Full details of Chichester Festival Theatre's Festival 2022 - our diamond anniversary year - have been announced by Artistic Director Daniel Evans and Executive Director Kathy Bourne.
This sparkling Festival season offers no less than six world premiere productions, including three musicals: the Tony and Olivier Award-winning Gershwin musical Crazy for You; Local Hero, inspired by the hit film and featuring songs by Mark Knopfler; and a new family musical adventure, The Famous Five. The host of dramas includes some of the new plays originally lined up for Festival 2020 – The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Cicestrian Kate Mosse, Steven Moffat's The Unfriend and Christopher Shinn's The Narcissist - as well as Alecky Blythe's Our Generation. Henry Goodman plays Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express; Alex Jennings leads the cast of Stephen Beresford’s new play The Southbury Child, Roy Williams’s much-praised Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads returns in a reconfigured Minerva; and Alan Ayckbourn’s celebrated Woman in Mind completes the line-up. And for Christmas, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre present The Wind in the Willows.
Kathy Bourne and Daniel Evans said:
‘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; Victorian 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.
‘CFT was built by the community, for the community. Nobody in 1962 could have foreseen the digital revolution which has enabled that community to expand worldwide, and to participate in ways undreamt of 60 years ago. Our digital celebrations will include a unique link-up with the Festival Theatre in Stratford Ontario – a key inspiration for CFT’s unique hexagonal design – on our 60th anniversary itself. Meanwhile, audiences across the country will be able to see 2021’s South Pacific in person when it tours to ten UK and Ireland venues, as well as its run at Sadler’s Wells.
‘Three Festival 2022 productions will pilot the standards set out in the Theatre Green Book, continuing our mission to make all our activities environmentally conscious. Off-stage, our events have a refreshed focus on young people’s voices, including a National Youth Conference and CFT Lates. And we are delighted to be co-producing work with the National Theatre, The Bridge Theatre and Theatr Clwyd.
‘In happy serendipity, we join with our fellow cultural organisations in Chichester marking significant anniversaries this year with a district-wide festival Culture Spark. After a challenging couple of years, we are all surely in need of a celebration.’