News And Events

News And Events

Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America

Join The English-Speaking Union and ADSNY for an engaging illustrated talk that will highlight Chicago's role in bringing revolutionary modern design to the American marketplace.  Focusing on the critical period from the 1930s to the 1950s, Bruegmann explores issues of design and aesthetics within the larger social, economic, and cultural context of the period. His talk discusses the ways in which the city's industries, advertising firms, and mail order companies advanced modern design on the local, regional, and national levels. In addition to seeing how stunning Art Deco towers set trends for skyscrapers throughout the country, highlights of this presentation include iconic decorative arts and industrial designs for products such as Schwinn bicycles, beautiful Deco radios by Motorola, streamlined coffee makers from Sunbeam, an entire universe of products from Sears and Montgomery Ward…and more!

Click here to register online or download the paper registration form here. 

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Dana Ivey

Person Place Thing is an interview show hosted by Randy Cohen based on the idea that people are particularly engaging when they speak, not directly about themselves, but about something they care about.  Cohen's guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result: surprising stories from great speakers. This installment of Person Place Thing will be a conversation with Dana Ivey. It will be recorded and, about six weeks later, broadcast across Northeast Public Radio, a 23 station regional network, and made available as a podcast on

Register online here, or download the paper form to mail in your registration. 

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Luytens the Great

Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, OM, was one of the greatest of British architects known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. A boy genius, he began as an architect of lyrical country houses, before discovering the High Game of Classicism.  His was a dazzling career which produced, among numerous other works, two great symbols of the national spirit: the Cenotaph in Whitehall, the memorial that became the focus of Britain's grief after the First World War, and the Viceroy's House in New Delhi, a palace bigger than Versailles symbolising British rule in India.  This lecture will celebrate Lutyens's achievement on the 150thanniversary of his birth and compare his place in architectural history to that of Wren, Vanbrugh, Adam and Soane.  Was Lutyens the greatest of all?  The architectural historian Gavin Stamp described him as "surely the greatest British architect of the twentieth (or of any other) century." 

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Ciphers, Secrets, and Spies in the Elizabethan Age

The Elizabethan era (1558-1603) is often depicted as the "Golden Age" in England's history—an era of great exploration and military victories in which Queen Elizabeth I is represented in sumptuous clothing and jewels.  But the reality, which included religious conflicts that tore families apart, political challenge to Elizabeth's authority, high levels of poverty and crime, and vulnerability to foreign invasion, was far grimmer.  The Queen was considered a Protestant heretic by the rulers of Europe, and numerous plots were hatched to dethrone her in favor of Catholic Mary Queen of Scots. Elizabeth's closest courtiers. notably William Cecil (1st Baron Burghley) and Francis Walsingham—the "Spymaster"—attempted to protect her. Walsingham's network of clandestine agents unearthed a series of threats, including one led by an invasion of priests trained abroad and sent to England and hidden in "priest-holes" by Catholic families in places as Baddesly Clinton and Coughton Court in Warwickshire to prepare for a Catholic rebellion.

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The Long Dark Hall

Monday, March 25, 2019
6:30 p.m.
The English-Speaking Union
144 East 39th Street, New York City

In a London still rebuilding after World War II, suburban businessman Arthur Groome (Rex Harrison) carries on an extramarital affair with Rose (Patricia Wayne), a chorus girl. One night, Arthur lets himself into Rose's small apartment and discovers that she has been brutally stabbed to death. Fleeing in a panic, Arthur incriminates himself in her death and is charged with her murder. As the case goes to trial, the real killer becomes friendly with Arthur's steadfast wife, Mary (Lilli Palmer).

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Jules Verne Eats a Rhinoceros

Tuesday, February 19 from 6:00 to 10:30 pm

The English-Speaking Union invites you to a pre-theater wine-and-cheese reception followed by a performance of The Amateur Comedy Club production of Don Nigro's "Jules Verne Eats a Rhinoceros".

To register online, please click here. 

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The Lady of the Tower

"Even the kept must have their keepers." So opens Elizabeth St.John's critically-acclaimed historical fiction novel of her ancestress's life in the most famous prison in the world—The Tower of London.  Orphaned Lucy St.John defies English society by carving her own path through the decadent Stuart court. In 1609, the early days of the rule of James I—time of glittering pageantry and cutthroat ambition, Lucy catches the eye of the Earl of Suffolk, but her envious sister Barbara is determined to ruin her happiness. Exiling herself from the court, Lucy finds her own path, becoming mistress of the Tower of London. Riding the coattails of the king's favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, the fortunes of the St.Johns rise to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes betrayal, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival—and her honor—in a world of patronage and deceit.

Register online here. 

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Darren Freebury-Jones: Shakespeare the family man?

fmClick here to download flyer and registration form.

Click here to register online.

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Noises Off!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018                  6:30 to 10:30 pm

The English-Speaking Union  144 East 39th Street, New York City 

Called "the funniest farce ever written," Noises Off  takes a fond look at the follies of theater folk, whose susceptibility to out-of-control egos, memory loss, and passionate affairs turn every performance into a high-risk adventure. This play-within-a-play captures a manic menagerie of itinerant actors as they perform Nothing On in three stages: dress rehearsal, opening performance, and a performance towards the end of a debilitating run. It offers a window on the inner workings of theater behind the scenes, progressing from flubbed lines and missed cues in the dress rehearsal to mounting friction between cast members in the final performance. Brimming with slapstick comedy, Noises Off is a delightful backstage farce, complete with slamming doors, falling trousers, and – of course – flying sardines! 

We will gather for the reception between 6:00 and 6:30 pm and walk over as a group to the
 Amateur Comedy Club at 7:15 pm for an 8:00 pm curtain.

$20 for ESU National Patrons; $25 for ESU Members;        $35 for Nonmembers

Click here to download the registration form and flyer

Click here to register online

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Melbourne Art Deco

Join us for an evening focusing on Art Deco down under. In this illustrated talk, author of the award-winning Melbourne Art Deco, Robin Grow, explores the Art Deco and Modernist treasures in Melbourne, Australia. Though Melbourne––founded in 1834 at the bottom of Australia––was one of the British Empire's great Victorian cities, this talk illustrates how the interwar years fostered a new spirit of modernism. Much like New York, the 1920s and '30s brought Melbourne motor cars, the modern woman, females as consumers, stunning jazz age fashion, vivacious dance and music scenes, and of course cocktails!

Click here to download Flyer and Registration Form

Click here to register online. 

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