A city story to be staged at this year's Festival of Chichester

Greg
Greg
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Chichester Community Theatre are recruiting for their contribution to the 2017 Festival of Chichester.

Artistic director Roger Redfarn said: “Chichester Community Theatre are delighted to announce that their next production, as part of the Festival of Chichester in July 2017, will be a world premiere of a play by Greg Mosse entitled The Exchange – A Chichester Murder Mystery. It will play at the Riverside Theatre Chichester College.

“Set in and around Chichester in 1927 in the shadow of the Great Strike, The Exchange is a remarkable slice of social history and a baffling whodunnit. It is a classic murder mystery. The victim does everything possible to deserve the ultimate sanction. All the characters have a motive. But who actually did it?”

Roger is keen to recruit new people to the team, particularly backstage.

“Would you like to be involved in the production? We are looking to add to our technical team, people who would like to work with us on stage-management, wardrobe, properties, sound, set design and building. If you are interested in being part of our backstage technical team, we would be delighted to meet you. Some experience is useful but not essential. We are holding an open morning on Saturday, January 21 at the offices of Owen Kenny Solicitors, 38 South Street Chichester from 10am-12.30pm. Please feel free to call in and chat with us about your interest. If you are unable to join us on January 21, please send your details to chichestercommunitytheatre.org.uk.

“Recent Chichester Community Theatre Productions have included No.60 to the Somme, Side by Side by Sondheim, Separate Ways – a cabaret jazz musical and the musical version of the successful TV series After Henry.”

Greg said: “I expect everybody thinks that the place where they have chosen to live is special. I do. Chichester is a remarkable place – today and in the past. That’s one of the reasons why I have chosen to tell a story set at Christmas, as cinemas are taking over as the dominant form of entertainment and the pace of social change accelerates. There’s the conversion of the Corn Exchange in East Street into a picture house, the fallout from the general strike of 1926, the emancipation of women.

“Agatha Christie says that the hardest thing about writing a murder mystery is to find a group of people, all of whom are equally likely to have committed the crime. After all, there isn’t any mystery if it’s obvious who did it. So, in my new play, The Exchange, my most important task is to make it clear that the victim of violence could have been done away with by any of the other characters.

“Then, of course, there’s motivation. All the other characters have to have a reason to want the victim dead. And, in my understanding of classical mystery, the audience should sympathise. I’m not saying that the victim deserves to die, but I am saying that the audience should understand how the killer was driven to do it. Then there’s opportunity. The plot of the play must make it possible for all the suspects to have committed the crime. Of course, in the second act when the murder is investigated, we discover that some had a greater opportunity than others. I’m very lucky that Roger Redfarn and the Chichester Community Theatre have taken on my script and there’s no better place to see it performed than in the 2017 Festival of Chichester.”

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