News And Events

Wrench Speaker Robert Hulse on Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Robert Hulse, M.A., Director of London's Brunel Museum and will present a fascinating Victorian titan of industry and design, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and an interesting 20th-century American counterpart, Frank Lloyd Wright. His illustrated lecture is entitled, Isambard Kingdom Brunel: A Victorian Frank Lloyd Wright. Americans need little introduction to their favorite architect, but they may not know Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Englishman who changed the world. His first project, the oldest tunnel in the London subway, set forth the shape of our cities. His last project, the Great Eastern steamship, changed the pattern of world trade. Everything Brunel did, by land or by sea, he did with flare and showmanship worthy of Frank Lloyd Wright. Both worked beyond the parameters of established practice. Like Frank Lloyd Wright, Brunel was flamboyant as well as prolific. Like him, he was stylish, cutting a figure as a man of fashion, a collector and patron of the arts. In his lecture, Robert Hulse will introduce us to this extraordinary Englishman and discuss the remarkable similarities he shares with the 20th-century American architect, both of whom challenged the way we think about buildings and cities.


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Chicago Shakespeare Competition Finals

Come cheer our Finalists in their quest for the chance to represent Chicago at the National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center in NYC!

Desdemona, Gloucester, Rosalind, Helena, Marc Antony, Paulina – Shakespeare's characters come to life on
Tuesday, March 1st at The Newberry Library, Ruggles Hall ~ 6pm Performances 7:30pm Awards and Reception

From L-R: Sophie Civetta of Evanston Township, Ann Urbanski of Brookfield Academy, Ernest Henton of Chicago High School for the Arts, Cameron Wise of New Trier, Carlo Zenner of Hinsdale High School and Danielle Chmielewski of Lincoln Park HS

Special Guests, David Bevington, one of the world's foremost Shakespearean scholars, has written or edited more than 30 volumes on Shakespeare and his contemporaries and Martin Whalley, Deputy Consul General to Great Britain

Questions? or 312-772-3782
Hope to see you there! 


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Shakespeare Seminar and Shakespeare Competition

Sign up TODAY for a Free Shakespeare Seminar at Roosevelt University

Bring up to 10 students for an interactive and educational workshop on how to approach Shakespeare's works

Monday, November 9, 2015
Complimentary boxed lunch included

Registration is open here.

Save the Date for the Nationally recognized ESU Shakespeare Competition

Top 3 students are awarded $cholarship fund$ and the chance to compete at Lincoln Center in NY in April 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016
8:30 am-2pm
Complimentary boxed lunch included

See our website for Competition info and links.


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95 Years of ESU


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Hillsborough Castle Lecture

The English-Speaking Union and The Irish Georgian Society

invite you to an illustrated lecture by
Dr. Christopher Warleigh-Lack, Senior Curator at Historic Royal Palaces

Hillsborough Castle
County Down Northern Ireland

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Reception – 5:30 p.m. • Lecture – 6:30 p.m.

The Woman's Athletic Club 626 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago Business Attire / Coat & Tie

RSVP by Tuesday, September 22 online at or by phone at 312-772-3782

ESU and IGS Members $50 per person, Non-Members $60 per person; to become a member, please contact the ESU Headquarters at 212-818-1200 or The Irish Georgian Society at 312-961-3860

For more information, click here.  


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The English-Speaking Union

Chicago Branch

Chicago Branch Landmark Photo