UNVEILED: Chichester Festival Theatre’s new artistic director

For the first time in decades Chichester Festival Theatre is to have an artistic director who might just tread the boards himself.


The CFT has announced that Daniel Evans, currently artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, will take over when Jonathan Church steps down at the end of next year’s summer season.

A double Olivier Award winning actor, Mr Evans, who was born in South Wales, has already confirmed that if an appropriate part comes up at an appropriate moment in Chichester, he might just take it.

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“I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed. I have been running a theatre in Sheffield for the last seven years and have always been admiring of the work done at Chichester under Jonathan’s and (executive director) Alan Finch’s leadership. They have taken the theatre on an incredible journey – and to be handed the reins is a really great privilege. I am really excited to meet the team and move down south.”

As he says there is a history of CFT artistic directors appearing on the CFT stage as actors, from Laurence Olivier through to Keith Michell and Derek Jacobi: “There are a few of us around, and Mark Rylance did it at The Globe. I hope I will get the opportunity. But I am not casting myself as artistic director so I can cast myself in a play! I will be coming down to run the building, and I am really looking forward to it.”

42-year-old Mr Evans pledged a mix of new plays, musicals and revivals of classics: “I know that Chichester has an incredibly-loyal audience and that they are very, very generous.”


Daniel Evans was born in South Wales and trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2009, Daniel was appointed Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres where his work as a director includes Show Boat, The Effect, Anything Goes, The Sheffield Mysteries, Oliver! (Best Regional Production, WhatsOnStage Awards 2014), This Is My Family (Best Musical Production, UK Theatre Awards 2013), An Enemy of the People, Racing Demon, Othello, Macbeth, My Fair Lady (Best Regional Production, WhatsOnStage Awards 2013) and The Full Monty (Best Touring Production, UK Theatre Awards), and, as an actor, Company, The Pride, Cloud Nine and The Tempest, whichtransferred to the Old Vic Theatre, London. Sheffield Theatres won Regional Theatre of the Year Award for an unprecedented two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014.

He has also recently directed American Buffalo with Damian Lewis, John Goodman and TomSturridge in the West End.

Daniel is also a double Olivier Award winning actor. His theatre work includes Henry V, Coriolanus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure For Measure and Cymbeline for the Royal ShakespeareCompany); Cardiff East, Peter Pan, Troilus and Cressida, Candide, The Merchant of Venice for the National Theatre; Merrily We Roll Along (Olivier Award) and Grand Hotel for the Donmar Warehouse; Ghosts (English Touring Theatre); Other People, Cleansed, Where Do We Live and 4.48 Psychosis for the Royal Court; Total Eclipse and Sunday in the Park with George (Olivier Award, Tony nomination) at the Menier Chocolate Factory, the West End and on Broadway. Television credits include The Passion, Doctor Who, The Virgin Queen, Spooks, Love in a Cold Climate, Great Expectations, Daniel Deronda and To The Ends of the Earth. Film credits include Les Misérables. Daniel is a Fellow of the Guildhall School and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University in 2012. Daniel is also co-founder of Act For Change.

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