Lockdown drama goes live for 2020 Virtual Festival of Chichester

Playwright Greg Mosse is offering The Same Next Day as a funny, entertaining video story, created for the Virtual Festival of Chichester with some of his favourite actors.

Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 8:00 am
Michaela Bennison
Michaela Bennison

Michaela Bennison appeared last year in Greg’s shows Lady of Jazz and Separate Ways; Chantelle Dusette has worked with Greg on several London projects; and Greg’s son Felix (ex-CFT Youth Theatre) is itching to rejoin the international tour of Les Miserables playing the part of Marius.

Greg’s play will go public on June 15 and then remain for the rest of festival and into the summer for people to enjoy: https://festivalofchichester.co.uk/events/the-same-next-day-by-greg-mosse

Greg describes it as a play about what happens when people jump to conclusions and try to fix something that was never wrong in the first place.

“I’ve had a show of some kind in every single Festival of Chichester. I think it makes an immense contribution to local life. I’m delighted that everyone has worked so hard to create a virtual version of the festival to make sure there is no gap in our annual celebration of local creativity.

“I am fortunate to have a very strong relationship with the Arts Council. Together, we have developed three different full-length plays in the last few years, stories with powerful issues of friendship, betrayal, politics, history, race and community. When lockdown happened, I applied for a small grant from the Arts Council’s emergency fund in order to be able to continue employing my team of actors to do virtual creative work.

“As well as The Same Next Day, we’ve read three full-length scripts online, each one of us in our own little box on the screen. I am a strong believer in actor feedback. In all the online work I’ve been doing, I have invited the performers to make their own amendments and adjustments so that the voices fit more closely their own readings of the personalities of the characters.

“As a writer, lockdown isn’t so different from much of my normal life. Normally, when I’m at home in Chichester, I’m busy writing and producing plays with my local professional team. Last year, incredibly, we had nine separate productions, including touring to Portsmouth, London and Manchester. That’s all come to a halt, of course. What’s more, without the virus, I would be commuting a couple of times a week between Chichester and London.

“I teach a free script development program for mid-career playwrights at the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly Circus. This is an incredible privilege. Over the last six years, I’ve worked with more than 100 writers plus dozens of actors and directors. The programme is financed by the Criterion Theatre Trust, for which I am incredibly grateful. I set it up with my close friend Peter Clayton who, very sadly, died two years ago.

“It’s important to me to work in partnership with other local writers and creatives. Carol Godsmark (Chichester) and I wrote a World War I play for director Roger Redfarn (Westbourne) called Number 60 to the Somme. My composer partner John Gleadall (West Ashling) is fundamental to many of our successes, including Lady of Jazz and Separate Ways. Pianist Tony Pegler (Havant) is an exceptional accompanist. Lucy Flannery (also Havant) and I wrote Poisoned Beds together and many readers will remember Paula Tinker (Slindon) as an exceptional Elizabeth Wells.

“In lockdown, Lucy and I are writing a new play set 20 years after the end of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

“Brilliant photographer Benjamin Graham (Bognor) has edited The Same Next Day, making it sit nicely together, as if it was a single coherent visual experience. That said, with everyone working with different technical facilities in different places, the work we are currently producing can only ever be a good quality draft, not the polished final work.

“I hope everyone enjoys The Same Next Day and whole of the Virtual Festival of Chichester 2020. We’re already working a new script about street demonstrations.”