Towards the end of April, two parties of Patrons of the Edward Alleyn Statue Appeal visited the foundry of AB Fine Art at Limehouse to see the life-size statue, scaled up in clay from the maquette. As can be seen from the photographs, there is a great deal more detail on the clothes worn by the young Alleyn, and the faces of the Founder and the poor boy are finely detailed, features which could not be adequately expressed on the maquette. Louise Simson, the artist explained that she referred to the Alleyn portrait for the personal likeness, and in deference to expressing him as a younger man, omitted his beard.
The life-size clay model is now being cut up into sections, from which moulds will be made and then each will be individually cast in bronze, and the whole reassembled and welded together.
It was right that the ring worn by the figure of Edward Alleyn should be as accurate as possible and to achieve this, the Master of Dulwich College, Graham Able who is custodian of Alleyn's signet ring (and wears it to Chapel Services), went to the foundry to press the ring into the clay. The breeches depicted on the figure were given added texture by a class of James Allen's Girls' School pupils pressing their fingers into clay! It was therefore appropriate that the remaining Dulwich Foundation School - Alleyn's should also have a role in the making of the statue and this was filled by Alleyn's School's Chairman of Governors, Raymond Cousins who made a close inspection of the work in progress (see photograph) as well as assessing the foundations required for the statue and plinth in his professional capacity as a structural engineer.
In the Spring Term, pupils from year 6 of Alleyn's Junior School gave an entertaining and accurate performance of the life of Edward Alleyn, from a script written by a parent, with each pupil getting the chance to play Alleyn! Further interest in Edward Alleyn among children was aroused by a clever game devised by Janet Whittaker as part of the Dulwich Festival which covered 400 years of Dulwich history from the time of his purchase of the Manor of Dulwich.
The Edward Alleyn Statue will be unveiled by Tessa Jowell on Saturday 8 October. There will be a tribute paid to Alleyn and his legacy by the National Theatre actor Julian Glover who is a former pupil of Alleyn's School. Full details of this event will appear in the autumn issue of the Newsletter.