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12 December 2018A Pleasing Terror Two Ghost Stories by M R James • Performed by R M Lloyd Parry
18 October 2018A Visit to Henry Moore's Studio
25 September 2018CANCELLED A visit to All Saints Church and Jesus College. Tuesday, 25th September 2018
21 June 2018College Gardens Walking Tour and Champagne Lunch Thursday, 21 June, 2018
25 April 2018Jane Austen at Home...a one woman play
14 December 2017Gala Evening at the Barrandov Opera Thursday 14th December 2017
23 November 2017A Day in London and a Wonderful Christmas Lights Tour
12 October 2017DICKENS’ LONDON: a walking tour, Italian lunch, the Dickens and Foundling Museums.
29 September 2017The Bloomsbury Group, Cambridge College Years, a Walking Tour in Cambridge.
01 June 2017Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, and the Warner Textile Archive , Braintree
23 April 2017Liverpool - our 2017 Visit
30 March 2017Churches in the East Anglian Broads with John Vigar
20 February 2017A Day in Greenwich
12 December 2016Christmas in the Colleges, Corpus and Gonville and Caius
18 October 2016Kenwood House
09 June 2016Compton Verney and Hidcote Manor Garden - Change to Itinerary
07 April 2016The Goldsmiths' Company with Assay Office and William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow.
10 December 2015 Royal Albert Hall and the Wallace Collection
22 October 2015Boughton House and Estate Tour
04 June 2015Broughton Castle and Rousham House and Gardens
15 May 2015The City of Heart's Desire: ISTANBUL - a five day visit
26 March 2015Basildon Park, Berkshire and Hughenden Manor, Buckinghamshire
11 December 2014RSC Stratford-on-Avon
03 November 2014Spencer House and the National Gallery, London
05 June 2014Penshurst Place and Hever Castle
07 May 2014Cardiff's Art and Castles
20 March 2014Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwickshire and Baddesley Clinton
15 March 2013Lancaster House and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
06 December 2012Stratford
18 October 2012Lambeth Palace
08 July 2012The Art and Culture of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
21 June 2012Blenheim Palace and Bladon Church
03 May 2012A Walking Tour of the Olympic site.
01 May 2012Highgrove Garden
22 March 2012A Walking Tour in the Steps of Wren
01 December 2011The Foundling Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in London
20 October 2011 Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham University,
02 June 2011Down House, the home of Darwin
01 June 2011Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill
01 May 2011Windsor Castle and Savill Garden
01 March 2010Eltham Palace and The Stone House
01 February 2010Gaugin Exhibition and the Royal Opera House
01 January 2010Buckingham Palace and Clarence House

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A Pleasing Terror
Two Ghost Stories by M R James • Performed by R M Lloyd Parry

Wednesday 12 December 2018

The Arts Society Cambridge presents a gripping retelling of two of the eeriest and most entertaining tales from the master of the English ghost story.

12 December, 2018 in the Provost's Lodge at Kings College, Cambridge

… he has never been quite certain what words he said, but he knows that he spoke, that he grasped wildly at the silver crucifix, that he was conscious of a movement towards him on the part of the demon, and that he screamed with the voice of an animal in hideous pain…

In Canon Alberic’s Scrap-book, a young Cambridge antiquary discovers the dark side of manuscript illumination, in a medieval cathedral in the French Pyrenees. In The Mezzotint, a ghoulish revenge is enacted within a work of art, before the helpless eyes of a museum curator…

On our Actor, Robert Lloyd Perry...

Robert Lloyd Parry restores the charm and pleasure of the original tales with his excellent and convincing storytelling…
- Cambridge Evening News
Performance lasts approx 100 minutes including interval.

Read an article by Robert Lloyd Parry about the inspiration behind James’s Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook here.

Also, read a BBC feature on Robert Lloyd Parry's revival of James's stories here.

On our author, M R James

Born in 1862, Montague Rhodes James developed a reading habit at an early age, preferring to stay in the library than with friends. He took this with him when he went to study at Eton and then at the King's College, Cambridge, where he became assistant in classical archaeology at the Fitzwilliam museum. After writing a dissertation: "The Apocalypse of St. Peter", he became a Fellow of King's, and then Dean. Although he was renowned in some circles for his biographies, studies into antiques, reviews and palaeography, it was his ghost stories that he would be remembered for. He was keenly engaged in examining the supernatural, and his stories were always written in a way so the reader uses their imagination. The real horror is often kept to the reader's mind. Celebrated cult horror novelist and story writer H.P. Lovecraft was a fan, and wrote a review on his work: "...gifted with an almost diabolic power of calling horror by gentle steps from the midst of prosaic daily life." he says, also adding: "Dr. James has, it is clear, an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers." Although largely ignored by filmmakers - Curse of the Demon (1957) - is one exception), his work has a dedicated fan base, and the BBC filmed several of his stories in the 1970s, wisely titling them under the series "A Ghost Story for Christmas". In 2000, horror legend Christopher Lee jumped at the chance to read four of James' stories in another Christmas special screened on BBC2. James' most famous works include "Ghost Stories of an Antiquary", "The Five Jars", "A Warning to the Curious and other Ghost Stories" and "The Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James". He was Provost of King's College from 1905-18.