History of Lewes Little Theatre

Paul Myles‘ article titled ‘Maynard Keynes and the Reverend Kenneth Rawlings: The Genesis of a Theatre’ has been published in The History of European Ideas.

Article Summary:
A recent discovery of an exchange of letters between John Maynard Keynes and the Reverend Kenneth Rawlings from 1936 to 1944 shows the way in which Keynes assisted Rawlings in the establishment of permanent amateur theatre premises in the County Town of Lewes.

The timing coincided with the onset of World War II, and additional letters from Rawlings to others including the town clerk, Lord Gage, Margeret Masterman and Major G. H. Powell-Edwards reveal the tensions between the ardent pacifist Rawlings and establishment figures as war approached.

Steadied by Keynes and like-minded influential figures, Rawlings wins through triumphantly, the theatre effort viewed as an essential cultural asset during the dark war years.

It is noted in the present article that Keynes could observe Rawlings enact what became an aim of the Council for the Encouragement of Music with the Arts, of which he became president soon after its conception in 1940—that of providing a theatre for every town in England.

History of European Ideas coverThe full text of the article, and a limited number of downloads are available from the publisher’s website.






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