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Chichester Festival Theatre reveals 60th anniversary season

Festival 2022. Image by Bob King Creative
Festival 2022. Image by Bob King Creative

Chichester Festival Theatre has unveiled its 60th anniversary season.

A whole host of musicals and plays make up Chichester Festival Theatre’s Festival 2022 including six world premiere productions.

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Susan Stroman makes her Chichester debut directing and choreographing the musical comedy Crazy For You (11 July – 4 September), with music & lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, book by Ken Ludwig; Charlie Stemp returns to Chichester to lead the cast.

Running 8 October – 19 November is musical Local Hero with a book by David Greig and music & lyrics by Mark Knopfler, based on the Bill Forsyth film, and directed by Daniel Evans.

Crazy For You. Photo by Seamus Ryan
Crazy For You. Photo by Seamus Ryan

That’s followed by new musical The Famous Five, with music & lyrics by Theo Jamieson, book by Elinor Cook, based on books by Enid Blyton, directed by Tamara Harvey in a co-production with Theatr Clwyd.

The newly announced season includes five new plays, including three delayed from 2020.

New plays by Kate Mosse and Alecky Blythe open the season as previously announced: The Taxidermist’s Daughter (8 – 30 April) directed by Róisín McBrinn and Our Generation (22 April – 14 May), a co-production with the National Theatre, directed by Daniel Evans.

They’re joined by The Unfriend (21 May – 9 July) by Steven Moffat, with Amanda Abbington, Frances Barber and Reece Shearsmith, directed by Mark Gatis; The Narcissist (26 August – 24 September) by Christopher Shinn, directed by Josh Seymour; and Stephen Beresford’s The Southbury Child (13 – 25 June), with Alex Jennings, directed by Nicholas Hytner in a co-production with The Bridge Theatre.

The programme also features Henry Goodman as Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express (13 May – 4 June), adapted by Ken Ludwig and directed by Jonathan Church; Nicole Charles recreates her acclaimed Chichester production of Roy Williams’s Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads (22 July – 13 August) and Justin Martin directs Woman In Mind (23 September – 15 October) by Alan Ayckbourn.

The Unfriend (Amanda Abbington, Reece Shearsmith, Frances Barber) at CFT, Festival 2022. Photo by Seamus Ryan
The Unfriend (Amanda Abbington, Reece Shearsmith, Frances Barber) at CFT, Festival 2022. Photo by Seamus Ryan

Meanwhile, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre presents Alan Bennett’s adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows (17 – 31 December), with music and additional lyrics by Jeremy Sams, for Christmas.

The 60th anniversary will also be celebrated with digital and in person events.

For tickets and more information, visit cft.org.uk

Artistic Director Daniel Evans and Executive Director Kathy Bourne: “2022 marks our diamond anniversary year and our sparkling Festival Season offers no less than six world premiere productions, three musicals and a host of dramas, as well as community and digital events celebrating 60 years of CFT.

“Festival 2022 places compelling stories front and centre: joyful, gripping, uplifting and provocative. They teem with 21st century teenagers and 1930s showgirls; London football fans and Scottish environmentalists; Edwardian feminists fighting for justice and American politicians struggling for dominance. A celebrated sleuth, an Anglican vicar, a troubled housewife and overly-polite middle Englanders all have their battles to fight, while ‘the Famous Five’ and Mole, Ratty and Toad go seeking adventure. ”


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