On arrival guests enjoyed a martini provided by Winchester’s own gin distillery, Twisted Nose. Then came the quiz devised by long-standing Chesil Theatre member Paul Riddell. This was preceded by personal good wishes sent from actor and Sherlock writer Mike Gatiss via Skype. Paul’s carefully researched audio-visual presentation included a hilarious “what came next” round with cliffhanger extracts from 12 Bond films. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was voted the favourite.
Tension mounted as online bids were carried forward to the live auction. Savills’ Charlie Seligman swapped his 30 different roles in the forthcoming Chesil production of The 39 Steps to speed brilliantly through 38 lots. Popular items included meals at many of Winchester’s top restaurants as well as theatre, sports and concert tickets. Unlucky for some but fortunate for the lucky bidder at £660 was a tour of Aston Martin Racing’s brand new facilities at Banbury. Others in the audience will be looking out to see themselves as film extras in a forthcoming production. Of the extensive Bond memorabilia on offer, some donated by Roger Moore, a signed photo of Judi Dench as M fetched £177 and Shirley Eaton as “The Golden Girl” £85.
In all, funds around £3,500 were raised in aid of the Chesil Theatre Development Appeal which aims to extend and improve this much loved arts venue in one of the most cherished medieval buildings in the heart of the City.