Fyo 447 X792.

Richard Wilson

Forty Years On

By Alan Bennett

Festival Theatre


Daily Telegraph

Thirty years ago today, Tupper, the Germans invaded Poland and you’re picking your nose.

1968. A public school on the South Downs. The Headmaster is retiring and today is his last day. His final task is to appear in the school play.

The problem is, he’s yet to read the script. It soon becomes clear that ‘Speak for England, Arthur’ is not quite the celebration of school tradition the Headmaster might have expected.

A glorious comedy, Alan Bennett’s first play is a hilarious and at times unnerving enquiry into Englishness, nostalgia and identity. Written at a time of tumultuous social change it explores, with great satirical verve, the impact of the past on the present.

Alan Bennett is one of our most cherished writers, internationally famous for classics such as Talking Heads, The History Boys and The Lady in the Van.

Daniel Evans, Chichester’s new Artistic Director, opens Festival 2017 directing a large cast which will include over 50 local young people.

The company will be led by Richard Wilson as the Headmaster. Having directed FRACKED! for Festival 2016, the much loved star of TV’s One Foot in the Grave appears as an actor at Chichester for the first time; his recent stage work includes Krapp’s Last Tape (Sheffield Theatres).


Festival 2017 pricing information

Prologue Members Early Bird
booking from 4 March

Cast & Creatives


Richard Wilson


Thomas Bird


Lucy Briers

Miss Nisbitt

Alan Cox


Jenny Galloway


Michael Hamway


Joe Idris-Roberts

Head Boy and Lectern Reader

Michael Lin


Oliver Marshall


James McConville


Martin Sarreal


Silas Wyatt-Barke


Danny Lee Wynter


Creative team

Daniel Evans


Lez Brotherston


Tom Brady

Musical Director and Musical Arrangements

Nina Dunn

Video Designer

Mark Henderson

Lighting Designer

Charmain Hoare

Vocal and Dialect Coach

Emma Laxton

Sound Designer

Anne McNulty

Casting Director

Joshua Miles

Assistant Director

Naomi Said

Movement Director

Charlotte Sutton CDG

Casting Director


Running Time
2 hours and 35 minutes including the interval