”I'm an obsessive researcher and had unearthed huge amounts of factual material, but gossip is a great resource."

Fleur Adcock
"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life."

William Faulkner
”I pity American men. They have no time to think about clothes."

Hardy Amies
"Life without labour is crime, and labour without art is brutality."

John Wesley Hardrick
”The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention."

Julia Cameron
”A woman without perfume is a woman without a future."

Coco Chanel
"Great art must be discernible to everyone."

George Grosz
”The highest form of courage is to reveal oneself fully, to express one's inner condition to the world with eloquence."

Glenn O'Brien
”All Englishmen like dresses. It's something in their genes. Everyone knows it, they just don't talk about it."

David Bowie
”If you make the 'bother' a lovely part of the process, the bother becomes a positively enhancing part of it. You just can't replicate that human contact online."

Patrick Grant
”Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."

”The better dressed the Prince of Wales, the less suited he is to the throne."

James Sherwood
”There is na workeman / That can bothe worken wel and hastilie. / This must be done at leisure parfaitlie."

”London is on the whole the most possible form of life."

Henry James
”Nobody sees a flower -- really -- it is so small it takes time -- we haven't time -- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."

Georgia O'Keeffe
”My driving ambition is to let everyone else in on all the cool stuff that's going on. The tragedy of academia is how much fascinating stuff never gets outside the walks of academia, and I find that really heartbreaking."

Malcolm Gladwell
”Style is what happens when a person bends fashion to his personality."

G. Bruce Boyer
"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

George Orwell
”Language is the main instrument of man's refusal to accept the world as it is. . . . Ours is the ability, the need, to gainsay or 'unsay' the world, to image or speak it otherwise."

George Steiner
”Dress is a foolish thing; and yet it is a very foolish thing for a man not to be well dressed."

Lord Chesterfield
"Movies will make you famous; television will make you rich; but theatre will make you good."

Terence Mann
”Tell all the Truth but tell it slant --"

Emily Dickinson
”The way to research is to attack the facts at the greatest point of astonishment."

Celia Green
”One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art."

Oscar Wilde
”I'm quite a diehard Londoner -- I find it hard to imagine living anywhere else."

Emily Berry
”'Giving style' to one's character -- a great and rare art! It is exercised by those who see all the strengths and weaknesses of their own natures and then comprehend them in an artistic plan . . . even weakness delights the eye."

"We must relearn how to see....The eye is assaulted, coerced, desensitised. The only road to freedom is self-education in art.

Camille Paglia

Testimonials from Audience Members

Dr Cynthia Lawford deserves a shout for her insightful pre-show theatre talk at The Print Room. Can she please do a 2 hour lecture & I’ll come!


Jamil Jivanjee
Talk on Kingdom of Earth

I am not sure “talk” is adequate to describe such a memorable Monday evening! Battered by such an engaging delivery of layers of background information and insight, delivered at break-neck speed, it was a huge thrill to be transported so beguilingly to the Mississippi Delta and propelled into the heart of the psychological drama of the play. Clearly it was the effectiveness of the overture that enabled us to enjoy the play and the superb acting, 150%.

Tony Dyson
The Frederick Ashton Foundation, Chairman
Dancers’ Career Development, Chairman
Talk on Kingdom of Earth

Hi Cindy,

Laura and I loved your talk (unsurprisingly). She said (I quote), “I could listen to Cindy talk for hours.” I’ll definitely try to come along to the Ibsen as well.

Peter Forster
English teacher
Talk on The Changeling

Hi Dr Lawford,

I wanted to send a note to say that your talk was really very spot on, enjoyable and made all the more memorable by your breathless rush for the finish – a kind of breath-holding constraint. The Robbe-Grillet project is hard to describe let alone advocate – and yet somehow you managed to do that in the short span allowed.

Adam Roberts
Talk on Jealousy

The matinee was a big draw precisely because your talk offered an opportunity to learn more about the play and its context. It certainly fulfilled that wish. At the beginning of the talk you estimated it taking half an hour. That didn’t seem all that long but then I reckoned without your high rate of ideas-per-minute.

Graham Dawes
Talk on The Oresteia

Hi Cindy,

Just to let you know how much we enjoyed, and benefitted from, your pre-show talk last night. As usual, it felt thoroughly researched and packed with fascinating and varied information. You mentioned the fact that you were covering lots of different elements, but would leave it to us to draw the lines, and that’s particularly what worked so well: as we watched the play, we found ourselves repeatedly seeing connections and themes that you had addressed in your talk, and it brought a whole new level of understanding.

Anna Brewer
Talk on Uncle Vanya

Hi Cindy,

Congratulations on your talk – it was terrific! It was all so cohesive, thorough and comprehensive that it could easily have stood alone as a talk on Chekhov – and then when we saw the play it turned out that what you had told us provided the perfect background! It gave the play so much more resonance for us, knowing how heartfelt much of it was.

Alison Wormleighton
Freelance editor
Talk on Uncle Vanya

Your pre-show talk did add to my appreciation, by making me think more widely, rather than just about the story itself.

Rona Cracknell
Former librarian
Talk on Molly Sweeney

The material was very interesting and certainly enhanced the theatre-going experience; a kind of programme note vivant. Also, I think you had such charm and stage presence . . . .

Louise Greenberg
Former Chief Producer, Arts, Science and Features, BBC Radio
Talk on On Approval

Cindy Lawford is articulate, erudite, passionate and energetic about literature. Cindy’s simple aim in life is to unlock texts for us all. She interrogates and analyses with deftness, but this belies her utterly personable character. She bewitches audiences with compelling facts, contexts and textual intimacy. I have seen her enrapture many mixed-age audiences as well as engaging secondary school students with equal ability. She is fast becoming the joyous academic critic of the theatre scene.

Chris Bruce
Lecturer, Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
Talks on Thom Pain (based on nothing) and Moby-Dick

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