Festival Theatre stalwart visits Midhurst U3A

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Members of Midhurst U3A (University of the Third Age) were very pleased to welcome Patrick Garland, the actor, writer and director, to their latest meeting.

He was the artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre from 1981 to 1985 and from 1990 to 1994.

Patrick gave a humorous talk about his life in the theatre interspersed with anecdotes from the stage and dressing rooms.

He had worked with well-known actors including Harry Secombe, Jeremy Brett and Rex Harrison and he recalled his love of the theatre and described the magical moment when the house lights are dimmed and the world of reality becomes the world of imagination as the stage lights come up.

He spoke affectionately about Sir Lawrence Olivier, the founder of Chichester Festival Theatre and entertained his audience with reminiscences about other great names of the theatre, including Dame Sybil Thorndike, Dame Edith Evans, Alex Guinness, John Guilgood, Ralph Richardson and Noel Coward.

“If you are just retiring or have already retired, why not join Midhurst U3A?” asked spokesman Carole Allan.

“We are a group of people with lively minds, who meet in small groups to further our interests in a wide range of topics from play readings, art, craft, gardening, languages, genealogy, architecture and creative writing to digital photography, computers, cryptic crosswords, poetry, art history and singing – if someone has an interest and there are like-minded people, then another group is formed.

“Members run groups in their own homes or meet in larger venues.”

On the third Tuesday of each month the group meet at 2.30pm in the Midhurst Methodist Church Hall for a get together and an interesting talk by an expert.

“We warmly welcome new members – both couples and singles.”

For further information visit their website – u3asites.org.uk/midhurst or contact Carole Allan on 01730 813374.