Queen Elizabeth II: Chichester Festival Theatre leads tributes from the world of theatre

Chichester Festival Theatre has led tributes to Queen Elizabeth II from the West Sussex arts world.
Kathy Bourne (Executive Director) and Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) Photo Seamus RyanKathy Bourne (Executive Director) and Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) Photo Seamus Ryan
Kathy Bourne (Executive Director) and Daniel Evans (Artistic Director) Photo Seamus Ryan

The Queen visited the CFT just five years ago.

Kathy Bourne and Daniel Evans, executive and artistic directors of Chichester Festival Theatre, said in a joint statement: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

“Her Majesty first visited the Theatre on 31 July 1962 during its inaugural Festival season, when she and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh attended a charity performance of Uncle Vanya directed by Sir Laurence Olivier, the Theatre’s first Artistic Director. She and the Duke returned in 1964 for a performance of Othello with Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith.

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“HM The Queen last visited Chichester Festival Theatre during a trip to West Sussex on 20 November 2017. She watched a special performance including an entertainment by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre and songs from CFT’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, after which she had lunch in the Theatre restaurant with guests including Dame Patricia Routledge.

“All three of HM The Queen’s visits to Chichester Festival Theatre were red letter days. Her most recent visit, in 2017, was a truly memorable and joyous occasion for everyone involved – particularly for our Youth Theatre members who had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform for Her Majesty. Her warmth and enthusiasm were inspiring. We share our nation’s gratitude for her unfailing dedication.”

Tributes have also followed from the Regis Centre in Bognor: “We are deeply saddened at the news of the death of Her Majesty the Queen. Our deepest condolences go to the Royal Family and we offer our gratitude to Her Majesty for her years of dedication in serving her country and people. May she rest in peace.”