West Chiltington resident Alexandra Bastedo fondly remembers the world famous theatre producer and director, Patrick Garland, as an ‘amazing husband’ and ‘witty companion’.
Referred to as ‘the Shakespeare of Chichester’ by Chichester Festival Theatre, Mr Garland’s career spanned five decades with a host of West End smashes, including Alan Bennett’s ‘Forty Years On’ starring Sir John Gielgud.
Founder of Poetry International with Ted Hughes and the only director to have four plays running in the West End simultaneously, Patrick has left a legacy of award-winning shows, musicals, films, books and poetry, but his widow Alexandra hopes that people will also remember him for his continuous charity work.
“A lot people don’t know about his charity work,” she explained. “He did shows in aid of the Falklands War, the RSPCC and he directed ‘Fanfare for Elizabeth’ to celebrate the Queen’s 60th birthday.”
Patrick was great supporter of his wife’s charity, ABC Champions Animal Sanctuary which homes 150 stray animals on farmland owned by the couple.
Having battled with a long illness, Patrick passed away peacefully with his wife by his side last Friday, April 19.
“We have had people from all over the world paying their respects since the news.
“I’ve had people crying down the phone to me and letters and emails flooding in.”
Describing him as the ‘most interesting man’ she had ever met, the Casino Royale and The Champions actress married Patrick in 1980.
“He had a wide variety of character - amazing, kind, compassionate and witty. He was a very desirable dinner companion - never boring and adored by theatre professionals everywhere.”
A great admirer of Corsica where he proposed to his wife, Mr Garland was in the process of writing a book on the French island when he passed, but Alexandra says this will not be the end.
“There are still many things to expect from Patrick,” she said.
“He has a number of plays that people want to redo and he also has a notebook of anecdotes and witticisms that I would like to publish.”
Although he remained out of the public eye for the last few years of his life, Alexandra said Patrick had not been forgotten.
“He wanted to stay at home with his family till the end, but even though he hadn’t seen many people in that time he has not been forgotten by them.”
A private funeral for close friends and family will be held at Chichester Cathedral.
Plans for Chichester Festival Theatre to organise a larger service is said to be in the works.