Penelope Keith leads the winter season at Chichester

Mrs Pat

The winter season at Chichester Festival Theatre opens with a one-woman play by the capable Penelope Keith, about the celebrated actress, Mrs Patrick Campbell.

Penelope Keith returns in the world premiere of Mrs Pat from October 15. The play, written by Anton Burge, is directed by Alan Strachan who worked with the actress on Festival 2006’s Entertaining Angels.

The remaining season sees a compelling mix of drama, family shows, comedy and music.

Walter and Lenny

Also receiving its world premiere is Walter & Lenny, which documents the close friendship between composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein and the Dean of Chichester Cathedral, Walter Hussey.

Their collaboration led to the composition of The Chichester Psalms, a choral work performed at the Cathedral in 1965.

Devised by Peter McEnery and directed by Julia St John, this new production marks the 50th anniversary of the Cathedral performance.

As well as new work, the drama offerings include touring productions of Agatha Christie’s classic thriller, The Mousetrap, and the award-winning King Charles III (read our interview with its star, Robert Powell in November.

Also exploring the enduring fascination with royalty (and espionage) is Single Spies, an award-winning double bill by Alan Bennett, coming to the venue in February.

The Chichester co-production, with Birmingham Rep, chronicles the lives of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, two of the ‘Cambridge Five’ spy ring in the 1950s.

CFT A Christmas Carol

The Youth Theatre returns to the Festival Theatre stage with a revival of its much-loved production of A Christmas Carol.

In January the acclaimed Hetty Feather, an enchanting story about a young girl’s adventures following her escape from a Victorian Foundling Hospital, comes to the theatre.

Based on a novel by Jacqueline Wilson, adapted for the stage by Emma Reeves and directed by Sally Cookson, this production uses songs, live music and circus skills to glorious effect.

Completing the family line-up is the thrilling Dinosaur Zoo, a tremendous interactive show featuring a range of prehistoric creatures.

moscow city ballet  swan lake

Moscow City Ballet – one of Russia’s most successful touring companies – returns with two classic productions, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.

The dark art of juggling will be unleashed by Gandini, making their Chichester debut in January with an unforgettable mix of circus, dance and theatre.

There are also dates for Pam Ayres, Stewart Lee and Joan Armatrading plus the return of the traditional Christmas Concerts.

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