All we can say is WOW! A mighty 2016 season has been announced by Jonathan Church and Alan Finch for the Chichester Festival Theatre, the last under their leadership as Artistic Director and Executive Director.
Chichester Season 2016.
18 April – 4 June 2016
A new musical based on the novel by Graham Greene
Book by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman
Music by George Stiles Lyrics by Anthony Drewe
Directed by Christopher Luscombe
Retired bank manager Henry Pulling is happy alone with his dahlias until he meets his decidedly bohemian Aunt Augusta who, having rattled the family skeletons, persuades the reluctant Henry to flee to Europe. He finds himself in a luxurious whirl through Paris and Istanbul and on to South America; but alongside the romance and first-class thrills, there’s a lot Henry doesn’t know about his aunt – particularly why she has so many grateful men dotted around the globe.
by Henrik Ibsen
22 April – 21 May 2016
In a version by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Howard Davies
Dr Stockmann has made a shocking scientific discovery about the standards of sanitation at the popular local baths, which he insists must close immediately to rid them of pollution. But what about the impact on tourism and commerce, and the town’s reputation? His brother, the Mayor, has one drastic response. The local tradespeople and property owners have another. Does the liberal press dare to print the facts Dr Stockmann has uncovered and let the public make up their own minds?
Starring: Hugh Bonneville
by Terence Rattigan
3 – 25 June 2016
Directed by Adrian Noble
Arrogant, flippant, withdrawn and with a talent for self-concealment, Aircraftman Ross seems an odd recruit for the Royal Air Force. Behind the false name is an enigma, a man who started as a civilian in the Map Office in 1914. Despite never receiving an official commission, he went on to mastermind some of the most audacious military victories in the history of the British Army, including the 1916 Arab Revolt against the Turks. These victories earned him an enduring and romantic nom de guerre: Lawrence of Arabia.
10 June – 2 July 2016
A new play by Mark Hayhurst
Directed by Jonathan Munby
July 1916. Albert Ingham and Alfred Longshaw, two sharp and funny young soldiers from a battalion of the Manchester Pals, are about to take part in one of the most savage assaults in the history of human warfare, the Battle of the Somme. Overwhelmed by the sheer horror of what they have already experienced, neither of them dare stare extinction in the face again. So, when they are ordered to return to the blood-soaked front line, they take their fragile destiny in their own hands. But becoming a deserter takes more courage than they ever knew they had.
Mark Hayhurst’s new play exposes the impact of the First World War on soldiers and their families, and follows his acclaimed Chichester debut with Taken at Midnight which transferred to the West End last year.
Or: Please don’t use the F-Word
8 July – 6 August 2016
A new play by Alistair Beaton
Directed by Richard Wilson
Deerland Energy’s plans to drill for shale gas in the pretty village of Fenstock are going well, supported by distinguished scientists working in university departments funded by the energy companies. At local level, the chair of the Planning Committee seems open to lucrative offers. The only slight snag is a ragged band of protestors, reluctantly led by retired academic Elizabeth Blackwood. Surely she’s just another ‘mad old biddy’, as she’s characterised by Deerland’s ruthless PR guru?
This new black comedy by political satirist Alistair Beaton takes a timely look at the conflicted core of planetary energy and earthly power. His television work includes the BAFTA-nominated The Trial of Tony Blair; his plays include Feelgood in the West End and the revised version of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui for Chichester in 2012.
Based on the H.G.Wells novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul and the original musical by Beverley Cross and David Heneker
14 July – 3 September 2016
Book by Julian Fellowes
New music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
Original songs by David Heneker
Co-Created by Cameron Mackintosh
Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh
Arthur Kipps, an orphan and over-worked draper’s assistant at the turn of the last century, unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society. His childhood companion, Ann Pornick, watches with dismay as Arthur is made over in a new image by the beautiful and classy Helen Walsingham. Both young women undoubtedly love Arthur – but which of them should he listen to? With the help of his friends, Arthur learns that if you want to have the chance of living the right life, you need to make the right choices.
by John Galsworthy
12 August – 10 September 2016
Directed by Bertie Carvel
1909, South Wales. The men of Trenartha Tinplate Works are on strike and the community is close to breaking point. Fearing their plummeting share price, most of the company’s board of directors are keen to reach a compromise but the Chairman, the elderly John Anthony, is resolute. The men are behind their firebrand leader, Roberts, but the union has withdrawn its support; how long before the men do too?
More than a hundred years after it was first performed, Galsworthy’s rarely staged play – voted one of the National Theatre’s 100 most influential plays of the 20th century – offers a strikingly balanced account of the political spectrum.
by James Graham
23 September – 29 October 2016
Directed by Jeremy Herrin
The National Theatre production in association with Chichester Festival Theatre and Headlong
The UK faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. It’s a period when votes in the House of Commons are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote. Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, THIS HOUSE strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes: the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.
LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING or Love’s Labour’s Won
24 September – 29 October 2016,
The Royal Shakespeare Company productions in association with Chichester Festival Theatre
Directed by Christopher Luscombe
Shakespeare’s great romantic comedies LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING were first paired in an innovative doubling to great acclaim in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2014 and are now presented at Chichester in collaboration with the RSC. At the end of Love’s Labour’s Lost two sparring lovers, Berowne and Rosalind, are separated; at the start of Much Ado About Nothing (or Love’s Labour’s Won), two sparring lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, meet again after a long absence. The productions are set either side of the First World War: Love’s Labour’s Lost conjures up the carefree elegance of a pre-war Edwardian summer, while in post-war Much Ado About Nothing, the world has changed forever with the roaring ‘20s just around the corner.
by J.M. Barrie
17 – 31 December 2016,
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre
Directed by Dale Rooks
One thrilling evening, Peter Pan – the maverick boy who refuses to grow up – teaches Wendy, John and Michael Darling how to fly and whisks them off to Never Land. There they encounter a company of lost boys, mysterious mermaids, a gang of swashbuckling pirates and their leader, the villainous Captain Hook.
With Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, director Dale Rooks has been presenting captivating productions for over a decade, including the Christmas show in the Festival Theatre. In 2015, CFYT received the UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People for Running Wild.
Priority booking for Friends of Chichester Festival Theatre opens:
Monday 22 February (online and booking forms only)
Monday 29 February (phone and in person)
Public booking opens:
Wednesday 2 March (online only)
Monday 7 March (phone and in person)
Box Office 01243 781312