Find out when Chichester Festival Theatre's bumper 60th anniversary season will be announced

Chichester Festival Theatre is promising a bumper summer ahead in its 60th anniversary year.

Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo by Tobias Key
Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo by Tobias Key

The new season will be announced on March 3.

Artistic director Daniel Evans said: “It feels a real privilege to be artistic director during this 60th year. I know 60 is not 75 or even 100 but it is a marker in the sand and 60 is diamond and that’s more than enough!

“In the New Year they were talking about having some kind of circuit breaker and things did feel very precarious before Christmas. Things might have been looking a bit bleak but the fact is that we have got a fantastic season planned and it has been a long time in the planning. Some of the things we are doing are dedicated to the 60th anniversary but also we have got a backlog of things that we haven’t been able to do in the last few years.

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    “And I’m very excited by the range of titles and the range of directors and the range of actors that we have got coming.

    “I have a feeling that we have got a great summer ahead that we are going to be able to pull off.”

    All will be revealed at the beginning of March, but in a highly unusual move for highly unusual times he announced three of the plays for this summer late last year.

    The summer season will open with plays by Chichester’s Kate Mosse and by Alecky Blythe.

    Mosse’s play, The Taxidermist’s Daughter, premieres in the Festival Theatre in April 2022, di-rected by Róisín McBrinn (April 8-30). Alecky Blythe’s Our Generation, a co-production with the National Theatre, will be directed by Daniel, opening the Minerva Theatre season (April 22-May 14). Tickets for both now available.

    Festival 2022 will also include Stephen Beresford’s new play The Southbury Child (June 13-25), directed by Nicholas Hytner with a cast led by Alex Jennings, a co-production with The Bridge Theatre, opening at Chichester in June before its London run. Tickets for this go on sale this year.

    “There were several reasons why we announced them early, and one of them was that we wanted to celebrate Kate Mosse’s work. It was meant to be happening two years ago and it is a Chiches-ter story. People know the novel in this area and we live surrounded by the landscape in which the novel is set. We very much thought that we wanted to open with a Chichester story and we have already sold a third of the tickets for it!”

    Meanwhile in the Minerva will be a piece by another female writer Alecky Blythe, directed by Daniel in a co-production with the National Theatre. Blythe’s new verbatim play tells the stories of a generation. Created from five years of interviews with 12 young people from all four corners of the UK, Our Generation is a portrait of their teenage years as they journey into adulthood.

    “It is going to be a bigger season than we have ever done before. It is 13 titles. Usually it is about ten or 11 so it is definitely a bumper season and I have got a really good feeling about it now.”

    Doubtless our current uncertainties will persist for a while yet: “But we have had to come to terms with living with this level of uncertainty. I think that has been part of the low level and sometimes not so low levels of anxiety that we’ve all had to live with but in some ways that makes it more special and more important to be offering something based on hope.”