On a grey and wet day in London, I found the perfect way to spend Saturday morning by visiting the National Theatre for one of their platform events. In conjunction with a photography exhibition, titled Angelheaded Hipsters, currently running in the foyer of the Lyttleton theatre they held a platform discussing the Beat movement.
Having always been fascinated by the beat movement, the three panellists offered a fascinating insight into the origins of the beat movement, the characters involved and its influence today. The whole event was brought to life by actors reading excerpts from the key texts of this literary consciousness, and a trumpeter playing music such as My Funny Valentine and St Louis Blues.
The photography exhibition is also well worth checking out. It’s a collection of photos from Allen Ginsberg charting the early days of Kerouac, Ginsburg, Burroughs and Cassady – and also includes works by other photographs demonstrating the influence of the Beats.
With Ginsburg’s iconic poem, Howl, opening in cinemas this Friday, and Kerouac’s On the Road also being made into a motion picture with Sam Riley cast as Kerouac, their influence is clearly still being felt today. Their desire to move away from societal conformity and make sense of the changing world holds much resonance as events unfold in the Middle East.
The photography exhibition is free and is running until the 20th March.
Nearest Tube: Waterloo/Southwark/Embankment