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Theatre group takes public back to city’s torturous times

THE WORLD première of The Hawkhurst Gang kidnap, torture and murder to the Priory Park 100 celebrations.


Chichester Community Theatre performed the play which was written specially by local playwright, Greg Mosse and directed by Westbourne resident, Roger Redfarn.


The Hawkhurst Gang is the second Chichester Community Theatre production that Paula has been in, she played the lead in The Exchange. She has also worked with Roger previously at Chichester Festival Theatre and has worked closely with Greg Mosse on a number of projects.


The company cast some local actors for the play which set in and around Chichester in the late 1740’s, when a group of smugglers were tired and condemned for kidnap, torture and murder.


The husband and wife cast members, Paula Tinker and Gareth William, both professional actors, live at Slindon Common and met back in the 1970’s when they were in the same theatre company.


They have known and worked with Roger for many years in various productions.


The play was performed at the Guildhall in Priory Park, which at the time of the play, was used as the Assizes and where the smugglers’ trial actually took place. The smugglers were found guilty and executed in and around the city.


The play is still to be performed at the Weald and Downland museum in Singleton tomorrow at 3pm and 7pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are £12 or £10 for members.


Chairman of the district council, Cllr Elizabeth Hamilton watched the play. She said: “The acting was good, so you felt completely involved. Particularly mentionable was a scene when the two men were getting drunk and then the second half, the trial, which originally took place in the Guildhall where we were sitting, really held your attention.


“It contained some bad language and one of the accused coughed up blood several times which was very realistic. The smugglers were found guilty and hanged along Broyle Road.”


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