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Peter Cook; Jonathan Miller; Dudley Moore; Alan Bennett

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© Lewis Morley Archive

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Peter Cook; Jonathan Miller; Dudley Moore; Alan Bennett

by Lewis Morley
bromide print, 1961
15 1/8 in. x 11 5/8 in. (383 mm x 294 mm)
Given by Lewis Morley, 1989
Photographs Collection
NPG x32732

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Artistback to top

  • Lewis Morley (1925-2013), Photographer. Artist of 305 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 281 Read entry

    The sitters are (left to right): Peter Cook born 1937; Jonathan Miller born 1934; Dudley Moore born 1935 and Alan Bennett born 1934.

    In 1961 a precociously clever satirical revue, which was created for Edinburgh Festival in the previous year, opened at the Fortune Theatre in London. Beyond the Fringe was a triumphant success on both sides of the Atlantic, and seemed to signal a new era in satirical theatre. In reality it was the death-knell of revue on stage, but had a revolutionary impact on television comedy, and inspired satirical programmes including That Was The Week That Was and Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in. Of the four stars only Peter Cook has not ventured beyond comedy but is the main shareholder of Private Eye. Dudley Moore now has a career as a film actor and jazz musician; Jonathan Miller is one of the most distinguished of theatre and opera producers, and Alan Bennett a leading playwright.

    Lewis Morley was born in Hong Kong, and became interested in photography while serving in the RAF. He studied painting at Twickenham College of Art, London, but moved into professional photography in the late 1950s. In 1961 he moved into a studio above Peter Cook’s Establishment Club in Greek Street, Soho. His work in the 1960s – portraits and photo-journalism – is absolutely in tune with the times: informal, irreverent, with a gently anarchic sense of humour. This photograph was taken in Regent’s Park, as one of the front-of-house photographs for the original production of Beyond the Fringe.

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Events of 1961back to top

Current affairs

Peter Benenson's article The Forgotten Prisoners is published internationally, inspiring the founding of the human rights organisation, Amnesty International.
The philosopher and peace activist Bertrand Russell is imprisoned for inciting civil disobedience during a sit down demonstration at the Ministry of Defence and Hyde Park.
The farthing coin - used in Britain for the last 7 centuries - ceases to be legal tender.

Art and science

Rudolf Nureyev defects from the USSR fearing that the KGB would arrest him for being gay and for fraternising with foreigners. After seeking asylum in Paris he set up home in London at the Royal Ballet and began his famous partnership with Margot Fonteyn.
The satirical magazine, Private Eye is first published.

International

The East German government erects the Berlin Wall, ceasing free movement between East and West Berlin. The barrier prevented citizens of Soviet controlled East Germany from crossing the border into West Germany to work, or to defect.
Yuri Gagarin, the soviet cosmonaut, becomes the first man in space orbiting the earth on the 12th April.

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