on to hold senior positions in Blair's Labour government before succeeding him as Prime Minister in June 2007, was not a candidate in the 1994 leadership election because of an agreement between the two made in 1994 in which Brown promised not to run for election.
The media has since speculated that Blair agreed to stand down and allow Brown the premiership in the future, though Blair's supporters have contended that such a deal never took place. The term "New Labour" was coined by Blair in his October 1994 Labour Party Conference speech as part of the slogan "New Labour, New Britain". During this speech, Blair announced the modification of Clause IV of the party's constitution, which abandoned Labour's attachment to nationalisation and embraced market economics; the new version of the clause committed Labour to a balance of market and public ownership and to balance creation of wealth with social justice. In 1997, New Labour won a landslide victory at the general election after eighteen years of Conservative government, winning a total of 418 seats in the House of Commons—the largest victory in the party's history; the party was victorious in 2001 and 2005, making Blair Labour's longest-serving Prime Minister and the first to win three consecutive general elections.
Indeed, he was the first Labour leader to win a general election since Harold Wilson in 1974. In the months following Labour's 1997 election victory, referendums were held in Scotland and Wales regarding devolution. There was a clear majority supporting devolution in Scotland and a narrower majority in Wales—Scotland received a stronger degree of devolution than Wales; the Labour government passed laws in 1998 to establish a Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, the first elections for these were held in 1999. Blair attempted to continue peace negotiations in Northern Ireland by offering the creation of a regional parliament and government. In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement was made, which allowed for a 108-member elected assembly and a power-sharing arrangement between nationalists and unionists. Blair was involved in these negotiations; the Fabian Society was a forum for New Labour ideas and for critical approaches from across the party. The most significant Fabian contribution to Labour's policy agenda in government was Ed Balls's 1992 pamphlet, advocating Bank of England independence.
After the United States strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, Blair released a statement supporting the actions. He lent military support to the United States' 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. In March 2003, the Labour government, fearing Saddam Hussein's alleged access to weapons of mass destruction, participated in the American-led invasion of Iraq. British intervention in Iraq promoted public protest. Crowds numbering 400,000 and more demonstrated in
London deep-level shelters
The London deep-level shelters are eight deep-level air-raid shelters that were built under London Underground stations during World War II. Each shelter consists of a pair of parallel tunnels 16 feet 6 inches in diameter and 1,200 feet long; each tunnel is subdivided into two decks, each shelter was designed to hold up to 8,000 people. It was planned that after the war the shelters would be used as part of new express tube lines paralleling parts of the existing Northern and Central lines. Existing tube lines had 11-foot-8.25-inch diameter running tunnels and about 21 feet at stations. However, they would have been suitable as running tunnels for main-line size trains. Ten shelters were planned, holding 100,000 people — 10,000 in each shelter; however the final capacity was around 8,000 people in each shelter, only eight were completed: at Chancery Lane station on the Central line and Belsize Park, Camden Town, Goodge Street, Clapham North, Clapham Common, Clapham South on the Northern line.
The other two were to be at St. Paul's station on the Central line, not built due to concern about the stability of the buildings above, Oval station on the Northern line due to difficult ground conditions encountered as the work started; the working shaft for the shelter at Oval now functions as a ventilation shaft for the station. The shelters were started in 1940 during the Blitz in response to public demand to shelter in the London Underground stations. However, they were not completed until 1942 after the Blitz was over, so they were all used by the government, but as bombing intensified five of them were opened to the public in 1944: Stockwell, Clapham North, Camden Town, Belsize Park and Clapham South; the Goodge Street shelter was used by General Eisenhower, the Chancery Lane shelter was used as a communications centre. After the war, the Goodge Street shelter continued to be used by the army until a fire in 1956, after which the government decided the shelters were not suitable for use by large numbers of the public or military.
The Chancery Lane shelter was converted into Kingsway telephone exchange, as well as being expanded to serve as a Cold War government shelter. In 1948 the Clapham South shelter was used to house 200 of the first immigrants from the West Indies who had arrived on the MV Empire Windrush for 4 weeks until they found their own accommodation. In 1951, it became the Festival Hotel providing cheap stay for visitors to the Festival of Britain, but was closed after the Goodge Street fire; the shelter was used for archival storage for some years, but is now a Grade II listed building with pre-booked tours arranged by the London Transport Museum. The Clapham North shelter was purchased in 2014 by the Zero Carbon Food company, who use the shelter as a hydroponic farm. All the other shelters were sold by the government to Transport for London in the 1990s and several are still leased out for archival storage; the Goodge Street shelter appeared in studio mock-up form in the 1968 BBC Doctor Who story The Web of Fear.
The surface entrance to the Goodge Street shelter appears as itself in the 1988 feature film Hidden City and directed by Stephen Poliakoff, although interiors were shot at Clapham South. The Camden Town shelter was used to represent parts of Oval tube station in the 1976 two-part story The Lights of London in the BBC television series Survivors; the director of the second episode was Pennant Roberts, who subsequently directed the 1977 Doctor Who story The Sun Makers, in which the same shelter was used for scenes set in tunnels under Pluto. Roberts subsequently worked on the BBC series Blake's 7, in which the shelter was used for the interior of the titular artificial planet in the 1980 story Ultraworld, although the episode itself was directed by Vere Lorrimer; the shelter was used to represent parts of a secret underground facility in the vicinity of Down Street tube station in the 2005 feature film Creep. Reference is a made to a fictional deep-level air-raid shelter at Holland Park tube station in Ben Aaronovitch’s novel Whispers Under Ground, third in the Rivers of London series Air raid shelter Blast shelter Civil defence centres in London Military citadels under London Subterranean London References SourcesEmmerson, A. and Beard, T.
London's Secret Tubes, Capital Transport Publishing, ISBN 1-85414-283-6 The deep level shelters by Subterranea Britannica Photos from the Clapham South Deep Level Shelter Windrush settlers arrive in Britain, 1948 More pictures of the shelters Description of the design and construction by the consulting engineers: Ministry of Home Security: Deep Tunnel Air Raid Shelters: London 1942
London Borough of Lambeth
Lambeth is a London borough in south London, which forms part of Inner London. Its name was recorded in 1062 in 1255 as Lambeth; the geographical centre of London is at Frazier Street near Lambeth North tube station, though nearby Charing Cross on the other side of the Thames in the City of Westminster is traditionally considered the centre of London. Lambeth was part of the large, ancient parish of Lambeth St Mary, the site of the archepiscopal Lambeth Palace, in the hundred of Brixton in the county of Surrey, it was an elongated north-south parish with 2 miles of River Thames frontage opposite the cities of London and Westminster. Lambeth became part of the Metropolitan Police District in 1829, it remained a parish for Poor Law purposes after the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, was governed by a vestry after the introduction of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855. Until 1889, Surrey included the present-day London borough of Lambeth; when it drew the boundaries for the London boroughs, the government suggested that the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark be merged into a new borough.
South Shields town clerk R. S. Young was commissioned to make final recommendations to the government on the shape of the future London boroughs, he noted that the Wandsworth council opposed the partition of their borough. However, Wandsworth's suggestion to merge Lambeth with the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea was rejected by both councils involved. Young believed that residents of Clapham and Streatham would be more familiar with Brixton than with Wandsworth, recommended a new borough formed from the Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth and six wards and portions of two others from the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth. In 1979, the administration of Edward Knight organised the borough's first public demonstration against the Thatcher government. In 1985 Knight's Labour administration was subjected to rate-capping, with its budget restricted by the government. Knight and most of the Labour councillors protested by refusing to propose budgets; as a result of the protest, 32 councillors were ordered to repay interest lost by the council due to budgeting delays and were disqualified from office.
In 1991, Joan Twelves' administration failed to collect the poll tax and opposed the war in the Persian Gulf. The following year, Twelves and 12 other councillors were suspended from the local Labour Party by regional officials for advocating non-payment of the poll tax and other radical ideas. Twelves' equally-militant deputy leader at this time was John Harrison. From 1978 to 2002 the council comprised 64 members, elected from 20 three-member and two two-member wards. Before this, the council had 60 members elected from 20 three-member wards. Just before the 2010 election, its political balance was 37 Labour members, 18 Liberal Democrats, seven Conservatives and one Green, giving Labour an eleven-member majority. In the 2010 Lambeth Council election, Labour gained seats and the Liberal Democrats and Greens lost seats. In 2014 the Liberal Democrats lost their seats, Conservatives were reduced to three and the Greens to one. Labour, gaining seats from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, had 59 seats.
In the 2016 European Union referendum, Lambeth at 78.62% had the highest share of Remain votes in the United Kingdom, second to overseas territory Gibraltar's 95.9%. Lambeth is a thin borough, about 3 miles wide and 7 miles long. Brixton is its civic centre, there are other town centres; the largest shopping areas are Streatham, Vauxhall and West Norwood. In the northern part of the borough are the central London districts of the South Bank and Lambeth. In between are the developed and inner-city districts of Brixton, Brixton Hill, Streatham Hill, Clapham Park, Herne Hill, Tulse Hill and Kennington, which are each at different stages of gentrification and have suburban and urban elements. Vauxhall and South Lambeth are central districts in the process of redevelopment with high-density business and residential property. Streatham is between suburban London and inner-city Brixton, with the suburban and developed areas of Streatham, Streatham Hill and Streatham Vale. Despite the borough's population density, Lambeth has open spaces.
They include Brockwell Park and Lido, Streatham Common, half of Clapham Common, West Norwood Cemetery, Archbishop's Park, Norbury Park, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and Ruskin and Larkhall Park and Kennington Parks. Along and around the South Bank, a tourist area has developed around the former Greater London Council headquarters of County Hall and the Southbank Centre and National Theatre. On the river is the London Eye and Shell Centre. Nearby is St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace and the Florence Nightingale Museum. A landmark in the centre of the borough is the Art Deco Sunlight Laundry on Acre Lane. Nearby is Brixton, home of Lambeth Town Hall and the Brixton Murals. Landmark church buildings include: St Mary Lambeth The four "Waterloo Churches" in the former Lambeth Parish: St Matthew, Brixton St Mark, Kennington St Luke, West Norwood St John, Waterloo St Oswald's Parish Church, Norbury Holy Trinity, Clapham St Leonard, Streatham Christ Church, Streatham Hill Christ Church, Brixton Road, North Brixton All Saints' Church, West Dulwich Holy Trinity, Trinity Rise, Tulse Hill St John the Divine, Vassall Road The Oval cricket ground in Kennington is the home of Surrey County Cricket.