Covering Shakespeare - and McKellen: David Weston talks about, and performs, cameos from the literature of the Bard and discusses his new book ‘Covering McKellen’. Dulwich Society special lecture by Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre actor David Weston on Sunday 6th November at 3pm Linbury Room, Dulwich Picture Gallery. What they said about ‘Covering McKellen’

Shakespeare's greatest play, directed by the most experienced and acclaimed director in the land, starring one of our very finest actors at the very peak of his powers...”...What could possibly go wrong?

The stage is set for what promises to be one of the greatest tours in the history of theatre. Take a front row seat as a whole host of stars lead by Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Trevor Nunn set off to take the world by storm with their new production of King Lear - only to endure injuries, critical backlash and almost constant controversy.As understudy to the King himself, Weston’s frank and funny account takes us right through from the London rehearsals to the historical Stratford Season, back to the glittering West End, and then out across the globe.

Punctuated with hilarious celebrity anecdotes, insightful travelling tales, and lessons for any aspiring thespian, Weston deftly lifts the curtain on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s much heralded tour and reveals the chaos underneath.

‘Covering McKellen’ by David Weston, published by Rickshaw September 1st.

Dulwich Society member households free, but ticket required (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for ticket requirements). Non-members £10 (but includes a free 1 year membership of the Dulwich Society). Garden Group Outing

We were very lucky. It was a day of heavy showers but they all seemed to occur while we were on the coach. Our trip took us to Pashley Manor (at Lamberhurst).

The Manor is now owned by James Sellick, an ex Dulwich resident, who was delighted to see a party of us from Dulwich. Mr Sellick gave us a most interesting talk on the history of the house. We then spent some time looking around the gardens which were outstandingly good. We couldn’t find a single weed in any of the immaculately cut lawns. If you have never been there, it’s well worth a visit.

After lunch we drove on to Scotney Castle, where most of us visited both the ‘new’ house (built in 1837) as well as the garden. We were just too late in the season for the rhododendrons and azaleas but we had an enjoyable walk through beautiful parkland, followed by tea and needless to say, a visit to the shop.

Gallery Road Hedgerow Restoration

A welcome sight when drivers turn off the South Circular, the swathe of rural-style greenery that borders Gallery Road is about to get a major facelift. Restoration of the western side of the ancient hedgerow will take place in November, thanks to a £500 Dulwich Community Council grant and a further contribution from the Dulwich Society.

There are not many visual reminders of the pastoral landscape that once ringed London, but here, a handful of miles from St Paul’s, are the remnants of the hedgerow that separated the former mediaeval field networks from the country lane (Back Lane, now Gallery Road) that led into the village. Hedgerows have been in drastic decline since the end of the Second World War but here in Dulwich we are hoping to reverse the trend, with the help of London Wildlife Trust and teams of local volunteers. A range of native shrubs will add to the existing species, in a bid to breathe new life into this ancient, valuable hedge. Its location, alongside a busy road, will work in the scheme’s favour because, interestingly, hedgerows adjacent to roads tend to be particularly species-rich. The enhanced vegetation will also be an invaluable soaker-up of traffic pollutants.

The hedge on both sides of Gallery Road has been shown to contain a rich mix of 50 plant species, including several indicators of unimproved and never-developed land, according to a series of surveys by Roy Vickery, chair of South London Botanical Institute and a former department head of the Natural History Museum. Linking Dulwich’s other bio-diverse green spaces, like Dulwich and Belair Parks, the hedge provides an important corridor for wildlife, including birds, bats, butterflies and other insects.

 Angela Wilkes Chair, Wildlife Committee