Saturday, 29 February 2020

The Shakespeare Authorship Question

......a question without an author?

7.45pm (8pm start) Wednesday 29 April 2020
£4 / £2 Concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
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We are afraid we have to cancel this talk. We hope reschedule it in more healthy and safe times so we can hear Professor Leahy speak. 

We are really sorry everyone, we shall arrange refunds.




Shakespeare is regarded as the greatest writer who has ever existed. His works are famed throughout the world and are on the syllabuses of schools, colleges and universities. But many believe he did not in fact write the plays and that claims about his authorship are founded in a mixture of myth and willful misinformation. Our cultures seem to be fixated upon the idea of the single author/genius and so, in Shakespeare's case, we fall into a trap of finding the answer we desperately seek despite an almost total lack of evidence. This is also true of the alternative authors posited as the writer of Shakespeare’s works.

Prof William Leahy, vice-provost of Brunel University, explores how we have fallen into this trap, led by an academic community that continues to tell the same old story while knowing that much of it is untrue. He considers the character of the Shakespeare Authorship Question and posits that Shakespeare the author is a myth – as indeed is the belief that any single author wrote the works.

7.45pm (8pm start) Wednesday 29 April 2020
£4 / £2 Concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook Page


Friday, 28 February 2020

A New Demonology: John Keel and the Mothman Prophecies

7.45pm (8pm start) Wednesday 25 March 2020
£4 / £2 Concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook Page

We are afraid we have to cancel this talk. We hope reschedule it in more healthy and safe times so we can hear David speak. 

We are really sorry everyone, we shall arrange refunds.


From the 1960s the “ultraterrestrial hypothesis” became a popular alternative to the ETH for UFOs and other fortean anomalies as a result of the writings of the American journalist John Keel (1930-2009). Keel’s theories are best known today via his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies that chronicled an outbreak of weirdness in the Ohio Valley, USA, that included visits by a winged humanoid (the Mothman), Men-in-Black, UFOs and animal mutilations. His book had a Hollywood makeover in 2002 and the legend is now marked by an annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Dr David Clarke’s talk is based on an extended interview with Keel during his visit to the UK in 1992 and the contents of his forthcoming chapter “The Mothman of West Virginia: a case study in legendary storytelling” in The Contemporary Legend Casebook 2: North American Monsters (Utah University Press 2020)

7.45pm (8pm start) Wednesday 25 March 2020
£4 / £2 Concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook Page

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Margaret Murray and modern Witchcraft

Tuesday 3 March 2020
8pm (doors 7.45pm)
£5 / £2 concessions (Advanced tickets)
The Miller, 96 Snowsfields, London Bridge, London SE1 3SS
Tube & Rail: London Bridge
Tube: Borough
Event Facebook page




For the last 20 years or more, modern Witches have been involved in a project of historical revisionism. They’ve rejected the claims made by Margaret Murray, and borrowed by Gerald Gardner, that modern Witchcraft is a direct continuation from an archaic pan-European fertility cult. Instead, they follow the arguments of historians that Murray’s work was heavily flawed; for some her work provides a valuable foundation myth, while others prefer to reject it altogether in search of more realist histories.

However, Murray’s arguments are also intricately woven into histories and practices of modern Witchcraft, and continue to be interpreted as histories of Witchcraft are rewritten and shaped over time.

Anthropologist Dr Helen Cornish of Goldsmiths College shows how responses to Murray’s work since the turn of the millennium help us consider what counts as history (good, bad, speculative or otherwise) as well contemporary Witchcraft.

Tuesday 3 March 2020
8pm (doors 7.45pm)
£5 / £2 concessions (Advanced tickets)
The Miller, 96 Snowsfields, London Bridge, London SE1 3SS
Tube & Rail: London Bridge
Tube: Borough
Event Facebook page

Saturday, 1 February 2020

A New Magic at the Old Mill

7.45pm (8pm start) Wednesday 26 February 2020
£4 / £2 Concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook Page



To coincide with the launch of his new book Wicca on the Isle of Man: Gerald Gardner and the Crucible of Modern Witchcraft, Dr John Callow is looking at the creation and growth of the Museum of Magic & Witchcraft on the Isle of Man, and the impact of Gerald Gardner within the context of the collection and his curatorship of magical artefacts.

He will explore the dramatic synthesis that Gardner achieved, during the last 13 years of his life, that stripped away the demonic elements of witchcraft and emphasised, in their stead, fresh sources of mystery drawn from nature and tribal religions.

7.45pm (8pm start) Wednesday 26 February 2020
£4 / £2 Concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook Page