James’ Brand New Blog

Top 100: Home County, Sunfest, Stratford Festival & more

- March 5th, 2015

Rick Lazar LFP_LDN20130705dr_sunfest6

Rick Lazar** leads Samba Squad during their performance on Sunfest’s  main stage at Victoria Park in London, Ontario on Friday, July 5, 2013.DEREK RUTTAN/ The London Free Press /QMI AGENCY

Stratford Festival. Simcoe (twice). Home County. TD Sunfest . . . any other London-region fests on this Top 100? JBNBlog see Port Elgin, Mount Forest and St. George on this impressive list. Anybody on here we’ve missed.

**For the usual prizes, identify the famous late night musician who was in a Rick Lazar band early in his music career. The band mighta played Marathon, if that helps.

Congrats to our local heroes — & congrats to the ace events recognized here.  Details via FEO follow.


Provincial organization recognizes industry leaders

ONTARIO (March 6, 2015) Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO) is proud to announce the 2015 Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario, presented by VIA Rail Canada. These Top 100 recipients represent festivals and events that excel within the industry. Included in the Top 100 are the Festivals & Events of Distinction (LOD), a select group which represent some of the most well-known and respected celebrations in the province; celebrations which draw both an international and domestic audience.


Submissions from FEO members were received for consideration in the fall of 2014 and were judged by an independent panel of judges. Festivals and events of all kinds from every corner of Ontario were represented in the submissions – from community festivals to internationally recognized events. The 2015 Top 100 Awards were given out on Friday, March 6 during FEO’s Annual Conference Let the Inspiration Flow in Niagara Falls, ON.


FEO would like to congratulate the 2015 Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario:




Eat & Drink Norfolk (Simcoe) Apr 10 – 11

Stratford Festival (Stratford) Apr 21 – Oct 18 www.stratfordfestival.ca



Passport to Unity (Sault Ste. Marie) May 1 – 3

Carassauga Festival (Mississauga) May 22 – 24

Huron Fringe Birding Festival (Port Elgin) May 22 – 31

Thunder Bay Kite Festival (Thunder Bay) May 24

Sing! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival (Toronto) May 28 – 31



Barrie Automotive Flea Market (Oro-Medonte) Jun 4 – 7

International Dundas Buskerfest (Dundas) Jun 5 – 7

The Streetsville Founders’ Bread & Honey Festival (Streetsville) Jun 5 – 7

Downtown Milton Street Festival (Milton) Jun 6

Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek (Stoney Creek) Jun 6 – 7

Mississauga Waterfront Festival (Mississauga) Jun 12 – 14

Sound of Music (Burlington) Jun 13 – 21 www.soundofmusic.ca

Oshawa Peony Festival (Oshawa) Jun 13 – 14

TD Toronto Jazz Festival (Toronto) Jun 18 – 27 www.torontojazz.com

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival (Ottawa) Jun 19 – Jul 1 www.ottawajazzfestival.com

Redpath Waterfront Festival (Toronto) Jun 19 – 21 www.TOwaterfrontfest.com

Luminato Festival (Toronto) Jun 19 – 28 www.luminatofestival.com

The Art of Eating Food & Wine Festival (Tecumseh) Jun 19 – 20

SALSA at Blue Mountain Festival (Blue Mountains) Jun 19 – 21

The Carrousel of the Nations (Windsor) Jun 19 – 28

Cuisine – Art Festival (Alton Mills) Jun 20 – 21

Pride Toronto Festival (Toronto) Jun 21 – 28 www.pridetoronto.com

Toronto RibFest (Toronto) Jun 27 – Jul 1

Peterborough Musicfest (Peterborough) Jun 27 – Aug 22



Canada Day Celebration (Ottawa/Gatineau) Jul 1 www.canadaday.gc.ca

Burlington’s Canada Day Celebrations (Burlington) Jul 1

Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebration (Niagara Falls) Jul 1

World Heritage Sunset Ceremonies (Kingston) Jul 1 – Sep 2

Heritage Mica Days (Tay Valley Township) Jul 1 – Oct 10

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto (Toronto) Jul 7 – Aug 3 www.torontocaribbeancarnival.com

Belleville Waterfront & Ethnic Festival (Belleville) Jul 8 – 12

RBC Ottawa Bluesfest (Ottawa) Jul 9 – 19 www.ottawabluesfest.ca

Holstein Rodeo & Country MusicFest (Holstein) Jul 9 – 12

TD Sunfest: Canada’s Premier Celebration of World Cultures (London) Jul 9 – 12

Lighthouse Blues Festival (Kincardine) Jul 10 – 12

Pelham Summerfest (Pelham) Jul 16 – 19

Home County Music And Art Festival (London) Jul 17 – 19

Mount Forest Fireworks Festival (Mount Forest) Jul 17 – 19

Stewart Park Festival (Perth) Jul 17 – 19

Rockhound Gemboree (Bancroft) Jul 20 – Aug 2

Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (Ottawa) Jul 23 – Aug 6 www.chamberfest.com

Collingwood Elvis Festival (Collingwood) Jul 23 – 26

Mattawa Voyageur Days (Mattawa) Jul 23 – 26

Festival Kompa Zouk Ontario (Toronto) Jul 23 – Aug 3

Hillside Festival (Guelph) Jul 24 – 26 www.hillsidefestival.ca

Glengarry Highland Games (Maxville) Jul 31 – Aug 1

Harbourfest (Kenora) Jul 31 – Aug 2

Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival (Port Colborne) Jul 31 – Aug 3

Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival (Sioux Lookout) Jul 31 – Aug 9



Cobourg Sandcastle Festival (Cobourg) Aug 1

MuslimFest (Mississauga) Aug 1 – 2

TD Kitchener Blues Festival (Kitchener)Aug 6 – 9

Alliston Potato Festival (Alliston) Aug 7 – 9

Taste of The Danforth (Toronto) Aug 7 – 9

The Kingston Sheep Dog Trials (Kingston) Aug 7 – 9

Rogers Cup presented by National Bank (Toronto) Aug 8 – 16 www.rogerscup.com

Havelock Country Jamboree (Havelock) Aug 13 – 16 www.havelockjamboree.com

Dundas Cactus Festival (Dundas) Aug 14 – 16

Carrot Fest (Bradford) Aug 15

Balloonapalooza (Windsor) Aug 15 – 16

Buckhorn Fine Art Festival (Buckhorn) Aug 15 – 16

Burlington’s Children’s Festival (Burlington) Aug 16

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) (Toronto) Aug 21 – Sep 7 www.theex.com

Tweed Tribute to Elvis Festival (Tweed) Aug 21 – 23

Tecumseh Corn Festival (Tecumseh) Aug 27 – 30

The Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival (Timmins) Aug 28 – 30



Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto) Sep 10 – 20 www.tiff.net

Shores of Erie International Wine Festival (Amherstburg) Sep 10 – 13

Western Fair (London) Sep 11 – 20 www.westernfairdistrict.com

Supercrawl (Hamilton) Sept 11 – 13

Niagara Wine Festival (St. Catharines) Sep 12 – 27 www.niagarawinefestival.com

Meaford Scarecrow Invasion & Family Festival (Meaford) Sep 16 – 21

Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival (Toronto) Sep 18 – 20

Headwaters Art Festival (Dufferin County) Sep 18 – Oct 4

Roncesvalles Polish Festival (Toronto) Sep 19 – 20

St. George Applefest (St. George) Sep 19 – 20

Telling Tales, A Family Festival of Stories (Hamilton) Sep 20

International Plowing Match & Rural Expo (Finch) Sep 22 – 26 www.plowingmatch.org

Carp Fair (Carp) Sep 24 – 27

The Word On The Street Toronto (Toronto) Sep 27



Haunted Fort Night (Fort William) Oct 1 – 31

Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village (Morrisburg) Oct 1 – Nov 1

Port Elgin Pumpkinfest (Port Elgin) Oct 3 – 4

Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show (Simcoe) Oct 6 – 12

Kitchener – Waterloo Oktoberfest (Kitchener) Oct 9 – 17 www.oktoberfest.ca

Rockton World’s Fair (Rockton) Oct 9 – 12

Blue Mountains Apple Harvest Festival (Blue Mountains) Oct 10 – 12

A Haunted Forest 2014 (Aurora) Oct 24



OPG Winter Festival of Lights (Niagara Falls) Nov 14, 2014 – Jan 11, 2015 www.wfol.com

Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade (Niagara Falls) Nov 14

First Light at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons (Midland) Nov 26 – 28



Christkindl Market (Kitchener) Dec 3 – 6

Alight at Night – Upper Canada Village (Morrisburg) Dec 5 – Jan 2

Winterlude (Ottawa/Gatineau) Jan 29 – Feb 15, 2016 www.winterlude.gc.ca

Barrie Winterfest (Barrie) Feb 6 – 7, 2016

Voyageur Winter Carnival (Fort William) Feb 13 – 15, 2016

Aurora Winter Blues Festival (Aurora) Feb 20 – 28, 2016

Canada Blooms: The Flower and Garden Festival (Toronto) Mar 11 – 20, 2016 www.canadablooms.com


Let the Inspiration Flow 2015 FEO Conference was held at the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel in Niagara Falls, ON.


London Artists’ Studio Tour will rawk

- March 3rd, 2015


Image of stained glass work by Juanita Sims courtesy of londonstudiotour.ca

The London Artists’ Studio Tour is always a class ace & event . . . & JBNBlog is esp. excited to see LFP colleague & ace of much media Juanita Sims is among the new stars of the 2015 edition.

Here is material from the tour website on Juanita & her art:


Trained as a graphic artist, Juanita designs and crafts stained glass artworks both large and small. Quite possibly a magpie in a previous life, Juanita is seriously distracted by all manner of colourful and sparkly glass objects. Recent work includes the transformation of these objects into unique stained glass treasures.

(Back to JBNBlog)

Now, it is possible this is a completely different Juanita Sims from the colleague who has made so many JBNBlog feature stories, columns etc. look attractive (whatever the actual JBNBlog contribution) in the LFP. If so, London is doubly blessed.

But working on the assumption this is our Juanita Sims, go Juanita … what a tour it will be.

Here’s the media release with many more details.

MEDIA RELEASE March 3, 2015






“Like us” on Facebook!: London Studio Tour


FRIDAY, APRIL 17 7 pm – 9:30 pm


SATURDAY, APRIL 18 10 am – 5 pm


SUNDAY, APRIL 19 12 noon – 5 pm


Finally, a sign of spring! The London Artists’ Studio Tour offers Londoners a chance to explore 23 professional artists’ studios in neighbourhoods all over the city. This has been an annual event for over 20 years and is looked forward to by the thousands of visitors who take advantage of the early spring weather to rediscover the rich cultural fabric of London.


One of the exciting aspects of this year’s tour is that there are 10 artists who are new to the tour. The tour, then, is a mix of established and emerging artists working in a wide variety of media – painters, potters, jewelers, glass workers, sculptors, fibre artists, woodworkers and photographers. Returning artists include Brian Dirks, Corinne Garlick, Bryan Jesney, Peter Karas, Lunch Thief, Ian MacEachern, Doug Magrath, Jeanette Marshall, Elly Pakalnis, Amanda Rowe, Susan Skaith, Richard Sturgeon, Vivian Tserotas and Jerry Vrabec. New artists include Anne Garwood Roney, Marlies Gueth, Maggie Hesketh, Jamie Jardine, Kim Kaitell, David Moynihan, Juanita Sims, Marijo Swick and Lorraine Thomson.


Over the years, London media have been very generous in their coverage of this event. In a few days, we will be following up this email with a letter and our 2015 Studio Tour brochure. The brochure will feature a map of all studio locations, more detailed information about the artists along with links and contact information for each artist. In a few weeks, we will be sending out a package with suggestions for stories and a list of times when artists can make themselves available for interviews or studio visits.

We hope you can help us let as many people as possible know about this, our twenty second year of celebrating the work of London artists. The tour has always been a free event open to anyone who wants to learn something about the process of creating art. Some, of course, are looking to purchase works for their homes but many more come because the tour gives them a non-intimidating way to see art, to explore where it is made and to ask questions about the process.

Please have a look at our website: www.londonstudiotour.ca for artist profiles, samples of artwork, a map of the tour and more information.

Also, please check us out on Facebook: London Studio Tour and “like us” to receive updated posts by artists readying studios for the tour, photographs of their art and creative videos from the artists as they prepare their work for the tour.

Mr. Turner & Birdman @Hyland: Double yay!

- March 3rd, 2015


Timothy Spall as J.M.W. Turner. Photo by Simon Mein, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

The best movies to play London play the Hyland & one of them on now is Birdman — which won the Oscar. Even  better (to JBNBlog) is the arrival of Mr. Turner, Mike Leigh’s terrific movie portrait of the artist as a Victorian outlier.

QMI Agency colleague Liz Braun made Mr. Turner  5-out-of-5 sunbursts in her review. A snipplet & many other details follow . . .Seeing the majestic Turner works on the big screen is a joy & so is Mike Leigh’s evocation of Turneresque atmosphere & visuals . . . plus Timothy Spall’s mastery of badger-like grunts as the great man shows indifference, pleasure or contempt without wording it up. The script is also masterly with many jests & insights leading to Turner’s farewell to the world — which you find farther down in case (like JBNBlog) you might not hear it the first time.

Ace Masterpiece faces in the cast include ( it would seem) that troubled priest on Grantchester who solved all the murders as the player of a squeaky clarinet … so get down to it & see if Turner (cruel to many or most women he meets) finds true luv at last & realize why there are no Turners in the Royal Collection. Yay.

Here are the Hylandesque details on Birdman (which lost its additional title on the way to JBNBlogland) . . .

1hr 59min‎‎ – Rated 14A‎‎ – Comedy‎‎ – English‎
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu - Cast: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton,Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts
This film is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor – famous for portraying an iconic superhero-as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.
Michael Keaton & JBNBlog fave Emma Stone lead a terrific cast in a bitter dark endless drummed upon world where the only noble or saving grace is the magic realism (happy ending? tragic ending?) film which towers above the distant second of the crap superhero fllm franchises which are toxic to all those involved. At the bottom  in Inarritu hell ‘s layers is serious Broadway theatre — complete with evil villain critics & buffoon audiences that need real blood to get applauding.
Not JBNBlog’s fave of the year past — but great to see it keep a-runnin & rawkin the Hyland as the Oscar champ . . . & just now J JBNBlog thought of the final moments in terms of The Great Dictator: Look up, Emma, look up!

Over to Liz  Braun & material from the always wonderful Mongrel Media on Mr. Turner.

Here is QMI Agency colleague Liz Braun on Mike Leigh & Mr. Turner


In a cinematic world full of Transformers and comic book characters, the director’s new film — a slow, rapturous look at the life and work of 19th century British painter Joseph Mallord William Turner — has been greeted with open arms.

Mr Turner, which had its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and opened in select theatres Dec. 25, stars Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter film series) in a performance that has already won him the best actor prize at Cannes.
Leigh, 71, who promoted Mr. Turner at the festival, says Spall was the only actor for the job. “I didn’t consider anybody else, that’s for sure. He spent two years learning to paint before we shot anything.”
All the actors cast as painters in the movie were men Leigh knew had some amateur painting talent to start with. As for Spall, “He’s a working class Londoner, and I knew he would understand that element, and he’s read a lot of Dickens, so I knew he could do the 19th century.”
He and Spall have done a half-dozen films together.
Do they have a sort of shorthand by now?
“I have a shorthand with all these actors,” says Leigh, of a cast that includes Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson and Ruth Sheen.
On casting, the director of such films as Naked, Secrets & Lies, Happy-Go-Lucky and Another Year says, “First of all, the world of actors is very clearly divided between the smart ones and the stupid ones, so Job One: get the intelligent actors.” He laughs.
“There are a lot of very thick actors around.”
He doesn’t work with the narcissists, continues Leigh, or anyone who just want to look good. “I work with actors who want to play characters, who want to show the world out there the person, so we’re talking about character actors, people who really don’t just play themselves. And these are all consummate character actors,” he says of his Mr. Turner cast. “There’s no vanity in it. I audition very carefully.
“It doesn’t work with an actor who has no sense of humour.”
Spall, who has been working with Leigh since the 1982 TV movie Home Sweet Home, says the filmmaker’s affection for character actors is somewhat old school.
“It comes out of loving the process,” says Spall, 57. “He’s allowing actors to take risks. And you can always blow it, that’s the thing,” he adds, laughing. Spall says that Leigh’s interest is investigating all manner of people.
“He gives majesty to the mundane.”
Over 100-plus titles and a 35 year career. Spall has done everything from Quadrophenia to Dickens, Shakespeare and Harry Potter. He learned everything that can be learned about Turner in order to portray the painter, and part of the movie’s focus, he says, concerns the nature of genius and the package it comes in.
“He’s not Franz Liszt, is he? — all flowing hair and women all around,” jokes Spall. “Turner is this strange little porcine, simian man who happens to have this genius. He was driven. I think because he was a man of destiny… It  ended with him giving all his work away, to the nation.”
Leigh says his own fascination with Turner developed over time.
He was aware of the painter from adolescence,  “But Turner, Constable, you know — biscuit tins and chocolate boxes. That was boring for a 14 year old in the 1950s.”
At the time he was far more interested in Picasso, and later, Salvador Dali. “Although I’m over that obsession now,” he says, laughing.
Later, when he was an art student, Leigh says he looked at Turner anew. Once he’d made Topsy Turvy and experienced doing a period film,  he says, “It occurred to me that Turner — this obviously flawed, eccentric, vulnerable, passionate, driven, grubby individual — was the subject of a movie, really.”

Twitter: @LizBraunSun

***** [FIVE STARS]
Mr. Turner is British director Mike Leigh’s strange, wonderful, visually arresting account of the last 25 years in the life of the famed 19th century painter.
The film features an extraordinary performance from Timothy Spall as Joseph Mallord William Turner; Spall won best actor at Cannes for his efforts and will no doubt be included in BAFTA nominations.
This is a study of a man coming to terms with his own mortality and being somehow set free by the passage of time in his painting — Leigh’s Turner is a man of few words and great passions who does his talking with a brush.
The movie’s combination of languorous pace and obsessive attention to detail immerses a viewer in Turner’s world, and that’s a welcome experience.

Long synopsis , selected credits & other details via Mongrel Media …

Mongrel Media


Mr. Turner

A film by Mike Leigh

Official Selection

Cannes Film Fest 2014

(149 min., UK, 2014)

Language: English

Written & Directed by Mike Leigh

Executive Producers Tessa Ross, Norman Merry, Gail Egan

Producer Georgina Lowe

Co-Producers Michel Saint-Jean, Malte Grunert

Cinematography Dick Pope BSC

Production Designer Suzie Davies

Editor Jon Gregory ACE

Music Composed by Gary Yershon

Costume Designer Jacqueline Durran

Make-Up & Hair Designer Christine Blundell


Director’s Statement:

Back at the turn of the century, when ‘Topsy-Turvy’ was released, I wrote that

it was “a film about all of us who suffer and strain to make other people


Now I have again turned the camera round on ourselves, we who try to be

artists, with all the struggles our calling demands. But making people laugh,

hard as it is, is one thing; moving them to experience the profound, the

sublime, the spiritual, the epic beauty and the terrifying drama of what it means

to be alive on our planet – well, that’s altogether something else, and few of us

ever achieve it, much as we may try.

Turner achieved all of it, of course. He was a giant among artists, singleminded

and uncompromising, extraordinarily prolific, revolutionary in his

approach, consummate at his craft, clairvoyant in his vision.

Yet Turner the man was eccentric, anarchic, vulnerable, imperfect, erratic and

sometimes uncouth. He could be selfish and disingenuous, mean yet generous,

and he was capable of great passion and poetry.

MR. TURNER is about the tensions and contrasts between this very mortal

man and his timeless work, between his fragility and his strength. It is also an

attempt to evoke the dramatic changes in his world over the last quarter century

of his life.

Mike Leigh 4


MR. TURNER explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W.

Turner (1775-1851).

Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and

occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom

he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies.

Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular

if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so

that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.


MR. TURNER explores the last quarter century of the life of J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), the

singleminded artist who worked hard and travelled extensively.

Turner is profoundly affected by the death of his ex-barber father, he takes up with a widow, Mrs

Booth, a seaside landlady, and is plagued occasionally by an ex-lover, Sarah Danby, by whom he

has two illegitimate adult daughters, whose existence he invariably denies.

He enjoys the hospitality of the landed aristocracy, he visits a brothel, he is fascinated by science,

photography and railways, he is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts,

and he has himself tied to the mast of a ship in bad weather in order to paint a snowstorm.

He is celebrated by some, and reviled by others. He refuses an offer of £100,000 from a

millionaire who wants to buy all his work, preferring to bequeath it to the British nation, whereas

Queen Victoria loathes his work.

Throughout the story he is loved by his stoical housekeeper, Hannah, whom he takes for granted

and whom he occasionally exploits sexually.

Eventually, he leads a double existence, living incognito with Mrs Booth in Chelsea, where he

dies. Hannah is unaware of this until the very end.5


The action of MR. TURNER takes place over the last quarter century of the artist’s life, ending

with his death in 1851.

The film being a dramatic reflection, rather than a documentary, Mike Leigh has chosen to let the

action flow from one period of time to another, without interrupting it with labels, or identifying

specific months and years.

Design, costume and particularly make-up help to underpin and define this progression, and in

the case of Turner’s housekeeper Hannah Danby, it is probably useful to mention that what we

gather from research about her deteriorating skin condition has led us to decide that it was


Regarding Turner’s trips to Margate and why he goes there in the first place, the town made an

early impression on him. As he tells Mr and Mrs Booth, he attended school there for a couple of

years, but we also know that he was much taken with the quality of light in Thanet, the part of

Kent where Margate sits.

Returning from his continental travels, Turner comes home to his doting ex-barber father,

William Turner Senior, and to his housekeeper, Hannah Danby, who loves him, and whom he

takes for granted, and occasionally exploits sexually. They both share the worry that Turner

might have been involved in a bomb blast in Ostend, but he assures them he was elsewhere.

After William Senior has organized the purchase of paints and materials for his son, sorted out

some new canvases, shaved Turner and eaten with him, he shows particular customers round

their private gallery, an activity the painter views through a secret hole.

Another day. They receive a visitation from the aggressive and resentful Sarah Danby, Turner’s

exlover, and the mother of his adult illegitimate daughters, Evelina and Georgiana, who

accompany her. Evelina presents Turner with his new-born granddaughter. Mrs Danby

grumbles at Turner’s neglect of her family. We learn that she is Hannah’s aunt. 6

Now Turner retreats by horse coach to the country estate of the generous Lord Egremont, where

he paints and draws, communes with other artists, sings Purcell badly, lends money to an errant

and erratic artist Haydon, and sketches a musical evening.

He travels on by steamer to Margate, where he finds convivial sea-facing lodgings with a Mr and

Mrs Booth. After a coastal walk, he spends an evening with them, during which he reveals his

schooldays in the town, and laments with them the pain of slavery and the loss of dear ones.

Preferring to conceal his identity, he assumes the name Mallard.

Back in London, he is visited by the Scottish scientist Mary Somerville. She demonstrates to

Turner in his studio the magnetic properties of violet light. He is fascinated, and she is much

taken with his paintings.

During one of Turner’s well-attended but badly-delivered public lectures on perspective, William

Senior suffers a serious coughing attack.

Subsequently, the old man’s condition quickly deteriorates, and in the presence of his bereft son

and housekeeper, he dies. His last words with Turner concern the mentally unstable state of the

artist’s long-deceased mother. It is apparent that neither man had much affection for her.

In grief, Turner goes fishing, and visits a brothel, where he draws a young prostitute, and breaks

down in tears. At home he paints ‘Death on a Pale Horse’, and has sexual intercourse with

Hannah, taking her from behind as she selects a book from a bookcase.

Now Turner roves the untamed countryside. In a remote coastal place, where a tiny ancient

chapel perches on a clifftop, wild horses follow him over the horizon.

Returning to Margate, he discovers that Mrs Booth is now a widow. He offers his condolences.

Then, much to his amusement, she enquires whether he is still making his “nice little pictures”.

Back in London, he displays a cold disregard for Hannah, ignoring her enquiries as to his trip.

Since the old man’s death, she has taken over the running of Turner’s studio, and she now lists

the latest delivery of his art materials.

Varnishing Day at the Royal Academy, when the painters (all men) put the finishing touches to

their work, now hung in position for the Annual Exhibition.

Turner scuttles about, enjoying friendly banter with various colleagues. He shares a taciturn

exchange with John Constable, whose ‘Opening of Waterloo Bridge’, all bright reds and scarlets, 7

has been hung next to Turner’s predominantly grey seascape, ‘Helvoetsluys’. For a jape, Turner

paints a startling red blob slap in the middle of his piece, and after a few minutes’ consideration

by all present, culminating in Constable’s leaving in a huff, Turner returns to convert the red

blob into a life-buoy. Much amusement all round.

On this same occasion, Haydon, who owes Turner £50, throws a public tantrum because his

painting (of a donkey) has been hung in the ante-room. He is resentful of never having been

elected to the Academy.

Finally Turner goes to work energetically to finish another of his paintings, ‘Staffa, Fingal’s

Cave’. A large group of artists gather round and watch, fascinated, as he ostentatiously paints,

smudges, smears and spits at his canvas, and blows a strange brown powder onto it.

A mountain, a valley, a rugged rock formation, a dramatic sky. Turner is out and about in the


Returning to Mrs Booth at Margate, he now becomes intimate with her, to which she reciprocates

tenderly, and she takes him to bed. In the morning, he leaves as the sun rises over the sea.

Turner has himself tied firmly to the mast of a ship, so that he can experience the full force of a

snow storm. Having thus exposed himself to the elements, he contracts bronchitis. He is now

staying with Mrs Booth, and her local physician, Dr Price, prescribes for “Mr Mallard”, “the

three B’s: bed, balsam, and broth – to be administered in this case by the fourth B, the admirable

Mrs Booth.”

Back in his London studio, Turner leaves off painting his ‘Snow Storm – Steam-boat off a

Harbour’s Mouth’ to attend to potential customers in his gallery. These are the young John

Ruskin and his father, who are pondering buying Turner’s painting ‘Slavers Throwing

Overboard the Dead and Dying – Typhoon coming on’.

Time passes. By now, both Turner and Hannah are becoming older and greyer, and Hannah’s

skin condition is getting worse. Meanwhile, Turner is enjoying his secret other life with Mrs

Booth at Margate. They walk out, arm in arm, taking the sea air; he sketches, she shops and

sweeps; he goes out for long working trips.

And one day, as they are out strolling, Turner collapses.

In Mrs Booth’s house, Dr Price examines the artist in bed, in Mrs Booth’s presence. Warning

“Mr Mallard” not to work too hard, the physician asks Turner to remind him what is his 8

profession. He begs to differ with Turner’s claim to be a lawyer, and reveals that he knows who

he is, and that he is honoured to meet him.

Turner and Mrs Booth are horrified, but the doctor assures them of his discretion, and informs

Turner that he is suffering from a heart condition, and that he had better take it easy.

Back in his London house, he is castigated by Sarah Danby and Evelina for having failed to be

present at the funeral of the other daughter, Georgiana. To his mumbling that he was out of

town, Sarah sneers, “As ever, sir, painting your ridiculous shipwrecks.”

The steamer takes Turner back to Margate, where, one evening in bed, as they prepare for sleep,

Mrs Booth shares with Turner her plan to sell up and lease a house for them by his “beloved

River Thames, not too far from London Town.”

One day, on the river, Turner is swigging beer in a rowing barge, in the convivial company of the

painters Clarkson Stanfield and David Roberts.

Suddenly, they encounter the great old ship, ‘The Fighting Temeraire’, which is being towed by

a little steam tug to its final resting place, the breaker’s yard. The painters reflect on the history

and fate of this famous naval veteran of the Battle of Trafalgar. But Turner exhorts the others to

celebrate the modern age of steam, rather than lament the passing of the old world. Stanfield

suggests that Turner should paint this scene, and Turner wryly promises to ponder the notion.

And indeed, back in his London studio, that is precisely what he does. He is working intensively

on what will, of course, become his most famous painting, when Hannah informs him that he has

a visitor, Haydon.

Haydon offers Turner £10 towards his £50 debt. Turner learns that the impoverished and

embittered Haydon and his wife have lost several children. He cancels the debt, and has Hannah

escort the protesting Haydon off the premises.

In the company of the military painter George Jones, Turner visits the Ruskins, who now proudly

possess ‘Slavers’, which hangs in the hall of their house. After supper, Turner and Jones,

together with Stanfield and Roberts, sit in the Ruskins’ drawing room with their host, his wife,

and their precocious and opinionated young son, John. The conversation takes in gooseberries

and seascape painting, with particular reference to a comparison between Turner’s work and that

of Claude Lorrain (1600 -1682). Mr and Mrs Ruskin indulge their son’s outspoken opinions, and

Turner gently sends him up. 9

In the countryside, Turner is inspired by coming upon a state-of-the-art railway engine, hauling

its carriages, and back in his London studio he paints his ‘Rain, Steam, and Speed’. Hannah

surveys this piece somewhat blankly.

We are now in the Victorian Age. Four short scenes depict philistine attitudes towards Turner’s

increasingly radical and more abstract-looking work.

Queen Victoria pays a private visit to the Royal Academy with Prince Albert. Seeing two of

Turner’s paintings, they express horror and disgust. Turner overhears them, and slinks away.

Two other occasions in art galleries, in Turner’s absence…….

Three gentlemen scoff at a Turner, and two ladies sarcastically compare his work with varied

kinds of food.

Finally, Turner visits a popular London theatre, where the audience whoops with delight at a

comic sketch depicting an art dealer selling to a wealthy collector a canvas on which jam tarts

have been accidentally spilled. Told that the piece is a Turner, the collector cheerfully pays the

dealer a thousand pounds. The audience finds this hilarious, and Turner leaves, mortified.

More time goes by. Turner, drunk at a fashionable society dinner, connects with John Ruskin’s

new young wife.

Early morning at his London home. Turner is asleep on his bed, fully clothed in his day wear.

Waking him with a cup of tea, Hannah enquires when she can next expect him. His evasive

reply provokes her to observe that it’s now not worth her changing the sheets on his bed. He

can’t reply, and goes, leaving her alone and forlorn.

Turner and Mrs Booth are now happily domiciled in their riverside house in Chelsea.

Turner visits the London studio of J.J.E. Mayall, a young photographer and maker of

daguerreotypes. Turner is fascinated by the camera and the technology, but expresses concern at

the implication of this new art.

In Chelsea, he shows Mrs Booth his daguerreotype portrait, and informs her, to her horror, that

he has arranged for the two of them to be photographed together in a few days. Although she

flatly refuses to go, we soon find her there, side by side with Turner. She is terrified. As Mayall

takes their picture, he talks of having photographed the Niagara Falls. Turner reflects ruefully

that there will soon come a time when photography will replace painting.

In Turner’s gallery, he refuses an offer of £100,000 from Joseph Gillott, the pen nib

manufacturing millionaire. Gillott wants to buy Turner’s entire oeuvre, but Turner has

bequeathed all his work to the British Nation, “to be seen all together, in one place, gratis.”

Calling this perverse, the baffled magnate is reluctantly escorted off the premises by the ageing


Turner is now entering his dotage. He falls over, but won’t let Mrs Booth fuss over him, he

paints while she cleans his brushes, and he recites for her a bawdy poem of his own.

He visits the Royal Academy and chortles dismissively at the Pre-Raphaelites, and one day,

when visiting his London house, he absent-mindedly confuses two coats, putting on one instead

of the other, which he has just taken off.

Arriving back to Mrs Booth, Turner is, with some difficulty, describing his visit that day to Hyde

Park to look at the construction of Crystal Palace. Suddenly, he has a heart attack.

Meanwhile, Hannah finds Turner’s discarded jacket, which has been soiled by one of her cats. A

letter she finds in one of the pockets is addressed to him at his Chelsea house, the existence of

which she is, of course, entirely ignorant.

Dr Price has travelled up from Margate by the new railway. Examining the now bed-ridden

Turner, he warns him that his days are numbered. The patient invites the doctor to take a large

sherry and reassess his diagnosis. At Dr Price’s refusal to do this, Turner reflects that he is now

to become a nonentity, a notion the doctor rejects.

At the front door, Dr Price takes his leave of Mrs Booth. As he walks away, he passes Hannah,

who, severely shrouded to conceal her scarred face, has come with a woman friend to find

Turner’s house.

She does so, and is extremely distressed. The next-door neighbour confirms that an ailing

elderly gentleman does indeed live there “with his good lady wife”, and Hannah leaves,


In and out of delirium, Turner, much though Mrs Booth tries to stop him, insists on going outside

in his bed-shirt to sketch the corpse of a young woman the police have recovered from the river.

Turner collapses, and Mrs Booth helps him back into the house and upstairs.

Turner is now on his death bed. Mrs Booth and Dr Price sit with him. Suddenly he mumbles

something to Mrs Booth. It is “me damsel”, his name for Hannah. 11

The he declares, “The sun is God!”, laughs briefly, and dies.

The doctor checks his pulse and closes his eyes. Mrs Booth buries her face in Turner’s arm.

We now see an image of Turner standing, drawing, silhouetted against the enormous setting sun.

Mrs Booth is vigorously cleaning her window. She is wearing black. She stops for a few

moments, and thinks about Turner. She is wistful, sad, gently amused, proud. She resumes her


Hannah rattles around in the now decaying, cluttered, dusty gallery and studio, muttering,

weeping, sad and lonely.


J.M.W. TURNER: Timothy Spall

Boats, ships, the river and the sea defined Turner’s earliest experience. Joseph Mallord William

Turner (1775-1851) was born and raised by the busy River Thames in Central London. He was

sent at the age of 10 to stay with relatives at Brentford, also on the Thames, and then went away

to school on the Kent coast at Margate, where he loved the light and to which he returned

frequently throughout his life. His father sold the boy’s work in his barber shop, and he was

accepted at the Royal Academy Schools at 14, his interview panel being chaired by Sir Joshua

Reynolds, who encouraged him. He worked for several architects, expecting at first to follow

that line, and at 15 exhibited his first watercolour at the Royal Academy, ‘A View of the

Archbishop’s Palace at Lambeth’. He was elected an Associate Member of the Academy at 24

and a full Academician at 27. The Academy dominated the rest of his life and he was Professor

of Perspective for thirty years. Throughout his life, Turner travelled widely in the British Isles

and in Europe, including to Venice, which greatly inspired him. Celebrated by many, reviled by

some, his output was prodigious. Twenty thousand of his pieces are in the Tate collection alone.

Turner never married, but co-habited with Sarah Danby, the mother of his illegitimate daughters,

and later with Sophia Booth in Margate and Chelsea. Hannah Danby was his housekeeper for

over forty years. He is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral next to Sir Joshua Reynolds.


William Turner (1745-1829), wig-maker and barber, a native of Devon, came to London and set

up shop in Covent Garden. His wife ended her days in a lunatic asylum. Two children: the

painter and his younger sister, who died aged five. On retirement served as Turner’s assistant.

HANNAH DANBY: Dorothy Atkinson

A niece of Sarah Danby (see below), Hannah Danby (1786-1853) was Turner’s faithful

housekeeper for over forty years. She died two years after Turner.

SOPHIA BOOTH: Marion Bailey

Sophia Booth (1798-1875) was Turner’s landlady in Margate, and then his mistress and

companion from the mid-1830s. Twice widowed, she had a son by her first marriage. She

eventually sold her Margate boarding house and moved with Turner to Chelsea. 13

JOHN BOOTH: Karl Johnson

A mariner, he married Sophia about 1825, probably at Dover. Their Margate boarding house

commanded great sea views.


Sarah Danby (1760/1766-1861) was Turner’s first mistress, and the mother of his two

illegitimate daughters. As the widow of an organist and composer, she received a monthly

pension from the Royal Society of Musicians, which she collected from an office in Leicester

Fields (now Leicester Square).


Evelina Dupuis (1801-1874) was the elder illegitimate daughter of Sarah Danby and Turner. Her

first three children died in infancy, baby Rosalie Adelaide thus being Turner’s “only surviving

grandchild”, although two others came later.


Georgiana Thompson (1811-1843) was Sarah Danby and Turner’s second illegitimate daughter.

She died in childbirth, having married three years earlier.

MARY SOMERVILLE: Lesley Manville

A Scotswoman, Mary Somerville (1780-1872) was a self-taught mathematician. The daughter of

a Vice Admiral, she was widowed with two sons at 27. This liberated her to study, both her

father and her husband having banned her from doing so. Her more enlightened second husband,

an army doctor, was physician to the Royal Chelsea Hospital for Veterans. They had two

daughters, and Mary embarked on a long life of study and educational causes. Her first

publication concerned the magnetising power of sunlight. Her experiments with the needle and

the spectrum led her to deduce that the violet element had magnetising properties, a conclusion

she later realised was incorrect. But its publication had established her reputation. In later life

she was an ardent supporter of women’s suffrage. Somerville College, Oxford, is named after



Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846), a native of Plymouth, eschewed portrait painting, which

was commercial, aspiring instead to paint edifying historical and biblical subjects, which

weren’t. Truculent, contentious, emotional, perpetually impecunious, he was prone to alienating

most people, not least in the Royal Academy, to which he never succeeded in being elected. He

and his wife suffered several infant mortalities. He committed suicide.

(See ‘Punch’, or ‘May Day’, Tate Britain.)

GEORGE JONES: Richard Bremmer

George Jones (1786-1869), Royal Academician, painter and army officer. After the RA schools,

he enlisted, fought in the Peninsular War, and was an officer in the occupation of Paris in 1815.

Said to resemble the Duke of Wellington, a comparison he relished, he painted battle scenes, and

was later Librarian and Acting President of the RA. A close friend of Turner and an executor of

his will.

(See ‘Turner’s Body Lying in State, 29 December 1851’, Tate Britain.)

JOHN CAREW: Niall Buggy

John Edward Carew (1785-1868), Irish sculptor. Lord Egremont of Petworth being his main

patron, Carew moved early to Brighton, using Petworth’s chapel as his studio. He exhibited at

the RA, but was never elected a member. The south-facing relief at the bottom of Nelson’s

Column in Trafalgar Square is his work.


Sir William Beechey (1753-1839), from Oxfordshire. Royal portrait painter, much admired by

George III and Queen Charlotte.

C.R. LESLIE: Tom Edden

Charles Robert Leslie (1794-1859). Originally English, he spent his formative years in

Philadelphia. Returned to RA Schools in London, becoming a successful painter. A close friend

of both Turner and Constable. His ‘memoirs’ have been a useful research resource for the film.

DAVID ROBERTS: Jamie Thomas King

David Roberts (1796-1864), Scottish landscape painter and Royal Academician. Began by

painting theatre sets with Clarkson Stanfield (see below), with whom he became close friends, 15

moving to London with him. Roberts was the first British artist to travel extensively in Spain,

Egypt and the Holy Land.

(See ‘Ronda, Spain’, Tate Britain.)


Clarkson Stanfield (1793-1867), from Sunderland, son of an actor. Marine painter. Ran away to

sea, was pressed into the Royal Navy and served under Jane Austen’s brother. After theatrical

scenepainting, moved to London with Roberts. Royal Academician. A great admirer of Turner.

(See ‘View on the Scheldt’, V&A Museum.)

SIR JOHN SOANE: Nicholas Jones

Sir John Soane (1753-1837), architect, Royal Academician. From Reading, the son of a


Designed the Bank of England. Intimate friend of Turner.

(See Sir John Soane’s Museum, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London.)


Sir Martin Archer Shee (1769-1850), a Dubliner. Portrait painter. Elected to the Royal

Academy, due more to his political than his artistic skills. President for many years, defending

the Academy against a hostile Parliamentary enquiry. Escorted the young Queen Victoria during

her private view of the Summer Exhibition in 1845.


Sir Charles Eastlake (1793-1865), from Plymouth, the son of a judge. Taught by Haydon. At

22, painted a very successful portrait of the captured Napoleon on board HMS Bellerophon.

This was sold for one thousand guineas, enabling him to travel to Italy, where he remained for

fourteen years. Turner stayed with him in Rome and painted in his studio. Royal Academician,

Secretary of the Fine Art Commission, tasked with the decoration of the Houses of Parliament at

Westminster. President of the RA. First Director of the new National Gallery.


Sir Augustus Wall Callcott (1779-1844), landscape painter and Royal Academician. Close

friend of Turner. A consummate courtier and Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures.

THOMAS STOTHARD: Edward de Souza

Thomas Stothard (1755-1834), Londoner, son of an innkeeper. Royal Academician, sitting on

the Governing Council and teaching in the RA Schools, where he had studied. RA Librarian for

over twenty years. A great admirer of Turner, Stothard regularly attended his Perspective

Lectures with his ear trumpet.


John Constable (1776-1837). England’s other great landscape painter, some suggest. From

Suffolk, his area of which became known as ‘Constable Country’ during his lifetime. Elected to

the RA late. Not close to Turner, once famously describing him as “uncouth, but has a

wonderful range of mind”. (See ‘The Hay Wain’, National Gallery, London.)

LORD EGREMONT: Patrick Godfrey

George O’Brien Wyndham, third Earl of Egremont (1751-1837), was a major patron of

contemporary British art and an agriculturalist. He encouraged artists to visit his Sussex estate at

Petworth to study the fine collection of Old Master paintings and derive inspiration from the

gardens and parkland. Turner was a regular visitor and produced many evocative drawings and

watercolours of life at Petworth. Among the many works Egremont purchased or commissioned

from Turner are the four paintings depicting various schemes or landscapes associated with the

Earl, including the Brighton

Chain Pier and Chichester Canal which still hang in the magnificent Carved Room at Petworth


JOHN RUSKIN: Joshua McGuire

John Ruskin (1819-1900). Art critic, artist and social commentator. From London, only son of a

sherry importer and his evangelical Anglican wife. The intellectual and emotional product of

contrasting parents. Educated at home, was isolated and intense. Family often travelled abroad,

taking in architecture and art. At 27, defended Turner against harsh critics, and later wrote a full

defence of Turner’s art in his book ‘Modern Painters’. Turner had an ambivalent attitude

towards this young, earnest and self-appointed champion. Ruskin’s marriage to Effie Gray in

1848 was famously an unmitigated disaster. 17

DR PRICE: David Horovitch

Dr David Price (?-1870), son of a clergyman. Trained at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals in

London. Prominent physician in Margate, where he moved for health reasons. Attended Turner

for many years.

J.J.E. MAYALL: Leo Bill

John Jabez Edwin Mayall (1813-1901). Originated from Lancashire. After some years in

Philadelphia as a photographer and daguerreotype specialist, he returned to England, setting up a

studio in London’s Strand. He was always taken to be an American. When he photographed

Queen Victoria, she described him in her journal as “the oddest man I ever saw”. Turner was

fascinated by the new photography, and visited him on several occasions. No photographs of

Turner have survived.

QUEEN VICTORIA: Sinéad Matthews

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was an accomplished amateur artist, enjoying her annual visits to

the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions. Her taste veered towards the realistic and sentimental.

A particular favourite was the animal painter and sculptor, Sir Edwin Landseer (see the four lions

surrounding Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.) She loathed Turner’s work and to this day

there are no Turners in the Royal Collection.


Joseph Gillott (1799-1872), the son of a workman in the cutlery trade. From Sheffield,

Yorkshire. Steel pen maker and art patron. Patented and manufactured the Gillott pen nib in

Birmingham. World famous, they are still in existence today. In the scene where Gillott offers

to buy Turner’s entire collection, Mike Leigh has combined two anecdotes. Gillott did

apparently offer to show Turner his “pictures” – the £5 notes – but it was actually another

wealthy collector who wanted to buy everything for £100,000.


MR. TURNER is Timothy Spall’s fifth film with Mike Leigh, following roles in ‘Life is Sweet’,

‘Secrets and Lies’, ‘Topsy-Turvy’ and ‘All or Nothing’. These collaborations brought him

several nominations – for Best Actor at British Independent Film Awards and Best Actor at

European Film Awards for ‘All or Nothing’, Best Supporting Actor at BAFTA and Best British

Actor In A Supporting Role at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards for ‘Topsy-Turvy’, and

Best British Actor at the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards and Best Actor at BAFTA for

‘Secrets and Lies’.

The actor also collaborated with Leigh on the made-for-television film ‘Home Sweet Home’ and

the stage play ‘Smelling a Rat’. Spall is probably best known to international audiences for his

role as Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter film series, and has also been seen as Winston

Churchill in the ‘The King’s Speech’, Peter Taylor in ‘The Damned United’, Beadle Bamford in

‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’, his own television documentary ‘Timothy

Spall: Somewhere at Sea’, and, most recently, ‘The Blandings’. Timothy received an OBE in



MR. TURNER is Dorothy Atkinson’s third film with Mike Leigh, following ‘All or Nothing’

and ‘Topsy Turvy’. Her other film roles include ‘Chatroom’, ‘Look at Me I’m Beautiful’, and

‘The Final Curtain’. Television credits include ‘Call the Midwife’, ‘Tubby and Enid’, ‘The Town’,

‘Coronation Street’, ‘Phone Shop’, ‘Midsomer Murders’, ‘Victoria Wood Christmas Special’, ‘Peep

Show’, ‘Housewife 49′, and ‘Bodies’.

Theatre credits include: Beryl in ‘Brief Encounter’ for Kneehigh (including 2014 US tour), ‘A

Matter of Life and Death’ at the National Theatre, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at the Royal

Shakespeare Company and ‘Epitaph for George Dillon’ at the Comedy Theatre, London.

MARION BAILEY (Sophia Booth)

Marion Bailey first worked with Mike Leigh on his 1981 play ‘Goose-Pimples’ at Hampstead

Theatre and then in London’s West End. She played Auntie Barbara in ‘Meantime’, Carol in

‘All or Nothing’ and Mrs Fowler in ‘Vera Drake’. In 2012 she appeared in his play ‘Grief’ at the

National Theatre. 37


She has made numerous appearances at London’s leading theatres, including the National

Theatre, the Royal Court, the Old Vic, Hampstead Theatre, The Bush and The Tricycle. She

recently appeared in Nick Payne’s ‘Blurred Lines’ at the National Theatre, directed by Carrie

Cracknell and Moira Buffini’s ‘Handbagged’, directed by Indhu Rubasingham, which

transferred into the West End from the Tricycle Theatre.


Her extensive television work includes recent roles in ‘Case Histories’, ‘Him and Her’, ‘Being

Human’, ‘New Tricks’, ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Midsomer Murders’.

PAUL JESSON (William Turner)

Paul Jesson appeared in Mike Leigh’s ‘Vera Drake’ and ‘All Or Nothing’, on stage in ‘GoosePimples’

and made a fleeting appearance in ‘Home Sweet Home’. Other film roles include

‘Coriolanus’ and ‘The Ploughman’s Lunch’. On television he has been seen recently in

‘Margaret: Her Downfall’, ‘The Devil’s Whore’ and ‘Rome’.

He won Outstanding Performance of the Year in a Supporting Role at the 1986 Olivier Awards

for ‘The Normal Heart’ and has made many appearances at the National Theatre and with the

Royal Shakespeare Company, including Gooper in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, Lovberg in ‘Hedda

Gabler’, Lord Burleigh in ‘Mary Stuart’, Ulysses in ‘Troilus and Cressida’, Prospero in ‘The

Tempest’ and the title role in ‘Henry VIII’. He has worked with the eminent German director

Peter Stein as Sorin in ‘The Seagull’ and Pandarus in ‘Troilus and Cressida’. He appeared in Mike

Bartlett’s Olivier Award winning play ’Cock’ and in Sam Mendes’ productions of ‘The

Winter’s Tale’ as Camillo and ‘The Cherry Orchard’ as Gayev in both New York and London.

Again at the Donmar and in New York he played Gloucester to Derek Jacobi’s King Lear and Sir

Toby Belch in Sam Mendes’ production of ‘Twelfth Night’. His most recent appearance has

been as Cardinal Wolsey in ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ with the RSC in Stratford and

in London.

LESLEY MANVILLE (Mary Somerville)

Mike Leigh’s most frequent actor collaborator, Lesley Manville has worked with the director on

‘Secrets and Lies’, ‘High Hopes’, ‘Topsy-Turvy’, ‘All or Nothing’, ‘Vera Drake’, ‘Another

Year’, the BBC film ‘Grown-Ups’, a radio play and on stage in ‘Grief’ at the National Theatre.

Her other screen credits include Carlo Carlei’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Robert Zemeckis’s ‘A

Christmas Carol’, the upcoming ‘Theory Of Everything’, ‘Molly Moon: The Incredible Hypnotist’

and the Disney feature, ‘Maleficent’. 38


Her film collaborations with Mike Leigh have brought Lesley many awards and nominations.

For ‘Another Year’ these included: National Board of Review – won Best Actress, London

Critics’ Circle Awards – won British Actress of the Year, European Film Awards – nominated

for Best Actress, BAFTA Film Awards – nominated for Best Supporting Actress, San Diego

Film Critics’ Society Awards – won Best Supporting Actress, British Independent Film Awards

– nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Santa Barbara International Film Festival – won

Virtuoso Award.


For ‘All or Nothing’ she won British Actress of the Year from the London Critics’ Circle Film

Awards and was nominated for Best Actress in the Evening Standard British Film Awards. For

‘Topsy-Turvy, she was nominated for British Supporting Actress of the Year in the London

Critics’ Circle Film Awards.


On stage she appeared in the original productions of the modern classics ‘Top Girls’, ‘Serious

Money’ and ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’, as well as the highly acclaimed revivals of Edward

Bond’s ‘Saved’ and ‘The Pope’s Wedding’. In the last few years, Lesley has worked extensively

at the National Theatre appearing in ‘His Dark Materials’, ‘Pillars of the Community’, ‘The

Alchemist’ and ‘Her Naked Skin’ and recently at the Old Vic Theatre in ‘All About My Mother’

and ‘Six Degrees of Separation’. She was most recently seen at the Almeida Theatre and in

London’s West End as Mrs Alving in Richard Eyre’s acclaimed production of Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’,

for which she won the Olivier Award and London Critics’ Circle award as Best Actress.


Her frequent television work includes Alan Clarke’s much acclaimed ‘The Firm’, and the highly

successful series ‘Cranford’, ‘Holding On’, ‘Other Peoples Children’, ‘Bodily Harm’, ‘Real

Women’, ‘The Cazalets’, and ‘North And South’ .

MARTIN SAVAGE (Benjamin Robert)

Martin Savage made his film debut as the comedian George Grossmith in Mike Leigh’s

‘TopsyTurvy’. He was also seen as a taxi-passenger in ‘All or Nothing’, as one of the arresting

police officers, DS Vickers, in ‘Vera Drake’, and as Jim Broadbent’s volatile nephew Carl in

‘Another Year’. His other film credits include ‘The Tailor of Panama’, and ‘V for Vendetta’.

He has appeared in numerous television series, with a regular role in both series of Ricky

Gervais’s ‘Extras’ and a guest lead role in ‘The Thick of It Special’ for Armando Ianucci. His

stage appearances include ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for the Royal Shakespeare Company,

in which he played Peter Quince, ‘Faustus’ for director Rupert Goold, and, most recently

Victoria Wood’s ‘That Day We Sang’ at the Manchester International Festival. 39


Joshua McGuire is one of the only featured actors in MR. TURNER to be working with Mike

Leigh for the first time. He was recently seen in Richard Curtis’s ‘About Time’, and following

MR. TURNER, filmed roles in Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Cinderella’ and Chris Smith’s ‘Get Santa’.

Television work includes Siblings’, ‘You, Me & Them’, ‘A Young Doctor’s Notebook’ and the

second series of ‘The Hour’

On stage, Joshua had a leading role in the recent National Theatre production of Pinero’s ‘The

Magistrate’ and was also seen in the Royal Court and West End productions of ‘Posh’. In spring

2014 he appeared in the lead role in James Graham’s new play ‘Privacy’ at the Donmar


RUTH SHEEN (Sarah Danby)

MR. TURNER marks Ruth Sheen’s sixth collaboration with Mike Leigh. In 1989, she was

named European Actress of the Year as Shirley in ‘High Hopes’ (opposite ‘Vera Drake’ co-star

Phil Davis), and in 1993 she appeared at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in his play, ‘It’s A

Great Big Shame!’ Most recently, she played Gerri in ‘Another Year’, Maureen in ‘All or

Nothing’, and Lily, the black marketer, in ‘Vera Drake’. Other film work includes ‘Virtual

Sexuality’, ‘The Young Poisoner’s Handbook’, ’Little Dorrit’, ‘Vanity Fair’, ‘Run Fat Boy Run’,

‘Heartless’ and ‘Welcome to the Punch’.

On television she has been seen in numerous plays and series including ‘Holding On’ and ‘Never

Never’, both written by Tony Marchant, ‘Bramwell’, ‘Cracker’, ‘Tom Jones’, ‘Fanny Hill’,

‘Misfits’, ‘Poirot’, ‘The Mimic’ series one and two and ‘The Accused’, written by Jimmy

McGovern. On stage, she has recently worked at the National Theatre in ‘Blurred Lines’, the

Royal Court Theatre in ‘In Basildon’, and was also seen at the Royal Court in ‘Stoning Mary’, at

the National Theatre in ‘Market Boy’, and at the Soho Theatre in ‘An Oak Tree’ and ‘Leaves of



David Horovitch previously worked with Mike Leigh in the National Theatre production of

‘Grief’ alongside Lesley Manville and Marion Bailey. His film credits include Jean Marc

Vallée’s ‘Young Victoria’, Woody Allen’s ‘Cassandra’s Dream’, Kevin Lima’s ‘102

Dalmatians’ and the Oscar® nominated ‘Solomon and Gaenor’ directed by Paul Morrison.

Television credits include ‘Midsomer Murders’, ‘Foyle’s War’ and ‘Great Expectations’, and

series regular Inspector Slack in ‘Miss Marple’. 40

David’s numerous stage appearances include ‘Hysteria’ directed by Terry Johnson at Bath

Theatre Royal and Hampstead Theatre, ‘Mary Stuart’ directed by Phyllida Lloyd at the Donmar

Warehouse and in the West End, ‘When We Are Married’ directed by Chris Luscombe,

‘Bedroom Farce’ directed by Sir Peter Hall, and ‘Taking Sides and Collaboration’ directed by

Philip Franks, which originated at Chichester Festival Theatre.


MR. TURNER marks Karl Johnson’s first film with Mike Leigh. His other film appearances

include Derek Jarman’s ‘Jubilee’ and ‘The Tempest’, John Maybury’s ‘Love is the Devil’,

Terence Davies’ ‘The Deep Blue Sea’, Edgar Wright’s ‘Hot Fuzz’, Neil Burger’s ‘The

Illusionist’ and, mostly recently, ‘The Sea’ and ‘Good Vibrations’ .

Karl is best known for his role as series regular Twister in ‘Lark Rise To Candleford’. Some of

his other extensive television work includes ‘Born and Bred’, ‘Rome’, ‘Rules of Engagement’, ‘A

Tale of Two Cities’, ‘David Copperfield’, ‘The Chatterley Affair’, ‘Small Island’, ‘Modern Men’

and ‘Merlin’. Most recently, he appeared in ‘Call the Midwife’ and ‘Atlantis’, both for the BBC.

His theatre credits include regular appearances at the National Theatre and the Royal Court. He

has most recently been seen on stage in ‘Barking in Essex’, ‘Noises Off’ at the Old Vic and its

West End transfer, and at the National Theatre in Danny Boyle’s ‘Frankenstein’.


Ken Fleet & Joey Hollingsworth honoured in #ldnont

- March 2nd, 2015

Joey Hollingsworth (Joe Belanger)

London tap dancer, singer and conga player Joey Hollingsworth receives a lifetime achievement award from Black History Month co-ordinating committee Saturday at the closing gala at Wolf Performance Hall. (JOE BELANGER, The London Free Press)

Ken Fleet B_GDlTkVAAEUpZh

Ken Fleet conducts Amabile Choirs on Sunday ( March 1, 2015) at Centennial Hall . . . courtesy of Chris Harding and Amabile Choirs

 On the weekend, great Londoners Joey Hollingsworth & Ken Fleet were honoured at separate events.

Dancer & iconic entertainer Hollingsworth was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Black History Month gala at the LPL’s Wolf Performance Hall.

Here is a key moment from Today section colleague Joe Belanger’s story.

“I’ve never received an award before,” said Hollingsworth, 78, as he held the lifetime achievement award from the Black History Month co-ordinating committee.

Thank you, Joey . . . & thank you to the committee & all involved including Joe B, who helped lead the way to this defining moment (& is too modest & unassuming to say so). Joe, thank you, buddy.

Award-winning choral conductor Ken Fleet, of the Kilworth area, was on stage at the conclusion of Sunday’s epic Amabile Choirs 30th anniversary concert at Centennial Hall. He conducted the massed choirs, hundreds of singers, in an Amabile signature finale Katie Moran Bart’s Blessing.

Tweeted Chris Harding, Amabile development guru: The moment that brought the house down at @amabilechoirs & #Ken Fleet conducting. Agree @phubert1961 @JamesatLFPress?

City councillor (& Amabile-tied parent) Paul Hubert responded: @charding1 @amabilechoirs @JamesatLFPress The house came down and so did the tears. Unforgettable moment!!

Yes. Many of us wept & we stood up & applauded. The concert had been pretty amazing already (Ivars Taurins, Musicians of Orchestra London, guest soloists, a world premiere).

But there were tears of joy and deep emotion at seeing Ken Fleet up there. He is part of the Amabile family.

Fleet was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about five years ago and has directed the Intergenerational Choir in recent years. The choir brings together Alzheimer Society London clients and caregivers, Arva Medway secondary school students (Fleet taught music at Medway for decades) and nuns from the Sisters of St. Joseph.

“There’s no question, the first thing they should be doing is singing. It brings them back to their core, It changes your whole chemistry inside of you,” Fleet says on a video where he’s seen conducting an Intergenerational Choir event. “It’s not just something that I need. It’s something the world needs.”


Here’s an additional note about Ken Fleet’s importance (not that it is needed, the record is clear) in Canadian choral music . . . among the most stellar moments in a program including Faure, Schubert etc. was the premiere of Matthew Emery’s commissioned work Hymn Of Praise. An Amabile singer and UBC trainted composer, Emery grew up in Kilworth . . . he missed Sunday’s concert because was on the way to NYC to audition for a major music school.

Matthew Emery went around from west of London to the north of the Forest City to attend Arva Medway secondary school . . . “I wanted to sing with Ken,” he says — may Manhattan feel that Ken Fleet vibe this week.

To end all this good news on a final positive note, any time we honour such heroes as Joey Hollingsworth & Ken Fleet on the same weekend, things really are unfolding as they should. Yay.


Glenn Miller in #ldnont in 1942

- March 1st, 2015

Glenn miller RCAF Harry Warren Metzler 1942

Sunset Serenade broadcast: Flying officer Metzler* from the Canadian Armed Forces with Glenn Miller (at right)

 Bassist Doc Goldberg can be seen in the background.

*This is J5666 Squadron leader Harry Warren Metzler (b. 13 March 1914 – d. 31 March 1944)

 The above picture was taken by an amateur photographer Gordon McLeod. He passed away in 1993. Sadly, no photograph was taken by the London Free Press. (photo courtesy of Christopher Doty) 

JBNBlog bows to Glenn Miller ( March 1, 1904- 1944), the American  bandleader who played a famous gig at the old London Arena on Jan. 24, 1942.

Quebec-based Glenn Miller expert Alain LeBlanc is seeking information on Donald Gordon McLeod, a London businessperson and amateur photographer. The image of Miller and RCAF squadron leader Henry Warren Metzler is a poignant one. Both men were to die in 1944. It is also poignant that the late London historian Christopher Doty sent the image to LeBlanc. Chris continues to inspire JBNBlog .

Any information about McLeod or the image will be passed on to Alain LeBlanc, who has helped London researchers on many occasions. Alain would like to reach out to McLeod’s family.

Here’s a personal moment . . .

Memories: My beloved remembers her mother receiving a boxed set of 45s of Glenn Miller hits from her father at Christmas c. 1958. The box was pale green and there were about four to six records in it . . . her parents must have danced to Glenn Miller sounds in England during the Second World War. My  beloved remembers listening to Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree. Who were the singers, JBNBlog wonders.

Over to Alain LeBlanc:

The above picture was taken by amateur photographer Gordon McLeod. He passed away in 1993. Donald Gordon McLeod was born in London, Ontario in 1914. A businessman with a life-long interest in photography, he would pursue various formats over the decades starting with black and white and then moving on to colour in the 1950′s. He gained much recognition for his work both nationally and internationally. Mr. McLeod also taught photography and audio visual techniques in London schools. Although most of his negatives were lost in a basement flood in 1968, some of his work still survives in private collections.

Here are details on Glenn Miller’s death from glennmiller.com . . .

Tragic End

As his band prepared to embark on a tour of Europe, Miller boarded a flight to Paris on December 15, 1944 to make preparatory arrangements for the rest of his group. Sadly, the transport on which Miller was a passenger disappeared over the English Channel and was never recovered. The disappearance of Miller’s aircraft may have been caused by bad weather. However, records also suggest that bombs, jettisoned by Allied bombers returning from an aborted mission, may have inadvertently struck the plane. Even after Glenn Miller’s disappearance, his army band continued to play for troops, performing up until August 1945, at which time the group returned to New York and its members were discharged.