17. What will the format of your event be?:
18. Please give any details about the format of your event you feel are relevant.:
Trevor Fox's re-enactment will be accompanied by locally sourced still and moving images illuminating the various themes of the speech – railways, coal-mining, energy generation, industrial expansion, human ingenuity, global exploration, Darwinian theory, etc., etc. The film show will be compiled by Jennie Speirs Grant and the Armstrong Studio Trust. Half an hour should be allocated for audience questions and debate after the speech.
Venue and location to be allocated by the Festival team
20. Venue requirements:
To achieve its proper impact, this event needs a large audience in a large venue. The original Admirable Speech of 1863 was delivered in front of several hundred people in Newcastle's New Town Hall, which no longer exists. The ideal modern venue would be the King's Hall in the Armstrong Building (named after William Armstrong), the centrepiece of Newcastle University, where degree ceremonies are held. The university has not yet been approached on this matter. A stage, a screen and projection equipment will be required for the performance of the event.
13. Description of the core message of your event and key topics to be covered (c.100 words):
A re-enactment, on the 150th anniversary, of William Armstrong's presidential address to the British Association, by the acclaimed Geordie actor Trevor Fox. In 1863, Sir William Armstrong (1810–1900) was president of the British Association, whose annual meeting was held that year in Newcastle. He delivered a spellbinding and magisterial review of the industrial revolution, described by Darwin as 'Armstrong's admirable speech' and Roderick Murchison as 'the best address ever delivered at the British Association'. The speech was an instant hit, reproduced verbatim in The Times, and copies of the text were in heavy demand across the country.
14. Does the event have particular local relevance?:
15. If so, please indicate what this is:
William Armstrong, scientist, engineer, inventor, industrialist, was born in Newcastle in 1810 and established the great Elswick Works on the Tyne, employing 25,000 people in the manufacture of hydraulic machinery, ships and armaments. Creator of Cragside in Northumberland, the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, he was the first scientist to be raised to the peerage (1887). He was described in obituaries as 'Newcastle's greatest citizen' and 'the inventor of modern artillery'. Critical of the wasteful use of fossil fuels, he advocated widespread use of renewable energy. An influential philanthropist, he was the principal founder of Newcastle University.
22. Do you consider that the event will attract press interest?:
23. If yes, please summarise up to 4 key points you think will be of press interest:
1. William Armstrong was one of the key British figures of the Victorian era, especially in northeast England. Evidence of his achievements survives all over the region, and the bicentenary of his birth in 2010 generated huge local interest. 2. Trevor Fox is one of the most prominent Geordie actors of his generation, collaborating with Lee Hall, and appearing in Billy Elliott, The Pitman Painters, Our Friends in the North, KIng Lear, and many other notable productions. He is physiologically and psychologically well suited to play Armstrong. 3. Newcastle promotes itself as a science city, and no one did more to put it on the scientific and technological map than Armstrong. 4. The event gives Newcastle University, marking its 50th year as an independent institution, a chance to celebrate the memory of its original founder.
24. Do you have any other comments you would like to make or information you would like to include?:
Henrietta Heald, the event organiser, is a writer and historian, the author of William Armstrong, Magician of the North, the first full-scale biography of this extraordinary man. The book has been shortlisted for the H. W. Fisher Best First Biography Prize and the Portico Prize 2012. Henrietta will seek a grant from Newcastle University to cover the costs of presenting this event.
I am the event manager:
I am the event manager
2. Event Manager First Name:
4. Event Manager Address line 1:
15 Cloudesley Square
5. Event Manager Address line 2:
7. Event Manager Postcode:
8. Event Manager Telephone number:
9. Event Manager Email address:
10. Which of the following areas of science does your event best fit into?:
3. Event Manager Surname:
11. Do you have a preferred day for your event to take place on?:
Sunday 8 September 2013