In 1962 the first Artistic Director, Sir Laurence Olivier, welcomed audiences to Chichester Festival Theatre’s inaugural season. The ‘impossible theatre’ had been built on public funds and was a strikingly modern creation housing Britain’s first professional thrust stage.
Today Chichester Festival Theatre is one of the country’s leading theatres, delivering a varied programme of high quality musicals, drama, comedies and new writing in the Festival Theatre and Minerva studio. Original productions are staged in the Festival season from April-November, with high quality touring shows arriving throughout the winter months.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this iconic building the Theatre underwent considerable redevelopment. The RENEW project saw a complete refurbishment of the 1,300 seat auditorium and the expansion of facilities for both actors and audience members. Visitor access has been greatly improved and there are now more opportunities to get involved with weekly classes, public tours and open days.
Festival 2015 marks the first full season at Chichester following the highly successful major refurbishment completed last summer. The season begins with two biting comedies, Way Upstream and The Rehearsal, followed later by Educating Rita. Chichester’s reputation for fantastic musicals is upheld by two productions, A Damsel in Distress and Mack & Mabel, and dramas include For Services Rendered and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me. At the heart of the season is a trio of early Chekhov plays, the first ever opportunity to see Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull performed by one ensemble of actors. Chichester Festival Youth Theatre returns with an exciting promenade performance of Running Wild at Cass Sculpture Foundation.
All the productions are complemented by an extensive programme of talks and discussions, workshops and special events delivered by the Learning and Participation department.
By Alan Ayckbourn
23 April – 16 May
By Jean Anouilh
8 May – 6 June
A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
Music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. Book by Jeremy Sams and Robert Hudson
30 May – 27 June
By Willy Russell
18 June – 25 July
MACK & MABEL
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman. Book by Michael Stewart
13 July – 5 September
FOR SERVICES RENDERED
By W. Somerset Maugham
31 July – 5 September
By Michael Morpurgo. Adapted by Samuel Adamson
2 – 16 August
SOMEONE WHO’LL WATCH OVER ME
By Frank Mcguinness
10 September – 10 October
YOUNG CHEKHOV: THE BIRTH OF A GENIUS
PLATONOV, IVANOV and THE SEAGULL
By Anton Chekhov
28 September – 14 November
For full details of Festival 2015, visit cft.org.uk or sign up to the email newsletter for the latest news. 01243 781312
Published 19th March 2015
All news stories