Alan delighted with debut

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After being entranced last year by their gorgeous Pergola Theatre at West Dean Gardens, Alan Ward is delighted to be making his debut with New Theatre Productions.

Alan has joined the cast for Simon Brett’s Murder In Play which will run in repertoire with Shakespeare’s Taming Of The Shrew throughout the Chichester Festivities.

“I went up there last year for the first time to see Habeas Corpus and then inquired about how I could become involved,” Alan said. “It’s just a wonderful, wonderful venue and I just thought what a great place to do a play.”

Also appealing was the fact of the longer run, with the two productions alternating. The downside, however, is the weather as he discovered on the first day of rehearsals.

“It was a real baptism of fire… or water, I should say. We were standing there with umbrellas and scripts in hand.”

Where necessary they’ve had to pop indoors for rehearsals, but there has been good weather amid the bad: “I think it all evens out in the end!”

For Murder In Play, Alan is playing Boris, the pompous, pretentious director of a tired touring theatre company which Boris is convinced are superb and could go straight into the West End.

They are staging a murder mystery, but events become decidedly complicated when a real murder happens within the play they are mounting.

Everyone becomes a suspect… But it is all very light-hearted, stresses Alan who is hoping his Russian accent will pass muster.

“Mostly I have been listening to Radio Russia on the internet. Most of it is in Russian, so it has been about picking up the metre of the speech patterns. Hopefully it is working for me! Only the audience will know!”

/blob/ Pergola Open Air Theatre at West Dean Gardens: Murder In Play by Simon Brett, June 25, 27, 29, July 3, 5, 7 at 7.45pm and The Taming Of The Shrew by William Shakespeare June 26, 28, 30, July 2, 4, 6 at 7.45pm. New Theatre Productions present for their 33rd season Simon Brett’s Murder In Play, directed by Carol Hicks and, in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company Open Stages Project, The Taming Of The Shrew, directed by John Hyatt. Picnics welcome. £10. Tickets from the Chichester Festivities and also on the gate on the night.