WINTER SEASON 2021/22 AT CHICHESTER FESTIVAL THEATRE
A feast of visiting drama, dance, comedy, family shows and music for all tastes and ages is heading to Chichester Festival Theatre for the Winter 2021/22 season.
We’re particularly proud to offer a new home-grown production: the revival of one of the best plays of modern times, John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Award-winning Doubt: A Parable, directed by Lia Williams and starring Monica Dolan and Sam Spruell in their Chichester debuts.
There’s a wealth of comedies from the classic to the contemporary, among which we’re delighted to include the Birmingham Rep/National Theatre anniversary production of Ayub Khan Din’s East Is East, alongside Noël Coward’s Private Lives, the stage adaptation of evergreen sitcom The Good Life, West End hit The Play What I Wroteand brand new comedy Two Cigarettes in the Dark.
Among the familiar faces making welcome appearances are Henry Goodman, Nigel Havers, Patricia Hodge, Rufus Hound, Preeya Kalidas, Penelope Keith, David Suchet and Issy van Randwyck.
There’s a great array of comedy, music and literary evenings, ranging from Omid Djalili andRussell Kaneto An Evening Without Kate Bush and the BBC Concert Orchestra; while seasonal favourites, the Christmas Concerts and Moscow City Ballet,return.
There’s also plenty of entertainment for families and youngsters, including new pop musical Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, Stick Man and Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s Pinocchio for Christmas.
EAST IS EAST
Festival Theatre, 3 – 6 November
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.
Festival Theatre, 16 – 20 November
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
Festival Theatre, 30 November – 4 December
Tom (Rufus Hound) and Barbara Good (Preeya Kalidas), 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!.
Festival Theatre, 6 – 11 December
For ages 7+
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.
Christmas Concerts are sponsored by ITD Consultants.
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre
Festival Theatre, 18 December – 1 January
A new adaptation by Anna Ledwich, Music by Tom Brady
From the original novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
For ages 7+
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s brand new version of this classic tale by Anna Ledwich had just 15 live performances in 2020 before it was streamed globally during lockdown. Dale Rooks’s darkly magical production now returns for Christmas 2021, with the revival directed by Bobby Brook.
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…
Anna Ledwich’s previous work at Chichester includes The Butterfly Lion (2019), Crossing Lines (2019) and Beauty and the Beast (2018).
With music by Tom Brady, Pinocchiohas set design by Simon Higlett, costumes by Ryan Dawson Laight, lighting by James Whiteside, musical direction by Colin Billing and sound by Gregory Clarke.
There will be a Polish-translated performance of Pinocchio on Wednesday 22 December at 2pm and a Relaxed Performance on Thursday 23 December at 2pm.
Pinocchio is sponsored by Henry Adams and Mercer.
MOSCOW CITY BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER
Festival Theatre, 5 – 9 January
For ages 6+
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.
The Nutcracker is sponsored by Bishops Printers.
FANTASTICALLY GREAT WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD
Festival Theatre, 12 – 16 January
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.
A Chichester Festival Theatre production
Festival Theatre, 22 January – 5 February
DOUBT: A Parable
Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, John Patrick Shanley’s celebrated work later became an Oscar-nominated film. Featuring Monica Dolan and Sam Spruell
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.
Monica Dolan makes her Chichester debut as Sister Aloysius. Her BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning stage and screen work includes TV’s W1A, Appropriate Adult, A Very English Scandal and Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads; recent theatre includes Talking Heads (Bridge Theatre), Appropriate (Donmar Warehouse), All About Eve (West End) and her own play The B*easts.
Sam Spruell also appears at Chichester for the first time as Father Flynn. He has starred in many films and TV series, most recently The North Water, Small Axe: Mangrove, Liar and Cold Blood. His theatre roles include Iago in Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe), Clybourne Park (Royal Court) and The Life of Galileo and The Alchemist (National Theatre).
Jessica Rhodes (Sister James) was nominated for The Stage Debut Award 2020 for the Best Performer in a Play and won the Off-West End Offie Award 2021 for Lead Performance in a Play for The Sugar Syndrome at the Orange Tree Theatre.
Director Lia Williams was BAFTA-nominated for her short film The Stronger which won Best Short Film at Raindance; other directing credits include Ashes to Ashes as part of the Harold Pinter Season in the West End. A multi award-winning actor, her recent roles include Wallis Simpson in The Crown, The Capture, May 33rd, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Donmar Warehouse), The Oresteia and Mary Stuart (Almeida & West End).
Doubt will be designed by Joanna Scotcher, with lighting by Paul Keogan, music and sound by Melanie Pappenheim and Giles Perring, and casting by Charlotte Sutton.
The production is sponsored by Protozoon and Wiley.
THE PLAY WHAT I WROTE
Festival Theatre, 8 – 12 February
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.
The Play What I Wrote is sponsored by Genesis Town Planning.
TWO CIGARETTES IN THE DARK
Festival Theatre, 17 – 26 February
Bright, witty, and fiercely independent, Isabel (Penelope Keith) 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. The designer is Simon Higlett, whose Chichester work includes The Chalk Garden, The Norman Conquests and Amadeus.
Festival Theatre, 1 – 5 March
For ages 9+
Michael Morpurgo’s award-winning book Private Peaceful was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award. This thrilling new ensemble retelling by Simon Reade, directed by Elle While, explores the lengths a young soldier will go to, to fight for what is right.
The Peaceful brothers, Tommo and Charlie, have a tough rural childhood facing the loss of their father, financial hardship and a cruel landlord. Their fierce loyalty to each other pulls them through, until one day they both fall for the same girl. And then the Great War comes. Set against the epic backdrop of WW1, we join 18-year-old Private Tommo Peaceful in the trenches as he takes us on a journey through his most cherished memories and tells his story of courage, devotion, family and friendship.