This summer, the Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) is staging the play ‘Plenty’, written by David Hare, from the 7th until the 29th June. Starring in the play is Rachael Stirling who plays the iconic role of Susan Traherne, a former Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent struggling to come to terms with post-war life while caught in a stifling marriage to a low-ranking diplomat.
David Coxon, the Museum’s Deputy Director, provided an article for the play’s programme on the local connection to the SOE (RAF Tangmere and the No 161 Squadron pick-up pilots) and Pete Pitman provided photographs of the pilots from the Museum’s photographic collection. The CFT were also very interested in seeing the Museum’s SOE exhibitions and the full-size Lysander replica aircraft and following their visit, arrangements were made for Rachael and actor Rupert Young, who plays another SOE agent in the show, to visit the Museum.
On the day of their visit both actors were greeted by Chairman Group Captain David Baron, following which the BBC South’s Sam Fraser interviewed on film Rosemary Coxon, our publicity officer, about the lives of three female agents, Violette Szabo, Noor Inayat Khan and Odette Sansom. Rachael was keen to learn more about the dangerous life of an SOE agent and David Coxon was filmed answering her questions. BBC South are planning to run the interviews during the week beginning 17 June on their evening regional TV programme.
Photos: David Burleigh