Fedden, Mary (3 of 7).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2004-11-08, 2005-04-11

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Fedden, Mary, 1915-2012 (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 3: Tape 2: Side A: RF’s watercolours on walls of childhood house. Description of mother and father singing; elder sister played piano; MF learnt piano. Description of MF’s academic ability; anecdote of headmistress and school certificate; mentions Iris Murdoch and former prime minister of Pakistan[?] were at same school [Badminton]; anecdote about being in love with Neville before Slade (seventeen years old when MF went to Slade). Mentions going to the cinema; loved Gary Cooper. Parents went every week to Bristol Little Theatre [BLT], mostly J. M. Barrie plays. Description of life at Slade; first year lived in College Hall; moved to Brunswick Square in Bloomsbury; moved to Camden Town; description of parties. Description of teacher Vladimir Polunin [VP] Russian theatre designer (designed Le Tricorn [‘The Three Cornered Hat’] ballet for Diaghilev); VP lived in Chiswick Mall; story of MF’s first sight of JT. Mentions friends, Swedish sculptor Karin Jonzon [JK] and Annette Scott [AS] (friend of Jocelyn [Herbert]); Description of camping trips to Eskdale in Cumberland; mentions boyfriend Pat Aked [PA] from Slade. Description of training at Slade; head of School, Randolph Schwabe [RS]; RS’s daughter, Alice Schwabe, who studied at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts); mentions Harry Barnes, Ian Brinkworth (married AS); AS’s daughter Victoria [Vickie Hallam], friend and assistant to Jocelyn Herbert [JH]. MF attended VP’s theatre design class. VP’s students designed set for Epstein ballet ‘Job’. Anecdote of meeting JH; anecdote of JH’s father A.P. Herbert on boat trips to Greenwich; remarks on bohemian life of VP’s party; mentions dancer Sokurova from Russian Ballet and Russian princes, Gallitzin.

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