Sandy's Row Synagogue, 4a Sandy's Row London
Spiro Ark, JEECS and Vallentine Mitchell are proud to present:
In the programme:
• The author Anthony J. Dunn on his fascinating findings on Wolf Mankowitz's life & work.
• Bernard Kops (Playwright) - Personal memories of Wolf Mankowitz
• Book Signing
• Interval - Light refreshments
• Film Screening "A Kid for two Farthings"
Wolf Mankowitz's life saw a meteoric rise. From being the only son of a Russian Jewish immigrant who ran a shop in the East End, Wolf emerged from a childhood of poverty to study at Cambridge University. He subsequently became a well-known author, playwright & film screen writer. Wolf's book "A Kid for two Farthings" includes many biographical elements. Films based on his scripts include "The Millionairess", starring Peter Sellers & Sophia Loren which was nominated for a Bafta and "Expresso Bongo" a satire on the pop-music industry starring Laurence Harvey and Cliff Richard. In 2010 an article in the Guardian under the title "To Russia with Love" revealed that Wolf Mankowitz was once suspected of being involved in espionage.
The Worlds of Wolf Mankowitz describes and evaluates the rich and varied writing life of this East End Jewish born novelist, playwright, film-script writer, journalist and visual artist. A prominent figure in the post-war cultural life of London, as the author of Make Me an Offer, A Kid for Two Farthings, The Bespoke Overcoat and Expresso Bongo, as well as numerous contributions to television and radio, he also scripted James Bond movies and was one of the owners of the Pickwick Club, a favoured meeting-place for new stars such as Michael Caine and Terry Stamp.
The book also emphasises Mankowitz's continued creativity when he moved, for tax and health reasons, to Ireland in the early 1970s. The astute wit of his short film The Hebrew Lesson (1972), thoroughly researched biographies of Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Dickens, and stylish fictions about Houdini (The Magic Cabinet of Dr. Smucker, 1988), the Surrealists (Exquisite Cadaver, 1990) and Casanova (A Night with Casanova, 1991), as well as his own collage creations, are evidence of Mankowitz's persistent intellectual curiosity. He died in Ireland in 1998 aged 73, and this book argues that the time has now come to reassess the reputation of this prolific and multi-talented Jewish writer.
ANTHONY J. DUNN: Anthony J. Dunn was educated at St. Francis Xavier's College, Liverpool and at King's College, London where he read English and American Literature. After a period teaching English at the British Council and the Orientale University in Naples, he taught English at various secondary schools and colleges in London, and then, for thirty years, at Portsmouth University. His research specialisms are in American Modernism and Post-War British Theatre and he has published essays on, among others, Ezra Pound, D. H. Lawrence, Henry James and Howard Barker and well as on more general topics such as Aesthetics and Politics in the 1970s and British Theatre in the 1980s. He retired in 2004 but retains a post at Portsmouth as Visiting Principal Lecturer in English.