Chichester Festival Theatre summer season - play by play

The season has been announced today

Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo Seamus Ryan
Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo Seamus Ryan

This Is My Family, a musical by Tim Firth, directed by Daniel Evans, April 20-June 15, Minerva Theatre.

Imagine you’re a spirited 13-year-old and you’ve won a magazine competition to describe your family. The prize is a dream holiday for the lot of you, anywhere in the world. Except… Nicky’s family isn’t the blissfully-happy bunch she’s described. More like the contestants in a gladiatorial arena, in fact. Where on earth can she take them that might make her wishful thinking a reality? James Nesbitt (Cold Feet, The Missing) makes his CFT debut. Sheila Hancock and Clare Burt return.

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Shadowlands by William Nicholson, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, April 26-May 25, Festival Theatre

Celebrated writer C S Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, enjoys an ordered domestic routine at home. But when New York poet Joy Gresham arrives in England with her young son, Douglas, everything Lewis believed to be true about life and love is thrown into question. Hugh Bonneville returns to Chichester following his acclaimed performance in An Enemy of the People (2016).

Plenty by David Hare, directed by Kate Hewitt, June 7-29, Festival Theatre.

Susan Traherne is a former secret agent. Her heroic work with the Special Operations Executive in Nazi-occupied France brought her extremes of danger, as well as adventures and romance.

The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan, directed by Paul Foster, June 21-July 27, Minerva Theatre. 1951. In a shabby Ladbroke Grove flat, Hester Collyer’s neighbours find her unconscious; she has taken an overdose in front of the gas fire.

Oklahoma! music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, directed by Jeremy Sams, July 15-September 7, Festival Theatre. Handsome cowboy Curly McLain is head over spurs for local farm owner Laurey Williams. But lonely ranch-hand Jud Fry has his sinister sights set on her too.

8 Hotels, a new play by Nicholas Wright, directed by Richard Eyre. August 1-24, Minerva Theatre. 1944. America. Celebrated actor, singer and political campaigner Paul Robeson – forever associated with Ol’ Man River – is touring the country as the eponymous hero in Shakespeare’s Othello. His Desdemona is the brilliant young actress Uta Hagen. Her husband, the Broadway star José Ferrer, plays Iago. All the actors are friends. But in mid-century American society, they are not all equals.

Chichester Festival Youth Theatre: Crossing Lines, a new play by Anna Ledwich, directed by Daniel Hill. August, Promenade. Dates to be confirmed.

Three stories connect across time and across technologies as history haunts the present and secrets are unearthed.

Hedda Tesman by Cordelia Lynn; after Henrik Ibsen; directed by Holly Race Roughan. A co-production with Headlong and The Lowry. August 30-September 28, Minerva Theatre. A doting husband. A troubled writer. A loaded gun. It’s 2019 and Hedda Tesman returns to a life she can’t seem to escape.

Macbeth by William Shakespeare, directed by Paul Miller, September 21-October 26, Festival Theatre.

Much celebrated for his forthright bravery, Macbeth is a state hero. After the bloody defeat of a rebel army, he encounters a trio of strangers who predict that one day he will be King. John Simm makes his Chichester debut in the title role. Dervla Kirwan returns.

Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads by Roy Williams, directed by Nicole Charles, October 5-November 2, The Spiegeltent.

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo, a new adaptation by Anna Ledwich, directed by Dale Rooks, October 5-November 9, Minerva Theatre.

Chichester Festival Youth Theatre: The Wizard Of Oz, directed by Lucy Betts, Dec 14-29, Festival Theatre.


Priority booking for Friends of Chichester Festival Theatre opens: February 23 (online and booking forms only) ; February 27 (phone and in person)

Booking for groups and schools opens: February 28

General booking opens: March 2 (online only); March 5 (phone and in person) Box Office 01243 781312 Tickets from £10

Prologue: £5 tickets for 16 – 25s. More than 10,000 £5 tickets are available for 16 to 25 year-olds for all productions; sign up for free at