Rottingdean Local Spotlight
Following her successful involvement in obtaining funding and support for the first Festival last year, Christine has also been working hard as fundraiser, organiser and secretary for this year’s celebration: ‘Kipling in India’.
Having lived and worked for most of her life in Canada and Mexico, she has enjoyed a long and acclaimed career as a professional director, producer, script editor, screenwriter and playwright.
Born in England, Christine emigrated with her parents from Kent to Ontario when she was 12 years old. After training at Canada’s Stratford Festival she became a member of Equity and worked as a professional actor for 8 years, until she started to achieve international success as a radio and TV scriptwriter. Her long list of TV credits include ‘The Littlest Hobo’ for which she was executive story editor. She has written numerous plays and musicals for the theatre, and co-founded ‘The Cliffhanger Company’, a registered charity in Canada, which specialised in the dramatisation of myths, legends and folktales for family and community audiences.
Two years ago, with her mother in a care home in Devon and her daughter, Gwen, at drama school in Exeter, Christine and her husband decided to return to England and settled in Rottingdean.
Passionate about bringing Kipling to the attention of as many people as possible, she and co-producer Nicky Lloyd Owen have co-ordinated a variety of exciting events to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth in Mumbai.
The international Kipling Society has been very supportive of the Kipling Festival’s achievements and has especially expressed an interest in seeing more theatrical productions on his life and work.
‘The Fever Trees’ provides a unique opportunity to find out about the early eventful life of Rudyard and his sister Trix. The show explores how their shared traumatic childhood affected them both, and how the mystery of India influenced Rudyard’s remarkable writing – ultimately contributing to his phenomenal success as a prolific ‘genius’ and his being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
‘The Cliffhanger Company’, acclaimed for its ‘vibrant and innovative’ productions, will be performing ‘The Fever Trees’ at Rottingdean Village Hall where Kipling himself set up a Boys’ Club and taught rifle shooting when he lived in Rottingdean.
Christine is enthusiastic about producing plays and events which, as well as being entertaining, also promote interest and understanding of different cultures and communities. She actively encourages involvement and interaction, and is offering a question and answer session with herself and the cast (Gwenneth Holmes and Cameron Bell) immediately after the Festival performances of ‘The Fever Trees’ to get feedback and opinions from the audience.
‘The Fever Trees’ performances:
July 1st, 4th, 5th at 7pm Village Hall, Rottingdean. Tickets: £5 each
July 8th at 6.30pm Batemans, Burwash: Dinner & play, tickets £40 each
The ‘Kipling in India’ Festival runs from June 25th to July 7th. It includes a variety of other events involving local volunteers and professionals coming together to organise, present and take part in a celebration of Rudyard Kipling’s life.
Further details of these events and booking arrangements can be found at: www.kiplingfestivalrottingdean.co.uk
Article written by Denise Whittington