Lost gem will be among Festival of Chichester theatrical highlights

Roger Redfarn by Rosey Purchase
Roger Redfarn by Rosey Purchase

Chichester Community Theatre will be adding an usual twist to this year’s Festival of Chichester with five pop-up performances of a lost theatrical gem.

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester library (twice), Art for All and the New Park Centre will be the locations for Yes and No, a 22-minute two-hander by Graham Greene, directed by Roger Redfarn, The piece tells of the relationship between an actor (Matthew Hughes-Short) and a theatre director (Steve Wallace) who are working together on a new play starring Sir John and Sir Ralph. The two Sirs are not happy with the young actor’s work and ask the director to spend time with him to try to improve his performance... The two theatrical knights are not seen. But as Roger says, there is no doubting who they are: “This was the 1981, and we know that Graham Greene must have known Sir Ralph Richardson and he must have known Sir John Gielgud. In the play, it talks about Sir John and Sir Ralph. They don’t say Gielgud and they don’t say Richardson, but it must have been obvious. “Graham Greene must have said to Gielgud and Richardson ‘This is just a bit of fun.’ They are having gay affairs. Gielgud and Richardson must have agreed. It must have been quite extraordinary in its time. It is quite outspoken!” Roger’s discovery of the piece followed last year’s Minerva production of a musical version of Graham Greene’s Travel’s With My Aunt: “I thought when I saw it that I remembered when I was in my teens that Graham Greene wrote some wonderful plays, and I thought ‘Nobody does them anymore.’ I got the complete works out, and at the back of the book I found this played called Yes and No. “We are putting the play on at a choice of four different venues and on five Saturday mornings in June and July. There is no booking and admission is free, so it will be easy for people just to pop in while doing their Saturday shopping.” The performances, which are part of the Festival of Chichester 2017, will take place at Pallant House Gallery, North Pallant on Saturday 17 June at 11am; at Chichester Central Library, Tower Street on Saturday, June 24 at 11.30am and Saturday, July 1 at 11.30am; Art for All, The Square, Eastgate, on Saturday, July 8 at 11am; and New Park Cinema, New Park Road, on Saturday, July 15 at 11am. Also coming up this Festival from Chichester Community Theatre, is The Exchange – A Chichester Murder Mystery, from Tuesday, July 18-Saturday, July 22 at Riverside Theatre, Chichester College. The play by Greg Mosse is set in and around Chichester in the shadow of the Great Strike of 1926. The victim is hated. Ten characters have a motive...

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