NKP Theatre Company’s production of a 50-minute adaptation of Eileen Atkins’ play Vita & Virginia will be on stage at the Midlands Arts Center (The Mac) in Birmingham for one performance only at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 11.

The play was  recently staged at the Edinburgh Fringe in August and for members of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain.

Here’s a quote from Andrew Girdwood in the Edinburgh Reviews:

Emma Francis and Ruth Cattell smash it. Each gives incredible, powerful, provocative yet heart-felt, down-to-earth performances.

About the show

Ticket price: From £11.50
Booking: Book here.
Location: The Midlands Arts Center (The Mac), Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH
Get more information.

About the play

This abridged version was created for an intimate setting by NKP Theatre Company.  In it, Virginia Woolf meets fellow author Vita Sackville-West in London in the 1920s. The two embark on a 20-year relationship that inspires one of Virginia’s most famous novels, Orlando. Abridged from the original play by Eileen Atkins, Vita and Virginia deftly brings to life the real letters and diaries of the two women, revealing deep friendship, wit and passion between the literary genius and the aristocratic yet middle-brow poet.

Doorway leading from Virginia Woolf’s bedroom to the back garden at Monk’s House. Woolf’s bedroom was part of a two-story extension the Woolfs added in 1930 and could only be accessed from the outside.

Hannah Minton, who describes herself as “a long-time admirer of the VW Blog [Blogging Woolf]” who loves “all the work that your group does to promote Woolf’s image” wrote us to share a photo of Virginia Woolf that she has colorized.

The photo, which comes from the Houghton Library at Harvard University, depicts Woolf at Monk’s House, circa 1933-1935, according to library records. It is one of many black and white images that Minton has colorized as part of her fledgling colorization business.

Minton describes the photo as being taken in Woolf’s “room at Monk’s House,” which I took her to mean it was taken in Woolf’s bedroom, a room that was part of a two-story extension the Woolfs added in 1930 and could only be accessed from the outside.

Virginia Woolf’s bedroom at Monk’s House, showing the fireplace with tiles decorated by her sister, Vanessa Bell.

Investigating location

However, when I took a close look, I did not recognize the fireplace tiles as being those in Woolf’s bedroom, as those tiles feature a lighthouse. (See photo at right.)

So I went to a booklet I picked up at Monk’s House in 2019. Published by the National Trust and titled Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House, it includes the black and white version of the photo Minton colorized and explains that it was taken “in one of the upstairs rooms at Monk’s House, date unknown” (30).

Below, thanks to Minton, we share both the original black and white version, as well as her subtly colorized version. See what you think.

Virginia Woolf seated reading a book at Monk’s House (Rodmell, England) : portrait print, circa 1933-1935., 1933-1935.. Virginia Woolf Monk’s House photographs, MS Thr 564, (60) RESTRICTED, Box: 2. Houghton Library.

Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House, colorized

Do crafting and feminism go together? The answer is yes.

At least they made a great duo on the afternoon of day two of this year’s Virginia Woolf conference. And they are now the topic of a Zoom event set for Wednesday, Nov. 15, at  6-8 p.m. GMT (2-4 p.m. EST).

About the conference craft workshop

Amy E. Elkins, Melissa Johnson, and Catherine Paul presented a craft workshop at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and Ecologies at Florida Gulf Coast University. Using typewriters, card catalogues, needle, thread, fabric, paper, and glue, each presenter showed participants how to create a craft that connected to Woolf — or another member of the Bloomsbury group.

About “Crafting Feminism”

Now Elkins is back, along with multi-media artist Kabe Wilson, with a “Crafting Feminism” event she is offering on Zoom, along with Decorating Dissidence, an online platform exploring the role of craft and the decorative from modernism to today.

The event also celebrates the one-year anniversary of Elkins’ Crafting Feminism from Literary Modernism to the Multimedia Present (2022).

Elkins and Wilson will be “in conversation to think through all things modernist archives, methods and materials.” And you can attend for free.

How to register

Sign up for a free ticket.

Read more

For more on crafting feminism related to Woolf — please read “Walking in Mrs. Dalloway’s shoes — literally.” You may also want to check out Crafting With Feminism, a book full of “25 girl-powered projects to smash the patriarchy” and/or the Feminist Activity Book.

Catherine Paul (standing) shows Alice Lowe, Amy Smith, and Lisa Coleman how to use simple embroidery techniques to create a new expression of their feminism, as well as their love of literature, during the craft workshop at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf.

Craft workshop participants at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf used manual typewriters to type new and meaningful verbiage on old cards from library card catalogues.

This was the old card catalogue entry that Woolf scholar Mark Hussey chose at the craft workshop at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf.

Hussey chose to add this wording to the back side of the card above, using a vintage typewriter.

Workshop participants at the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf also cut up text, which they threaded through a page with an image of their choice to create interesting juxtapositions.

This was Alice Lowe’s finished project at the craft workshop during day two of the 32nd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, held June 8-11 at Florida Gulf Coast University.



Virginia Woolf Society Turkey is holding another online seminar, and this one covers Virginia Woolf and fashion.

What: A free online talk: “‘She had a flair for beautiful, if individual dresses’: Virginia Woolf’s Style Itineraries,” as part of the Woolf Seminars series of the Virginia Woolf Society Turkey.

When: Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. (Turkey time) or noon-2:30 p.m. EST. Check times for your location.

Who: Antoine Perret, a PhD candidate in English literature at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, will be the speaker.

Cost: Free

Registration: Open to all via the Eventbrite link.

About the talk

This talk will explore the intriguing paradoxes surrounding Virginia Woolf’s sartorial style. Deemed highly unfashionable by her contemporaries, she now stands as a style icon, inspiring designers and gracing the pages of fashion magazines. Woolf’s personal relationship with clothes was in itself contradictory, always oscillating between love and hate.

Perret arguesthat Woolf’s shabby looks and ostensible disinterest in dress can be seen as a posture that not only helped crafting her bohemian public persona, but also took part in her subsequent celebration on the fashion scene. Drawing from her fiction, he will eventually explore how Woolf’s distinctive style and fascination with dress also influenced her literary use of clothes.

About the speaker

Antoine Perret is a PhD candidate in English literature at Universite Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. Supervised by Professor Catherine Lanone and Dr. Floriane Reviron-Pi?gay, he is currently writing a doctoral thesis on fashion, style, and modernism, focusing particularly on the works of E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, and Jean Rhys. Arguing for a material approach to literary modernism, his research addresses the role of clothing within the diegesis, while also exploring the concept of fashion taken as a social phenomenon, in particular its influence on the literary community and on aesthetic practices, so as to interrogate the modalities of modernism and its reception.

About last month’s talk

Last month, Virginia Woolf Society Turkey hosted a free online talk on “Unwriting and Rewriting History and Literary History: Woolf’s Fictions and Essays,” as part of the Woolf Seminars series.

From the Virginia Woolf Podcast comes a new broadcast. This one features a discussion between Marielle O’Neill and Prof. Peter Stansky regarding the many legacies of Leonard Woolf — notably his anti-imperialism, socialism, and work in international politics. Karina Jakubowicz conducts the interview.

Karina Jacubowicz

Listen to Leonard Woolf’s Legacies.

About the podcast

The 17 episodes currently available online and on the podcast app as “The Virginia Woolf Podcast” features Jakubowicz’s interviews with writer, artists, and academics whose work has been influenced by Woolf.

The podcast is made in association with Literature Cambridge, an independent educational organisation that provides university-style lectures on a wide range of literary subjects.

About the experts

Peter Stansky is emeritus professor of history at Stanford University and the author of Leonard Woolf, Bloomsbury Socialist. His most recent publication is The Socialist Patriot: George Orwell and War.

As a distinguished historian, he has judged the Pulitzer Prize, among other book awards. Stansky was a finalist for the National Book Awards in 1967, 1973, and 1981. He has also served as a member of the Executive Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has lectured in various parts of North America, Europe and Australia.

Marielle O’Neill is a PhD. candidate at Leeds Trinity University. Her research explores the political activism and partnership of Leonard and Virginia Woolf.

She serves on the Executive Committee of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain. She has been active in politics on both sides of the Atlantic, working on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC and in the Houses of Parliament, London.

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