Show in honour of Patrick Garland offers a starry line-up

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A Sussex Christmas will be offered in honour of former Chichester Festival Theatre artistic director Patrick Garland who died earlier this year.

The work emerged among Patrick’s papers after his death.

It will be directed by his friend and collaborator Roger Redfarn who believes the entertainment has not seen the light of day before.

It offers a selection of carols and poems read by a starry line-up, which includes Patrick’s wife, Alexandra Bastedo (The Champions, The Aphrodite Inheritance).

She will be joined by John Clegg (It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Dad’s Army), Liza Goddard (Skippy, Take Three Girls, The Brothers), Susan Jameson (Take Three Girls, New Tricks) and Christopher Timothy (All Creatures Great And Small, Doctors).

Also taking part will be Sussex musicians the Copper Family who performed in September at Patrick’s memorial service in Chichester Cathedral.

A Sussex Christmas will be staged at 7pm for 7.30pm on Saturday, December 14, at St Mary’s Church, Storrington.

Roger said: “This is something which Patrick devised and which we found. It is lovely to have dear Susan Jameson involved, who I think is a wonderful actress doing some wonderful work.

“She has the most glorious voice. She and I were at drama school together. We are going back to 1958. That’s a very long time ago!”

A Sussex Christmas is based on a book, which Patrick did, called Angels In The Sussex Air, a book of Sussex poetry, Roger explained.

“Patrick wrote some amazing recitals like this. We found a lot of them when we were going through his papers, many of which have not been done and that Alexandra and I hope we will do in the future.

“There were pages and pages of notes for ideas for things that he wanted to do and never got around to doing. His output was remarkable.

“Patrick was quite incredible. He was an academic and an intellectual, but with a great joy in life and living. There was a lovely warm side to his serious mind.

“Going through his papers, we found some wonderful letters from people like Ingrid Bergman.

“He loved gossip. He was a wonderful gossip. He loved to gossip, but he would never, ever say an unkind word about anyone, and I don’t think I ever heard anyone say an unkind word about Patrick. He generated a wonderful warmth and love.

“I remember times working with him when you just didn’t want it to end. When you were working with him, it was the most wonderful job in the world.

“The other incredible thing was that he knew everybody.

“You think of the mere fact that Prince Charles sent Sir Donald Sinden to represent him at Patrick’s memorial service.

“It shows the extent of his relationships. People just loved him so much.”

Patrick was twice artistic director at Chichester Festival Theatre, the only artistic director to have served two separate terms at the venue. He died earlier this year after a long illness.

Tickets for Roger’s production of Patrick’s A Sussex Christmas are priced £12 and are available from Fowlers Estate Agents, Storrington.

Proceeds from the event will go to the ABC Animal Sanctuary and St Marys Church, Storrington.

Roger confirmed he will be hoping to stage other works of Patrick’s devising in the future.