Finding Your Cottages

Sussex on stage

Posted 11 July 2014 by Andrew Gardner

Chichester Festival Theatre, West Sussex

I've been looking for updates about the sequel David Hare was said to be writing to his play South Downs. South Downs was commissioned by the estate of Terence Rattigan as a response to Rattigan's The Browning Version and set in a 1960s public school - based on Hare's own experiences at Lancing College in Sussex. It premiered in 2011 at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester, which reminds me that when you're visiting Sussex it's always worth checking out the Chichester theatre schedules, as they have some fantastic productions - click here to view our selection of holiday homes in the Chichester region.

Anyway, what I thought was a sequel turns out to be memoirs, which Hare is believed to be writing - at least, he has said so publicly; he said that the idea came from writing South Downs and talking to children about growing up in the 1960s. He was quoted as saying it made him realise how little people know about it, which surprised me. But a David Hare take on the decade won't be quite like anyone else's, so I do hope he gets round to it.

On a public entertainment note, the Bexhill Playhouse Cinema has been saved from demolition. It opened in 1921 but had been empty since 2008. Campaigners, backed by comedian Eddie Izzard, plan to turn it into a two-screen cinema and a community space where young film makers can base themselves. If this works out it should be great for the local people and visitors to Bexhill alike. Meanwhile along the coast in Hastings the Pier share scheme, which was launched last October, beat its target of £500,000 and about half of the 3000-or-so shareholders are local. Isn't that heartening? I get the feeling that entertainment and community are alive and well in these Sussex strongholds. Both campaigns have taken huge guts and commitment from their organisers, not to mention their backers.

If you yearn to play on a pier, pop along to Brighton - someone told me recently that about 12 years ago the pier turned over something like £16m as a business. Now there's a thought to conjure with. These are all venues you'll be able to visit on your Sussex holidays, in the future if not quite yet. There's so much to look forward to - click here to view our selection of holiday cottages!

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