Grim up North? J B Priestley in NE England

J B Priestley’s ‘English Journey’ is considered the renown dramatist’s greatest non-fiction work.  In the 1934 travelogue, undertaken at the depth of ‘The Great Depression’, Priestley created a lasting but controversial portrait of our region. He loathed the Geordie accent; pitied the unemployed of Gateshead; but admired the still-surviving Bensham Community Project and praised the People’s Theatre (a Heaton institution, of course).

JB Priestley at his desk in 1947

In our talk on 26 April, media historian Chris Phipps will retrace the author’s often enigmatic footsteps in Newcastle and Gateshead and ask whether Priestley was truly compassionate or unfairly critical about what he saw here?  And he will ask whether it was J B Priestley who first persuaded photographers and film makers that it was ‘grim up north’?

The event will take place at The Corner House, Heaton Road NE6 5RP at 7.30pm (Doors open at 7.00pm. You are advised to take your seat by 7.15pm). Please book your place by contacting maria@heatonhistorygroup.org /07443 594154. All welcome but until Thursday 26 January, booking will be open to Heaton History Group members only. Find out more about membership here.

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