VIDEO: Dame Patricia Routledge launches 2024 Festival of Chichester line-up

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Festival of Chichester patron Dame Patricia Routledge gave a stirring and inspiring speech to launch the 2024 summer programme.

The 2024 brochure and line-up were unveiled at a special celebration at the Novium museum in Chichester which is the festival’s box office.

Dame Patricia, who celebrated her 95th birthday earlier this year, praised a “wonderful festival, a festival of the people, a festival of the amateurs, the lovers of the arts, as well as the professionals.

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“This is a great city for the arts known throughout the country for its music, its poetry, its drama and its artistry. It is thrilling to know that people such as you and people in the past and in the future are ready to support this.”

Festival of Chichester 2024 box office launch (contributed pic)Festival of Chichester 2024 box office launch (contributed pic)
Festival of Chichester 2024 box office launch (contributed pic)

Dame Patricia added that there is an obligation to recognise talent and to encourage it, to “spot in us a seed of something that is worth nourishing.” The festival is an opportunity for these talents to flourish.

“We have people of great talent and we must honour that and encourage it and this is a time so to do.”

We should enjoy, share and celebrate our talents, she said: “We will make many discoveries.”

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The festival runs from Saturday, June 15 to Sunday, July 21. Tickets online:; email: [email protected]; box office: 01243 816525.

The opening day – June 15 between 11am-2pm – will offer the festival’s traditional open-air launch on the Cathedral Green featuring a wide range of guest performers giving a taster of the entertainment to come.

Among the musical highlights this year, The Chichester Singers summer concert will be in Chichester Cathedral; Pzazz Singers take to the stage in the Assembly Room, North Street; Ensemble Reza will be celebrating women in music; and Underground Blues offers Will Johns live. The Mera Horn Trio offer a programme of Brahms & Smyth in Christ Church; Plastikes Karekles will delight with a Greek serenade in St Paul’s Church; and Chichester Pride will offer a Summer Late at Pallant House Gallery. At this year's Poetry & Jazz Café poets Maura Dooley and Jeremy Page link with Mike Carey’s Big House and there will be a festival Last Night Of The Proms concert in St Paul’s Church from The Southdowns Concert Band. The Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia will be returning; and Flowers and Flirtations in Christ Church will feature Tamzin Barnett (soprano) and Birgit Rohowsky Miller (piano).

Your Ideas For Our City in the Assembly Room will offer a special forum as Chichester looks to the future. Meanwhile, Festival of Chichester president Kate Mosse will launch The Ghost Ship paperback at Waterstones in West Street. Her husband Greg Mosse will lead a day at West Dean College entitled How To Write A Mystery Novel. West Dean head gardener Tom Brown will be in conversation with festival chairman Phil Hewitt; and actor and playwright Steven Berkoff reads from Lord Byron’s classic poem Don Juan.

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Best-selling Chichester author Isabel Ashdown returns to her home town to launch her latest suspense novel Weathering; and Chichester Cabaret Club will be in session in Oaklands Pavilion, Oaklands Park. New Theatre Productions will return to West Dean Gardens with Tom Jones and with Mixed Doubles in the glorious Pergola Theatre.

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