NEWSLETTER No.12 July 2009





®           THEATRE TRIPS            ®



Here are the latest suggestions for Suss-Ex theatre trip(s).  These dates are a little far ahead, but many of us may be away later in the summer. A booking needs to be made promptly to ensure ticket availability, and your money then has to be sent in time for the total bill to be paid a month in advance.  If enough people would like it, dinner beforehand, or after a matinee, will be booked, probably at Carluccio’s. We get a group reduction on the price of tickets for most performances if at least 10 people want to go, and where applicable those prices are given below.  (The reduction is now not available for matinees.)  If too few people sign up a party will not be organised but, whatever the outcome, you will be informed.


September 14-19

Absurd Person Singular, by Alan Ayckbourn

‘Unforgettable’ (Guardian); ‘Hilarious’ (Times); ‘Dazzling’ (Sunday Telegraph)…

Produced by Bill Kenwright, starring a number of actors known from TV.

Stalls seats evening £20, matinee £24.


October 6-10

The Hypochondriac, by Roger McGough

Adapted from Molière’s Le malade imaginaire, and presented by English Touring Theatre (who did the Uncle Vanya which two Suss-Ex parties saw last year)..

Stalls seats evening £20, matinee £24.


If you are interested in one or both of these, please let Jennifer Platt know by July 26 (preferably by e mail to - or phone 01273 555025, or post to Arts D or 98 Beaconsfield Villas, Brighton BN1 6HE). If possible please use the slip at the end of the newsletter. Just mark all days/times which would be OK, number those in order of preference, and indicate the number of tickets wanted and whether you would like to join dinner before (evening) or after (matinee).








This year’s Brighton Early Music Festival has an East meets West theme, and there are two concerts which combine Western and Indian music and musicians. We thought it would be fun to organise a group to attend one of these, followed or preceded by a meal in an Indian restaurant.  Here are the possibilities:


Sunday Oct. 25, 7 p.m., St George’s Church [Kemptown]

The art of love from East to West: Courtiers and courtesans from India and Italy.


Thumni songs from Lucknow and Kathak dance, and 16th and 17th century Italian songs by Strozzi, Monteverdi and others, in ‘a rich tapestry of sensuous music and vibrant dance that contrasts rather than attempting to fuse the female musical cultures of Italy and India’.


Tickets: A £13 [nearer front], B £10.


Friday Nov. 6, 8 p.m. St Bartholomews [off London Rd.]

Mantra: Musical conversations across the Indian Ocean.


The Orlando Consort collaborates with Indian musicians in a project inspired by the combination of Iberian and Indian music in Goan churches from the 1500s.  ‘a perfectly crafted “lesson” in how differing musical traditions can be integrated… mesmerising.’ [Salisbury Journal]


Tickets: Premium £18, A £13, B £10.


Seats recommended are A or B in St Andrews, Premium or A in the much larger St Bartholomews; we all need to have the same to get the group rate.

A booking for these would need to be made in late August, so if you are interested please let Jennifer Platt [contact details given in the item on potential theatre trips] know by Aug. 5, indicating your preferences, and how many tickets you would like.

The prices listed are those for ‘concessions’, on the assumption that we are all old enough to justify that! (but if you are not, add £2 for first and £2-4 for second). If we have a party of 10 there will be a further reduction of 10%, and if we make 20, 20%.





24 March 2009    review by Dorothy and Arnold Goldman



Arnold: I came to the production with very high expectations, perhaps too high. What a cast: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Simon Callow, Ronald Pickup. But I spent some time with my eyes closing. It may have been me, Al Duomo’s pizza capricciosa and a glass of red.


Dorothy: Not just you. I was disappointed, and I fought keeping myself from nodding off at least twice. We came into the theatre – not a seat vacant – and there was the set, no curtain, crumbling huge back wall, slightly raked stage, disused open ground, grim and dark-coloured, weirdly framed by opera house boxes. Excellent.


A: The set conflated the outdoors with a stage. Given no curtain, Estragon (McKellen) had to make an entrance, which he and Vladimir (Stewart) did separately, in order to be meeting up once more. No problem. But both, especially Stewart, seemed overly animated. Yes, Vladimir, the promoter and enforcer of “waiting”, is more cheerful (so to speak), but I thought them too often too sprightly.


D: The challenging quality of the play came through, but I felt Stewart was weak. He failed to distinguish his character. He could be shouty, without it seeming to come from any depth of experience. The “sprightliness” was all his.


A: I agree. His determined expectations of Godot’s appearance and of “salvation”, which he uses to keep Estragon in line, seemed little touched by any sense that he was battling against any doubts. His various moods didn’t appear to proceed from any centre. Rather just a repertoire or set of variations on putting in the time.


D: McKellen’s Estragon was much the stronger performance. He held the rough-sleeper tramp and  music-hall performer aspects together with the play’s abstract, philosophical concept. But there was an absence of ensemble playing – though they often affected it. (Not least in the curtain call: “didn’t we have fun!”) I thought they played off one another too slowly, which allowed Simon Callow’s Pozzo to dominate.


A: Stewart and McKellen are convinced they are a “double-act” – see the programme notes. Callow’s Pozzo, immensely spirited (in Act One), could seem a parody of Brian Blessed. He blew them away. Callow took over, so much so that I felt he almost turned the play inside out. As though it was about him travelling, not them “waiting”. As though he was what they were waiting for, so terribly opposite to what Vladimir hoped for. Of course, there are some lines where Vladimir wonders if Pozzo wasn’t Godot after all. But I agree that weakness in the Stewart-McKellan relationship, finally down to Stewart, gave this OTT Pozzo too much prominence. Perhaps a few more evenings will get the balance better.


D: What did you make of Pickup’s Lucky?


A: Pickup disappeared into the role, but while Lucky as Pozzo’s “slave” never bothers me, what’s the theatrical – as distinct from thematic – point of his long “thinking” monologue? Beckett provided detailed stage directions, mainly ignored here. Yes Pozzo was “dejected and disgusted”, but so were the others (instead of “attentive”). Beckett’s directions end “All three throw themselves on Lucky who struggles and shouts his text.” They didn’t nor did Pickup shout. I was sorry that the audience applauded.


D: How much did Act Two add?


A: I’m not sure that it did. Act One seemed the stronger. Vladimir and Estragon couldn’t seem to deal with the fallen, apparently blind Pozzo, and his and Lucky’s entrance and exit only seemed to break into – though I suppose it was more in tune with – the mini-scenes of them attempting to keep nothingness at bay.


D: Well, “That passed the time”.


Note by JP:

Having last given any attention to this play before I graduated, I was not such a discriminating consumer as Dorothy and Arnold!  But I was particularly struck by the audience: noticeably younger than the average at the Theatre Royal, and laughing very freely at anything like a joke.  I did not feel that they were seeing it as great art, or as saying anything depressing about the human condition, as I am sure some original audience members did.  I suspect that this is an unanticipated side-effect - and surely not a wholly bad one - of having actors well-known for earlier roles on film and TV.  But what does it do to the meaning of a play if it is ‘read’ as the careers of the actors?








You may be moving office in the near future or perhaps clearing out your attic or garage. If so, you may be able to help to avert the loss of irreplaceable historical information about the development of the University by making appropriate documentation available for the record. Below are appropriate extracts from the guidelines distributed to the current employees who will be moving offices this summer. These suggest what those of us no longer formally employees might also do. 


Course Handbooks and Reading Lists

The basic principle

These sorts of records are often of historical interest. One copy of each course handbook and one copy of each associated reading list (where appropriate) should ideally be retained by School offices. In due course the older sets of these may be transferred to the University’s archives in the Library …to ensure that documents of long-term historical interest are held in perpetuity.  The Library will not be able to cope with a large influx of past course handbooks this summer, so please do not send any older papers to them at this juncture.


Curriculum Papers

The basic principle

Papers about the development of the curriculum …are often of historical interest even if they are no longer used on a regular basis. The following are likely to be of longer-term historical interest, and should be retained for potential archival review:

• Proposals for new courses, especially those where Sussex offered a significantly different approach to a discipline

• Papers detailing the development of course content

• Formal syllabus documents, with available records on how they were discussed and decisions on them made

• Written accounts of course planning at strategic and operational levels

General Papers of Historical Interest

Many staff… will have cabinets or boxes of files that they do not currently use but which they suspect should be kept for reasons of historical interest and research. If this is the case, you should contact the Library so that they can log the fact that you have a collection of material that may be of interest for the University’s archives. Library staff will then …advise accordingly. The relevant contact details are:

Fiona Courage

Special Collections Manager

01273 877911 (ext. 7911 if dialling internally)








Here is a list of the responses made to the call for information on 2008 contributions made in the last newsletter, plus a few items culled from other sources.  (Any items mentioned which really belong under 2009 have been saved for next year.)  There are probably more. If you have not sent yours in yet, why not do so now?



Terry J. Diffey, Philosophy

Foreword to Nikolaos Gkogkas, Nelson Goodman and the Case for a Kalological Aesthetics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2008).


Willie Lamont, History

His Last Witnesses: The Muggletonian History 1652-1979 was reviewed in the London Review of Books, 5 June 2008.


Ladislaus (Laci) Löb, German

Book: Dealing with Satan: Rezsö Kasztner’s Daring Rescue Mission, Jonathan Cape: London 2008, 340 pp. (Biography, autobiography, history)   (Paperback, 2009)

Talks arising from that were given at the Edinburgh Festival, Clifton Montpelier Powis Festival, Jewish Book Week, London Jewish Cultural Centre, Oxford Hungarian Society, Association of Jewish Refugees (Hove, Hampstead, Bournemouth), Warwick School, Warwick University, Sussex Lectures series, Limmud Conference, Eibeshitz Institute of Holocaust Studies Haifa, Israel Radio Hungarian Service.


Margaret McGowan, French

Book: Dance in the Renaissance: European Fashion, French Obsession, Yale University Press.

This won the 2008 Wolfson History Prize.


Sybil Oldfield, English

Jeanie, an 'Army of One’: Mrs Nassau Senior 1828-1877. The First Woman in Whitehall, (Sussex Academic Press, 2008).


Jennifer Platt, Sociology


‘Introduction’, ‘British sociological textbooks from 1949’ and ‘Conclusion’, in Current Sociology 36,2, Monograph 1, Introductions to Sociology: History, National Traditions, Paedagogies, March 2008.


Conference papers and invited talks

'Ethnography of work and the work of ethnography: Hodson’s sample and the discipline' (with Charles Crothers and Mervyn Horgan), American Sociological Association conference, Boston, August 2008.

Author, in plenary author meets critics session [on The British Sociological Association: a Sociological History] at the conference of the ISA's Research Committee on the History of Sociology, 'Perspectives from the Periphery', Umea August 2008.

New grant

International Sociological Association, $600 for a study of its presidential addresses.


Officerships in learned societies

Chair and Past Chair, American Sociological Association Section on the History of Sociology.


Beryl Williams, History

ed. Beryl Williams, R. B. Smith, Pre-Communist Indochina.

ed. Beryl Williams, R. B. Smith, Communist Indochina.

Routledge, Nov.2008.


Donald Winch, Intellectual History

‘Marshall Revived’, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 30, 1, March, 2008, pp. 127-34.


M. F. Lappert, Chemistry

X. -H. Wei, J. D. Farwell, P. B. Hitchcock, M. F. Lappert, Dalton Trans. 2008, 1073-1080. Synthesis and structures of some new types of lithium b-diketiminates.

J. D. Farwell, P.,B. Hitchcock, M. F. Lappert, G. A. Luinstra, A. V. Protchenko, X. H. Wei, J. Organomet. Chem. 2008, 693 1861-1869. Synthesis and some structures of some sterically hindered zinc complexes containing 6-membered ZnNCCCN and ZnOCCCN rings.

P. B. Hitchcock, M. F. Lappert, L. Maron, A. V. Protchenko, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47 1488-1491. Lanthanum does form stable molecular compounds in the +2 oxidation state.

X -H Wei, Q. Dong, H. Tong, J. Chao, D.-S. Liu, M. F. Lappert, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 3976-3978. Heterotrimetallic salts: synthesis, structures, and superbase reactivity of crystalline tert-butoxides [Li4Na2K2(OtBu)8(L)]n

P. B. Hitchcock, A. V. Khvostov, M. F. Lappert, A. V. Protchenko, Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem. 2008, 634, 1373-1377. Lanthanide(II) complexes of the dihydrotriazinido ligand.

L. Bourget-Merle, P. B. Hitchcock, M. F. Lappert, P. G. Merle, Dalton Trans. 2008,

3493-3501. Syntheses and structures of crystalline Li, Al and Sn(II) 1-azaallyls and b-diketiminates derived from [Li{m,h3-N(SiMe3)C(Ad)C(H)SiMe3}]2 (Ad = 1-adamantyl).

X.-H. Wei, Y. Cheng, P. B. Hitchcock, M. F. Lappert, Dalton Trans. 2008, 5235-5246. Syntheses, structures and reactions of a series of b-diketiminatoyttrium compounds.

P. B. Hitchcock, M. F. Lappert, Z.-X. Wang, J. Organomet. Chem. 2008, 693, 3767-3770. Synthesis and characterisation of six Fe(II or III), Co(II) or Zr(IV) complexes containing the ligand [CH(SiMe2R)P(Ph)2NSiMe3]- R = Me, NEt2) and of [Co{N(SiMe3)C(Ph)C(H)P(Ph)2NSiMe3}2].


Alfred Stock Memorial Prize (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker) September 2008 Tübingen


Invited talks

University of Reading  March 2008 Recent contributions to organometallic chemistry.

University of Cologne (GDCh talk)  April 2008 Researches on unusual molecular organic compounds of the lanthanides

University of Munich  June 2008 Studies on metal alkyls, amides benzamidinates and b-diketiminates.


J. F. Nixon, Chemistry

M. D. Francis, P. B. Hitchcock, J. F. Nixon, L. Nyulászi, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2008, 1761-1766. Reactivity of [M(h4-P2C2tBu2)] (M = Ge, Sn), with tert-butylphosphaethyne, PCtBu. Synthesis, structural characterisation and computational studies of the novel zwitterionic organophosphorus cage compounds [MP4C4tBu4] (M = Ge, Sn)

M. M. Al-Ktaifani, P. B. Hitchcock J. F. Nixon, J. Organomet. Chem. 2008, 693, 611-618. Lithiation and alkylation reactions of the tri-phosphaferrocenes, [Fe(h5-P3C2

tBu2)(h5-C5R5)], (R = H and Me): Crystal and molecular structures of the LiFe(h4-P2C2tBu2PnBu)(h5-C5Me5)2 dimer, [Fe(h4-P2C2tBu2PnBuMe)(h5-C5Me5)] and


M. M. Al-Ktaifani, P. B. Hitchcock J. F. Nixon, J. Organomet. Chem. 2008, 693, 725-728. Protonation of the lithio derivatives of the 1,2,4-tri-phosphaferrocenes, [LiFe(h4- P2C2tBu2PBu)(h5-C5R5)], (R = H, Me). Crystal and molecular structure of [Fe(h4-P3C2tBu2BuH)(h5-(C5Me5)]

M. M. Al-Ktaifani, P. B. Hitchcock, J. F. Nixon, Dalton Trans. 2008, 1132-1135.

Facile insertion and halogen migration reactions of the hexaphosphapentaprismane cage P6C4tBu4 with zerovalent and divalent platinum complexes.

G. K. B. Clentsmith, F. G. N. Cloke, M. D. Francis, J. R. Hanks, P. B. Hitchcock and J. F. Nixon, J.Organometal. Chem. 2008, 693, 2287-2292. Synthesis and structural characterisation of lanthanide and actinide complexes derived from the 3,5-di-tert-butyl-1, 2, 4-triphospholyl ring anion, P3C2But2-.. Crystal and molecular structures of [M(h5-P3C2But2)2(h2-P3C2But2)] (M = Sc, Y, Tm, and U).

Y. Zhang, F. S. Tham, J. F. Nixon, C. Taylor, J. C. Green, C. A. Reed, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.  2008, 47, 3801-3804. The low basicity of phosphabenzenes: first examples of protonation, alkylation and silylation reactions.

S.Deng, C. Schwarzmaier, U. Vogel, M. Zabel, J. F. Nixon, M. Scheer, Eu. J. Inorg. Chem. 2008, 4870-4874. Unexpected differences in the coordination behaviour of

1,2,4-triphosphaferrocenes towards Cu(I) chloride.



M. F. Lappert and J. F. Nixon, Chemistry

M. M. Al-Ktaifani, P. B. Hitchcock, M. F. Lappert, J. F. Nixon, P. G. H. Uiterweerd, Dalton Trans. 2008, 2825-2831. Specific insertion reactions of a germylene, stannylene and plumbylene into the unique P-P bond of the hexaphosphapentaprismane cage P6C4tBu4ER2 (E = Ge, Sn, R = N(SiMe3)2; E = Pb, R = (C6H3(NMe2)2-2,6).


J. D. Smith, Chemistry

M. P..Coles, S. M. El-Hamruni, J. D. Smith, P. B.Hitchcock, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 10147-10150. An organozinc hydride cluster: an encapsulated tetrahyrozincate?


J. N. Murrell, Chemistry

‘Higgins, Hugh Christopher Longuet-’ in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2008 p 208.

L. J. Dunne, G. Manos, J. N. Murrell, Chem. Phys. Lett. 2008, 456, 162. Exact statistical mechanical lattice model and classical Lindemann Theory of melting of inert gas solids.


J. R. Hanson, Chemistry

J. R. Hanson, P. B. Hitchcock, F. Toche, J. Chem. Res. 2008, 416-418. The conformation of some ortho-bromoarylaldehydes.

J. R. Hanson, P. B. Hitchcock, F. Toche, J. Chem. Res. 2008, 476-478. The rotation of the nitro and formyl groups relative to the aromatic ring in some ortho-nitroarylaldehydes.

J. R. Hanson, B. M. Fraga, Phytochemistry 2008, 69, 2104-2109. Fujenal, a diterpenoid saga of neighbouring group participation.

J. R. Hanson, J. Chem. Res. 2008, 241-247. Fifty years of the synthesis of labelled mevalonic acid.

J. R. Hanson The Chemistry of Fungi, RSC Publishing, 2008 pp1-221


Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing Award for Service 2008

Editor Journal of Chemical Research

Editorial Advisory Board Natural Product Reports, Natural Product Updates, Natural Product Research, Mendeleev Communications









We are sorry to report the deaths of former colleagues; this shows where some obituaries can be found. If you know of any that we have missed, please send in the details so they can be published in the next newsletter


Colin Atherton: Bulletin 20 March 2009.

Tony Becher: Bulletin 3 April 2009, The Higher 2 April 2009, Sussex School of Education.

Neil Bone: Bulletin 8 May 2009.

Mary Dove: Bulletin 19 June.

Vivien Hart: Bulletin 6 March 2009; American Studies; PS: Political Science and Politics 2009, 42: 415-416.

Beynon John: Bulletin 24 April 2009.

Walter Ledermann: Bulletin 5 June 2009, Independent 1 June 2009, Times 19 June 2009.


A Celebration of the Life of Walter Ledermann FRSE will be held at the Meeting House, University of Sussex, on Thursday 8th October 2009, at 2.30 pm. All are welcome.  Further details will be posted at  Queries may be made of Mrs Fiona Childs (01273 877638) in the Department of Mathematics.


Bob Sang: Guardian 2 July 2009; Editor’s blog, Health Policy Insight:

John Sants: see below.

Brian Smith: Bulletin 22 May 2009.



John Sants


John recently died in Oxford, aged 86.  Formerly an educational psychologist, he first made his name with a 1964 article for the British Journal of Medical Psychology titled ‘Genealogical bewilderment in children with substitute parents’This phrase, which he coined, is still in use today, particularly with reference to children conceived from anonymous sperm donors.  John then came to Sussex in the late 1960s to teach Developmental Psychology, which he did for the next 30 years.  During that time his gentle personality and natural generosity were always much in evidence.  An old school Tory of the most benign kind, while hair was growing longer and dress wilder in the early ’70s he continued to look every inch the English gentleman, regarding some of the student – and occasionally staff - excesses around him with a quizzical but kindly eye.  Concentrating on teaching, he often did more than his full share, keeping the Developmental Psycho-logy faculty together at moments when it threatened to disintegrate altogether.  In 1969 he set up the first two-year course in Britain to train educational psychologists, with myself coming in that year as his partner.  In 1971 we launched a two-term contextual course, Images of Childhood, which lasted until first John and then I retired, and remained popular with generations of students.  We thought up this course during our many conversations, with John always receptive and encouraging to new ideas.  At school meetings he was an island of calmness, however heated and occasionally extreme the discussion.  Living in some style in Barcombe Manor outside Lewes, he was splendidly backed up by his charming and generous wife Anne, also a former educational psychologist and always the soul of hospitality.  Retiring to Oxford, where he had studied as an undergraduate, he and Anne continued to take an interest in literature and history.  John died of a heart attack, attending one such class for which he was planning to write yet another essay.  His son Hector, now chairman of the Financial Services Authority, lived just opposite with his family, and his daughter Harriet, also an educational psychologist, was not far away with her children.  Understated by nature and quietly spoken, John was also wise and determined when it really mattered, as all those who knew him soon found out for themselves.

Nicholas Tucker







Absurd Person Singular

 Mon. Sep. 14,  7.45

 Tues. Sep. 15,  7.45

 Weds. Sep 16,  7.45

 Thurs Sep. 17,  2.30

 Thurs. Sep 17,  7.45

Date & time OK?












How many?















The Hypochondriac

 Tues. Oct. 6,


 Weds. Oct 7,


 Thurs. Oct.

  8,  2.30

 Thurs. Oct.

  8,  7.45

Date & time OK?










How many?













Your name and contact details – e mail if possible, or postal address:










Please post to Jennifer Platt at either


Arts D




98 Beaconsfield Villas