Classic Spring is a new theatre company, formed by Dominic Dromgoole (former Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) to celebrate the bold and ground-breaking work of proscenium playwrights. Its first offering is an Oscar Wilde Season, featuring A Woman of No Importance (now playing) and Lady Windermere’s Fan starring Samantha Spiro, Kevin Bishop and Jennifer Saunders. An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest will be on sale later this year.
“Sublimely funny” (The Independent) and “compelling” (The Times), A Woman of No Importance has opened to ★★★★ rave reviews. Playing until 30 December at London’s Vaudeville Theatre, Dominic Dromgoole’s “fine revival” (Guardian) stars “brilliant” Eve Best (Daily Mail), “bewitching” Anne Reid (Observer) and “superb” Eleanor Bron (The Stage).
For more information and to book your tickets (from £19.50), call 0330 333 4814 or visit ClassicSpring.co.uk
★★★★ “What a treat” - Daily Mail
★★★★ “The season is launched with a flourish” - The Sunday Times
Bond, James Bond. In 1962 movie audiences were introduced to the most famous secret agent in the world, and his fleet of fabulous motor cars. The classic Aston Martin DB5 first appeared in Goldfinger, followed by Thunderball and several more films. Equipped with machine-guns and an ejection seat, the DB5 is probably the most famous movie car of all time. It was followed by the autogyro Little Nellie in You Only Live Twice; the Lotus Esprit submarine car in The Spy Who Loved Me; Space Shuttles in Moonraker; a Citroen 2CV in For Your Eyes Only; and the specially built Aston Martin DB10 in Spectre. Every film featured a stable of exotic cars for both Bond and his adversaries.
When Dominic Sandbrook quoted Samuel Smiles extensively in his TV series on nineteenth-century work and leisure; when Ian Hislop flourished a copy of Smiles's Self-Help ("the book that launched the genre") in his programme on 'Workers or Shirkers?'; when Andy Burnham reflected publicly on "lack of aspiration" as a main cause of Britain's north-south divide - all were testifying to the intense topicality of the work and ideas of Samuel Smiles. This is the first full biography of the man who, in the industrial on-rush of the 19th century, gave the world the idea of self-help as a go-to strategy in an age of frenzied change. Using Smiles's unpublished correspondence with family, friends and publishers, and drawing extensively on his writing, The Spirit of Self-Help tells the very human story of how Samuel Smiles came from a small-town, small-time family in Scotland to become, by turn and sometimes together, medical doctor, campaigning journalist, railway executive, best-selling author, and global celebrity. This is both a biography and a reflection on themes of success and failure, the individual and society, moral and material worth, and the relationships between these sets of ideas. Driven by its subject, The Spirit of Self-Help revolves around the oldest idea of all - the possibility of happiness, for everyone, in all possible circumstances. In that sense, though set in the 19th century, this is an intensely topical book.