The English department participated in Auden celebrations

To celebrate Auden’s birthday the English department were pleased to host two events celebrating the life and works of OG W.H Auden. On the 7th February ‘Tell Me The Truth About Love” came to Fishmongers’ Hall. Charting the relationship between W.H Auden and Benjamin Britten, the performance wove together biographical details with extracts from letters and diaries. Beautifully scripted and read by John Smart, Paul Hands and Steve Benson, the story of their relationship was complimented by beautiful performances of Britten sung by soprano Jayne Jones, accompanied by Angela Dugdale and Wyatt Earp. The group perfectly conveyed the story of a relationship that seemed at first to bring out the best of each man’s genius, but finally ended in misunderstanding and regret. On the 8th February the Auden Society aptly gathered in the Auden Theatre, the focus this term was on Auden himself. Our Year 12 pupils led the charge and took a chronological approach to their presentations, creating variety and interest for those listening. Larkin gave an excellent introduction to the group on Auden’s younger years, focusing on his time at Gresham’s and using extracts from his Juvenilia collection. Phoebe, our Auden President, followed with a look at Auden’s time in Berlin and how he exemplified the rebellious streak of Germanophilia that took hold in England in the 1920’s. Miranda concisely developed on Phoebe and Larkin’s presentations by linking in much of the knowledge she had learnt from the performance in Fishmongers’ Hall on the previous night. The five poetic philosophies of belief, doubt, certainty, enchantment and truth that Auden mused over were carefully explained by Beowulf, with Tamsin ending the evening by giving a beautiful reading of ‘Funeral Blues’ and ‘Autumn Song’.