Memory: The Magistrate (1969)

1969 the magistrate

John Clement’s superlative production of Pinero’s farce was the showcase for Alastair Sim’s greatest onstage performance ever, as Aeneas Posket. His tour de force included an unscripted sequence where he spent several minutes simply washing his face – getting soap in his eyes, losing his towel, etc – in itself a class act in comedy. Add to this Patricia Routledge’s performance as Agatha Posket, her star then in the ascendancy, in the first of her many Chichester appearances. The Chichester run was followed by a highly successful run at the Cambridge Theatre in London. Surely one of Chichester’s greatest.

From: Laurie Slade

Memory: Margaret Leighton

margaret leighton

She was not obvious casting as the serpent of old Nile. She was beginning the battle with debilitating illness that would kill her within a few years, when only in her 50’s. But in Peter Dews’ production of Antony and Cleopatra, with John Clements as Antony, Margaret Leighton made Cleopatra her own. Her performance was indeed one of ‘infinite variety’: glamorous, haughty, sensuous, witty, ferocious, fickle, passionate, always mesmerically watchable, and in her final moments, unbearably moving.

From: Laurie Slade