Archive: Oral history clips, The building in the 60s (2013-2015)

Cantilevers, Christopher Stevens
Project Architect on the 1962 Christopher Stevens talks about the day the props were removed from the building and the cantilevers had to support the building by themselves

Lending a hand in the Box Office, Patricia Kemp
Former Usherette and Head of Front of House in the Minerva Theatre Patricia Kemp describes lending a hand in the Box Office before the process was computerised

Wardrobe huts, Eileen Norris
Former Assistant Stage Manager Eileen Norris explains how CFT housed it’s Wardrobe department in the early years

Laurence Olivier and Door 6, Val Leggate
Usherette Val Leggate describes working front of house in the 1960s and how Laurence Olivier wanted things done

Wobbling windows, Christopher Stevens 
Project Architect on the 1962 build Christopher Stevens talks about how he and his team dealt with problems with the building

Prompt corner, Rosemary Chapman 
Assistant Stage Manager during the 1969 season Rosemary Chapman explains where she would sit during a performance to prompt any actors who forgot their lines

Collapsing seats, Christopher Stevens
Christopher Stevens talks about issues they had with the seating in the auditorium during the first season

Joyce Grenfell, Eileen Norris 
Former Assistant Stage Manager Eileen Norris describes meeting Joyce Grenfell in a rather unusual situation

Email for access to the full oral history interviews or click the files below to read the available summaries.

All interviews were recorded between 2013 and 2015, CFT digital archive

Interview summary Christopher Stevens PIOOH018
Interview summary Patricia Kemp PIOOH010
Interview summary Val Leggate PIOOH038
Interview summary Eileen Norris PIOOH036
Interview summary Rosemary Chapman PIOOH045

Archive: Oral history clips, Community plays (2013 – 2015)

Pictured above from L to R: Cavalcade, 1985, The Barchester Chronicles, 2000 & The Devil’s Dancing Hour, 2002

Auditioning for Cavalcade, Rob Hall.
Former Youth Theatre member Rob Hall describes auditioning for Cavalcade as a child with his brother.

Getting a role in The Devil’s Dancing Hour, Prue Sokell
Patron of the Theatre and volunteer, Prue Sokell tells us how she landed a speaking part in the 2002 production of The Devil’s Dancing Hour

Understudying The Barchester Chronicles, Beryl Flemming.
Long term CFT patron and volunteer Beryl Flemming describes being called to perform in The Barchester Chronicles whilst she was understudying a part in 2000

Inspiration for the opening scene of The Barchester Chronicles, Roger Redfarn
Director Roger Redfarn talks about his inspiration for the opening scene of The Barchester Chronicles in 2000

Performing in the opening scene of The Barchester Chronicles, Beryl Flemming.
Long term CFT patron and volunteer Beryl Flemming describes performing in the opening scene of the community play The Barchester Chronicles in 2000

Directing community plays, Roger Redfarn.
Director Roger Redfarn explains why he chose to be involved in two of the community plays in 2000 & 2002 at CFT and how the community were involved

Email for access to the full oral history interviews or click the files below to read the available summaries.

All interviews were recorded between 2013 and 2015, CFT digital archive

Interview summary Beryl Flemming PIOOH002
Interview summary John Gale PIOOH031
Interview summary Robert Hall PIOOH028
Interview summary Roger Redfarn PIOOH032

Archive: Oral history clips, Uncle Vanya (2013 – 2015)

First Night of Uncle Vanya, Alison Anderson.
A family friend of the Theatre’s founder describes her experience attending the first night of Uncle Vanya as a child

Set design, Pamela Howard. 
Scenographer Pamela Howard talks about CFTs 1962 Uncle Vanya and the designer Sean Kenny

Set design, Roger Redfarn.
Director, Redfarn, describes the set for the 1962 production of Uncle Vanya

Lewis Casson’s Uncle Vanya costume, Christopher Stevens.
The project architect on CFTs original 1962 build remembers the troubles the wardrobe department had with Lewis Casson during the first season

Tickets for Uncle Vanya, Paul Rogerson
CFT’s former Theatre Manager talks about the unusual ways people would get tickets to see Uncle Vanya in 1962.

Overnight queuing for Uncle Vanya, Eileen Norris
Hear about the success of Uncle Vanya during the 1962 season from former a Assistant Stage Manager.

Sleep over at CFT, Marian Pilbeam.
A volunteer and long term patron of the Theatre tells her adventures queueing for tickets for the final performance of Uncle Vanya in 1962

The success of Uncle Vanya, Leslie Williams. 
A patron of the Theatre and former drama teacher shares his memories of Uncle Vanya in 1962 and its success

Uncle Vanya film stars, Brian Wingate.
Autograph hunter, Wingate, talks about seeing Uncle Vanya with his mother during the Theatre’s second season in 1963

Email for access to the full oral history interviews or click the files below to read the available summaries.

All interviews were recorded between 2013 and 2015, CFT digital archive

Interview summary Alison Anderson PIOOH042
Interview summary Brian Wingate PIOOH022
Interview summary Christopher Stevens PIOOH018
Interview summary Eileen Norris PIOOH036
Interview summary Leslie Williams PIOOH041
Interview summary Pamela Howard PIOOH035
Interview summary Roger Redfarn PIOOH032

Archive: Oral history clip, Rosemary Chapman (2013)

Rosemary Chapman came to work at Chichester Festival Theatre in 1968 as an assistant stage manager on The Magistrate, and was put to work on sound. In this clip she looks back on that experience.

Rosemary Chapman by Gill Bushby 09 Dec 2014. Email for access to the full oral history interview or click the file below to read a summary.

Archive: Oral history clip, Christopher Stevens (2013)

Christopher Stevens was the project architect working for Powell and Moya on the original design of Chichester Festival Theatre. In this clip he looks back on the construction process.

Christopher Stevens by Fay Wilson 07 Dec 2014. Email for access to the full oral history interview or click the file below to read a summary.

Archive: Oral history clip, Jean Skaptason (2014)

Jean Skaptason came to Chichester to work in Festival Theatre’s costume workshop in 1962. She later joined the fledgling National Theatre company and came back to Chichester throughout the partnership between the Festival Theatre and the National Theatre under Laurence Olivier’s leadership. In these clips she looks back on working life in those first few years including working pressures, living arrangements and the relationship the Theatre had with the rest of Chichester.

Jean Skaptason by Karen Robinson 10 Dec 2013. Email for access to the full oral history interview or click the file below to read a summary.

Archive: Oral history clip, Gerard Soothill (2014)

Gerard Soothill’s parents were among founding members of the Festival Theatre Society, a society formed to help raise the funds needed to get the Theatre built and who were then given priority booking for theatre tickets. In this clip he looks back on the early societys efforts to raise funds in 1961 and 1962.

Gerard Soothill by Alex Habgood 29 Jan 2014. Email for access to the full oral history interview or click the file below to read a summary.

 

Archive: Oral history clip, Leslie Williams (2014)

Leslie Williams was breaking new ground in theatre education in the early 60s when he first came across Leslie Evershed-Martin and his plans to build a theatre in Chichester. In this clip he looks back on this moment.

Leslie Williams by Karen Robinson 20 Aug 2014. Email for access to the full oral history interview.

Archive: Oral history clip, Eileen Norris (2014)

Eileen Norris came to Chichester Festival Theatre as an aspiring director who wanted to witness Laurence Olivier work with great actors. She was employed nominally as an assistant stage manager but quickly became involved in helping to solve many of the problems faced by the fledgling Theatre over the course of its first few seasons, such as how to feed the cast and crew on a budget and how to help audience members out of their seats if they need medical assistance during a production.

In these clips she describes what she learned watching Olivier work on The Chances and The Broken Heart.

Eileen Norris by Rib Davis 20 Jun 2014. Email for access to the full oral history interview or click the file below to read a summary.

Archive: Oral history clip, Alison Anderson (2014)

Alison Anderson’s parents were next-door neighbours and good friends of Leslie and Carol Evershed-Martin and were enthusiastic supporters of the plans to found and build Chichester Festival Theatre. In these clips Alison Anderson reflects on the impression that the Evershed-Martins made on her as a child.

Allison Anderson by Gill Bushby 04 Sep 2014. Email for access to the full oral history interview or click the file below to read a summary.

Archive: Oral history clip, Adrian Whitaker (2014)

Adiran Whitaker joined CFT as a stage hand in 1973 and started working as a props maker in 1980. In these clips he describes how you make a severed head, why he wanted to make props, what props he made, making sofas, what his trianing consisted of and what life as a stage hand was like for him.

Adrian Whitaker by Karen Robinson 13 Feb 2014, CFT digital archive. Email for access to the full oral history interview.

Archive: Oral history clip, Karl Meier (2013)

Karl Meier looks back over a long career working backstage at Chichester Fetival Theatre covering his first memories of the Festival Theatre in the early 60s, joining the crew in the 70s and the kind of problems he has been asked to solve ever since. Clips include working with designers, how pulley systems work, turning sets around and paticular memories of Terra Nova, 1980.

Karl Meier interview by Sophie Shaw 28 Nov 2013, CFT digital archive. Email for access to the full oral history interview or click the file below to read a summary.

Archive: Oral history clip, Annemarie Nicholls (2014)

Annmarie Nicholls worked in various capacities at Chichester Festival Theatre, starting in the box office in 1978.

Annemarie Nicholls by Gill Bushby 05 Feb 2014, CFT digital archive. Email for access to the full oral history interview or click the file below to read a summary.

Archive: Oral history clip, Janet Bakose (2013)

Current Theatre Manager, Janet Bakose looks back on various highlights of her career at Chichester Festival Theatre

Janet Bakose by Susan Mukern 08 Oct 2013, CFT digital archive. Email for access to the full oral history interview.

Archive: Oral history clip, Chris Larkin (2014)

Actor Chris Larkin remissness on working on sound in the Chichester Festival Theater Tent circa 1985

Chris Larkin by Rachael Beaves and Daisy Mouatt 07 May 2014, CFT digital archive. Email for access to the full oral history interview.

Archive: Oral history clip, Pamela Howard (2014)

Pamela Howard first came to Chichester Festival Theatre in 1962 to help in the props and costume workshops. She later became a sceneographer and returned to the Festival Theatre in this capacity. In these clips she looks back on her experiences working on Terra Nova 1980, working on a thrust stage and in general about her relationship with Chichester Festival Theatre.

Pamela Howard by Fay Wilson 24 May 2014, CFT digital archive. Email for access to the full oral history interview.