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David Bintley CBE, Director
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Koen Kessels, Music Director

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John Armstrong

Born in 1893, John Armstrong studied law at Oxford, and later attended St John's Wood Art School, but he was in the main a self-taught artist. Friendship with Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton began his interest in the theatre and in 1931 he designed the first production of Ashton's Façade for the Camargo Society, redesigning the ballet in 1940 after the original sets and costumes had been abandoned in Holland when the company fled the Nazi invasion. Armstrong worked in several styles - surrealism, art deco, still life and as an official war artist, and in a wide range of media, from designs for lampshades and menus in the early days, to large murals for the Council Chamber at Bristol, the Shell Centre and the Royal Marsden Hospital. One-man shows at Leicester and Lefevre Galleries were among his many exhibitions. For the theatre he worked for Lord Howard de Walden and Sir Nigel Playfair; his film credits include Corda's The Private Life of Henry VIII, Things to Come and St Martin's Lane. He died in 1973.

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