Busy Christmas programme at Chichester Festival Theatre

A busy Christmas programme at Chichester Festival Theatre will keep things festive throughout December (tickets 01243 781312 or cft.org.uk).
Christmas Concerts. Photo by Tim HillsChristmas Concerts. Photo by Tim Hills
Christmas Concerts. Photo by Tim Hills

Starting it all off will be the CFT’s Christmas Concerts from December 5-9 featuring The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and Chichester Cathedral Choir. For ages 7+.

A spokesman said: “Begin the festive season in traditional style with the exhilarating ensemble of The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines once again joining the rousing voices of the Cathedral Choir for a concert full of Christmas cheer, from customary carols to new arrangements, all wrapped up in a beautifully presented musical celebration.”

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Christmas Cabaret will be in the Brasserie Restaurant, December 12-15: “Make a night of it with friends, family, or even an office outing, with marvellous music and cracking comedy combined with fabulous food. Tickets include a delicious locally-sourced three-course meal and a festive glass of fizz on arrival. Ages 16+”

Santa’s Grotto runs from December 12-23, all ages, £12 per child, 10am-6.30pm: “A brand-new family experience for 2023, we’re elf-static that Father Christmas is coming to CFT. Go behind the scenes at the elves’ workshop where creativity and craft combine to make Christmas magic happen, take an ‘elfie with Father Christmas himself as well as getting an early present.”

Coming up in the Minerva Theatre will be The Three Billy Goats Gruff (December 14-January 7, for ages three to seven, morning and matinee performances: “Following a hugely successful run at London’s Unicorn Theatre last Easter, Stiles and Drewe’s joyful hit musical The Three Billy Goats Gruff arrives in Chichester for a strictly limited run. Baby, Middle and Big are three very hungry goats, and there is absolutely no grass left to eat on their side of the valley. Come on their adventure as together with Little Bo-Frilly they hatch a plan to cross the bridge to the lush green grass on the other side. They just need to outwit that horrible tricksy troll first. Directed by Chichester Festival Theatre’s new artist ic di rector Justin Audibert and featuring music and lyrics by Olivier award-winning composers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (Mary Poppins, Honk!), this magical, fairy-tale show is the perfect first musical for young families.”

Then comes Chichester Festival Youth Theatre in the main house from December 16-31 with The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling; music by Ruth Chan; directed by Matt Hassell. For ages 7+

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“This Christmas experience Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book like never before as our brand-new adaptation by Sonali Bhattacharyya spins into exciting, pulsating life – featuring original songs by Ruth Chan written especially for Chichester Festival Youth Theatre.

"With a huge cast of characters from the formidable snake Kaa and laughing jackal Tabaqui, to Ikki the gossiping porcupine and Mao the strutting peacock, this beloved tale is a coming of age story about the desire for freedom that beats in the heart of every child.”