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Chichester Festival Theatre
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Chichester Festival Theatre

Oaklands Park, CHICHESTER, West Sussex, PO19 6AP
01243 781312

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What's On Highlights

The Beauty Queen of Leenane
From:03-09-2021
To:02-10-2021
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In the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, Maureen Folan – a plain, lonely woman, tied to her manipulative and ageing mother, Mag – comes alive at her first and possibly last prospect of a loving relationship. But Mag has other ideas; and her interference sets in motion a train of events that leads inexorably towards the play’s breathtaking conclusion.

Rachel O’Riordan directs a major revival of this darkly comic, award-winning play by Martin McDonagh, whose work includes the films Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and In Bruges; and the plays The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Hangmen.

Language: Strong language
Violence: Explicit scenes of torture
Themes: Mental and physical cruelty, loneliness, abuse, mental illness, sexual references

The Long Song
From:01-10-2021
To:23-10-2021
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‘You do not know me yet but I am the heroine of this drama. I am told that here I must give a taste of what is to unfold. I am to convey that this tale is set in Jamaica during the last turbulent days of slavery and the early years of freedom.

‘I was born a slave upon a sugar plantation named Amity. I was there when the Baptist War raged in 1831, and when slavery was declared no more. It tells of my mama Kitty, of the negroes enslaved, of Caroline Mortimer the woman who owned me. I am to say that it is a true and thrilling journey through that unsettled time.

‘Cha, I say, what fuss-fuss. Come, let them just see it for themselves.’

Language: Racially offensive language prevalent at the period
Violence: Corporal punishment, gunshots, death by suicide and hanging
Themes: Slavery, scenes of a sexual nature and childbirth

Home
From:08-10-2021
To:06-11-2021
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If a person can't be what they are, what's the purpose of being anything at all?

Harry and Jack. Marjorie and Kathleen. Alfred.

In a neglected garden, small talk oscillates between the weather, the neighbours, reminiscences of friends and family, and anecdotes of past exploits in love and war.

But this quintet of characters, with their foibles and failings, are not what they seem to be, and nor is their home. And overhead, the clouds are gathering.

Themes: Mental illness: references to paedophilia, attempted suicide, addictive behaviours.
Infrequent mild language

East Is East
From:03-11-2021
To:06-11-2021
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Ayub Khan Din’s comedy drama East Is East has sold out three London runs, been adapted into a BAFTA Award-winning film and become a modern classic. This 25th anniversary co-production from the National Theatre and Birmingham Rep comes to Chichester directly following its London run, directed by Iqbal Khan.

George Khan wants to raise his family the proper Pakistani way but hasn’t counted on the distractions of 70s Salford. Abdul and Tariq aren’t ready to be married off, Saleem is pushing artistic boundaries, Meenah’s skirt is too short and Sajid just wants to hide in his parka. Can mum Ella keep the family together?

The cast is led by Tony Jayawardena (Ackley Bridge, The Crown, Bend It Like Beckham) as George and Sophie Stanton (best known to a wide TV audience as DCI Jill Marsden in EastEnders) as Ella. The company also includes Rachel Lumberg, returning to Chichester where she last appeared as Sian in Me and My Family.

Private Lives
From:16-11-2021
To:20-11-2021
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The Olivier Award-winning Patricia Hodge – last seen at Chichester in Travels with My Aunt (2016) and Copenhagen (2018) – and the ever suave and charming Nigel Havers star in Noël Coward’s classic 1930 comedy Private Lives. This new production is directed by Christopher Luscombe, whose work at Chichester includes Love’s Labour’s Lost, Much Ado About Nothing and Travels with My Aunt.

Elyot and Amanda, who were once married, find themselves on honeymoon with their new partners, admiring the view from adjoining balconies in the same hotel on the French Riviera. Their initial horror quickly evaporates and soon they are sharing cocktails. Who knows what the future holds for them now…

The cast is completed by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, Natalie Walter and Aïcha Kossoko.

The Good Life
From:30-11-2021
To:04-12-2021
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Tom and Barbara Good, suburban eco-warriors, and their next-door, status-conscious neighbours Margo and Jerry Leadbetter, are on stage for the first time in The Good Life, a theatrical reimagining of the TV sitcom that delighted countless millions. The cast includes actor, presenter and comedian Rufus Hound (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, One Man Two Guvnors, Present Laughter) as Tom; West End, television and film star Preeya Kalidas (Bend It Like Beckham, Bombay Dreams, EastEnders) as Margo; Dominic Rowan (Stepping Out, A Woman of No Importance, The Crown) as Jerry; and Sally Tatum (Pennyworth, Episodes, Gaslight) as Barbara.

Jeremy Sams’s new comedy, based on the television series by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, leads the well-loved characters through uproarious adventures; some old, some new and often hilariously familiar. His directing credits include CFT’s Oklahoma!.

Christmas Concerts
From:06-12-2021
To:11-12-2021
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The soaring voices of Chichester Cathedral Choir, directed by Charles Harrison, and the exhilarating ensemble of The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood combine to offer the best possible musical start to Christmas. Guaranteed to get you in a festive mood, these Christmas Concerts offer an evening of traditional carols and perennial favourites, along with some enjoyable new discoveries and arrangements.

For ages 7+

Stick Man
From:10-12-2021
To:24-12-2021
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Touching, funny and utterly original, Freckle Productions’s delightful adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves. What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree?

For all ages

Pinocchio
From:18-12-2021
To:01-01-2022
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Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s brand new version of this classic tale by Anna Ledwich.

Geppetto the boatmaker tosses aside a piece of wood; it’s only good for the fire. To his amazement, a voice answers him back. Geppetto picks up the wood and begins to carve – and a small wooden boy is revealed. A puppet, which he names Pinocchio.

And that’s when the mayhem begins. Pinocchio can’t stop getting into trouble, despite the best efforts of the Fairy and the Cricket to keep him on track. His intentions may be good – he truly wants to go to school like real boys and girls – but the temptation to discover the wonders of the world and make his fortune keep getting in the way.

Pinocchio encounters a host of fascinating characters, from Punch and Judy to the wily Fox and Cat and the strange Sea Monster, as he journeys to Wonderland and the world beneath the sea. But he discovers that it isn’t easy hiding the truth – especially when your nose gets longer with every lie you tell…

For ages 7+

The Nutcracker
From:05-01-2022
To:09-01-2022
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Moscow City Ballet returns to Chichester Festival Theatre to delight audiences with spectacular performances of one of the most popular classical ballets, The Nutcracker. Presented in classic Russian style, with full orchestra, this is a truly captivating production

The timeless story of Clara, who is whisked away on a fairy tale adventure by her Nutcracker Prince, is set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score and offers a treat for the whole family. This enchanting tale is an eternal seasonal favourite and the perfect introduction to Russian classical ballet.

For ages 6+

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World
From:12-01-2022
To:16-01-2022
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A brand new kickass-pirational pop musical will burst into life this January as the Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World take to the stage to tell their stories. Inquisitive heroine Jade breaks away from her class to take a peek behind the scenes at the not yet open Gallery of Greatness in the local museum. Along her journey she is surprised to meet the original and incredible Wonder Women: Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie and Emmeline Pankhurst to name just a few of the explorers, artists, scientists and secret agents who really did change the world.

Adapted from suffragette descendent Kate Pankhurst’s award-winning picture book by dramatist Chris Bush and Number 1 hit songwriter Miranda Cooper (Girls Aloud, Kylie Minogue), Fantastically Great Women is the follow-up show from the producer of the international hit musical Six.

Ages 6+

Doubt: A Parable
From:22-01-2022
To:05-02-2022
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Lia Williams directs Monica Dolan and Sam Spruell in Chichester Festival Theatre's new production of John Patrick Shanley’s celebrated, Tony Award-winning play.

St Nicholas Roman Catholic Church and School, the Bronx, New York, 1964.
Sister Aloysius Beauvier. School principal. Driven by fierce conviction and moral certainty. Unafraid of confrontation.
Sister James. Inspired by the joy of teaching; devoted to her pupils. Impulsive, chaste and impressionable. Eager to believe the best of everyone.
Father Brendan Flynn. Charismatic preacher and teacher; intent on bringing the Church closer to the community. Working class, basketball player, wears his fingernails long.
Mrs Muller. Mother of Douglas, 12-year-old pupil and altar boy.

Suspicion. Certainty. Judgement. And Doubt.

The Play What I Wrote
From:08-02-2022
To:12-02-2022
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Hamish has written a play, an epic set in the French Revolution called ‘A Tight Squeeze for the Scarlet Pimple’. Sean, on the other hand, wants to continue with their double act. He believes that if they perform a tribute to Morecambe and Wise, Hamish’s confidence will be restored and the double act will go on. But first Sean needs to persuade a guest star to appear in the play what Hamish wrote...

When The Play What I Wrote opened in London’s West End, every single review was a rave, every show a sell-out and it won every major theatre award. It is written by Hamish McColl and Sean Foley and, of course, Eddie Braben, with a mystery guest star at every performance.

Two Cigarettes in the Dark
From:17-02-2022
To:26-02-2022
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Bright, witty, and fiercely independent, Isabel is not ready to let go just yet. In a series of encounters with an old friend and her two sons, by turns funny, startling and poignant, home truths are exchanged, and her past begins to emerge. As Isabel confronts her own hidden regrets and family secrets, we learn what hides below the surface of this proud mother, wife, and friend. Finally, Isabel is able to make peace with her life and say goodbye.

Stephen Wyatt’s new play is a bitter-sweet comedy about facing the end. It reunites Dame Penelope Keith with director Alan Strachan who also directed her in Entertaining Angels (2006), Mrs Pat (2015) and The Chalk Garden (2018) at Chichester, where her other roles encompass The Apple Cart, The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Way of the World.

Transport

Chichester Station is a 20 minute walk from the theatre, with regular direct links to London Victoria, Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton, and Gatwick Airport. Trains to London Waterloo connect at nearby Havant. Call 08457 484950 for timetables and other details or visit nationalrail.co.uk.

Parking

Northgate Car Park (PO19 6AA) is a 900-space pay and display car park next to the Theatre which charges from 8am until 8pm Monday - Saturday and 10am until 5pm on Sundays

Cafe

The Café in the Festival Theatre is a great spot for a light lunch or a good coffee, and also serves freshly made sandwiches, salads, delicious cakes, and a range of hot and cold drinks.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 10am until the end of the interval of the evening performance. On non-performance days The Café closes at 5pm.

Restaurant

The Brasserie on the ground floor of the Minerva Theatre is open for pre-show dining in new stylish and elegant surroundings. The restaurant serves a contemporary British menu using local and seasonal ingredients as well as an excellent choice of wines.

Opening times: 12.30pm - 2.30pm on matinee days and from 5.30pm for evening performances.

Bar

The Minerva Bar & Grill upstairs provides a more relaxed atmosphere, and offers both main meals and lighter food options.

Opening times: Open 90 minutes before performances.

Access Info

For detailed access information please visit the theatre's access page: www.cft.org.uk/your-visit/access

Chichester Festival Theatre is one of the UK’s flagship theatres, renowned for the exceptionally high standard of its productions as well as its work with the community and young people. Situated in a cathedral city in West Sussex between the South Downs and the sea, the Festival Theatre’s bold thrust stage design makes it one of England’s most striking playhouses – equally suited to epic drama and musicals. Its studio theatre, the Minerva, is particularly noted for premieres of new work alongside intimate revivals.

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