Chichester Festival Theatre has announced the opening productions of its anniversary Festival 2022 season plus the transfer of its acclaimed summer hit, South Pacific, to London.
Internationally best-selling author Kate Mosse’s new play, The Taxidermist’s Daughter, premieres in the Festival Theatre in April, directed by Róisín McBrinn.
Alecky Blythe’s Our Generation, a co-production with the National Theatre and directed by Daniel Evans, will open the Minerva Theatre season.
And Festival 2022 will also include Stephen Beresford’s new play, The Southbury Child, directed by Nicholas Hytnerwith a cast led by Alex Jennings, a co-production with The Bridge Theatre, opening at Chichester in June before its London run.
Meanwhile Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific will transfer to Sadler’s Wells in July.
Daniel Evans’s exhilarating production will open in Manchesterbefore its Londonrun with Julian Ovendenand Gina Beckonce again leading the cast.
After London it will tour to Dublin, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Leeds and Canterbury.
Artistic Director Daniel Evans and Executive Director Kathy Bournesaid: “The prospect of Chichester Festival Theatre’s 60th anniversary season is a truly joyous one.
“This theatre, built by the community, for the community, has been at the heart of West Sussex cultural life since its inception.
“It was here, in 1962, that Laurence Olivier established the nucleus of the National Theatre company that opened at the Old Vic the following year; so it’s especially appropriate that, 60 years on, we begin our Minerva season with a co-production with the National.
“We are thrilled to be introducing Alecky Blythe’s engrossing verbatim work to Chichester audiences with her new play, Our Generation.
“And what could be more appropriate for our 60th anniversary curtain raiser in the Festival Theatre than a new play by an internationally best-selling writer with Chichester in her very bones?
“Not only has Kate Mosse been intimately connected with CFT since childhood, her thrilling and timely play The Taxidermist’s Daughter,is set in historic Chichester itself.
“‘The importance of forging new partnerships has been given greater impetus by the vicissitudes of the pandemic, so we relish the opportunity for Chichester audiences to see the world premiere of Stephen Beresford’s new play The Southbury Child, which brings Nicholas Hytner and Alex Jennings back to Chichester for the first time since the mid-1980s.
“We are always delighted to be able to share work made in Chichester beyond the borders of Sussex, and we’re proud to be working with our friends at Sadler’s Wells and many other regional theatres to bring Rodgers & Hammerstein’s beloved musical South Pacificto wider audiences across the country.
“The full Festival 2022 season will be announced next February, along with a roster of special digital and community events to mark a momentous year for our theatre and city”.
The Taxidermist’s Daughter runs in the Festival Theatre from April 8-30. A story of retribution and justice, The Taxidermist’s Daughter is a thrilling Gothic mystery set in and around historic Chichester.
Our Generation runs at the National Theatre, February 10 – April 9 before transferring to the Minerva Theatre from April 22 – May 14. Alecky Blythe’s engrossing new verbatim play is a captivating portrait of their teenage years as they journey into adulthood.
The Southbury Child plays in the Festival Theatre from June 13 – 25 before transferring to the Bridge Theatre, running July 1 – August 27. Stephen Beresford’s darkly comic new play is an exploration of family and community, the savage divisions of contemporary society and the rituals that punctuate our lives.