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Chichester Festival Theatre

Chichester Festival Theatre is one of the UK's flagship theatres, with a national and international reputation for producing a wide range of theatrical productions, from musicals and comedies, to classic drama and innovative new writing. The theatre also boasts a growing programme of education and community initiatives, including a thriving youth theatre.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £1,604,079
  • 2013-2014: £1,640,973
  • 2014-2015: £1,816,000

Video feed

All Aboard for Way Upstream - Festival 2015

ALAN AYCKBOURN’S first-class boating comedy, Way Upstream, opens Festival 2015. Four old friends, one cruising boat, two weeks off work, and the perfect setting of the beautiful River Orb. What could possibly go wrong? But even before the ignition key is turned, the outlook is not completely calm and the waters get even choppier when the troubled crew bump into enigmatic seadog Vince, and his bohemian twitcher friend, Fleur. Sarah Parish (W1A, Atlantis, Mistresses) makes her debut at Chichester in the role of June. She is joined by Jill Halfpenny (Legally Blonde, Babylon), Jason Durr (Donkeys' Years, Heartbeat), Peter Forbes (How to Hold Your Breath, The James Plays), Jason Hughes (Midsomer Murders), Emily Laing (Arcadia) and Nicola Sloane (London Road). Chichester has garnered a reputation for working with water on stage from The Grapes of Wrath in 2009 to Singin’ in the Rain in 2011 and Neville’s Island in 2013. Now, we'll be transforming the Festival Theatre stage into a riverbank using a huge water tank, real trees and complete with a real 23ft boat – an opportunity to test the refurbished Theatre to its limits. The huge water tank which forms the River Orb itself will use 65,000 litres of water which will be cleaned and recycled each performance. Tickets are already selling fast so don't miss out on this feat of theatrical design which opens 23 April 2015 for just 3 weeks.

Festival 2015 Audio Brochure

Welcome to the audio description of our Festival 2015 brochure. Our packed programme includes classic plays, Broadway musicals, talks, events and much more.

Chichester Festival Theatre Christmas Message 2014

We wanted to say a special thank you to our audience members for your support this year and wish you all the best for the festive season. So we asked the cast of The Hundred and One Dalmatians to help us out…

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Behind the Scenes of The Hundred and One Dalmatians

Meet some of our largest ever Youth Theatre cast as they prepare for their first full scale production on the renewed Festival Theatre stage. Chichester Festival Youth Theatre present Dodie Smith's classic The Hundred and One Dalmatians in a new adaptation by Bryony Lavery, at the Festival Theatre from 20 December to 3 January.

Pongo and Missis Countdown to Chichester Christmas Lights

Cast members Fred Davis (Pongo) and Romina Hytten (Missis) from Chichester Festival Youth Theatre's 'The Hundred and One Dalmatians' turning on the Chichester Christmas lights with the Mayor on Thursday 27 November, 2014. The Hundred and One Dalmatians previews in the Festival Theatre from Saturday 20 December.

Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Listen to the cast, Dervla Kirwan and Neil Stuke, and Director Paulette Randall talk about the play and what audiences have thought so far. Playing in the Minerva Theatre until 6 December.

It's All in the Telling

Why do some stories fall out of history? What makes them so fascinating to theatre makers and audiences? Pass It On brings together a panel from the worlds of theatre, heritage and oral history to explore these themes.

Post-show Talk: Late With Kate with Gypsy's Imelda Staunton

A recording of this one off event. Listen to novelist and Chichester Festival Theatre biographer Kate Mosse interview Olivier-award winning Imelda Staunton (Sweeney Todd, 2011) who played the iconic Mama Rose in the 2014 production of Gypsy. This is your chance to discover the inside story behind the role, the show and the performance. Imelda Staunton returned to Chichester to play the legendary Mama Rose. She teamed up once again with Jonathan Kent, who directed her in another classic Sondheim role, Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd (Festival 2011 and West End), a performance earning her the 2013 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Post-Show Talk: Taken at Midnight

Author Kate Mosses interviews Penelope Wilton about playing Irmgard Litten in Mark Hayhurst's World Premiere. Recorded in the Minerva Theatre, 16 October

Pre-Show Talk: Gypsy

With Director Jonathan Kent. Recorded in the Festival Theatre, 13 October 2014

Pre-show Talk: Taken At Midnight

With Writer Mark Hayhurst. Recorded in the Minerva Theatre, 1 October.

Pre-show Talk: Guys and Dolls

With Director Gordon Greenberg. Recorded in the Festival Theatre, 14 August.

Pre-show Talk: Pitcairn

With Writer Richard Bean and Director Max Stafford-Clark Recorded in the Minerva Theatre, 27 August.

Winter Season Audio Brochure Video

Welcome to our audio description of our Winter Season brochure. Our programme is a diverse mix of drama, comedy, dance and children's shows as well as music and arts events.

Pitcairn: Hear from the Audience

With salty humour and growing horror, Richard Bean charts the what happened after the Mutiny of the Bounty - a descent from a new Eden to brutal dystopia. Pitcairn is now playing in the Minerva Theatre until 20 September 2014. Listen to what our audience members have said about the play.

RENEW: Changes

Find out how the theatre has changed for the better for those working in and visiting the theatre.

RENEW: New Spaces

Hear about the new improvements to theatre's foyer, auditorium, access facilities, new cafes, bars and more.

Pitcairn trailer - Chichester Festival Theatre/ Shakepeare's Globe/ Out Of Joint co-production

Book your tickets here: New play by Richard Bean. A co-production of Chichester Festival Theatre, Out of Joint and Shakespeare's Globe. 22 Aug - 20 Sep 2014 'It is as if we find ourselves at the beginning of time. Man and Woman in a natural state. Let Tahiti be our model where men live without a sense of vice, without prejudices, without disputes. And let the kelson of our society be love.’ Watch interviews with writer, cast and director here: For more information go to:

Guys and Dolls Rehearsal Trailer

Watch the latest trailer for the upcoming production of the award winning Guys and Dolls. Showing at the Chichester Festival Theatre 11 August - 21 September. See the production page here:

Pitcairn in Rehearsals

Go behind the scenes of Pitcairn, meet the cast and creatives in Rehearsal.

Pre Show Talk: Miss Julie / Black Comedy

Hear directly from the creative people behind the production in our Pre-Show Talks. Jamie Glover last appeared at Chichester in Festival 2013’s If Only and returns to make his CFT directorial debut with this double-bill. Lasting around 45 minutes, our one-off Pre-Show talks offer incredible insights into how productions develop from thoughts and ideas, through the rehearsal process, to the performance you see on stage. Hosted by novelist and Chichester Festival Theatre biographer Kate Mosse.

Pre-Show Talk: Amadeus

Hear directly from the creative people behind the production at our Pre-Show Talks. Jonathan Church is the Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre and directs Amadeus and Taken by Midnight in Festival 2014. Lasting around 45 minutes, our one-off pre-show talks offer incredible insights into how productions develop from thoughts and ideas, through the rehearsal process, to the performance you see on stage. The talk is hosted by Daniel Rosenthal, author of The National Theatre Story.

Festival Theatre backstage tour

Joshua McGuire (Mozart in Festival 2014's Amadeus) takes us on a tour of the restored Festival Theatre meeting some of his fellow cast members along the way.

Meet the architects behind our restored Festival Theatre

We meet the Architects behind our restored Festival Theatre, plus go back to the 1960s to view footage from the original build.

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Contact details

Oaklands Park
PO19 6AP

50.842499, -0.77584

  • 50.842499 -0.77584

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