Chichester Festival TheatreYour Memories (continued)

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Memory: Paul Rogerson (Theatre Manager)

Photograph exterior - Vanessa Lees, Paul Rogerson - Photographer Tim Andrews - 1973 - T Andrews collection

The longest ever serving, yes serving, Managing Director who started as Theatre Manager and Concert and Events Organizer and later also took over as Licensee, and managed to keep the theatre going throughout the winter seasons for many years thanks to his connections with the London Music Worlds. Without his input at that time, mid-sixties, the theatre would have been financially unsustainable and an early demise was being predicted. He was the first to bring the Moscow City Ballet, Chris Barber, Rostropovich, David Oistrach, Jaques Loussier and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to Chichester, among many other world class acts. And he kept in touch with them; and that also applies to the many actors and playwrights he cared for personally. But then, Paul knew and cared for every one involved in the theatre, even to the occasional ice cream seller, knew their personal histories, their worries and those of their families.

From: Anon

Other comments: Paul held the whole belly (under belly?) of the theatre together, and when he left after 36 years, everybody was in tears, and an era had come to an end. His modesty and humility, and his deep love for the theatre and all its people ought to be recognized.

Memory: Patrick Garland (Artistic Director 1981-84 & 1991-94)

1994 Patrick Garland photograph Box180 H16.4cm W24.5cm_001

A much loved director, constantly fighting with the Arts Council, and first to introduce musicals The Mitford Girls and Underneath the Arches to Chichester, both transferred to the West End. He also encouraged the ‘fringe’ performances, playing at the New Park, The Dolphin and Anchor Hotel and the Pollock’s little theatre in Bosham. So successful were these, that the first ‘tent’ was erected to house them, later giving birth to the hugely popular ‘Minerva’ theatre.

From: Paula Tinker

Memory: Patricia Routledge (actor)


She has always lent her support to the Theatre and the Youth Theatre.

From: Anon

Memory: Nicholas Nickleby (2006)

nicholas nickleby 2006

1. …the one that I carry around in my heart is the production called Nicholas Nickleby. It was a very large ensemble show and it took place over two evenings as it’s so long. It was in the very first year that I came here and so it was a huge great risk to do it, but it worked and the audiences loved it and clambered to see it. It went from playing to two hundred people a night in the first week that it opened, to being completely full with twelve hundred people within the period of the eight weeks it was playing on the stage. So it was-it was thrilling for many reasons because it was a big risk to do. It was a brilliant show and so one that I remember very fondly.

From: Alan F

2. It captured all the richness of the novel and was a brave and epic production. I came twice, and ached with laughter and was moved to tears on both occasions. Hats off to Philip Franks!

From: Anon