Virginia Woolf: Killing the Angel – performance

Hosted by the LSE Library

Shaw Library, 6th floor, Old Building, United Kingdom

“Killing the Angel in the House was part of the occupation of a woman writer. Had I not killed her she would have killed me.” Virginia Woolf.

Virginia Woolf: Killing the Angel weaves the life of Virginia Woolf as expressed in her own words, with music and songs by female composers who were her contemporaries, including Liza Lehmann, Ethel Smyth, and Maude Valerie White. It considers how Woolf’s writing about her troubled childhood has often been excluded from representations of her life. The piece also builds on a growing awareness of how women’s work has been omitted from histories of music and the arts, the social and creative networks of professional women and the challenges they faced as artists in the early twentieth century.

Written and performed by Lucy Stevens, with pianist Elizabeth Marcus, this is a presentation of an artistic work in progress. Sections of the piece will be intercut with discussion about its development and the archival research that has inspired it.

Part of the Being Human Festival and LSE Library’s Women at Work programme, commemorating 100 years since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act was passed.

Singer, writer and performer Lucy Stevens has been drawn to this topic through extensive research into Woolf’s writing and the music written by female composers in the Victorian and Edwardian periods, much of which is out of print and rarely performed.

Pianist Elizabeth Marcus is a Fellow and Professor of Harpsichord at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has worked with Lucy Stevens on her two previous shows about women in music, Ethel Smyth: Grasp the Nettle and Kathleen Ferrier: Whattalife!

This event is part of the Being Human festival, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. For further information see the Being Human website.

The British Library of Political and Economic Science (@LSELibrary) was founded in 1896, a year after the London School of Economics and Political Science. It has been based in the Lionel Robbins Building since 1978 and houses many world class collections, including The Women's Library.

Follow the debate on Twitter: #LSEWomenWork.


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