Given the fact I was in London last week for the King’s College Open Day, I decided that I had to go and visit the pop-up exhibition organised by StudioCanal down in Bethnal Green about the twins.
The exhibit, Legend of the East End, showcases some unseen images from Brian Duffy and Don McCullin that capture a city awakening from the rubble of World War 2 alongside rare photographs of the twins and Reggie Kray’s funeral in 2000.
In one image taken by Brian Duffy, a young Reggie can be seen sparring with his grandfather Jimmy “Cannonball” Lee, the man who introduced the twins to boxing.
Curator Zelda Cheatle says: “The exhibition looks at the East End of the 60’s and 70’s, brought to life by the people who lived there, the photographers who captured everyday life, the undercurrents that continue to exist and importantly it reflects the poetry of the streets. Whether you are a visitor to the East End or a long-time resident, there will be something to discover about this neighbourhood and maybe a new way of evaluating it.”
Ronnie and Reggie Kray were the most notorious criminals of the 1960s effectively ruling London’s underworld.
Born and raised in the East End, they moved to Bethnal Green as children and soon became involved in juvenile crime.
After several run-ins with the law which more often than not ended with them walking free, they were convicted of murder in 1969. Ronnie who had been certified insane died in Broadmoor, a psychiatric hospital, in 1995 while Reggie was released weeks before dying of cancer.
Tom Hardy has been praised for his portrayal of both the twins in the Brian Helgeland directed film which also features a stellar cast of Colin Morgan, Christopher Eccleston and Emily Browning as Reggie’s tragic wife Frances Shea.
Petite Contrast Sleeve Army Jacket from Topshop (Discontinued)
Petite Denim Shirt Dress ASOS (£24.99)
I know it’s a non bookish post, but I have a ton of reviews to post over the course of this month and I wanted to break them up a little bit with more life posts like this from time to time. However, if you’re interested in learning more about the gangsters who ruled London, then I did post a review of The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John Pearson here. Their story is one that is really intriguing so I definitely recommend reading up on them.
If you’re in London this week, definitely swing up the exhibition if you have time. It’s completely free and they’ve recreated the living room of Violet Kray, the twins’ beloved mother, so you can sit and enjoy a complimentary cup of tea. Unfortunately, as it’s a pop-up exhibit to promote Legend, Friday will be the last day you’ll be able to view it.
You can find out the address, opening times and more information on the Legend of the East End exhibition here
Legend starring Tom Hardy is out in theaters today!
|“We’re gonna rule London”|