2014 Events

SATURDAY  6th DECEMBER 2014,  Christmas Party at K5, Albany, Piccadilly.

Anthony Fletcher

Anthony Fletcher

K5 Albany, is the former chambers of Sir Terence Rattigan, CBE.  He  lived there from 1943 to 1946 and set his play ‘While the Sun Shines’ (first produced in December 1943) entirely in Lord Harpenden’s chambers at Albany.  Members were invited to attend, courtesy of Antony Fletcher, the owner of the set, who arranged for a plaque in memory of Sir Terence to be erected there and unveiled by Sir Derek Jacobi, in 2007.

Antony Fletcher made the welcome speech and Barbara Longford made special mention of members who were attending an event for the first time. Giles Cole gave the Toast to Sir Terence.   The Society’s President, Princess George Galitzine MBE attended and also Pamela Carsaniga, who represented her daughter, Vice President Greta Scacchi, who was unable to attend due to filming commitments.

This was a hugely popular event which attracted far more members than could be accommodated.  With Mr Fletcher’s permission, the Society hopes to return to Albany in due course.

Barbara Longford


SUNDAY 9TH NOVEMBER, 2014 –  AGM and Lunch at Sheekey’s Restaurant

Sheekey'sThe Society had reserved a private room at this renowned restaurant in the heart of theatreland, for Sunday lunch and our Annual General Meeting.  Forty members attended, including Adrian Brown and Judy Buxton, both Honorary Life Members of the Society.  Judy was accompanied by her husband, actor Jeff Holland.  Sheekey’s provided a magnificent lunch, immaculately served and their artist had worked with Honorary Member Andy Brigg’s sketch of Terence Rattigan and used it to enhance the menu card.

The Society’s Secretary, Group Captain Clive Montellier, welcomed everyone to the event and then Founder Member, Roger Barker, said Grace.  After this, the Society’s Editor, Giles Cole, proposed a Toast to Sir Terence Rattigan.  After a most convivial lunch, Clive Montellier chaired the Annual General Meeting and invited Chairman, Barbara Longford, to give her report for the year.

Barbara gave a brief outline of the events of the year, mentioning that our latest Honorary Member, Judy Buxton, had played several Rattigan parts for the Society during the Princess Galitzine event at the V & A and also at the English-Speaking Union in May this year.  Barbara outlined future plans, including the conference “In the Footsteps of Rattigan”, in June 2015.  The Chairman also introduced an exciting new development, to be launched next year – THE TERENCE RATTIGAN SOCIETY AWARD, for a new stage play, which would be arranged and managed by Giles Cole and Michael Wheatley-Ward.   Barbara then thanked our President and Vice Presidents for their invaluable work and support and finally thanked her fellow Committee members who were present:  ANDREW KENYON,  DIANA SCOTNEY,  GILES COLE,  MICHAEL WHEATLEY-WARD AND CLIVE MONTELLIER for the dedication and professionalism of their work for the Society.

Sheekey'stable Sheekeys Menu


MONDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER, 2014 – Event at the V & A Archives, in Blythe Road.

Archives8Society members were given exclusive access to the Rattigan Collection at the Department of Modern & Contemporary Performance of the V & A Archives Centre.

Kate Dorney is the Curator of the Department, which now houses the contents of the former Theatre Museum in Covent Garden and she and Barbara Longford arranged a special day for our members. Kate was assisted by Simon Sladen, Assistant Curator, who worked tirelessly to make the day a success. In the morning, Kate gave a talk and tour of the Theatre and Performance Collection and members were able to view the Terence Rattigan material from the Collection.

After a fascinating morning, members repaired to the Beaconsfield pub nearby, where an area had been set aside for our pre-ordered lunch. In the afternoon we returned to Blythe House for a private screening from the National Video Archive of Performance of the centenary year production of ‘Cause Celebre’ at the Old Vic, directed by Thea Sharrock, with Anne-Marie Duff as Alma Rattenbury.

The exact venue for our day was The Clothworkers’ Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion. It is a brand new study and research area located inside Blythe House. Further details of the Archive Centre can be found in ‘The Rattigan Version’ Issue no. 12.

Beaconsfield1 Archives5 Beaconsfield3



The Terence Rattigan Society Annual Birthday Dinner

GUEST OF HONOUR AND GUEST SPEAKER:  Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, DL

The Annual Birthday dinner was held at the RAF Club this year and was hosted by The Society’s Secretary, Group Captain Clive Montellier RAF.  The guest speaker was the actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter as well as a Conservative Member in the House of Lords – Julian Fellowes.  He is the creator, executive producer and writer of Downton Abbey.  Julian Fellowes was introduced by our President, Princess George Galitzine, MBE.

We chose the Royal Air Force Club as our venue this year to commemorate Rattigan’s wartime service.  It was a sparkling occasion and for a further report, please see Issue No. 11 of the newsletter ‘The Rattigan Version’.


Barbara Longford, Julian Fellowes and Princess Galitzine


Princess Galitzine, Lady Fellowes, Barbara Longford

Princess Galitzine, Julian Fellowes, BL.

Princess Galitzine, Julian Fellowes, Barbara Longford


WEDNESDAY 21st MAY, 2014 – An Evening on Terence Rattigan, with Princess Galitzine

Giles Cole, Barbara Longford, Stephen Martin Bradley and Vice President, Geoffrey Wansell in the rehearsal room before the performance.

Giles Cole, Barbara Longford, Stephen Martin Bradley and Vice President, Geoffrey Wansell in the rehearsal room before the performance.

Society members joined members of the English-Speaking Union for a repeat of the event which the Society had presented to the Victoria and Albert Museum last year.

Around 80 people gathered in the Long Drawing Room and the evening began with an interview with our President, Princess George Galitzine, MBE speaking to Vice President, Geoffrey Wansell.

After the interview, Geoffrey Wansell talked about Terence Rattigan and his career and this was illustrated by readings from ‘In Praise of Love’ read by Stephen Martin-Bradley and Judy Buxton; ‘The Browning Version’ read by Geoffrey Wansell, Stephen Martin-Bradley and Judy Buxton; ‘The Deep Blue Sea’, with Stephen Martin-Bradley as Jackie and Giles Cole as Freddie;  and ‘ Separate Tables’ with Judy Buxton and Giles Cole.  The event concluded with Giles Cole reading from his own play ‘The Art of Concealment’ about Terence Rattigan.

The Vote of Thanks was given by  Michael Pryke, Head of PR and Communications at the ESU.  We then had drinks and canapés in the Churchill Room.

Giles Cole, Judy Buxton, Barbara Longford and Geoffrey Wansell.

Giles Cole, Judy Buxton, Barbara Longford and Geoffrey Wansell.


WEDNESDAY 5th MARCH, 2014 – Gala Evening at The Finborough Theatre to see ‘Variation on a Theme’.

variation of a theme finborough

Rachael Stirling and Martin McCreadie swap bristling bon mots

The Society took over the entire theatre (seats 48) to see the first production of this play in over 50 years.  ‘Variation on a Theme’ opened at the Globe Theatre in London on 8th May 1958, when Rattigan’s star was on the wane.  It starred Margaret Leighton and Jeremy Brett, but ran for only 132 performances.  It was given a reading at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, staged by Michael Oakley, in the centenary year and now two young producers, Ben Prudhoe and Sam Zdzieblo are proud and excited to mount a new production.

The bar at the Finborough Theatre has recently re-opened after a long closure and publican Jeff Bell allowed the Society members to use a new basement area for an exclusive drinks reception.  There were quite a few new members amongst us and Vice President, Michael Darlow and his wife, Sophie, joined us.  Members thought the production was superb and the performances of Rachael Stirling, Susan Tracy and Martin McCreadie outstanding;  but the entire case shone.  Afterwards the director, Michael Oakley, joined Michael Darlow for a discussion about the play, its history and the present production.

We had to relinquish two of the Society’s seats, but these went to Sir Trevor Nunn and Christopher Hampton, which added a little stardust to the evening.


SUNDAY 19TH JANUARY, 2014 – New Year Party at Chelsea Old Town Hall

Forty eight members gathered in the Brydon Room at Chelsea Old Town Hall, with kind permission of The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, where Terence Rattigan was born on either the 9th June or 10th June, 1911. The Host for this event was Andrew Kenyon, the Borough’s Superintendent Registrar and the Society’s Treasurer, who had arranged for Terence Rattigan’s original birth registration document to be displayed.

The President, Princess George Galitzine MBE.,  attended, together with the Vice President, Geoffrey Wansell, and Guest of Honour and speaker, Adrian BrownAlso present was the celebrated restaurateur Elena Salvoni, MBE., who was a friend of Terence Rattigan.

Chairman Barbara Longford welcomed everyone and made special mention of the latest Terence Rattigan Society members attending an event for the first time – Sheila Bernette – the celebrated actress and Esop Evard – a young actor who many members saw in the recent production of Harliquinade in Notting Hill.  Sam Zdzieblo, one of the young producers of the forthcoming ‘Variation on a Theme’ at the Finborough Theatre was a special guest.

2014-01-19 13.01.50

Giles Cole, the Society’s Editor, then interviewed Adrian Brown and they discussed his career and his friendship with Terence Rattigan.  This was scheduled for a twenty minute slot.  Adrian – a born raconteur – gave us a fascinating insight into TR’s private life including his legendary weekend house parties, his glamorous circle of friends and theatrical first nights – together with tales of his own ‘life in the theatre’ interspersed with anecdotes a-plenty. Beautifully finished off with a reading of Adrian’s own paen to Sir Terence, nobody seemed to notice that nearly forty minutes had slipped by!  Another happy event in the Society’s calendar.

2014-01-19 14.07.50 2014-01-19 11.53.16 2014-01-19 12.48.39 P1060751 P1060753




Copyright © Dandelion by Pexeto