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ON DEMAND Virginia & Vita: Love Letters

Digital talk

Tuesday 16 Feb 12:00AM – Sunday 14 Mar 11:59PM
Tickets: £7.50

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(L to R): Lauren John Joseph © Eivind Hansen and Pearl Mackie. 


Eavesdrop on the affair between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West and explore and celebrate their relationship at a digital event featuring Alison Bechdel in conversation with Leena Normington, plus readings at Charleston by Lauren John Joseph and Pearl Mackie.

In her introduction to the new collection of their correspondence – Love Letters: Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-WestAlison Bechdel, cartoonist and inventor of the ‘Bechdel Test’, considers the impact of ‘one of the great literary love affairs of all time’, chronicled here in ‘a narrative that’s already as gripping as a well-plotted novel’.

Bechdel’s conversation is interspersed with a chance to see these intimate and playful letters and diary entries brought to life at Charleston by artist and writer Lauren John Joseph, who reads as Vita, and actor Pearl Mackie who reads as Virginia. 

Discover the affair that inspired Woolf to write her most fantastical novel, Orlando, and a relationship that – even a hundred years later – feels radical and relatable.



Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel is the author of two internationally acclaimed graphic memoirs, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic and Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama. Fun Home was a New York Times bestseller and was named a Best Book of the 21st Century by the Guardian, was adapted to a broadway musical which won five Tony Awards and is currently being adapted for cinema. In 2014 she was named as one of the recipients of the MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award.

Lauren John Joseph is a writer and performer. They have presented performance work at the Royal Opera House; Deutsche Oper; Bristol Old Vic and Barbican. Their novel, “At Certain Points We Meet”, will be published by Bloomsbury in March 2022.

Pearl Mackie is best known for her starring role as Bill Potts opposite Peter Capaldi in the BBC’s beloved sci-fi series Doctor Who. Most recently Pearl shot survival thriller feature Horizon Line for STXfilms and SF Studios opposite Allison Williams – she also filmed starring role in independent Dystopian feature The Deal, directed by Orsi Nagypal. Recently aired work includes playing Lucy One in Friday Night Dinner opposite Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig for Channel 4. Pearl trained at Bristol Old Vic. 

Leena Normington is a poet, podcaster and booktuber. She has worked in the publishing industry for seven years, including stints at Icon Books, Pan Macmillan, Telegraph Books and Penguin Random House.


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