Monthly Talk 3rd January 2019


SPEAKER: Brian Freedland

The talk covers Richelieu's family background; his progression to both Cardinal and First Minister; his complicated personal relationships with both King Louis XIII and the Queen Mother (Marie de Medici), and his far-sighted achievements in the development of the geographic, religious and cultural identities of the French State.

The Touraine village of RICHELIEU (pop. 2000) was Brian Freedland's home for five years in the 1990s, and his presentation mixes his happy memories of French village life with the story of the priest who became Europe's greatest-ever statesman/diplomat as First Minister to King Louis XIII, and who commissioned this "handsome but badly-sited" village built alongside his family chateau.


Brian's theatre career started in 1959, direct from National Service, as Trainee Manager at the London Palladium, and has taken him to forty-three different countries including three residencies in the Middle East; eight tours of the Indian sub-continent and two circumnavigations of the globe.

He has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Sadler's Wells and London Festival Ballet Companies, Scottish Opera, Nottingham Playhouse and Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Company.

Cardinal Richelieu