Panel Event: The Making of Constellations
A rare insight into how this Evening Standard award nominated play was put together by Nick Payne. Nick will be joined by Steve Benbow London's most prolific bee keeper who played a huge part in assembling this production and Professor A C Grayling, internationally renowned philosopher and author. Nick Payne won the prestigious George Devine Award in 2009 with his play If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet (Bush Theatre and subsequently at Roundabout Theatre, New York). Nick was a member of the Young Writers Programme at the Royal Court and made his debut at the Court in September 2010 with Wanderlust. He is currently under commission at the Donmar Warehouse, the Royal Court and Manhattan Theatre Club. Steve Benbow is known as The Urban Bee Keeper. He is the founding director of the London Honey Company, a business that produces honey for Harrods, Harvey Nichols and The Savoy, as well as several small delicatessens across London. He also provides training in beekeeping and manages beehives for third-party clients across England. Fifteen years ago Steve decided he wanted to keep bees in Central London. There was only one a problem: he lived on the sixth story of an ex-council block near Tower Bridge with no garden. The only outside space was the building's flat roof, accessible via a fire escape. Having located his first hive behind the lift shaft, the bees prospered and produced award-winning honey. Inspired by other urban beekeepers in Paris, Tokyo, Rio and New York, Steve set about expanding his own operation in London. And by tapping into the network of businesses scattered across the capital that had huge secure rooftops, his business began to thrive. In 2005, he became Beemaster to Fortnum and Mason - managing four ornate hives on the roof of their store in Piccadilly - and he now services hives for The National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, as well as a variety of commercial clients, many of whom sell their honey within their stores. AC Grayling is Master of the New College of the Humanities, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford. Until 2011 he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has written and edited over thirty books on philosophy and other subjects; among his most recent are The Good Book, Ideas That Matter, Liberty in the Age of Terror and To Set Prometheus Free. For several years he wrote the Last Word column for the ) Guardian newspaper and a column for The Times. He is a frequent contributor to the Literary Review, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Times Literary Supplement, and New Statesman, and is an equally frequent broadcaster on BBC Radios 4, 3 and the World Service. He is a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, the Patron of the United Kingdom Armed Forces Humanist Association, a patron of Dignity in Dying, and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society.
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