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About the illustrator
Mary Kuper is a London based artist and illustrator, interested in words, images and how they work together. You can see more of her work on her website
A DVD of the live reading is also available. If you are interested please contact me through our websites contact form.
Byron Elegy and Celebration.
The return of Lord Byron’s remains to this country in 1824 caused both scandal and political controversy. He had intervened in the war between Turkey and Greece on the side of the Greeks, when British policy was neutral. There was to be no state funeral, with the nobility almost exclusively absent, whilst the mob lined the route of his London cortege. Scandals, his broken marriage to Annabella, the affair with his half sister Augusta and in some circles, whispers of homosexuality, dogged the proceedings.
This three hundred line narrative poem by Andrew Mitchell follows the funeral route, filled with the recollections of those who saw it pass: his friend John Hobhouse, organiser of the funeral; John Clare, who later in life thought he was Byron; George Borrow, by chance on Oxford Street; Mary Shelley on Highgate Hill, remembering the Villa Diodati and the birth of Frankenstein; Samuel Coleridge collecting his illicit laudanum, delivering his own eulogy; Lady Caroline Lamb waltzing in memory with the love of her life; the citizens of Nottingham accompanying him to his last rest. Contributions from those who witnessed and participated in the funeral also build to form a picture of Lord Byron.
The Andrew Mitchell Collective Poetry in Multi-disciplinary Performance
Having always favoured working across art forms Andrew began collaborating with the illustrator Mary Kuper on his Darwin sequence of poems in 2009. Cooperation continued between them on The Burial of Lord Byron (2013) and extends to his new poems.
In 2013 he also began working with composer/cellist James Whittle, a second cellist Natalie Halliday and dancers trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, who have choreographed movement for performances.
The first poem to be given this treatment was The Burial of Lord Byron, under the title A Byron Elegy at The Literary Leicester Festival, University of Leicester in November 2013, receiving high praise. It represents a move to see poetry as an integrated performance art and you can view the result on the YouTube videos below.
The Darwin sequence received a similar treatment at Huddersfield Literature Festival in March 2014, also receiving high praise and will follow the Byron performance on to YouTube.
The collective are interested in developing these initial performances in other venues and would also welcome the opportunity to offer both seminars and performance led workshops on multi-disciplinary themes. Contact can be made here
Members of the collective are:
Mary Kuper Illustration
James Whittle Composer/Cello
Natalie Halliday Cello
April Davies Choreography/Dance
Rachel Fullegar Choreography/Dance
Ruth McNulty Choreography/Dance
Andrew Mitchell Poetry/Small pipes