The tale of Hollywood’s very first freelance film journalist

Picture Perfect – a world premiere for the Stables Theatre – offers a monologue written by David Charles Manners telling the story of Margaret Chute.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 7:05 am
Liza Sadovy
Liza Sadovy

Two favourites of Hastings’ Gaiety Theatre in the Victorian period were actors Charles Kean Chute and Sybil Claridge. Their daughter Margaret Chute not only took to the stage, but also wrote her own plays that opened at Eastbourne. But Margaret soon became captivated by a new art form – cinema – until in the 1920s she bought a ticket to Hollywood to meet the stars of the silver screen for herself. Returning home, Margaret published her interviews with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish and Douglas Fairbank, so creating for herself a whole new profession, becoming Hollywood’s very first freelance film journalist.

Margaret returned to California every year, becoming an intimate friend to the stars. They courted her, shared their secrets and allowed her to take photographs to illustrate her articles.

Picture Perfect runs at The Stables Theatre on July 8, 9 and 10, featuring Liza Sadovy, directed by Tony Graham. The Stables is also hosting the first-ever exhibition of some of Margaret’s never-before-seen Hollywood photographs. Box office and exhibition are open Monday-Friday, 10.30am-1pm. Box office on 01424 423221.