Chichester Festival Theatre winter season: busy programme of one-nighters offering music, talks and comedy

Music, performance, talks and comedy all feature in a busy programme of one-nighters coming up in the new winter season at Chichester Festival Theatre.
BBC Concert Orchestra Broadway... and All That Jazz (contributed pic)BBC Concert Orchestra Broadway... and All That Jazz (contributed pic)
BBC Concert Orchestra Broadway... and All That Jazz (contributed pic)

Shakespeare And Me: Judi Dench In Conversation With Brendan O’Hea, Festival Theatre, November 3, 7.30pm. Join Judi Dench in conversation with friend, actor and director Brendan O’Hea to celebrate their new book Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays The Rent. Judi will walk us through her love letter to the nation’s greatest playwright, with never-before-heard stories, the triumphs, disasters, backstage shenanigans and moments from Shakespeare’s greatest works.

Liza Pulman & Joe Stilgoe: A Couple of Swells, Festival Theatre, January 6, 7.30pm. Fascinating Aida’s Liza Pulman teams up with musician and singer Joe Stilgoe in a vibrant evening of classic songs and wit, virtuoso piano playing and exquisite vocals. Liza and Joe collaborated during lockdown on Memphis In June and Bye Bye Blackbird, resulting in many requests to play live together and the creation of this show.

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Chris McCausland: Yonks!, Festival Theatre, January 15, 7.30pm, ages 16+. You might have seen him on Scared of the Dark, Would I Lie to You, Have I Got News for You, The Royal Variety Performance, QI, Blankety Blank or The Last Leg. He’s been called an “overnight success” – even though he’s been doing this for yonks.

Gyles Brandreth: Can’t Stop Talking, Festival Theatre, January 17, 7.30pm. From 40 years on Radio 4’s Just A Minute to four years on Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox, Gyles Brandreth admits he can’t keep his mouth shut. He even talks in his sleep. What’s it all about? He’s going to tell you. This is his life story: a roller-coaster of tales and revelations from his life in showbusiness and politics.

Fisherman’s Friends, Festival Theatre, January 19, 2.30pm & 7.30pm. A decade ago, Fisherman’s Friends signed a million pound record deal that saw their album Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends go Gold, becoming the first-ever traditional folk act to land a UK top ten album. The original Cornish ‘buoy band’ is now known around the world.

Radio Live, Festival Theatre, January 20, 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Go behind the scenes of broadcasting in a evening of comedy, music and nostalgia. Sir Richard Stilgoe composes comedy songs on the spot. Alistair McGowan does impressions. Charlotte Green and Garry Richardson share inside stories from their lives on radio. Together these presenters have been broadcasting on our airwaves for more than two centuries.

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Rêverie: The life and loves of Claude Debussy, Festival Theatre, January 24, 7.30pm. Scripted and performed by pianist Lucy Parham with narration by Henry Goodman, Rêverie evokes Debussy’s complex emotional life through a personal and revealing journal, illuminated by a sequence of his most famous and atmospheric solo piano works.

BBC Concert Orchestra: Broadway… and All That Jazz, Festival Theatre, January 26, 7.30pm. Join the BBC Concert Orchestra, conductor Roderick Dunk and Katie Birtill and Emma Kershaw for a celebration of the very best of Broadway and the West End, with songs from shows including Cabaret, West Side Story, Company, Follies, Chicago, Wicked, Annie Get Your Gun and more.

Barb Jungr: My Marquee, Minerva Theatre, February 3, 7.15pm. Barb returns with her most recent collection My Marquee in which she turns her attention to some of the greatest songs in British pop history. Barb will be joined by her trio of musicians for a new take on classic songs from bands and songwriters who performed at the Soho venue The Marquee including The Who, Jethro Tull, The Yardbirds and The Move.

Bring Your Own Baby Comedy, Minerva Bar, February 26, 12 noon, ages 18+ (with babies up to 15 months). The UK’s premier baby-friendly comedy club comes to CFT with an award-winning show featuring some of the funniest comedians from the circuit and TV.

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BBC Concert Orchestra: Bond… James Bond, Festival Theatre, March 2, 7.30pm. A celebration of classic songs and theme tunes from the films which have been delighting and thrilling audiences for over 60 years. Alice Fearn, fresh from playing Elphaba in Wicked, and Oliver Tompsett join the BBC Concert Orchestra with songs to include Diamonds Are Forever, Thunderball, The Man With the Golden Gun, Moonraker, You Only Live Twice, Skyfall and For Your Eyes Only.

Rob Brydon: A Night of Songs & Laughter, Festival Theatre, March 3, 7pm. Join comedian, singer, actor, presenter and impressionist Rob Brydon and his live band, with songs ranging from Tom Waits to Tom Jones, and Guys and Dolls to Elvis and almost everything in between.

Family shows coming up include:

Truth & Tails, Minerva Bar, October 5-8, ages 4-7, morning & matinee performances. Two original stories written by Alice Reeves and illustrated by Phoebe Kirk, from their popular series of books celebrating difference, are brought to life in this stage adaptation directed by Bobby Brook. Meet Roxy The Raccoon and her friends as they work to make the forest an inclusive place for all, and Carlos The Chameleon as he learns that it’s okay to be a little different.

Comedy Club 4 Kids, Minerva Theatre, October 24, 1pm, ages 6+. This favourite family-friendly comedy club is back for October half term, bringing the best comedians from the circuit doing what they do best… but without the rude bits.

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Baby Broadway – Christmas Special Minerva Bar, December 18, 10am & 11.15am. A festive concert for all the family. After sold-out shows this summer, this is a chance to sing and dance along to classic Christmas musicals and films, performed by West End singers. Festive fancy dress encouraged and expect bubbles, bells, flying babies and puppets!

Michael Morpurgo: Carnival Of The Animals, Minerva Theatre, January 13. ages 8+. Join celebrated children’s author Michael Morpurgo with cellist Clare O’Connell for a performance in celebration of the natural world. Based on his collection of poems, inspired by the music of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, you’ll hear animals speak in their own voices about their lives and the impact of humanity on their habitats.

You Are The Sun, Minerva Theatre, January 26, ages 0-2, 10.30am,12 midday, 2pm. HurlyBurly Theatre return to Chichester with this very first opera for babies and grown-ups that explores the magic of nature. Combining the joy of gentle classical singing and sensory play, it is an invitation to see beauty in the smallest things and to let plants be our guides. It will conjure a world of magical adventure.

The Gruffalo & Friends with Julia Donaldson, Minerva Theatre, February, 24, 11.30am & 3pm. Join best-selling author Julia Donaldson for a fun-packed hour.

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Priority booking for Friends of Chichester Festival Theatre opens: Sat, September 9 (online and by booking form only); Tues, September 12 (phone and in person).

Public booking opens: Sat, September 16 (online only), Tues, September 19 (phone and in person). Box office 01243 781312; online