London’s Theatre of the East Exhibition and November Events at Dr Johnson’s House featuring our students, Jerry Brotton and Pen Woods

Our very own Jerry Brotton has been working with Dr Johnson’s House as they present a series of events including a round table discussion about the exhibition and a dramatic reading of Irene by our Drama students.

London’s Theatre of the East – Meet the Artists

Saturday 9 November from 2 – 5pm

Visit for free to see our upcoming exhibition, London’s Theatre of the East and get a chance to meet the artists whose work is on display at the House. Explore all four floors of Dr Johnson’s House and discuss with our artists their varying responses to the theme of London’s links to the Middle East and North Africa over the past 500 years. You can read more about our exhibition here.

There’s no need to book, just turn up on the day!

Ottoman Empire map end of section: Roundtable Discussion

Thursday 14 November 7pm (Doors open at 6.30pm)

Join us for a roundtable discussion between the artists featured in our upcoming exhibition, London’s Theatre of the East, organised in collaboration with The Arab British Centre. Playwright Hannah Khalil, novelist Saeida Rouass, documentary photographer Lena Naassana and textile designer Nour Hage will join Dr Jerry Brotton, author of This Orient Isle, and the Donald Hyde Curator of Dr Johnson’s House for a discussion on how each artist approached and responded to the theme of the historical connections of the Middle East and North Africa with London, via the lens of Dr Johnson’s 1749 play, Irene, set during the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Tickets £12 – includes a complimentary glass of wine

London’s Theatre of the East – Late night opening

Tuesday 19 November 6pm – 8pm (last entry at 7.30pm)

A rare opportunity to explore the Dr Johnson’s House at twilight and see all four floors of the museum, plus our upcoming exhibition for free.

You’ll also have a chance to meet the artists featured in London’s Theatre of the East in an informal setting and to discuss their exhibits with them, which are their responses to Johnson’s 1749 play Irene and their research into the connections between the Middle East, North Africa and London.

There’s no need to book, just turn up on the night!

Irene at Dr Johnson’s House

Thursday 21 November 7pm (Doors open at 6.30)

When Irene premiered at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane in February 1749 it ran for a respectable but underwhelming nine nights. Johnson regarded it as a failure, as did James Boswell, who claimed his friend ‘had not the faculty of producing the impressions of tragedy’. But the time has come to revisit Johnson’s neglected play – join us in the home he was living in while Irene was originally staged for the first public performance of Johnson’s play in 270 years!

This dramatic reading of Irene will be performed by the students from the English and Drama department of Queen Mary University London, under the direction of Dr Penelope Woods, Lecturer in Drama, with the advice of Professor Lois Potter, author of The Life of William Shakespeare, A Critical Biography,and Professor Emerita, University of Delaware.

Tickets £12 – includes a complimentary glass of wine

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I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website (www.sed.qmul.ac.uk) and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.

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