Helen McCrory was the patron of Sir Hubert Von Herkomer Arts Foundation (HvH Arts in short) a charity that is dedicated to ensuring every child is given a chance to connect with art when funding for the arts is squeezed out of the mainstream curriculum at schools.
A huge believer in that every child should have access to arts, Helen championed the charity starting on day one when it was founded in 2013. We saw her and Damian attending HvH Arts Student Exhibitions and chat with students about their art as well as working the phones on the trading floor to raise funds for the foundation over the years.
“Severn-I–lift me up–I am dying–I shall die easy–don’t be frightened–be firm, and thank God it has come!”
If there had been no Covid pandemic, they would have marked the 200th anniversary of John Keats’ death with a new production of the play Lift Me Up I am Dying in the house that Keats died – now the Keats-Shelley House in Rome. But when it was clear that a live performance would not be possible, the creator Pele Cox came up with an alternative: she would have Zoom meetings with the actors who happened to be in lockdown and then let them film themselves and bring to life a half-hour film based on the last weeks of Keats’ life. Continue reading “An Intimate Virtual Performance: Damian Lewis in “Lift Me Up I am Dying””
Since I launched Fan Fun with Damian Lewis in 2015, we always reserved the last two weeks of the year for a year in review – we picked and brought you the moments in which Damian shone as a brilliant actor, a wonderful storyteller, a true gentleman, a serious athlete or just a guy who knows to have a good time. We cannot bring ourselves to have a big celebration this year for obvious reasons.
That said, we also know in our hearts that Helen, a beautiful soul, a brilliant actress, and a kick-ass woman that she was, would want us to carry on – exactly like she wanted her family to do – and celebrate her beloved husband like we always did. So we decided to have a year in review without calling it one and we start with Damian rediscovering a love poetry recording he and Helen did together at Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2014.
Well, I was there in the room when Damian and Helen read love poems to each other from The Love Book, a brilliant collection of classic and contemporary love poems that vary from Shakespeare to E.E. Cummings to Maya Angelou coming together in a book as well as in an app. It was a moving and intimate hour with a powerhouse husband and wife team reading poems, teasing each other, and sharing their dynamic chemistry with the audience.
It turns out that when the festival inquired about a possible video recording of the reading in 2014, Helen and Damian said no. Damian tellsThe Sunday Times: