Theatre world pays tribute to director at Chichester Cathedral service

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A HOST of stars from stage and screen gathered at Chichester Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving for the life of theatrical great Patrick Garland.

Mr Garland, who died at the age of 78, was one of the most celebrated artistic directors in Chichester Festival Theatre’s 51-year history.

The memorial was organised by the actor Simon Callow, best known for his portrayals of Charles Dickens and his film role in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

The service included readings by the playwright and actor Alan Bennett, Dame Eileen Atkins, who is currently starring on TV in Doc Martin, the actress Patricia Routledge, Mr Callow, and Mr Garland’s widow, Alexandra Bastedo.

Mr Callow spoke movingly of his friend.

He said: ‘He was the most engaging brilliant, informed, delightful man anybody could hope to meet.

‘He was very much a man of the theatre but also of the world.

‘He was an altogether extraordinary figure.’