1979: Challenges on Stage

The challenge of staging large scale productions at Chichester Festival Theatre has its fair share of difficulties. From flooded stages to full-size ice rinks and auditorium zip wires, Chichester's seen it all - and so have the stage crews!

Head of Stage Karl Meier remembers one particularly tricky incident in a production of The Devil's Disciple in 1979: "Ian Ogilvy was a big star having taken over the role of The Saint from Roger Moore. There was a scene where he had to stand on a large barrel with a noose around his neck but then escape at the last moment. Barrels dry out in heat and unfortunately, at a performance late in the run, he stood on the barrel with the noose around his neck and the top of the barrel fell through. Because of obvious dangers, stage nooses have what is called a breakaway and so thankfully he wasn’t hurt. Amazingly he took the whole incident incredibly well. The barrel was seriously reinforced!" Listen to the full interview below, from our oral history collection.