Penny Lectures

To celebrate our 125 year anniversary we are reviving the Penny Lectures. The Penny Lectures began in 1882 at the Old Vic Theatre in Waterloo. Topics were chosen to encourage new thinking and ideas and provided illustrated lectures at affordable prices…a penny!

The lectures were a huge success and quickly led to the establishment of ‘Morley Memorial College’ for Working Men and Women. Now celebrating our  anniversary, we have revived the Penny Lecture series for a new generation of adults to learn from and be inspired by.

All lectures will take place in the Emma Cons Hall from 18:30-20:00. Doors will be open from 18:00. No advanced booking necessary, tickets available for 1p on the door.

Penny Lectures | Autumn Series

Zeppelin Nights: London in the First World War
Professor Jerry White, Author & Historian

Thursday 18 September

From the moment war was declared at 11pm on Tuesday 4 August 1914 London became the hub of an ever-enlarging leviathan of total war. Professor White explores how the war utterly dominated the city’s life and how, even in the twenty-first century, Londoners still live with many of the consequences of the First World War.

Read all about our first Penny Lecture and watch online now.

Performing surgery: the theatre of the Theatre
Professor Roger Kneebone, Surgeon & Professor of Surgical Education
Thursday 16 October

Professor Kneebone explores operative surgery as a performance and a craft, drawing upon his extensive collaborations with musicians, actors, dancers and craftsmen to bring new insights into the hidden world of the operating theatre.  

Find out more about this lecture.

On Liberty
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty
Tuesday 25 November
Doors open from 17:30, lecture begins at 18:00

Shami Chakrabarti will be exploring why our fundamental rights and freedoms are indispensable. Drawing on her own work in high-profile campaigns, from privacy laws to anti-terror legislation, she will show the threats to our democratic institutions and why our rights are paramount in upholding democracy.

Penny Lectures | Spring series

Cosmic Quest - from Babylon to the Big Bang
Helen Couper and Nigel Henbest
Thursday 28 January 2015
Doors open from 18:00, lecture begins at 18:30

For thousands of years humankind has sought to find our place in the Cosmos. Starting with superstition, astronomy has flourished into the most all-embracing of the sciences. Join Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest in this stunningly illustrated lecture to explore the people and personalities who have asked questions about the Cosmos over the millennia.

The Unfinished Battle for LGBTI Rights in the UK
Peter Tatchell
Thursday 26 February 2015
Doors open from 18:00, lecture begins at 18:30

Peter Tatchell, leading human rights campaigner, explores the questions surrounding LGBTI rights in the 21st Century. After same-sex marriage is there anything left to fight for? Has equality been won? Are equal rights sufficient? What’s next?