Vivien Leigh Night

by The Luminaries Magazine 4 Culture, Social Impact & Community in Wokingham, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Vivien Leigh Night

£280

raised so far

13

supporters

To crowdfund our Vivien Leigh collaborative arts & culture night celebrating #VivNight - journalism, film, fashion, heritage & museums.

by The Luminaries Magazine 4 Culture, Social Impact & Community in Wokingham, Berkshire, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 11th May 2022 we'd raised £205 with 9 supporters in 54 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.


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Vivien Leigh in her Oscar-winning Role as Scarlet O'Hara

Important Update

Update to Our Vivien Leight Night as May the 11th. The show must go on, even though we have not reached our target just yet! As the editor and presenter of this show, I had to take a break to deal with health and family issues after the sad death of my mum from cancer, dementia and IBD. I am now so excited about the evening and the opportunity to research and explore Vivien's life in film, theatre, fashion and Devon! Keith Lodwick is taking the place of Mike Owen, as Mike has had to withdraw for personal reasons. I hope to involve Mike and his connection to Angus McBean in an extended project.  Please share this wonderful, authentic and intimate evening + giveaway prizes and QandA with friends, family and fellow Vivien enthusiasts. You can still buy a  ticket to the show here by making a donation of £20 or more. Or you can donate to receive a professionally edited version of the show. We can also invoice for more ticket options. Please email me at the magazine - [email protected] The more money we raise, the more time I can spend researching and filming Vivien's Devon connection and creating a one of a kind piece of storytelling for you to treasure forever.  Here's to our Hollywood Night In - Do dress up for the occasion, AJ, Shelley, Keith, Vicky and Rachel. May 2022.

Fabulous good news flash for lovers of film, fashion and Vivien Leigh.  Welcome to our one of a kind, crowdfunded, online and recorded Vivien Leigh #VivNight cultural soiree and fundraising event.  I'm AJ, the journalist and editor of The independent arts and culture publication - The Luminaries Magazine and I will be presenting this live and online, recorded Vivien Leigh Soiree with former V&A Theatre and Stage Curator and stellar Vivien Leigh expert Keith Lodwick, Fashion Historians Shelley Tobin and Victoria Haddock, Rachel Stephens from Topsham Museum. I will be live from Topsham Museum, Devon, on Sunday, May the 22nd from 7 pm until 9 pm.

The Vivien Leigh Soiree Rewards and Giveaways

All ticket holders will have access to the live show, to hear me in conversation with our experts,  QandA at the close of the show, plus a donated prize giveaway which includes a Winser London iconic silk pussycat bow blouse worth £259.00. We will also have some books on Vivien to giveaway TBA. Everyone who pledges will also have their name added to the edited version of the show as a public thank you. You can let us know what you would like us to add. 

Our Donated Prize Giveaway, Courtesy of Winser London

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Yasmin Le Bon in the Iconic Winser London Silk Pussycat Bow Blouse - the blouse comes in a rainbow of colours including Hollywood Red, Black, Ivory and Rhubarb.

I'm delighted to announce that  Winser London is donating one iconic silk pussycat bow blouse from their current collection as a prize for our #VivNight backers with an RRP of £259.00. The blouse is the epitome of luxury, feminine power and ladylike allure. It is available in colours ranging from rhubarb pink to classic black and Hollywood red.  Many celebrated women have worn their own version of the pussycat bow blouse from Vivien Leigh herself to Margaret Thatcher, Natalie Wood, Lauren Bacall and Winser London's gorgeous muse, Yasmin Le Bon. The winner of the blouse will be announced towards the end of the show. There is no cash alternative, the editor's decision is final. Winser London is able to send the blouse to backers in the UK, US and Australia, but sadly not the EU, thanks to Brexit.

The recorded show will be professionally edited and with sufficient funding, I will be transforming it into a timeless mini-documentary and podcast for you to treasure and keep. So if you can't attend live on Sunday the 22nd, please support the production and recording which will be sent to your email.

More About our Vivien Leigh Evening

 During this intimate, evocative and fascinating evening, I will set out to explore and celebrate the Secret Life of one of the most talented film and stage actresses of all time with four experts as I examine Vivien Leigh's life through the lens of film, the stage, fashion, costume, iconic photography and family diaries in a part of England Vivien felt right at home in. 

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Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier in Fire Over England. This was the role that opened the door to Hollywood for Vivien. 

For the past twenty-five years, I have specialised in interviewing and writing about cultural icons for newspapers and magazines in the UK including The Times, Sunday Times, Country Life, You, The Lady, The Illustrated London News Group, Red, The Independent and now The Luminaries. Today, Vivien Leigh is my stellar subject as I explore her coruscating life and contribution to film, theatre, fashion and costume in a truly collaborative event showcasing made in Britain talent across journalism, fashion history and costume, photography and our wonderful museums. 

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The scarlet dress with embellished bodice Vivien Leigh Wore to the Richard The Third Opening with Lawrence Olivier.

Our Hostess for the Evening

Rachel Nichols who helps to manage the Topsham Museum with a team of volunteers will be joining me for the show. She has a wealth of fascinating insights into Viv's personality and personal tastes to share gleaned from family intimate diaries, rare couture treasures and intriguing family mementoes including the celebrated Gone With the Wind silk nightdress, a  work of art Balmain couture gown and Vivien's plush velvet seat from the St James's Theatre London, rescued before the beloved theatre was demolished to be replaced by an office block.

Keith Lodwick - Former Curator  of Theatre and Screen Arts at the  V&A  

 My expert guests include - Keith Lodwick former curator of Theatre and  Screen Arts at The V&A Museum London, together with costume historians Shelley Tobin and Victoria Haddock, two fashion historians living and working in Devon who are experts on the star's film and fashion legacy in the county and on the global stage.

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Vivien Leigh  as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind

Testimonial

"If you want to be sure you're on top of every "must-see" film, drama or series don't miss the Luminaries Magazine Magic Film and Drama Review, they are extraordinarily relevant and of rare quality. I  work in pr and before I join important meetings I make sure I read through The Luminaries -  it's like  The Week for film, drama and radio that helps me stay on top of everything even when my schedule doesn't allow full viewings. Thank you to AJ and the team for  always being there."

Nina Cihak, Winser London

Throughout my career in national newspapers and magazines in the UK, I  have interviewed and featured several hundred icons in long-form interviews with Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Rose Byrne, Keira Knightley, Clive Owen, Sir  David Attenborough, Elizabeth McGovern, Brian May, Hugh Bonneville, Ted Danson, Simon Callow and Naomi Watts and many more. I am now immersed in researching Vivien's career and life from her childhood in Darjeeling and Surrey to the role that led to Hollywood and her immortal performance in Gone with the Wind, A Street Car Named Desire and That Hamilton Woman.

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Topsham Museum Twinkling at Night

Crowdfunded tickets to this unmissable, collaborative arts and culture show are available here for £20. Student and concession tickets £15.00. 

 All patrons will also receive a professionally edited version of the show with additional imagery. Please note that if we raise sufficient money, I would also like to record additional footage with Shelley and at the Two Bridges Hotel where Vivien met her first husband at a ball in 1931.   All proceeds will go towards our show production costs and to a fashion conservation fund at Topsham Museum to conserve the intricate scarlet dress with an embellished bodice, Vivien wore to the Richard 111 premiere in 1949  with her husband Sir Lawrence Olivier.


Caesar and Cleopatra

So, are you ready to be transported to Topsham and discover fascinating facts about Vivien's early life, education and accomplishments and her unstoppable quest not just to act, but to become a great actress?  Did you know that Vivien, the Oscar-winning star of Gone with the Wind and A Street Car Named Desire had a below the radar love affair with the quintessentially English county of Devon, after meeting her first husband Leigh Holman, a handsome barrister, at a ball held at The Two Bridges Hotel on Dartmoor in 1931?

Reader, she married him less than a year later. After five years of marriage, she ran off with Lawrence Olivier, though she and her former husband remained close to the end of her life.

Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando in a Streetcar Named Desire

As a journalist writing about icons, film and fashion, I can't wait to discuss Vivien's patronage of the great couturiers of the thirties, forties and fifties including  Dior, Mainbocher, Harald, Lanvin and Molyneux. Along with the Gone with the Wind silk nightdress, Topsham has a stunningly intricate late forties dress with silver, gold and blue sequin embellished bodice and panelled ruby skirt. Viv wore the dress to the opening of Lawrence Olivier's Richard the 111 at The New Theatre in 1949. This is the dress we are raising money to conserve with your help.

The Silk Nightdress Vivien Wore as Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind

Topsham Museum near Exeter was founded by Viv's sister-in-law Dorothy Holman. Originally, the elegant former Merchant's house was Dorothy's home. The museum houses some wonderful memorabilia connected to  Vivien's Leigh career in Hollywood, including the Gone with the Wind silk nightdress. Vivien's daughter Suzanne gave the nightdress to her aunt for the museum and there is a fascinating story to tell about this iconic piece of fashion and film memorabilia.

Topsham Museum in Devon Founded by Dorothy Holman, Sister-in-law to Vivien Leigh

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind

More about our interview guests

Keith Lodwick -  

Keith Lodwick is a film and theatre historian. He is the former Curator of Theatre and Screen Arts at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Keith curated the V&A touring exhibition Vivien Leigh: Public Faces, Private Lives and has written extensively about Vivien Leigh and her life and work. Keith was the V&A curator for the major V&A exhibition Hollywood Costume, one of the most successful exhibitions in the museum’s history. Keith has contributed to the following publications: Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes (2010); Oliver Messel: In the Theatre of Design (2011); Hollywood Costume (2012); Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2015); Vivien Leigh: Actress and Icon (2017), Shoe Reels: The History and Philosophy of Footwear in Film (2020). Keith has appeared in several television programmes including BBC TV’s Secrets of the Museum Series 1 and 2 (2020 - 21) and advised for numerous documentaries including Vivien Leigh autant en emporte le vent (2020) for French TV Arte.

Shelley Tobin is the Costume Curator of the Vivien Leigh Collection at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter ( RAMM) and she will be talking about Vivien's sublime taste in couture clothes and attention to detail and the special pieces of clothing donated by Leigh's daughter Suzanne to the museum.  

Fellow costume historian Victoria Haddock works as the collections officer on the SS Great Britain and she has spoken and written widely on Vivien. She will discuss Vivien's love and appreciation for fashion and haute couture and how this is reflected in some of her most iconic film roles.

Iconic Photographer Mike Owen -  Mike has been a leading fashion, portrait and music photographer for over 30 years. He assisted Angus McBean who photographed Vivien Leigh and he is celebrated for his beautiful use of light which is inspired by the golden age in film. Mike and AJ have collaborated on AJ's iconic interviews and fashion stories with - Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, Catherine Walker, Anna Friel, Kim Cattrall, Olivia  Williams, James Frain, Clive Owen, La Perla and many more.  

The evening will conclude with a Q and A with our interview guests and a prize giveaway for our audience including a physical and digital prize for supporters in far-flung places!

The Fascinating Connection Between Film Star Vivien Leigh and Topsham, Devon

A specially edited and expanded version of this live culture show on Vivien Leigh will be created and edited after recording the show with additional images and special features. It will be sent to our crowdfunding supporters first as a timed exclusive to treasure. Any questions, please email the editor, Alison Jane at  - [email protected]

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Dorothy Holman, Vivien Leigh's Sister-in-law, and the founder of Topsham Museum.

We can't wait to welcome you to this live Vivien Leigh Soiree.

Please use the hashtag #VivNight #VivienLeighSoiree and follow us on our social media channels and please share this wonderful event far and wide so that quality independent magazine journalism can thrive along with our museums and heritage.

Important Info

Backers to our show will be sent their Zoom link to join the evening at the beginning of May.

If you buy the VIP ticket to come to the show in person, you will be contacted about the schedule for the evening in April. Feel free to dress up not down in a manner that Viv would love!

If you can't make the virtual show on the  22nd, support the event and receive a  professionally edited version of the show with additional imagery sent to your inbox as a marvellous Vivien Leigh Documentary of her Life in Fashion, Film and Devon.


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Alison Jane, Rachel Nichols, Keith Lodwick,  Mike Owen, Shelley Tobin and Victoria Haddock.

Important Info

Note from AJ, the presenter of this event. I have deliberately opted for five guest experts so that we are covered if anyone gets Covid or becomes too ill to take part. We reserve the right to substitute any of the guests except Rachel Nichols ( as she will also manage our visit) due to illness, war or plague! Should Rachel be taken ill, we will reschedule the event for the earliest possible new date as Rachel will be overseeing our event at the museum.


The Luminaries Magazine

Topsham Museum

Royal Albert Memorial Museum Exeter

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£20 or more

The Luminaries Magazine Vivien Leigh Night Ticket

Ticket to the one of a kind live, online Vivien Leigh arts & culture night featuring Topsham Museum, celebrating Vivien's life & career in film, theatre, fashion & her fascinating connection to Devon. Interviews with the curator at Topsham, fashion and costume historians Shelley Tobin & Vicky Haddock & iconic photographer Mike Owen. Plus Q&A & donated prize giveaway + recording of the edited show sent to your email. 10% donated to Topsham Museum.

£15 or more

Vivien Leigh Night Student Ticket

Student ticket to the one of a kind live, online Vivien Leigh arts & culture night featuring Topsham Museum, celebrating Vivien's life & career in film, theatre, fashion & her fascinating connection to Devon. Interviews with the curator at Topsham, fashion and costume historians Shelley Tobin & Vicky Haddock & iconic photographer Mike Owen. Plus Q&A & donated prize giveaway + recording of the edited show sent to your email.

£15 or more

Vivien Leigh Concession Ticket

Concession ticket to the one of a kind live, online Vivien Leigh arts & culture night featuring Topsham Museum, celebrating Vivien's life & career in film, theatre, fashion & her fascinating connection to Devon. Interviews with the curator at Topsham, fashion and costume historians Shelley Tobin & Vicky Haddock & iconic photographer Mike Owen. Plus Q&A & donated prize giveaway + recording of the edited show sent to your email.

£20 or more

Shelley Tobin Supporters Vivien Leigh Night Ticket

Ticket to one of a kind, intimate live & recorded Vivien Leigh arts & culture night featuring Topsham Museum Devon. Celebrating Vivien's life & career in film, theatre, fashion and her fascinating connection to Devon. Interviews with the curator at Topsham, fashion & costume historians Shelley Tobin & Vicky Haddock and iconic photographer Mike Owen. Plus Q&A + donated prize giveaway+copy of show. 30% donated to Topsham Museum minus card charges.

£20 or more

Victoria Haddock Viv Night Supporters Ticket

Ticket to the one of a kind, intimate live and recorded Vivien Leigh arts and culture night from Topsham, Devon celebrating Vivien's life and career in film, theatre, fashion and her fascinating connection to Devon. Interviews with the curator at Topsham, fashion and costume historian Shelley Tobin and Vicky Haddock and iconic photographer Mike Owen. Plus Q and A and donated prize giveaway. 30% of fee after card charges donated to Topsham Museum.

£30 or more

Vivien Leigh Soiree Ticket VIP

Ticket to the one of a kind live & recorded Vivien Leigh arts & culture night Topsham, Devon celebrating Vivien's life and career in film, theatre, fashion & her fascinating connection to Devon. Interviews with the curator at Topsham, fashion and costume historian Shelley Tobin & Vicky Haddock & iconic photographer Mike Owen. Plus Q&A + donated prize giveaway. Plus support additional research+ production for expanded video + name in credits.

£250 or more

Vivien Leigh Night VIP Front Row Ticket

Be one of just two people who get to assist our editor AJ, and watch the Vivien Leigh Night Soiree at the Topsham Museum Devon, as it happens. Plus meet the in-person interview guests, a recording of the show and entry to our donated prize giveaway. 25% of fee after card charges donated to Topsham Museum Viv Restoration Fund.

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