Powell, Sir Philip. (10 of 20). National Life Story Collection: Architects' Lives

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  • Interviewees

    Powell, Sir Philip, 1921-2003 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Brodie, Louise, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 10. Building of Chichester Theatre and how it came about through influence of local ex-mayor, Evershed-Martin and Tyrone Guthrie. E-M knew Philip Powel's [PP] father and remembered the Skylon and that is how they got the job. At first rejected the offer but later accepted. His trip to Edinburgh to visit Guthrie who gave good advice, also financial advice. Difficulties of discord in Chichester and the brief they got from E-M and how it all started to work. Problems of a tent structure and why they made a permanent roof. Difficulties over finance. Appointment of Olivier who was difficult 'in a nice way'. Refusal of local licensing authority to give them a licence. Vicious local politics involved. Theatre was a great success but describes a bad production of a Jane Austen play made into a proscenium production. Acoustics in the theatre. Evershed-Martin became chairman, succeeded by his son. Discussion of Minerva Theatre and why they refused the commission. Talks about extension to Brasenose College, Oxford. Approached by very nice clients but impossible site but got good brief. PP describes their plans - 4/5 storey blocks and bungalows, using sloping walls and presiding views and trying to fit it into traditional Oxford roofs.

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