Chichester Festival Theatre can be found in the heart of the cathedral city and has a reputation as one of the leading production houses in the UK.
The festival season usually runs from April to November and includes productions from classics to contemporary writing and musicals.
A range of additional events is designed to add to the experience of visiting the theatre, including performances, cabarets, family days, tours and talks. Through the winter months, the theatre presents touring productions and a Christmas show mounted by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre.
Where is it?
Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6AP
Box office: 01243 781312 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearest carpark: Northgate, Chichester, PO19 6AA (pay and display) http://www.chichester.gov.uk/carparkmap?contactid=16001
Nearest railway station: Chichester Railway Station http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/CCH.aspx
Capacity: Festival Theatre 1,300, Minerva Theatre 310
Architect: Philip Powell and Hidalgo Moya
A brief history:
It was founded by former city mayor, Leslie Evershed-Martin, following an idea he had whilst watching a television programme in 1959 about the Stratford Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario in Canada. His vision was for a seasonal festival of theatre to be staged in a space inspired by the revolutionary thrust design of the Canadian theatre.
It was the vision of Laurence Olivier, the CFT’s first artistic director, that the theatre would produce several shows to run in repertoire sharing the same ensemble cast; and so it was the theatre opened in 1962 with a ‘festival’ of three shows which were to run for three weeks.
Between ‘62 and ‘65 Olivier established a company of actors and other theatre practitioners at Chichester which provided the nucleus of his National Theatre Company.
The theatre is a Grade II* listed building, with its smaller and more intimate Minerva Theatre built nearby in 1989.
Which famous acts have played there?
The Chichester Festival Theatre has hosted a huge number of famous faces over the years.
These include Patrick Stewart, Joseph Fiennes, Ian McKellen, Fay Compton, Imelda Staunton, Hugh Bonneville, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Ball, Chaim Topol and the first artistic director Laurence Olivier.
What’s on this season?
ME AND MY GIRL, July 2 – August 25, Festival Theatre
THE MEETING, July 13 – August 11, Minerva Theatre
RELAXED PERFORMANCE: ME AND MY GIRL, July 25, Festival Theatre
COPENHAGEN, August 17 – September 22, Minerva Theatre
FLOWERS FOR MRS HARRIS, September 8-29, Festival Theatre
COCK, September 28 – October 27, Minerva Theatre
THE MIDNIGHT GANG, October 13 – November 3, Festival Theatre
THE WATSONS, November 3 – December 1, Minerva Theatre
SLEEPING BEAUTY, December 15-30, Festival Theatre
RELAXED PERFORMANCE: SLEEPING BEAUTY, December 30, Festival Theatre