The Revival of Huntly Carter: Workshop Performance

huntly carter black and white photo with sea in background

On Thursday, 8 June. TORCH, in partnership with Menagerie Theatre Company, is holding a workshop performance of The Revival of Huntly Carter. This event is the first fruit of a year-long collaboration between Professor Rebecca Beasley (Faculty of English, University of Oxford) and Patrick Morris (Theatre Director and Writer, Menagerie Theatre Company) on the TORCH Knowledge Exchange Project Out of the Archive onto the Stage: the Soviet Avant-Garde and its Reception in Britain. The performance will be followed by a response from Professor Claire Warden (Loughborough University) and a Q&A with the creators and cast.

Huntly Carter was a founder member of the 1920s Workers’ Theatre Movement. His journalism, books and lectures introduced the revolutionary theatrical experiments of the new Soviet Union to a huge British audience, but today he is barely a footnote in theatre history. To find out why, The Revival of Huntly Carter brings together three unruly investigators from the newly created Ministry of National Consciousness.  Their task – to decide for the country whether Carter should now be officially remembered.  But with no living witnesses, an unreliable archive and divisions in the team, how will they make their final choice?  

A play with songs and live music, The Revival of Huntly Carter explores how we choose our history through those we celebrate and those we ignore. The workshop performance will take place at the Shulman Auditorium at The Queen’s College on 8 June at 5.15pm. You can register for your free ticket to the event via Eventbrite:

The 'Out of the Archive onto the Stage: the Soviet Avant-Garde and its Reception in Britain' project, which inspired this performance, engages with an archive of materials about early Soviet theatre to explore how innovative theatrical techniques can be communicated across time and space. The materials were gathered by Huntly Carter (c. 1870-1942), one of the earliest and most important writers about Soviet theatre in Britain, who brought the innovations of Soviet directors such as Meyerhold, Stanislavsky, and Tairov to British readers, Labour groups, and theatre practitioners during the 1920s. Carter's archives provide a virtually untapped record of early cultural engagement with the Soviet Union, and of one man's attempt to communicate its theatrical innovations through images, interviews, descriptions of performances, and articles about how Soviet theatrical techniques might be adapted by British workers' theatres.

Find out more on the TORCH website: