The Mary Neal Lecture begun in 2009 when Lucy Neal, Mary’s great, great niece, and founder of the London International Festival of Theatre, deposited the Mary Neal Archive in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Mary Neal was a reformer, suffragette and radical arts practitioner.
A great spirit behind the early 20th century folk dance and song revival, Mary set up The Espérance Club in Somerstown teaching young working girls and children folk dance, among other things. In this annual lecture we celebrate her pioneering social educational practices.
“I felt very honoured and very moved to have your belief in me both as a speaker and an activist.”
- Jude Kelly OBE, 2010 Mary Neal Lecturer