Author’s Evenings at Clare Cottage with Melrose Books

Bernard Lockett speaks on the music and influence of Gilbert and Sullivan

On the third Wednesday evening of every month, Melrose Books and Clare Cottage team up to provide an Author’s Evening. It’s a unique opportunity to meet with an author in an intimate environment, engage with them on their topic of expertise, hear about their experiences as an author and have a drink and a nibble to boot.

Bernard Lockett, this month’s host of Clare Cottage’s Author’s Evening, is a three-time author (with a fourth on the way) and is no stranger to public appearances. On Wednesday he’ll be talking about the music of composers Gilbert and Sullivan, the forerunners of today’s musical theatre. Leonard Bernstein has said that they were his greatest influence in writing West Side Story, and Rogers and Hammerstein have said that their shows were based on the pair.

‘What we have in Gilbert and Sullivan is musical theatre at its very best with large choruses, splendid individual songs, comedy, dances, and often more soulful moments too,’ Bernard says. Brought up on Gilbert and Sullivan, his own parents had been to many of the original first nights in the 1870s and 1880s. ‘I just like the fun, the music, the comedy and equally the pathos all to make a marvellous theatrical evening.’

The presentation kicks off at seven, so if you’re in the Peterborough or Stamford/Helpston area tomorrow, join us for what should be an entertaining and informative evening. Bernard is a Trustee of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, and his third book, Here’s a State of Things, lovingly captures the mood of the 19th century in addition to serving as a fitting tribute to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, and to the original D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. Here’s a State of Things is also available through Kindle.

Clare Cottage is operated by The John Clare Trust, and while being the birth and family home of poet John Clare and now something of a museum, the site has also been developed into a cultural, educational and environmental hub suitable for visits by any age group. Visit the website for a great deal more information on this historical and educational multi-purpose venue.