Conference to pay tribute to “neglected comedy genius”

Posted by er134 at Oct 10, 2013 10:39 AM |
Event celebrating the life and career of comic actor Arthur Lucan to be held at the London Cinema Museum Saturday 12 October

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 10 October 2013

A one-day conference celebrating the Life and Films of comic actor Arthur Lucan and the centenary of his marriage to Kitty McShane is to be held at the London Cinema Museum on Saturday, 12 October between 10:30am and 5:00pm.

The event is being organised by Dr Robert Kenny of the University of Leicester’s School of Modern Languages, who will be speaking in the morning of the event and presenting pages from his forthcoming full-length study, "The Man who was Old Mother Riley."

Dr Kenny will be joined by academic speakers Dr Anthony Slide, Professor Jeffrey Richards from Lancaster University and Professor Steven Fielding from the University of Nottingham.

Afternoon events will include a round table discussion and a presentation by playwright and broadcaster Patrick Prior of his new play for the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford, "The Vampire and Mrs Riley."

The British Film Institute (BFI) has agreed to allow an exceptional one-off showing of the master-tape of Old Mother Riley in Business (1940); the film is commercially unavailable and has not been seen for some forty years. Other screenings will include Margery Baker’s 1969 documentary, ‘Applause! Applause!’.

Dr Kenny said: “When I discovered that there was only one rather inadequate and inaccurate study of Arthur Lucan and his wife Kitty McShane I decided they deserved better, particularly when I realised that much of the accepted biography in fact bears little relation to the truth.

“Arthur Lucan is a neglected comic genius, a viewed first expressed by Rachael Low and Leslie Halliwell, two of Britain's most famous film historians.

“I have received enormous support from a number distinguished academics and critics, including Anthony Slide, the man the Los Angeles Times called a "one man publishing phenomenon."  A year ago Anthony and I agreed that I should organise this conference to mark the centenary of the Lucans' stormy marriage, and to showcase my forthcoming book.

“I am especially happy that some young recent graduates in film and TV studies will also be with us, passing knowledge of Lucan's comic skills to a new generation.”

As well as academics, many members of Arthur Lucan's family will be present. The event will be the first time that Arthur Lucan has attracted a gathering of academic speakers as well as loyal fans. The day should prove to be both instructive and highly entertaining.

Refreshments will be available at the Cinema Museum licensed cafe/bar.

Doors open at 09.30am for a 10.30am start. The event concludes at 5:00pm.

Tickets are £10/£7 concessions.

Advance tickets may be purchased from WeGotTickets at the following address:

Alternatively, tickets can be purchased directly from the London Cinema Museum by calling 020 7840 2200 during office hours.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Dr Robert Kenny at:

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