Booking opens for first two plays of Chichester Festival Theatre summer season

General booking opens on November 26 (online only) and on November 29 (phone and in person) for the first two plays in Chichester Festival Theatre’s 60th anniversary summer season.


New plays by Chichester’s Kate Mosse and by Alecky Blythe will open the season.

Mosse’s play, The Taxidermist’s Daughter, premieres in the Festival Theatre in April 2022, directed by Róisín McBrinn (April 8-30). Alecky Blythe’s Our Generation, a co-production with the National Theatre, will be directed by Daniel Evans, opening the Minerva Theatre season (April 22-May 14).

Festival 2022 will also include Stephen Beresford’s new play The Southbury Child (June 13-25), directed by Nicholas Hytner with a cast led by Alex Jennings, a co-production with The Bridge Theatre, opening at Chichester in June before its London run. Tickets for this go on sale next year.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter has been adapted for the stage by Kate Mosse, a new play based on her novel, directed by Róisín McBrinn.

1912. In the isolated Blackthorn House on Sussex’s Fishbourne Marshes, Connie Gifford lives with her father. His Museum of Avian Taxidermy was once legendary, but since its closure Gifford has become a broken man, taking refuge in the bottle. Robbed of her childhood memories by a mysterious accident, Connie is haunted by fitful glimpses of her past. A strange woman has been seen in the graveyard; and at Chichester’s Graylingwell Asylum, two female patients have, inexplicably, disappeared. As a major storm hits the Sussex landscape, old wounds are about to be opened as one woman, intent on revenge, attempts to liberate another from the horrifying crimes of the past. The Taxidermist’s Daughter comes promised as a thrilling Gothic mystery set in and around historic Chichester.

Kate Mosse’s novels include The Languedoc Trilogy (Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel) and her new historical series, The Burning Chambers; non-fiction includes An Extra Pair of Hands. She is founder director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and Professor in Contemporary Fiction & Creative Writing at the University of Chichester.

Our Generation is a new play by Alecky Blythe, directed by Daniel Evans in a co-production with the National Theatre.

Blythe’s new verbatim play tells the stories of a generation. Created from five years of interviews with 12 young people from all four corners of the UK, Our Generation is a portrait of their teenage years as they journey into adulthood.

Alecky Blythe’s verbatim musical London Road premiered at the National Theatre in 2011 and she later adapted it for the 2015 feature film. Her other work includes Little Revolution (Almeida Theatre) and The Riots: In Their Own Words for BBC2.

Our Generation will be Daniel Evans’s directorial debut at the National Theatre; as an actor, his work there included Cardiff East, Peter Pan, Troilus and Cressida, Candide and The Merchant of Venice. His Chichester productions include South Pacific, This Is My Family, Quiz and Fiddler on the Roof.

The Southbury Child is new play by Stephen Beresford, directed by Nicholas Hytner

Raffish, urbane and frequently drunk, David Highland has kept a grip on his remote coastal parish through a combination of disordered charm and high-handed determination.

But when his faith impels him to take a hard line with a bereaved parishioner, he finds himself dangerously isolated from public opinion. As his own family begins to fracture and his marriage falls apart, David must face a future that threatens to extinguish not only his position in the town, but everything he stands for.

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. His work includes The Last of the Haussmans at the National Theatre, an adaptation of Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander for The Old Vic and the BAFTA-winning film Pride.

Triple Olivier Award-winner Alex Jennings returns to Chichester to lead the cast. The Southbury Child reunites him with Nicholas Hytner who has previously directed him in Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, Collaborators, The Habit of Art, The Alchemist and The Winter’s Tale (all at the National Theatre) amongst others.; 01243 781312.