The Merchant Of Venice
by William Shakespeare; producer Brian Matthew
12-14 August 1965, Lindisfarne, Oxenden Wood Road
The Players returned to Oxenden Wood Road in Chelsfield Park for their annual outdoor Shakespeare production; this time in the grounds of a house named ‘Lindisfarne’.
As was often the way with these outdoor Shakespeare productions, it made a substantial loss of £45 5/, a few shillings shy of the record set three years earlier by The Taming Of The Shrew.
The programme promised a January production of “a new farce by Arthur White” under the banner of the Pilgrim Theatre Company. This didn’t happen – the Players did a pantomime instead – although a rift with Brian Matthew the following year led to him setting up the Pilgrim Little Theatre in a theatre he had built in his own home.
Arthur White is probably the brother of David White, later David Jason, and this might be the origin of the rumour that the pair had been involved with Chelsfield Players. Arthur was booked to produce Pilgrim’s first play in October 1966, while David was acting with Bromley Rep and “David White” is in the cast list for Rookery Nook, so presumably it is the same person.