2019 Events

Saturday 30th November 2019
AGM, Play Reading and Buffet Lunch

The Society’s AGM, play reading and buffet lunch was held on Saturday 30th November 2019 at Doggetts Coat and Badge in London.

The AGM was the Society’s opportunity to thank Barbara Longford who stepped down as Chairman and celebrate the enormous amount of work, energy and dedication she has given to the Society.  She founded the Society in 2011 and since then has been planning and arranging most of the events over the past eight years.  Barbara reported on the highlights of the many exciting events that have taken place since the Society’s inception.

The play read was Wrong Move by Peter Briffa, directed by Michael Gaunt and performed by Giles Cole and Martin Amherst Lock.   Wrong Move was submitted for The TRS Award and was considered to be outstanding by our readers. It involves a chess-master, Temple, who is annoyed at what he sees as an unfair portrait in a new novel and so entices the author, Ogden, to a basement where he confines him with release only possible if he wins a game of chess. Through interminable games the relationship between the two is explored.  We were pleased that Peter Briffa was able to join us for the reading and lunch.

Tuesday 17th September 2019
The British Library

Two events were held at the British Library on Tuesday 17th September both hosted by Society member Professor Dan Rebellato.

At the first event called ‘Show and Tell’ Professor Rebellato and a British Library Curator enabled Society members to see and handle some of the early drafts of Rattigan’s most famous plays, letters, cuttings files and more.

The second event was called ‘Craftsman at Work!  Secrets from the Rattigan Archive‘.  Professor Rebellato who has worked in the Rattigan Archive for over twenty years gave an illustrated lecture which gave a glimpse into what the Archive can tell us about Rattigan’s process, his craft and his theatre.

Saturday 13th July 2019
Performance of ‘While the Sun Shines’ at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond

The Society visited the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond to see While the  Sun Shines.  In Rattigan’s lifetime, ‘While the Sun Shines’ was his most successful play.  It is a brilliant comedy, set in wartime London.  It opened on Christmas Eve in 1943 when the war was far from over, yet the previous 12 months had seen a decisive turning of the tide in the Allies’ favour.  The play ran for 1,154 performances.

Saturday 15th June 2019 
Performance of ‘The Browning Version’ and ‘Red Pepper’ at the Little Theatre, Torquay

This double bill of ‘The Browning Version’ and ‘Red Peppers’ by TOADS Theatre Company in Torquay was directed by Rattigan Society member, Andrew Kenyon.  Following the performance there was an opportunity to meet the cast over refreshments.

Monday 10th June 2019
Birthday Dinner at the Garrick Club, London

The annual birthday dinner was held at the Garrick Club on Terence Rattigan’s 108th birthday, 10th June 2019.   47 Society members and guests including our President, David Suchet, and Vice President, Greta Scacchi, enjoyed a reception and dinner and hosted by Vice President, Geoffrey Wansell, who is the official historian of The Garrick Club.  The Guest Speaker was Dr Holly Hill, Vice President and US Representative of the TRS.

Thursday 28th February, 2019
Buffet Supper and Performance of ‘After the Dance’
by students of The Oxford School of Drama

Twenty two TRS members travelled to Woodstock for our first event of 2019, which was to see the second production of a Rattigan play which has been sponsored by The Terence Rattigan Society’s Harold & Pegs French Award.

The Oxford School of Drama has existed for 33 years was founded by George Peck. It has enjoyed phenomenal success with graduate highlights in the last year alone including Clare Foy, winner of a 2018 Emmy for The Crown. The event began with a buffet supper in the elegant home of the Principal, George Peck, during which Barbara Longford presented him with the Society’s cheque for £1,000 – The French Fund. The Society intends to make this award each year to a drama school which puts on a production of a play by Terence Rattigan.

We saw a magnificent production of After the Dance. The students alternated in playing the main parts and signalled a change of actor by handing over a small prop, such as a handbag, to the next actor taking over the role. They were similarly dressed. This worked well.

After the performance Roger Mills chaired and question and answer session with the cast and the audience.

A good start to the TRS year.


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