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Woolf and Music

29 January 2018

The Virginia Woolf & Music Project, directed by Dr Emma Sutton, is organising concerts, public talks and a marionette presentation inspired by a 'pacifist concert' during World War 1. The events spring from the recent discovery that Debussy's short children’s ballet 'Boîte a Joujoux' ('The Toy Box') was premiered at the Omega Workshops in London in 1915.

The concert was part of a series of 'pacifist concerts' organised by members of the Omega and Bloomsbury Groups (supported by Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell) during the First World War to raise money for Belgian refugees who themselves made up the orchestra. The ballet was performed not by dancers but by cardboard marionettes, designed by Omega members, which may have been as large as 8 feet tall.

The events include:

  • a concert preview at St Clement Danes in the Strand, London, on January 30th
  • two concerts at The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, on 8-9 February (one of which is a free matinee and marionette show by the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre for 200 Fife primary school children)
  • an extended performance developed in collaboration with Dr Charlotte de Mille (Courtauld Institute) at the International Virginia Woolf conference (Canterbury, June 2018).