1973: Wendy Toye

As well as being John Clements’ final season as Artistic Director, 1973 was particularly memorable for being the first time a female director staged a production at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Wendy Toye directed R Loves J, a musical version of Peter Ustinov’s play. She returned the following year to direct the Vanbrugh farce The Confederacy and Follow The Star, a musical nativity starring Tony Robinson. Follow the Star was revived several times with Toye directing it again in 1975 and 1977, and is remembered fondly as a favourite of audience members. In 1975 she directed a new play by Andrew Sachs, Made In Heaven, and Make Me a World at Christmas the following year. Her final CFT production was Miranda in 1987, an adaptation of Goldoni by Beverley Cross and starring Penelope Keith. In total, she directed eight Festival Theatre productions following her 1973 debut.

R Loves J directed by Wendy Toye, 1973

Production photographs by John Timbers