Stieg Larsson

Swedish journalist and writer “Stieg” Larsson was Born 15 August 1954. He is best known for writing the “Millennium series” of crime novels, which were published posthumously. Larsson lived and worked much of his life in Stockholm, in the field of journalism and as an independent researcher of right-wing extremism. He was the second best-selling author in the world for 2008, behind Khaled Hosseini. By December 2011, his “Millennium series” had sold 65 million copies; its last part, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, became the most sold book in the United States in 2010.Larsson’s first efforts at fiction writing were not in the genre of crime, but rather science fiction. An avid science fiction reader from an early age, he became active in Swedish science fiction fandom around 1971, co-edited with Rune Forsgren his first fanzine, Sfären, in 1972, and attended his first science fiction convention, SF•72, in Stockholm. Through the 1970s, Larsson published around 30 additional fanzine issues; after his move to Stockholm in 1977 he became active in the Scandinavian SF Society where he was a board member in 1978 and 1979, and chairman in 1980.

Between 1972 and 1974, he published a handful of early short stories in his first fanzines, while submitting others to other semi-professional or amateur magazines. SwedenHe was co-editor or editor of several science fiction fanzines, including Sfären and FIJAGH!; in 1978–1979 he was president of the largest Swedish science fiction fan club, Skandinavisk Förening för Science Fiction (SFSF). An account of this period in Larsson’s life, along with detailed information on his fanzine writing and short stories, is included in the biographical essays written by Larsson’s friend John-Henri Holmberg in The Tattooed Girl, by Holmberg with Dan Burstein and Arne De Keijzer, 2011.In early June 2010, manuscripts for two such stories, as well as fanzines with one or two others, were noted in the Swedish National Library (to which this material had been donated a few years earlier, mainly by the Alvar Appeltofft Memorial Foundation, which works to further science fiction fandom in Sweden). This discovery of what was called “unknown” works by Larsson also caused considerable excitement.

while working as a photographer, Larsson became engaged in far-left political activism. He became a member of Kommunistiska Arbetareförbundet (Communist Workers’ League), edited the Swedish Trotskyist journal Fjärde internationalen, journal of the Swedish section of the Fourth International. He also wrote regularly for the weekly Internationalen. Larsson spent parts of 1977 in Eritrea, training a squad of female Eritrean People’s Liberation Front guerrillas in the use of grenade launchers, but became ill and was forced to return to Sweden, Upon his return to Sweden, he worked as a graphic designer at the largest Swedish news agency, Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå. Larsson’s political convictions, as well as his journalistic experiences, led him to found the Swedish Expo Foundation, similar to the British Searchlight Foundation, established to “counteract the growth of the extreme right and the white power-culture in schools and among young people.” He also became the editor of the foundation’s magazine, Expo, in 1995.When he was not at his day job, he worked on independent research of right-wing extremism in Sweden. In 1991, his research resulted in his first book Extremhögern (Extreme Right). Larsson quickly became instrumental in documenting and exposing Swedish extreme right and racist organizations; he was an influential debater and lecturer on the subject, reportedly living for years under death threats from his political enemies. The political party Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) was a major subject of his research.

However soon after Larsson’s death, the manuscripts of three completed, but unpublished, novels – written as a series – were discovered. He had written them for his own pleasure after returning home from his job in the evening, and had made no attempt to get them published until shortly before his death. The first was published in Sweden in 2005 as Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor – literally – Men who hate women. It was titled for the English-language market as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and published in the United Kingdom in February 2008. It was awarded the Glass Key award as the best Nordic crime novel in 2005. His second novel, Flickan som lekte med elden (The Girl Who Played with Fire), received the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 2006, and was published in the United Kingdom in January 2009. The third novel in the Millennium series, Luftslottet som sprängdes (“The air castle that was blown up”), published in English as The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, was published in the United Kingdom in October 2009, and the United States in May 2010. Larsson left about three quarters of a fourth novel on a notebook computer, now possessed by his partner, Eva Gabrielsson: synopses or manuscripts of the fifth and sixth in the series, which he intended to contain an eventual total of ten books, may also exist. Gabrielsson has stated in her book, “There Are Things I Want You to Know” About Stieg Larsson and Me (2011) that finishing the book is a task that she is capable of doing.

The Swedish film production company Yellow Bird has produced film versions of the Millennium series, co-produced with the Danish film production company Nordisk Film, which were released in Scandinavia in 2009. Larsson Sadly passed away on 9 November 2004 in Stockholm at the age of 50 of a heart attack after climbing seven flights of stairs to his office because the lift was not working. There were rumours that his death was in some way induced, because of death threats received as editor of Expo, but these have been denied by Eva Gedin, his Swedish publisher. Stieg Larsson is interred at the Högalid church cemetery in the district of Södermalm in Stockholm. Novellist David Lagencrantz has written further novels “The Girl in the Spiders Web” and “The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye” which is due for release in 2017, both of which continue the Millenium Saga and remain faithful to Steig Larsson’s original novels.

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Wizard of Oz

The musical fantasy film the Wizard of Oz was released On 15 August 1939. It was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.The film stars Judy Garland; Terry the dog, billed as Toto; Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton, with Charley Grapewin and Clara Blandick, and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins, with Pat Walshe as leader of the flying monkeys.

The Wizard of Oz tells the story of Dorothy Gale who finds herself swept up on an magical adventure after a tornado transports her house in Kansas to the magical land of Oz which is inhabited by Witches, Wizards, Fairies, talking Animals and other semtient beings. Here she encounters the diminutive local Munchkins and the Good Fairy Glinda and asks them how to get home. They suggest asking the Wizard of Oz to help, who lives in the Emerald City. so she must travel the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City where the Wizard of Oz lives. Along the way she encounters the Tin-man a Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, who for reasons of their own, all agree to accompany her to the Emerald City.

Meanwhile the evil Wicked Witch of the West is also after Dorothy because she inadvertantly killed the Witches’ sister “Elphaba” when the house landed in Oz, This angers the Wicked witch of the West and she continually tries to clobber Dorothy and the others and stop them reaching the Emerald City. Until eventually the Witches’ Flying Monkey servants successfully manage to kidnap one of the group along the way so they must all journey to the evil witches castle and mount a daring rescue attempt before defeating the Wicked Witch once and for all before  travelling to the Emerald City in order to return to Kansas.

The film is Notable for its use of Technicolor during a time when all other films were black and white, its fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters. Over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and has become part of American popular culture. It also featured in cinema what may be for the time the most elaborate use of character make-ups and special effects. Despite this It was not a box office success on its initial release, earning only $3,017,000 on a $2,777,000 budget, despite receiving largely positive reviews Wizard of Oz did not recoup much of the studio’s investment until subsequent re-releases when it was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture but lost out to Gone with the Wind. It did however win in two other categories including Best Original Song for “Over the Rainbow.” The song was ranked first in two list: the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs and the Recording Industry Association of America’s “365 Songs of the Century”.

The 1956 Television broadcasts of the film re-introduced the film to the public and subsequent broadcasts have made it an annual tradition staple and one of the most known films in cinema history. The film was named the most viewed motion picture on television syndication in history by the Library of Congress who also included the film in its National Film Registry in its inaugural year in 1989. Designation on the registry calls for efforts to preserve it for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant”. It is often included in the Top 10 Best Movies of All Time by critics’ and public polls. It is the source of many quotes referenced in modern popular culture. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming. Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but there were uncredited contributions by others. The songs were by Edgar “Yip” Harburg (lyrics) and Harold Arlen (music). The incidental music, based largely on the songs, was composed by Herbert Stothart, with interspersed renderings from classical composers.

W. O. Bentley

Bentley 3 Litre

English Engineer Walter Owen Bentley, MBE sadly died 13 August 1971. He was born 16 September 1888. in Hampstead, London, His father was retired businessman Alfred Bentley, and mother was Emily, née Waterhouse. He was as privately educated at Clifton College in Bristol from 1902 until 1905, when at the age of 16 he left to start work as an apprentice engineer with the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster in Yorkshire for five years . Here he learnt to design complex railway machinery and gained practical experience in the technical procedures to cast, manufacture, and build it. After completing his apprenticeship he left Great Northern in 1910 and began racing Quadrant, Rex, and Indian motorcycles. He competed in two Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races, on a Rex in 1909 and as a member of Indian’s factory team in 1910.

After studying theoretical engineering at King’s College London, he took employment with the National Motor Cab Company, where his several duties included overseeing the maintenance of the fleet’s 250 Unics. He was fascinated by the cabbies’ ingenuity at fiddling the meters. In 1912 he joined his brother, H. M. (Horace Millner) Bentley, in a company called “Bentley and Bentley” that sold French DFP cars. To improve performance Bentley designed Aluminium Alloy pistons and a modified crankshaft for the engines which went onto break several records at Brooklands in 1913 and 1914. During World War I Bentley used aluminium alloy pistons in military applications to benefit the national interest: as they improved power output and ran cooler, allowing higher compression ratios and higher engine speeds. He was Commissioned in the Royal Naval Air Service, and shared his knowledge and experience with various manufacturers. The company’s first aero engine, named the Eagle, was designed with pistons of aluminium instead of cast-iron or steel and the same innovation was also used in all Sunbeam’s aero engines. The Navy gave him a team to design his own aero engine at the Humber factory in Coventry. Designated the BR1, Bentley Rotary 1, And The bigger BR2 followed in early 1918. In recognition, Bentley was awarded the MBE. the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors also awarded him £8,000.

Bentley R-Type Continental

After the war, in early 1919, W. O. and his brother founded Bentley Motors Limited in Cricklewood and turned his aero engines business into one of car production. In a group that included Frank Burgess (Humber) and Harry Varley (Vauxhall), they designed a high quality sporting tourer for production under the name Bentley Motors and Engine designer Clive Gallop helped develop their 3,000 cubic centimetres (180 cu in) straight-4 engine. The 3-litre engine ran for the first time in New Street Mews, Baker Street, London. W.O.’s first complete Bentley 3 Litre car began road tests in January 1920 and the first production version arrived in 1921. W.O.’s motto was “To build a good car, a fast car, the best in class.” His cars raced in hill climbs and at Brooklands, and the lone 3 Litre entered by the company in the 1922 Indianapolis 500 mile race and driven by Douglas Hawkes finished thirteenth at an average speed of 74.95 mph. In 1922 Bentley entered a team of his new 3-litre modified and race-prepared cars in the 1922 Tourist Trophy driving himself in Bentley III. Jean Chassagne (later himself a ‘Bentley Boy’) on a 1921 Grand Prix Sunbeam winning outright. Bentleys set many records at the Le Mans 24-hour races, with “Bentley Boy” Woolf Barnato winning three times. In 1923 Bentley attended the inaugural Le Mans race, he saw John Duff and Frank Clement’s private entry take fourth place. ABentley 3 Litre won at Le Mans in 1924. However neither of the two Bentleys entered in the 1925 race finished it, but subsequent models won again in 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930, Prompting. Ettore Bugatti to comment that W.O. made “the fastest lorries in the world.”

Sadly Bentley Motors Ltd. encountered financial difficulties, And Kimberley diamond magnate Barney Barnato’s heir Woolf Barnato purchased the business’s assets and became chairman.W. O. continued his design work as Barnato’s employee. The racing version of the W.O.-designed six-cylinder Speed Six—the road car was introduced in 1928—proved to be the most successful Bentley in competition, and won Le Mans in 1929 and 1930. In 1929, a supercharged, “Blower” version of the 1927 4½ Litre was developed sadly though it was not a success. Although Barnato continued racing Bentleys with distinction, and even though the company sold a hundred of its 8 Litre model, which was launched as a grand car for the ultra-rich in October 1930 (Bugatti sold three of his equivalent model, the Royale), the Great Depression took its toll and By July 1931 Barnato’s financial support had dwindled, and Bentley Motors went into voluntary liquidation with a Receiver appointed to the company.

Rolls-Royce eventually bought the company in 1931 and production of the Bentley 8 Litre, which competed directly with the Rolls-Royce Phantom II, was terminated and production switched to Rolls-Royce premises in Derby and, postwar, Crewe. Rolls-Royce also acquired the Bentley showrooms in Cork Street, the service station at Kingsbury, the whole establishment at Cricklewood and Bentley himself and Barnato was invited to become a director of the new Rolls-Royce subsidiary, Bentley Motors (1931) Limited, Bentley also joined Rolls-Royce under a contract extending from 1 May 1932 to the end of April 1935 and Work began on The new Derby 3 1⁄2-litre. Although Bentley admired Rolls-Royce’s achievements he left Rolls-Royce at the end of April 1935 with a sense of freedom.

Lagonda

In  1935 Bentley joined the Lagonda board of directors as technical director, after A Lagonda M45R Rapide with a Meadows engine won at Le Mans with the majority of the Rolls-Royce racing department staff following him to Lagonda, including Frank Stark, Reg Ingham, Donald Bastow and Stewart Tresilian, who was Chief designer of the 4480 cc 180 Bhp V12 project launched in 1937 which could go from 7 to 105 mph in top gear and to rev to 5000 rpm.  However Tresilian left in early 1938 for a Hawker Siddeley subsidiary and V12 development was abandoned. During the Second World war W. O. worked on armaments at Lagonda. towards the end of the war he began work on a new straight-6 engine as Lagonda’s V12 was too extravagant, so he developed a modern 2580 cc dual overhead cam straight-6 engine producing 105Bhp. In 1947 production of the Lagonda 2.6 litre motorcar designed by Mr W. O. Bentley, was cancelled. However this Lagonda specification was bought by David Brown & Sons (Huddersfield) Limited, gear-wheel manufacturer, along with Aston Martin to gain Bentley’s engineering expertise, and placed The under the bonnet of The Aston Martin DB2 and was used until 1959. Bentley remained as an engineer at Aston Martin-Lagonda until moving to Armstrong Siddeley, where he designed another twin-overhead-cam 3-litre engine for the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire before retiring. However He became a revered patron of The Bentley Drivers’ Club.

W. O. married three times. In 1914 he married Leonie Gore, the daughter of the ninth baronet, who tragically died in 1919 . He then married Poppy (Audrey Hutchinson) in 1920. a fun-loving society woman who disliked factories, whereas Bentley, a homely modest man loved to spend his time in the workshop. Needless to satpy this caused frictionand they divorced in 1931. He finally married Margaret Roberts Hutton née Murray in 1934 and she survived him until 1989. He had no children.

Enid Blyton

British children’s writer Enid Mary Blyton was Born 11 August 1897, she was educated at St. Christopher’s School in Beckenham, From 1907 to 1915, before leaving as head girl. She enjoyed physical activities along with some academic work, but not maths. Enid Blyton’s former house “Old Thatch” near Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, England. Blyton was a talented pianist, but gave up her musical studies when she trained as a teacher at Ipswich High School. She taught for five years at Bickley, Surbiton and Chessington, writing in her spare time. Her first book, Child Whispers, a collection of poems, was published in 1922. On 28 August 1924 Blyton married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO (1888–1971), editor of the book department in the publishing firm of George Newnes, which published two of her books that year. The couple moved to Bourne End, Buckinghamshire (Peters wood in her books). Eventually they moved to a house in Beaconsfield, named Green Hedges by Blyton’s readers following a competition in Sunny Stories. They had two children: Gillian Mary Baverstock (15 July 1931 – 24 June 2007) and Imogen Mary Smallwood (born 27 October 1935).In the mid-1930s Blyton experienced a spiritual crisis, but she decided against converting to Roman Catholicism from the Church of England because she had felt it was “too restricting”. Although she rarely attended church services, she saw that her two daughters were baptised into the Anglican faith and went to the local Sunday School.

sadly By 1939 her marriage to Pollock had disintegrated and she began a series of affairs. In 1941 she met Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters, a London surgeon with whom she began a relationship. During her divorce, Blyton blackmailed Pollock into taking full blame for the failure of the marriage, knowing that exposure of her adultery would ruin her public image. She promised that if he admitted to charges of infidelity, she would allow him unlimited access to their daughters. However, after the divorce, Pollock was forbidden to contact his daughters, and Blyton ensured he was unable to find work in publishing afterwards. He turned to drinking heavily and was forced to petition for bankruptcy. Blyton and Darrell Waters married at the City of Westminster Register Office on 20 October 1943, and she subsequently changed the surname of her two daughters to Darrell Waters. Pollock remarried thereafter. Blyton’s second marriage was very happy and, as far as her public image was concerned, she moved smoothly into her role as a devoted doctor’s wife, living with him and her two daughters at Green Hedges.

Blyton’s husband tragically died in 1967 and during the following months, she became increasingly ill. Afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease, Blyton was moved into a nursing home three months before her death in 28 November 1968. she died at the Greenways Nursing Home, London, on 28 November 1968, aged 71 years and was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium where her ashes remain. Blyton’s home, Green Hedges, was sold in 1971 and demolished in 1973. The area where Green Hedges once stood is now occupied by houses and a street called Blyton Close. An English Heritage blue plaque commemorates Blyton at Hook Road in Chessington, where she lived from 1920-4. Her daughter Imogen has been quoted as saying “The truth is Enid Blyton was arrogant, insecure, pretentious, very skilled at putting difficult or unpleasant things out of her mind, and without a trace of maternal instinct. As a child, I viewed her as a rather strict authority. As an adult I pitied her.” Her elder daughter, Gillian, did not hold the same view toward their mother, and Imogen’s biography of Blyton contains a foreword by Gillian to the effect that her memories of childhood with Enid Blyton were mainly happy ones.

One of Blyton’s most widely known characters is Noddy in Toyland, where all the central characters are toys who come alive when humans are not around. Blyton’s also wrote many children s Adventure Stories which involve ordinary children in extraordinary situations, having adventures, solving crimes, or otherwise finding themselves in unusual circumstances. Examples include the Famous Five and Secret Seven, the Five Find Outers and the Adventure series. Some of Blyton’s books involve Boarding Schools and have more emphasis on the day-to-day life at school, like midnight feasts, practical jokes and the social interaction of the various types of character, examples include the Malory Towers stories, the St Clare’s series, and the Naughtiest Girl books. Some Blyton books involve Children being transported into a magical world in which they meet fairies, goblins, elves, pixies, or other fantasy creatures. Such as The Wishing-Chair books and The Faraway Tree. Blyton also wrote many short stories,

Enid Blyton’s Most successful works include: The Noddy books, the Secret Seven series, The Malory Towers series, The St. Clare’s series, The Wishing-Chair series, The Magic Faraway Tree series, Book of Brownies, Amelia Jane series, The Five Find-Outers (Also known as Enid Blyton’s Mystery series), The Famous Five series, The Adventure Series, The Barney Mystery series, The Circus series, The Mistletoe Farm series, The Naughtiest Girl series, The Young Adventurers Series and the Adventurous Four Series. Blyton’s books have sold more than 600 million copies.From 2000 to 2010, she was still listed as a Top Ten author, selling 7,910,758 copies (worth £31.2m) in the UK alone. In 2003, The Magic Faraway Tree was voted no. 66 in the BBC’s Big Read. In the 2008 Costa Book Awards, Blyton was voted Britain’s best-loved author.

Joe Orton

English playwright and author Joe Orton, was brutally murdered 9 August 1967. Born 1 January 1933. His public career was short but prolific, lasting from 1964 until his death. During this brief period he shocked, outraged, and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies. The adjective Ortonesque is sometimes used to refer to work characterised by a similarly dark yet farcical cynicism. He attended a writing course at Clark’s College in Leicester from 1945 to 1947.He then began working as a junior clerk on £3 a week.Orton became interested in performing in the theatre around 1949 and joined a number of different dramatic societies, including the prestigious Leicester Dramatic Society. While working on amateur productions he was also determined to improve his appearance and physique, buying bodybuilding courses, taking elocution lessons, and trying to redress his lack of education and culture. He applied for a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in November 1950. He was accepted, and left the East Midlands for London. His entrance into RADA was delayed until May 1951 by appendicitis.Orton met Kenneth Halliwell at RADA in 1951 and moved into a West Hampstead flat with him and two other students in June of that year.

Halliwell was seven years older than Orton and of independent means, having a substantial inheritance. They quickly formed a strong relationship and became lovers.After graduating, both Orton and Halliwell went into regional repertory work: Orton spent four months in Ipswich as an assistant stage manager; Halliwell in Llandudno, Wales. Both returned to London and became writers. They collaborated on a number of unpublished novels (often imitating Ronald Firbank), and had little success. The rejection of their great hope, The Last Days of Sodom, in 1957 led them to solo works.Orton would later return to the books for ideas; many show glimpses of his stage-play style.Confident of their “specialness”, Orton and Halliwell refused to work for long periods. They subsisted on Halliwell’s money (and unemployment benefits) and were forced to follow an ascetic life in order to restrict their outgoings to £5 a week. From 1957–1959, they worked in six-month stretches at Cadbury’s to raise money for a new flat; they moved into a small, austere flat at 25 Noel Road inIslington in 1959.

A lack of serious work led Orton and his friends to amuse themselves with pranks and hoaxes. Orton created the alter ego Edna Welthorpe, an elderly theatre snob, whom he would later revive to stir controversy over his plays. Orton chose the name as an allusion to Terence Rattigan’s “Aunt Edna”, Rattigan’s archetypal playgoer.They would also steal books from the local library and modify the cover art or the blurbs before returning them to the library. A volume of poems by John Betjeman, for example, was returned to the library with a new dustjacket featuring a photograph of a nearly naked, heavily tattooed, middle-aged man. The couple decorated their flat with many of the prints. They were eventually discovered and prosecuted for stealing and damaging library books in May 1962. The incident was reported in Daily Mirror as “Gorilla in the Roses”.

They were charged with five counts of theft and malicious damage, admitted damaging more than 70 books, and were sentenced to prison for six months (released September 1962) and fined £262. Orton and Halliwell felt that that sentence was unduly harsh “because we were queers”. However, prison would be a crucial formative experience for Orton; the isolation from Halliwell would allow him to break free of him creatively; and he would clearly see what he considered the corruptness, priggishness, and double standards of a purportedly liberal country. As Orton put it, ‘It affected my attitude towards society. Before I had been vaguely conscious of something rotten somewhere, prison crystallised this. The old whore society really lifted up her skirts and the stench was pretty foul… Being in the nick brought detachment to my writing. I wasn’t involved anymore. And suddenly it worked.’ The book covers that Orton and Halliwell vandalised have since become a valued part of the Islington Local History Centre collection. Some are exhibited in the Islington Museum. A collection of the book covers is available online.

Orton began to write plays in the early 1960s. He wrote his last novel, The Vision of Gombold Proval (posthumously published as Head to Toe), in 1959, and had his writing accepted soon afterward. In 1963 the BBC paid £65 for the radio play The Ruffian on the Stairbroadcast on 31 August 1964. It was substantially rewritten for the stage in 1966.Orton revelled in his achievement and poured out new works. He had completed Entertaining Mr Sloane by the time Ruffian was broadcast. He sent a copy to theatre agent Peggy Ramsay in December 1963. It premiered at the New Arts Theatre on 6 May 1964 under the direction of Michael Codron. Reviews ranged from praise to outrage.Entertaining Mr Sloane lost money in its three-week run, but critical praise from playwright Terence Rattigan, who invested £3,000 in it, ensured its survival. The play was transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End at the end of June and to the Queen’s Theatre in October. Sloane tied for first in the Variety Critics’ Poll for “Best New Play” and Orton came second for “Most Promising Playwright.” Within a year, Sloane was being performed in New York, Spain, Israel and Australia, as well as being made into a film and a television play.Orton’s next performed work was Loot. The first draft was written between June and October 1964 and entitled Funeral Games, a title Orton would drop at Halliwell’s suggestion but would later reuse. The play is a wild parody of detective fiction, adding the blackest farceand jabs at established ideas on death, the police, religion, and justice. Orton offered the play to Codron in October 1964 and it underwent sweeping rewrites before it was judged fit for the West End (for example, the character of “Inspector Truscott” had a mere eight lines in the initial first act.)Codron had manoeuvred Orton into meeting his colleague Kenneth Williams in August 1964. Orton reworked Loot with Williams in mind for Truscott. His other inspiration for the role was DS Harold Challenor.With the success of Sloane, Loot was hurried into pre-production despite its obvious flaws. Rehearsals began in January 1965 with a six-week tour culminating in a West End debut planned. The play opened in Cambridge on 1 February to scathing reviews.Orton, at odds with director Peter Wood over the plot, produced 133 pages of new material to replace, or add to, the original 90. The play received poor reviews in Brighton, Oxford, Bournemouth, Manchester, and finally Wimbledon in mid-March. Discouraged, Orton and Halliwell went on an 80-day holiday in Tangier, Morocco.In January 1966, Loot was revived, with Oscar Lewenstein taking up an option. Before his production, it had a short run (11–23 April) at the University Theatre, Manchester.

Orton’s growing experience led him to cut over 600 lines, raising the tempo and improving the characters’ interactions.Directed by Braham Murray, the play garnered more favourable reviews. Lewenstein, still a bit cool, put the London production in a “sort of Off-West End theatre,” the Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre in Bloomsbury, under the direction of Charles Marowitz.Orton continued his habit of clashing with directors with Marowitz, but the additional cuts they agreed to further improved the play. It premiered in London on 27 September 1966, to rave reviews. Loot moved to the Criterion Theatre in November, raising Orton’s confidence to new heights while he was in the middle of writing What the Butler Saw.Loot went on to win several awards and firmly established Orton’s fame. He sold the film rights for £25,000 although he was certain it would flop. It did, and Loot on Broadway repeated the failure of Sloane. But Orton, still on an absolute high, proceeded over the next ten months to revise The Ruffian on the Stair and The Erpingham Camp for the stage as a double called Crimes of Passion; wrote Funeral Games; wrote the screenplay Up Against It for the Beatles; and worked on What the Butler Saw.

The Good and Faithful Servant was a transitional work for Orton. A one-act television play, it was completed by June 1964 but first broadcast by Associated-Rediffusion on 6 April 1967.The Erpingham Camp, Orton’s take on The Bacchae, written through mid-1965 and offered to Rediffusion in October of that year, was broadcast on 27 June 1966 as the ‘pride’ segment in their series Seven Deadly Sins.Orton wrote and rewrote Funeral Games four times from July to November 1966. Created for a 1967 Rediffusion series, The Seven Deadly Virtues, Orton’s play dealt with charity—especially Christian charity—in a confusion of adultery and murder. Rediffusion did not use the play; instead, it was made as one of the first productions of the new ITV company Yorkshire Television, and broadcast posthumously on 26 August 1968.In March 1967 Orton and Halliwell had intended another extended holiday in Libya, but they returned home after one day because the only hotel accommodation they could find was a boat that had been converted into a hotel/nightclub. Orton was working hard, energised and happy; Halliwell was increasingly depressed, argumentative, and plagued with mystery ailments.Orton’s controversial farce What The Butler Saw debuted in the West End after his death in 1969. It opened at the Queen’s Theatre with Sir Ralph Richardson, Coral Browne, Stanley Baxter, and Hayward Morse. Sadly Orton was brutally murdered on 9 August 1967, a0when Kenneth Halliwell bludgeoned 34-year-old Orton to death at his home in Noel Road, Islington, London, with nine hammer blows to the head, and then committed suicide with an overdose of 22 Nembutal tablets washed down with the juice from canned grapefruit. Investigators determined that Halliwell had died first, because Orton’s sheets were still warm.

David Essex OBE

English musician, singer-songwriter, and actor David Essex, OBE was born; 23 July 1947 in Plaistow, Essex (now Greater London). His father, Albert, was an East End docker and his mother, Olive (née Kemp), was a self-taught pianist and an Irish Traveller, descended from Romany Gypsies. His grandfather, Thomas Kemp, was nicknamed “Philimore”, which was the anglicised version of “Philly Mor” – being Irish for “Big Philly”. Essex was two years old when his parents moved out of the overcrowded home the family was sharing with relatives, to Canning Town where he grew up. Essex attended Star Lane Primary School. He loved playing football and did not answer any of the questions in the Eleven plus exam for entry into a grammar school, so that he could ensure he attended Shipman County Secondary School where he knew they played the game. He was also a member of West Ham United Juniors for a while and dreamed of one day being a professional player. He then also became interested in music and played drums with a local band, before becoming a singer. In his teens he moved to Marks Gate near Chadwell Heath and Romford in Essex.

He made his first record entitled “And the Tears Came Tumbling Down” in 1965. He then toured with a band called ‘David Essex and the Mood Indigo’ for two years and released a further 7 singles in the 1960s. He also recorded two songs, ‘A Rose’ and ‘Leon and John and Billy and Me’. His first notable acting role aside from small appearances in the films Assault and All Coppers Are… was the lead in the stage musical, Godspell in 1971 at the age of 23. In 1973 he starred in the film That’ll Be the Day (1973) and recorded his international hit single, the self-penned “Rock On”, Which was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. And nominated for a Grammy and reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. A second single, “Lamplight”, also reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart.

In the 1970s, Essex performed his first concert was at East Ham Granada in East London on Saturday 2 November 1974. His biggest hits during this decade included two UK Number One singles: “Gonna Make You a Star” (1974) and “Hold Me Close” (1975). He also appeared in Stardust, a 1974 sequel to That’ll Be the Day. In 1976, Essex covered the Beatles song, “Yesterday”, for the musical documentary All This and World War II. Essex’s pop idol looks gave him a strong female fan base and his British tours created scenes of hysteria reminiscent of Beatlemania. According to The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, he was voted the number one British male vocalist in 1974, and was a teen idol for more than a decade.

In December 1973, Essex appeared in the stage version of Tommy at London’s Rainbow Theatre. In 1978, he appeared on Jeff Wayne’s concept album, a musical version of The War of the Worlds, as the Artilleryman, he also played the character Che in the original production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita, Singing “Oh What a Circus”. Essex, is a keen motorcyclist, So in 1980 he starred in the motorcycle racing film Silver Dream Racer; and sang the theme song “Silver Dream Machine”.  He waived his fee for A 1980 Triumph Bonneville which he had contracted to advertise on behalf of the struggling Triumph motorcycle workers’ co-operative. In 1981, he starred in Childe Byron, a play staged at the Young Vic theatre. In 1985, he co-wrote and starred as Fletcher Christian in the West End musical Mutiny!, based on the novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall.  Which featured the song “Tahiti,” Essex then appeared in the 1988 sitcom, “The River”,  In 1991, he released a Greatest Hits compilation album and in 1993  He released the album Cover Shot, featuring a cover version of the Buzz Cason/Mac Gayden song “Everlasting Love”. In 2002 His best selling autobiography, A Charmed Life, was published In 1999, Essex was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. (OBE) in the Queens Honours list for his six years as an ambassador for Voluntary Service Overseas.

Essex, played a kind-hearted nomad in one episode of ITV1’s 1960s drama Heartbeat in 2000. Essex told Jake Bowers of the BBC’s Rokker Radio, a programme for Gypsies and Travellers, on 30 July 2006, that he has always been openly proud of his Traveller roots, but that, having moved to the US, he felt it inappropriate for him to continue as Patron of Britain’s National Gypsy Council, which works for equal rights, education, and services for Romany and Irish Travellers.In 2005, he appeared as a guest vocalist and wrote songs for Saint Etienne’s album Tales from Turnpike House, he also appeared in the Channel 4 documentary Bring Back…The Christmas Number One.A model and recording of Essex is also featured in the museum of West Ham United Football Club.

Essex used to record and release records on his own ‘Lamplight’ record label. He has since changed the name of his company to Joseph Webster Ltd, named after his first grandchild. He tours regularly and continues to act, appearing in Boogie Nights 2, Footloose and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Aspects of Love. Between 2008 and 2009 he toured the United Kingdom with his own musical, All the Fun of the Fair,  He also embarked on a sell-out tour of the UK, named the Secret Tour and released a DVD on his website of the last night of the tour, filmed in Bournemouth. He returned to London’s West End with his own hit musical All the Fun of the Fair  with a different ending. In 2011, Essex joined the cast of EastEnders as Eddie Moon, Eddie left the square on 6 October 2011. He then wrote the music score for the film Traveller (2013), in which he co-starred with his son Billy Cook who played the main role as a half-gypsy trying to find his identity.

In 2010, Essex married Welsh actress Susan Hallam-Wright, his third wife, 26 years his junior, born 1973, at St Cross Church, Talybont, near Bangor, North Wales. He first met her at the end of 2008 whilst she was auditioning for a role in Essex’s musical, All the Fun of the Fair. She got the part of Sally, then got promoted to the role of Mary, Jack’s girlfriend for the West End version at the Garrick Theatre in London in April 2010. He had previously been married to Maureen Neal (in 1971) and Carlotta Christy (in 1997). Essex has five children, two from his first marriage to Maureen Neal, Verity and Danny. He has twins with his second wife, Carlotta Christy, Billy and Kit, and more recently Sonny with his third wife, Susan Hallam-Wright. David Essex continues to tour the UK every year and releases albums through his website and In 2016, Essex performed in The War Of The Worlds at the Dominion Theatre.

World Population Day

World Population day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year. The purpose of World Population Day is to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987-approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people. World Population Day aims at increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

The world population refers to the total number of humans currently living at any one time. The world population was estimated to have reached 7,500,000,000 at 16:21 on April 24, 2017. The United Nations estimates it will further increase to 11.2 billion in the year 2100. The World population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine of 1315–17 and the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million. The highest population growth rates – global population increases above 1.8% per year – occurred between 1955-1975 peaking to 2.06% between 1965-1970. The growth rate has declined to 1.18% between 2010-2015 and is projected to decline to 0.13% by the year 2100. Total annual births were highest in the late 1980s at about 139 million, and are now expected to remain essentially constant at their 2011 level of 135 million, while deaths number 56 million per year and are expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040. World population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011 according to the United Nations Population Fund, and on March 12, 2012 according to the United States Census Bureau.

The median age of the world’s population was estimated to be 30.1 years in 2016, with the male median age estimated to be 29.4 years and female, 30.9 years. The 2012 UN projections show a continued increase in population in the near future with a steady decline in population growth rate; the global population is expected to reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050. 2003 UN Population Division population projections for the year 2150 range between 3.2 and 24.8 billion. One of many independent mathematical models supports the lower estimate, while a 2014 estimate forecasts between 9.3 and 12.6 billion in 2100, and continued growth thereafter. Some analysts have questioned the sustainability of further world population growth, highlighting the growing pressures on the environment, global food supplies, and energy resources. While press interest and general awareness in the global population surges only at the increments of whole billions of people, the world population increases by 100 million approximately every 14 months. The world population reached 7,400,000,000 on February 6, 2016; and 7,500,000,000 on April 24, 2017.