The NEWS...


JUST PUBLISHED!

A new edition of Brian's classic book, Shadowlands with a new introduction by the author and a Foreword by Alistair McGrath...


ORDER your copy here.

ON THE BOX

TWO WEEKS to go and COUNTING!

Brian's new book The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Official Movie Guide will be published in hardback and paperback in early November...


ORDER your copy here.


Brian was featured on the cover of July issue of The Magic Circular, the magazine of The Magic Circle with a profile interview inside...


 One of Brian's vintage radio works had a recent airing on Radio 4 Extra...


John Bunyan's allegory on the journey of life, The Pilgrim's Progress, from This World to That Which is to Come, is framed within the story of the author's trials and periods of imprisonment for 'holding unlawful religious assemblies' that began in 1660 and lasted for twelve years. During that time, Bunyan (incarcerated in Bedford Gaol) penned his most famous work.

Anton Rodgers plays John Bunyan, Neil Dudgeon is Christian and the starry supporting cast includes Anna Massey, Alec McCowan, Don Warrington, Anna Massey, Peter Bowles and Derek Waring.


RECENT BOOKS!

Published on 6 November: the first of my Official Movie Guides to Peter Jackson's upcoming Tolkien trilogy, The Hobbit. Also available at an Apple iBook.
Click here to order your copy 

The fascinating, fact-filled, behind-scenes story of the making of Aardman Animation's most ambitious feature-length film, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (or for American readers, The Pirates! A Band of Misfits)
Click here to order your copy

THE HISTORY OF TITUS GROAN wins Award

Brian's six-part dramatisation of the 'Gormenghast' novels of Mervyn Peake, The History of Titus Groan was received the Best Adaptation Award in the inaugural BBC Audio Awards.

The award was presented by David Tennant. at a ceremony in the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House on Sunday 29 January,2012.

The judges described this as "a brilliant piece of radio drama. It was a hugely ambitious undertaking to adapt the darkly comic, surreal and visual world of Mervyn Peake's novels for sound and this adaptation is faithful to both the spirit and the landscape of the originals.
"


GHOSTS, MAGIC and HUMBUG!



Charles Dickens was a conjuror: he produced unforgettable characters and scenes out of thin air and made them an indelible part of national – and world – culture; but he was also a keen amateur magician who amazed his literary friends with his acts of legerdemain.

Dickens has now become inseparably associated with the Christmas season – largely as a result of his 1843 ghost story with a moral, A Christmas Carol.

The British Library is marking Charles Dickens' bicentenary with an exhibition examining the author's particular fascination with spooks and spectres, A Hankering after Ghosts: Charles Dickens and the Supernatural on display until
March 2012.

To coincide with the event, Brian Sibley and David Weeks presented two performances of A Christmas Carol and the Conjuror: a divertissement combining a reading by me of Dickens' famous text – as abridged and performed by the author in his Public Readings of 1858 – interspersed with magical interludes from David featuring a cavalcade of mystifying tricks inspired by Scrooge's saga.


THE HISTORY OF TITUS GROANAVAILABLE as DOWNLOAD...

Followers of Brian's recent cycle of radio plays (for more details, see below), may care to know that the complete six-hour series can now be purchased and downloaded from AudibleGo

ORDER HERE



From Sunday 10 July, for six weeks, BBC Radio 4 broadcast Brian's dramatisation, The History of Titus Groan, based on Mervyn Peake's trio of novels Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone with elements of the recently published Titus Awakes by Maeve Gilmore (see item below).

The cycle of radio plays began with 'Titus Arrives' in which Titus, the 77th Earl of Gormenghast is born to the royal house of Groan and the ruthlessly ambitious kitchen boy, Steerpike, makes a bid for freedom. Here are Carl Prekopp (left), as Steerpike, Hugo Docking,
(right), as young Titus and Luke Treadaway, (centre), as the narrator Titus. The series concludes on Sunday 14 August (repeated Saturday 20 at 21:00) with 'Titus Alive', concluding Mervyn Peake's Titus Alone and an episode from Maeve Gilmore's Titus Awakes.
 Steerpike and Titus x Two

The plays have featured a terrific cast including David Warner, Miranda Richardson, James Fleet, Adrian Scarborough, Paul Rhys, Mark Benton, William Gaunt, Tamsin Greig, Fenella Woolgar, Claudie Blakeley, Maureen Beattie and Gerard Murphy.

Here is Brian with members of the cast on the first day of recording...



The plays are now available for purchase on download.

The series' producer, Jeremy Mortimer, writes about project (with a sound clip of Brian talking about the production) on the BBC Radio 4 Blog.


The History of Titus Groan
by Mervyn Peake dramatised by Brian Sibley
Sundays 15:00-16:00 from 10 July-14 August

Repeated Saturdays 21:00-22:00 from 16 July-20 August

Photos: Islay Bell-Webb and David Hunter


On BBC Radio 4, Thursday 7 July a half-hour documentary, A Hundred Years of Mervyn Peake, explored the life of the artist and writer and, in particular, his connection with the island of Sark and its fictional counterparts in Peake's illustrations to Treasure Island (left), The Hunting of the Snark, Swiss Family Robinson and other works.

The programme is presented by Mervyn's son, Sebastian Peake, and features his brother and sister, Fabian and Clare as well as novelist, Joanne Harris and Gormenghast's dramatist, Brian Sibley.

You can listen to the programme again on BBC iPlayer until 14 July.

Titus Awakes by Maeve Gilmore based on a fragment by Mervyn Peake from Vintage Books (Random House) with an introduction by Brian Sibley

Mervyn Peake's widow, the late Maeve Gilmore, wrote a conclusion to her husband's cycle of novels about Titus Groan. Lost for many years, the book is now finally published to coincide with Mervyn Peake's centenary.


A one-on-one on-line interview with Brian talking with James Norris about his Worlds of Fantasy – from J R R Tolkien to J K Rowling, Lewis Carroll to C S Lewis, Ray Bradbury to Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens to Walt Disney and Winnie-the-Pooh to Wallace and Gromit.

Here's a Hollywood-style teaser...



You will be relieved to know that Brian is playing himself!

JUST OUT...

Brian appears on the Blu-ray 60th Anniversary Edition release of Walt Disney's 1951 animated feature, Alice in Wonderland in a fascinating 76-minute picture-in-picture documentary, Through the Keyhole: A Companion’s Guide to Wonderland.Also... Don't miss Brian's feature-length audio commentary on the Blu-ray release of Walt Disney's 1940 classic, Fantasia.

In HIS OWN WORDS
...


An on-line interview with Brian by Colin Duriez - appears on the Tolkien site, Festival in the Shire, touching various Tolkienesque topics such as the BBC radio serialisation of The Lord of the Rings and the Jackson movie trilogy as well as one or two others besides.



In PERSON
...


In a special event in association with the exhibition, The Surreal House at The Barbican Art Gallery Brian Sibley was in conversation 'On the Couch' with award-winning graphic artist, Bryan Talbot, on the subject of Lewis Carroll and surrealism.


As part of the exhibition, Ronald Searle: Graphic Master at
The Cartoon Museum, Brian Sibley recently gave a talk...

Collaborative Visions: The Illustrations of Ronald Searle





On the AIR...
Brian Sibley reviews the exhibition, Rude Britannia: British Comic Art, currently on show at Tate Britain on the BBC Radio 2 Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman on Friday 18 June at around 11:30 pm when he will also be heard in conversation with (right) legendary cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe.


BBC Radio 2 recently repeated it's six-part documentary series David Puttnam's Century of Cinema, presented by David Puttnam and Brian Sibley.

Originally broadcast in 1999 to celebrate the first 100 years of cinema, Brian and Lord Puttnam discuss the stars, the studio, the films and the filmmakers who made cinema the most powerful and universal form of popular entertainment.

The series featured interviews with, among many others, movie-icons Robert Redford, Margaret O'Brien, Michael Caine, Angela Lansbury, silent movie star, Anita Paige and, in the last interview before his death, Dirk Bogarde. Legendary names from behind the camera include writer/director Woody Allen, writer Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill), directors Stephen Spielberg, Fred Zimmerman (From Here to Eternity, A Man for All Seasons) and Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, The Day the Earth Stood Still) and, from archive, Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Capra.

To bring the story up to date, a new sixth programme was broadcast at the end of the series covering the ups and downs, triumphs and disasters of the past decade at the movies.

In the PAPERS...

The Lady, 12 May 2009, carried an article by Brian on the work of artist Norman Thelwell, famous for his Punch cartoons featuring little fat ponies and their little fat riders... Read the article here


The May 2009 edition of SFX carried an article by Damien McFerran in their 'Time Machine' column on the 1981 BBC radio dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings based on a lengthy interview with Brian giving the background to the making of the "timeless radio classic". You can read it here

A tribute to Ali Bongo by Brian appears in the May 2009 edition of Genii: The Conjurors' Magazine.

You can read it here




Brian was extensively quoted in a feature article by Alice Jones in The Independent about the creation of Cruella De Vil, 'How Cruella became a De Vil woman'.

And when the film that rocketed Cruella to stardom - Walt Disney's 101 Dalmatians - was added to the studio's Platinum Edition DVD series it featured an appearance by Brian on the accompanying 'extras'
More...


On the BOX...

Brian can also be seen on the extras to just-out 70th Anniversary DVD release, Pinocchio




At the MOVIES...

Brian is currently to be seen in a new documentary film, The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story which examines the career and the strained sibling relationship between songwriting brothers, Richard M Sherman and Robert Sherman.

The Sherman Brothers wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose and provided songs for countless Disney movies - Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Jungle Book, Winnie-the-Pooh to name but a few - as well as many of the Disneyland attractions such as 'It's A Small World'.

Here's a trailer for The Boys and you'll hear Brian's voice towards the end.

On the WEB...

Read Brian's entry on Wikipedia




Read Brian on the BBC Today website talking about Mickey Mouse at 80



Several of Brian's photographs of Venice are now appearing on the website of his favourite hotel in the city, Hotel Ala

In addition to those on the Home Page, others will be found on the pages devoted to 'Location' and 'Reservation'.

Now, scroll down here to the Galleries to see even more photos of this incomparable city.


Brian's new book of 50 Favourite Bible Stories (see below) is discussed on the Official Cliff Richard Website and the book gets a nice on-line review at The Good Bookstall



Read Brian's interview on Winnie-the-Pooh's iconic status on ICONS: A Portrait of England


Off the PRESS...

Out of print for several years, Brian's guide to J R R Tolkien's map-making will be republished on 28 May as The Road Goes Ever On and On: The map of Tolkien's Middle-earth.

The revised hardback edition will have new illustrations by John Howe as well as John's colour version of the map in a pocket at the back of the book.

On his web-site, the artist writes: "I did new black-and-white illustrations for the booklet, since I couldn't locate the ones I'd done for the first edition (they were pretty bad; had I located them, I might well have chucked them out and done new drawings anyway)."

You can order your copy here

A new paperback edition of Phantastes, George MacDonald's 1858 novel of the fantastic is published at £7.99 by Paternoster with Arthur Hughes' original illustrations and an introduction and annotations by Nick Page. The book carries endorsements from C S Lewis, W H Auden, G K Chesterton - and Brian Sibley who writes: 'Phantastes is a haunting, provocative and disquieting novel that links the dreams of medieval romance with the new awakenings of the Victorian era and - in opening a long-lost door to the realm of Faerie - stands as a daringly challenging forerunner to the modern fantasy novel.'


OTHER RECENT PUBLICATIONS...

WOW! 366: Mini writes from MASSIVE writers!

Brian is one of the authors represented in this unique anthology that is crammed with fantastic stories, each told in just 366 - that's as many words as there are days in this leap year!

Other contributors include Roddy Doyle, Michael Morpurgo, Charlie Higson, Anne Fine, Jeremy Strong, Nina Bawden, Ian Whybrow, Paul Stewart, Michael Bond, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Tom Fletcher from McFly... and that's just for starters.

Published in paperback at
£6.99, all profits go to the NSPCC.Brian's story has the further distinction of actually being about the number 366! Intrigued? Order now! It's in aid of a fine cause.

50 Favourite Bible Stories retold by Brian, illustrated by the brilliant young artist, Stephen Waterhouse and read on three CDs by Cliff Richard as part of the musical star's celebration of fifty years in show-biz

More...




The Golden Compass: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion Brian's book tells the behind-the-scenes story of The Golden Compass, the first film based on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

More...

And...
Mary Poppins: Anything Can Happen If You Let It This book chronicles the journey of everyone's favourite nanny from page to stage: P L Travers immortal character as she appeared in the original books, in Walt Disney's unforgettable film and, most recently on the Broadway and West End stage...

More...
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The BIOGRAPHY...


The LIFE and TIMES
Brian Sibley's biography: all you've never needed to know!
More...


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The WORKS...
The BOOKS

The BACK-STORY
How (and Why) those books got written
More...



The BOOK-LIST
All the Sibley tomes and volumes brought to book -- and listed!
More...



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The SHOWS

The SHOW REPORT
The back-stage, off-air story of Brian Sibley's shows and programmes
More...




The PRODUCTION NOTES
A full schedule of the Sibley output for stage, radio and television
More...



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The RECORDINGS

The FILM-LIST
Sibley appearances and commentaries on DVD
More...


The TRACK-LIST
Sibley Works on CD and Cassette
More...
 
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The GALLERIES...

A series of Photo-Essays by Brian Sibley & David Weeks


The VENICE ALBUMS

Venice Observed View...

Snapping the Cliché-Ridden View...
 

Venice: The Bizarre Bazaar View...

Observed by Venice View...


MORE ALBUMS COMING SOON!

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The FEATURES...


The Ring Goes Ever OnThe Making of the BBC Lord of the Rings
More...

The Bradbury Machine
Sci-Fi legend, Ray Bradbury, talks about his life and books...
More
...And Yet Another Partridge in a Pear Tree
The script of Brian's popular Christmas monologue
More...

Meeting Mr Wonka
Memories of encountering Roald Dahl
More...



How I Got Walt Disney's Autograph

A book-collector's dream story
More...

Remembering the Bear Necessities
Recollections of Disney's The Jungle Book
More...


Heaven on Earth
In Praise of Emporios on the Island of Kalymnos
More...


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The BLOGS...

Brian Sibley: the blog
Random Thoughts on the Ups-and-Downs & Round-Abouts
of the Carousel of Life

More...


Brian Sibley's Likely Stories
A Collection of Terrible Tales and
Freaky Fables

More...



Ex Libris: Brian Sibley
Volumes taken at idle moments
from my bookshelves

More...




Window Gazing
A gallery of images looking at, into,
or out of windows...
More...



button's blog: a rabbit's ramblingsmemorable photo-moments from his globe-hopping life
More...

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Original images © Brian Sibley and David Weeks, 2008/13
All rights reserved