FEATURES: GENEVIEVE IN ART BY PAUL DOVE

'First to Westminster Bridge' Scene from the 1953 film 'Genevieve'. Acrylic on canvas, 120cm x 90cm
‘First to Westminster Bridge’ Scene from the 1953 film ‘Genevieve’. Acrylic on canvas, 120cm x 90cm

We have the great pleasure of sharing this wonderful artwork by Paul Dove, depicting scenes from ‘Genevieve’, one of Kenny’s most successful films.

Paul is an incredibly talented artist and Kenny is one of his favourite actors. Paul has managed to capture the style and flare of the original film in vibrant colours!

‘Genevieve’ The classic 1953 film featuring the London to Brighton run. Oil on canvas, 120cm x 90cm

Paul Dove is an internationally acclaimed, prize winning artist, with paintings featured in prestigious collections all around the world.

Working mainly in Acrylic or Oils, Paul’s love of Motor Racing is expressed in atmospheric, colourful and dramatic action filled paintings, while still retaining a great attention to detail.

He is also happy to paint other subjects including, portraits, maritime, aviation, TV/Films, etc. Paul’s professional career started when he won the prestigious 4th International Motoring Art competition sponsored by Maserati. The judges included, Sir Stirling Moss, Roy Salvadori, Derek Bell, Jackie Oliver, Paul Stewart and the actor Rowan Atkinson.

Paul has exhibited his artwork at many motor racing events, including Race Retro, Monaco, Goodwood and Silverstone.

Paul’s website features a selection of his original paintings and limited edition, fine art prints for sale.

‘Genevieve’ artwork copyright of Paul Dove

FEATURES: KENNETH MORE AND HIS LOVE OF VICTORIA COLLEGE, JERSEY

Kenneth More at Victoria College school in Jersey. Courtesy of Victoria College
Kenneth More at Victoria College school in Jersey. Courtesy of Victoria College

Kenny’s happiest schooling was his time at Victoria College, Jersey, where he lived with his family whilst his father, Bertie, was managing part of the Jersey Railway.

Kenny had previously suffered the isolation and misery of boarding school in Worthing, only coming to an end when he caught mumps and his sister, Kate, contracted Diphtheria.

Victoria College was the complete antithesis of his boarding school days and was full of bright, happy memories. Incidentally, Kenny performed in J.M. Barrie’s The Admirable Crichton at the school. Little did he know he would later play Crichton in both the screen adaptation and stage musical.

In later years when Kenny had become a star he made sure the college was not forgotten for the happiness it had brought him.

The first of these gifts was an oil painting. Kenny was a keen collector of art and antiques, and this portrait of King Charles I was once owned by him. He donated it to the college in 1957 where it still hangs to this day in their great hall.

King Charles I at His Trial, Wearing the Garter Ribbon by Edward Bower. Image credit Victoria College, Jersey

The second gift began in 1962 with the establishment of the annual Kenneth More Prize for Drama. The prize continues to this day and acts as a lasting legacy of his time at the school and his achievement of becoming one of Britian’s greatest stars.

Kenneth More’s school ruler
Kenneth More’s Victoria College tie

Victoria College, Jersey began in 1852, with its Preparatory School opening in 1922. Discover more on the school here: http://www.victoriacollege.je/

With thanks to Victoria College for their support.

FEATURES: FROM THE ARCHIVES: THE STORY BEHIND A HANS HOLBEIN PRINT IN KENNETH MORE’S STUDY

Not many people know that Kenneth More was distantly related to Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) who was Chancellor to Henry VIII, and Lord High Chancellor of England from 1529 to 1532, he was put to death for ‘maliciously denying the royal Supremacy’, when Henry VIII was married to his second wife, Anne Boleyn. He was subsequently maid a martyr by the Catholic Church and became a Saint.

The print above was a copy of a preparatory drawing of a larger portrait pained by German artist Hans Holbein.

Kenneth More kept this print in his study throughout his life and it now resides win the late actor’s archives.

When Kenneth More passed away, his memorial booklet included a quote from Sir Thomas More on the cover: ‘Pray for me, and I shall pray for you and all your friends that we may merrily meet in heaven.’

FEATURES: FROM THE ARCHIVES: KENNY’S CUFFLINKS

Kenny had a good collection of cufflinks in his lifetime. A few that remain in the archive are extra special ones which were given to him by his second wife Mabel (Billie) Barkby to commemorate the premiers of some of his most popular films.

Each set of cufflinks are inscribed with the film on the back, these include: ‘A Night to Remember’, ‘Sheriff of Fractured Jaw’, and ‘Sink the Bismarck!’.

Sheriff of Fractured Jaw inscribed on back of cufflink set

‘Sheriff of Fractured Jaw’ inscribed on back of cufflink set

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‘Sink the Bismarck’ inscribed on back of cufflink set

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‘A Night to Remember’ inscribed on side of cufflink set

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Kenneth More’s cufflinks box

FEATURES: FROM THE ARCHIVES: KENNY AND CHURCHILL

Having fought in the Second World War and seen action on board two Royal Navy ships, HMS Aurora, and later HMS Victorious, Kenny, like many others of his generation was a great admirer of Sir Winston Churchill who had led British allied forces.

Angela More remembers how Kenny was recovering from the flu at the time Churchill’s funeral service was being televised: “he shed tears.”

Kenny had been playing on stage in Our Man Crichton as he recalls in his autobiography, ‘More or Less’:

‘On the week of Churchill’s funeral, business was very bad. People stayed away from the theatre because their thoughts were about the death of a man who had for so long symbolised so much that was fine in our country. But the show had to go on, although on the Wednesday matinée I saw I was singing this ballad to a house three-quarters empty.’

Though he never met him Churchill, Kenny kept a collection of Churchill’s memoirs (see below) and a copy of Lord Moran’s ‘Churchill: The Struggle For Survival’. He also purchased two silver coins in 1965 which were released by Royal Mint to commemorate the passing of Churchill. These items go some way in showing how much Kenny revered him.

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Kenneth More's personal collection of Churchill's official memoirs

Kenneth More’s personal collection of Churchill’s official memoirs

 

 

 

FEATURES: FROM THE ARCHIVES: MORE ON CANVAS

Kenneth More painting by Ricky Poole/Stage Golfing Society

Kenneth More painting by Ricky Poole/Stage Golfing Society

In his time Kenneth More had many portraits made of him in various mediums. This acrylic painting on canvas by artist Ricky Poole was made for the Stage Golfing Society who subsequently donated it to the Kenneth More Theatre/Redbridge Theatre Company. With their departure from the KM Theatre in 2019 it was kindly gifted to the estate of the late actor and sits pride and place amongst the collection of items relating to Kenny. It is the hope that in time to come it will feature in a major exhibition of Kenneth More’s life.

Ricky Poole has done a wonderful job of capturing More during the 1950’s, from the collar of the shirt pulled up, to his contemplative expression, and even perfecting his widow’s peak hairline. Though the painting has aged after many years the colours are still vivid, even down to the flecks of bright paint making up the checkered pattern of the short sleeved shirt.

Ultimately it depicts Kenny at the high of his success with his life ahead of him, and for that it remains a cherished portrait of one of our greatest stars.

 

 

NEWS: SCREENING OF REACH FOR THE SKY ON 20TH JANUARY AT THE KENNETH MORE THEATRE

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The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II.

The Kenneth More Theatre celebrates the life and work of the one and only Kenneth More, one of Britain’s most successful stars. This is a rare opportunity to see him on the big screen, in his most iconic role, as real life fighter pilot Douglas Bader, in the immortal British screen classic ‘Reach For The Sky’ (1956).

Programme supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery.

Join the The Good Company Film Club at the Kenneth More Theatre on 20th January 2020 at 11am (ends at 12:30pm).

All tickets £5

Click here to book

NEWS: THE KENNETH MORE TABLE AT JOE ALLEN, LONDON

Joe Allen in London. Image credit: Joe Allen

What better way to celebrate Kenny’s birthday than to raise a glass to him! KenenthMore.com is proud to have worked with the famous theatreland restaurant, Joe Allen in creating a Kenneth More table, featuring pictures from his career and two from Kenny’s personal collection; meeting the Queen Mother, and separately Prince Charles at the Battle of Britain premiere.

Joe Allen in Covent Garden was first opened in 1977, a sister restaurant to the original New York site. It was named after its owner and creator, a man dedicated to delivering fantastic dining experiences. Set in a venue adorned with the best theatre memorabilia, Joe Allen is the Covent Garden Brasserie for theatre-goers, locals and visitors alike.

Because it was started by actors, producers and directors looking to woo the West End’s latest and greatest productions, Joe Allen quickly became known as the ‘West End’s Canteen’, with famous faces from all industries often spotted among the posters.

Kenny’s daughter Sarah More recalled being taken there by her father back in the day, so the introduction of a table featuring pictures displayed in his memory makes this table extra special to dine at.

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NEWS: MAJOR INTERVIEW ON KENNETH MORE ON THE FILM PROGRAMME, BBC RADIO 4

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Kenneth More at BBC Broadcasting House in the 1960s. Image credit: BBC

Wife of Kenneth More, Angela Douglas, and our founder, Nick Pourgourides, were guests on BBC Radio 4’s flagship movie programme, The Film Programme, with presenter Antonia Quirke. This special feature aired to mark the anniversary of Kenny’s birth.

Listen back to the interview here

With thanks to Antonia Quirke and Stephen Hughes