Blog: Director’s Decisions

First read-through of the scripts with the Young Playwrights, actors and director.

I am delighted to say that we now have three brand new short plays that will be performed in our Out Of The Archive series in the Minerva Theatre in October. The three pieces have been inspired and informed by the work of the Youth Theatre and:

– A 1960s article regarding what you should and should not wear to CFT (see below)

– Press cuttings, reviews and production notes relating to the 1970s production of Chekov’s The Seagull

– Letters written to the young cast of the 1986 production of Jane Eyre

The result is a selection of plays containing very human relationships and feelings that we can all relate to – love, inferiority, and fear – all explored using humour and truth.

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Blog: “Open the Box” – Scanning sessions at the Record Office

Every Wednesday, Marilyn and Sue (some of our scanning volunteers) arrive at the Record Office in Chichester and set up for a session of digitisation (this is where we create digital versions of archival documents and items through computer scanning and Photoshop editing). Using a detailed record list which our archive volunteers fastidiously create every Monday with Gillian Edom, our archive training officer, they identify what’s most interesting, culturally significant or even what has been requested by researchers. They pull out specific boxes from the archive and begin to scan the hidden treasures inside…


1973 Seagull Rehearsal Notes
One of Sue and Marilyn’s scans – Rehearsal notes from ‘The Seagull’ (1973) “Need to have a practice with stinkbombs” (click image to enlargen)

Sue and I started our scanning experience for Chichester Festival Theatre in 2013 and we have to say, felt very privileged to be able to scan some of Leslie Evershed-Martin’s scrapbooks at what was his Chichester home. We did the scanning in the dining room; above the mantelpiece was a very impressive portrait of Sir Laurence Olivier (known as Larry to Leslie Evershed-Martin and friends). We felt he was keeping a watchful eye on what we were doing with the scrapbooks. The books were very enlightening and included a very valued account of fundraising, first productions, and the casts, programmes, after Theatre party invitations and press cuttings from the 1960s – 1990s. Sue and I have now been dispatched to the Records Office for our current scanning adventures, which so far have been very interesting and varied. One of our more recent scanning sessions included an annotated script, production photos and press cuttings of The Seagull produced in 1973, which we believe maybe used for inspiration by the Theatre’s Young Playwrights scheme. All in all, I can’t wait for what’s next to come for us.

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