Rude Mechanical Theater Company returns to Chichester Festival
They are playing this year at the Chichester Festival with a date at Halnaker Park Cottage, Halnaker, PO18 0QH on June 13th.
It’s a remarkable thing to say given the terrible year the arts have had. But founder and artistic director Pete Talbot says the company’s future is secure for at least the next ten years.
This summer they will be on tour with the play they should have done last year, Little Lily Harley.
In addition to Chichester, the Eastbourne-based company will also host sites such as West Chiltington, Henfield, Ditchling, Eastbourne, Plumpton Green, Barcombe, Burwash, Lewes, Duncton, Wadhurst, Waldron, St Leonards, Milland, Rushlake. Tickets on the company website.
Everything is looking good: “From a financial point of view, our supporters have raised a huge amount of money for us, and that has kept us going along the way,” says Pete. “It was just all donations.”
There was also the support of the council, so Pete thinks they would have been able to get by: “But what the donations from the supporters mean is that it allowed us to be in a situation where our survival. is insured for at least three years.
“It took all the anxiety of pulling back and disappearing off our shoulders, and we were able to use the time well.
“We have installed a sink in the studio. We have fitted out the van. We have done a lot of practical things. We also reorganized ourselves and that allowed me to write more.
“As it unfolded, at the end of the year, I would say everything ensured the life of the company for at least ten years – which is really ironic considering how dark the times are for everyone. But somehow that all means we’re going to be able to keep going for a while. I am very optimistic for the future
“The play is written, the actors are chosen, the theaters are all booked – and we are desperate to go out to cheer you up!”
“’We’re going to start three weeks late, but that’s good. Of course, if the miserable affair continues we may have to rethink, but we are very optimistic about our tour this summer. We may need to socially alienate our audiences, but that’s okay too.
“We can do it and it will add to the fun. It’s a big room and all of those pent-up emotions are going to pour out. “
Little Lily Harley is a play about Charlie Chaplin’s childhood in Lambeth.
“With a drunk but charismatic actor father who was rarely around and a beautiful young actress mother who had three children from different fathers, Charlie had to learn alongside his older brother Sydney how to survive a very precarious existence.
“Sometimes taken care of by other people, sometimes in a disciplinary school for orphans and destitute children, sometimes separated from Sydney and sometimes living on the streets, he nevertheless managed to triumph over it all to become arguably the greatest actor cinema of all time.
“Hannah Chaplin, his mother (stage name Little Lily Harley – and the play speaks as much about her), taught Charlie how to go, as we call him, ‘through the back door’ in his imagination.
“Here he could dream and be anything, repeat the characters he met, especially their walks, and escape his pain.
“She taught her this especially when she had to leave, sometimes in the work house and sometimes in psychiatric institutions because she lost control of reality, so that she does not miss it.
“At the age of five, when she had a blackout on stage at Aldershot Barracks in the Canteen, he took over and won the audience back.