Dee late: rediscovering the lost world of John Dee

10 Mar 2016

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London, United Kingdom


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  • Tube: Great Portland Street

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Special evening exploring Tudor polymath extraordinaire John Dee. Features late opening of the acclaimed exhibition, film screening and one woman play on Dee’s life seen through his daughter’s eyes.


Rediscover the extraordinary lost world of Elizabethan enigma John Dee by joining the Royal College of Physicians for a special late opening of the critically-acclaimed exhibition, ‘Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee’.

Explore the mysterious mind of a polymath through his books and artefacts, meet the curators of this remarkable collection, view a specially-commissioned film on the life of Dee, and catch an exclusive performance of ‘The Alchemist’s Daughter: a one woman play tracing Dee’s life through the eyes of his daughter.

Described by The Times as ‘a revelatory show’ and Culture24 as ‘a magical glimpse into the Tudor imagination’, ‘Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee,’ boasts a selection of Dee’s books, many of which have never before been displayed, with subjects ranging from astrology and alchemy to cryptography, mathematics, politics and the art of love, all reunited for the first time in over 400 years with his personal possessions.

The evening also includes an opportunity to see renowned artist Jeremy Millar’s specially-commissioned film, ‘A Constellation for John Dee’ on the big screen.

In ‘A Constellation for John Dee,’ Millar draws inspiration from the places that Dee lived in, studied at or visited during his life. Shot at the Sorbonne in Paris, Parnham House in Sussex and the quiet London suburb of Mortlake, where Dee once had his library, the film features Jenny Runacre, who played Elizabeth I to John Dee in Derek Jarman’s cult ‘punk’ 1978 film ‘Jubilee’. Here, her voiceover beautifully connects the array of images and resonances that depict the multi-faceted nature of Dee’s life and work.

Playwright Daisy Black’s ‘The Alchemist’s Daughter,’ examines the life of John Dee through the eyes of his daughter, Katherine. Played by Rachel Mann, Katherine follows her father from the court of Elizabeth I through Poland, Bohemia, and finally, to Manchester, in the pursuit of knowledge, fame and the voice of angels. While on this journey, she reflects on her father’s life: his role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada, his experiments in magic and his precarious position within the changing politics of the late Tudor court. Premiered at Manchester Cathedral the play is being re-imagined for its performance at the Royal College of Physicians.

An unmissable evening for those fascinated by the universe of possibilities that constituted the world of the ultimate Renaissance man, John Dee.

Art form Toggle

Exhibiting artists

Daisy Black

Jeremy Millar


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