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Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios – Save Half Price

August 8, 2011 

SPECIAL OFFER: Enjoy HALF PRICE on tickets to see Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios in London

Suranne Jones in Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios

Suranne Jones in Top Girls at the Trafalgar Studios

Max Stafford-Clark’s new production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls has transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End following its critically acclaimed, sell-out run at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester.

The play features a hugely talented cast including Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Lucy Briers, Laura Elphinstone, Lisa Kerr and Olivia Poulet.

Caryl Churchill’s modern classic is set in Thatcher’s England where hard-nosed, go-getting businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests – all powerful women from myth and history – make for an extraordinary gathering in this provocative study of success, and what happens to those who get left behind.

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Top Girls tickets at the Trafalgar Studios starring Suranne Jones

August 1, 2011 

Max Stafford-Clark directs Caryl Churchill’s powerful modern classic set in Thatcher’s Britain, starring Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones and Catherine McCormack.

West End Transfer For Max Stafford-Clark’s Critically Acclaimed New Production Of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls

July 12, 2011 

SONIA FRIEDMAN PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS OUT OF JOINT & CHICHESTER FESTIVAL THEATRE PRODUCTION AT THE TRAFALGAR STUDIOS

Max Stafford-Clark’s new production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls is to transfer to the Trafalgar Studios following its critically acclaimed, sell-out run at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester. Top Girls, produced in the West End by Sonia Friedman Productions, will run at the Trafalgar Studios from 5 August – 15 October 2011 with press night on 16 August 2011. Designs are by Tim Shortall with lighting by Jason Taylor, sound by Ian Dickinson and video design by Finn Ross. Stafford-Clark’s Out of Joint/ Chichester Festival Theatre co-production reunites him with producer Sonia Friedman, with whom he co-founded Out of Joint Theatre Company in 1993.

The cast is Stella Gonet, Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Lucy Briers, Laura Elphinstone, Lisa Kerr and Olivia Poulet.
It’s Thatcher’s England and hard-nosed, go-getting businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests – all powerful women from myth and history – make for an extraordinary gathering. A provocative study of success, and what happens to those who get left behind.

Stella Gonet plays Isabella Bird/Joyce/Mrs Kidd. Her television credits include the drama series The House of Eliott and Holby City as well as Mo Mowlam, and Persuasion. Her theatre credits include Racing Demon, Skylight, Hamlet and The Voysey Inheritance for the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Measure For Measure, Three Sisters and The Revenger’s Tragedy and Women, Power and Politics for the Tricycle Theatre.

Suranne Jones plays businesswoman Marlene. She has most recently been seen on television as DC Bailey in the new ITV1 detective series Scott and Bailey, playing opposite Lesley Sharp. Her other television credits include Vincent, Unforgiven, Five Days and Single Father as well as the role of Karen McDonald in Coronation Street which she played for over four years. Her stage credits include A Few Good Men in the West End, the touring production of Terms of Endearment and Blithe Spirit at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Catherine McCormack plays Lady Nijo/Win. McCormack’s screen credits include Braveheart, Dangerous Beauty, Spy Game and 28 Weeks Later. Her theatre credits include an Olivier Award nominated performance in All My Sons, Honor and Dinner all for the National Theatre, the West End production of The 39 Steps, The Lady from Dubuque at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and A Doll’s House and The Portrait of a Lady for the Theatre Royal Bath and the Rose Theatre Kingston.

Lucy Briers plays Pope Joan/Louise. Her theatre credits include Behud for Soho Theatre, Bedroom Farce and Miss Julie for the Rose Theatre, Kingston, Ivanov at the Donmar and Wyndham’s Theatres, Some Kind of Bliss at the Trafalgar Studios, The Voysey Inheritance for the National Theatre and Cloud Nine, Teeth ‘n’ Smiles and Don Juan for Sheffield Theatres. Her many television credits include the role of Mary Bennet in the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as well as The Night Watch, Einstein and Eddington and Silent Witness.

Laura Elphinstone plays Patient Griselda/Nell. Elphinstone’s credits include A Month in the Country for Chichester Festival Theatre, Tom and Viv at the Almeida Theatre, Pains of Youth for the National Theatre, Breathing Corpses and Country Music for the Royal Court. Her film and television credits include The History Boys and Tess of the D’Urbevilles.

Lisa Kerr plays the Waitress/Kit/Shona. Her credits include the Out of Joint productions of The Big Fellah for the Lyric Hammersmith and on tour, Andersen’s English for Hampstead Theatre and Mixed Up North for the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, Wilton’s Music Hall and on tour.

Olivia Poulet plays Dull Gret/Angie/Jeanine. Her credits include recent roles in the television comedy The Thick of It, as well as the film In The Loop.

As well as Top Girls, Caryl Churchill’s plays include Cloud Nine, Serious Money, Far Away and A Number.

Max Stafford-Clark returns to Top Girls having directed its world premiere at the Royal Court in 1982. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1979 – 1993 and of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh from 1968 – 1970. He co-founded the Joint Stock Theatre Group in 1974 and Out of Joint (with Sonia Friedman) in 1993. Among his directing credits are regular collaborations with writer Caryl Churchill, including Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, Serious Money and Blue Heart.

Top Girls opened at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester last month, where it runs until 16 July 2011 before its West End transfer.
Out of Joint is a theatre company acclaimed for producing and touring new writing. Under the directorship of Max Stafford-Clark it has premiered plays by David Hare, Caryl Churchill, Sebastian Barry, Timberlake Wertenbaker and many more, and launched the careers of such talents as Mark Ravenhill and Stella Feehily. The Out of Joint production of A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson will transfer to the West End in September.

Chichester Festival Theatre is one of this country’s leading producing theatres with a strong track record in commissioning and producing new plays and adaptations. Over the past five years, playwrights whose work has been premiered at Chichester include David Edgar, David Hare, Ronald Harwood, Mike Poulton, Ben Power, Lucy Prebble, Martin Sherman and Nicholas Wright.

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Suranne Jones a Top Girl at Chichester

March 10, 2011 

Former Coronation Street actress Suranne Jones has been cast in Max Stafford-Clark’s revival of Top Girls in Chichester this summer. Playing hard-nosed businesswoman Marlene, she joins a cast that also includes Catherine McCormack, Stella Gonet, Lucy Briers and Olivia Poulet.

Suranne Jones to star in Top Girls

Suranne Jones to star in Top Girls

Caryl Churchill’s ground-breaking play first premiered at the Royal Court in 1982, also directed by Stafford-Clark. The play is a co-production between the director’s Out of Joint theatre company and Chichester. It will play in the Minerva Theatre from 23 June to 16 July.

The play is set during Thatcher’s reign, and tough businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests – all powerful women from myth and history – create an extraordinary gathering. A provocative study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain, the play examines the compromises made by women in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind.

Top Girls forms part of a strong new season for Chichester, which will include three major musical revivals – She Loves Me, Singin’ in the Rain and Sweeney Todd starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, plus a season of work by Terence Rattigan, and  Ian McKellen and Michael Pennington in The Syndicate.

LINKS

More Chichester news

Chichester Festival Theatre website

Chichester Festival Theatre: Top Girls casting announcement

March 10, 2011 

Suranne Jones, Catherine McCormack, Stella Gonet, Lucy Briers and Olivia Poulet have been confirmed to appear in the Festival 2011 and Out of Joint co-production of Top Girls at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester.

Suranne Jones will play businesswoman Marlene. Jones is best known for her performance as Karen McDonald in Coronation Street. Since then she has featured in numerous television dramas including Vincent, Unforgiven, Five Days and Single Father. Her stage credits include A Few Good Men in the West End, and the touring production of Terms of Endearment.

Catherine McCormack will play Lady Nijo/Win. McCormack’s notable screen credits include Braveheart, Spy Game and 28 Weeks Later. Her theatre credits include an Olivier Award nominated performance in All My Sons, Dinner (both at the National Theatre) and the West End production of The 39 Steps.

Stella Gonet will play Isabella Bird/Joyce/Mrs Kidd. Her television credits include the drama series’ The House of Eliott and Holby City. Theatre credits include Racing Demon, Skylight, Hamlet and The Voysey Inheritance (National Theatre), and RSC productions of Measure For Measure, Three Sisters and The Revenger’s Tragedy.

Lucy Briers will play Pope Joan/Louise. Her theatre credits include West End productions of Some Kind of Bliss and Ivanov. Television appearances include the role of Mary Bennet in the adaptation of Pride and Prejudice which also featured Oscar Award winner Colin Firth.

Olivia Poulet will play Dull Gret/Angie/Jeanine. Her credits include recent roles in the television comedy The Thick of It, as well as the film In The Loop.

One of the boldest and most original plays of the 1980s, Top Girls remains equally relevant today. It’s Thatcher’s England and hard-nosed businesswoman Marlene is hosting a dinner party to celebrate her promotion to MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Her guests – all powerful women from myth and history – create an extraordinary gathering. A provocative study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain, the play examines the compromises made by women in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind.

Caryl Churchill’s plays include Cloud Nine, Serious Money, for which she received the Evening Standard Award for Best New Comedy and the Olivier Award for Best New Play, Far Away and A Number.

Max Stafford-Clark returns to Top Girls, having directed its premiere at the Royal Court in 1982. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1979 – 1993 and of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh from 1968 – 1970. He co-founded the Joint Stock Theatre Group in 1974 and Out of Joint in 1993. Among his directing credits are regular collaborations with writer Caryl Churchill, including Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, Serious Money and Blue Heart.

Top Girls is a co-production with Out of Joint.

Contains adult themes and strong language.

Top Girls is at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, from 23 June – 16 July, 7.45pm, (except Press Night, Thursday 30 June at 7pm), matinees 2.30pm.

Top Girls is sponsored by Graylingwell Park.

Release issued by: Chichester Festival Theatre

LINKS

Chichester Festival Theatre website

Chichester Festival announces new season

February 17, 2011 

The Chichester Festival Theatre has announced its new 2011 season, including a major celebration of the work of Terence Rattigan and three new productions of classic musicals.

High-profile directors include Trevor Nunn, Max Stafford-Clark, Jonathan Church, Philip Franks and Sean Mathias.

Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton to star in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

Sir Ian McKellen returns to Chichester to star alongside Michael Pennington in The Syndicate.

Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton to star in Sweeney Todd

Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton to star in Sweeney Todd

Chichester Festival Theatre has announced its new 2011 season, starting on 9 May. Artistic Director Jonathan Church has put together an impressive slate of new productions, attracting major directors and stellar acting talent to cover both drama and musicals.

Three big musicals will be revived this year, following Chichester’s 2010 stage version of famous film weepy Love Story, which is currently playing at the Duchess Theatre in London. The season kicks off with Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s She Loves Me (from 9 May), starring Joe McFadden and Dianne Pilkington, and directed and choreographed by Stephen Mear. The show was last seen in the West End in 1994 starring Ruthie Henshall, John Gordon Sinclair and Tracie Bennett.

From 27 June, MGM musical Singin’ in the Rain gets a brand new production by Jonathan Church, starring Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Scarlett Strallen. The musical trio is completed at the end of the season by the much talked-about and anticipated new production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (from 24 September), directed by Jonathan Kent and starring Michael Ball in the title role and Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett.

Max Stafford Clark returns to Top Girls

Max Stafford Clark returns to Top Girls

The festival will also celebrate the work of Terence Rattigan with a mini season of productions, timed to coincide with the playwright’s centenary year in 2011. Shows include The Deep Blue Sea (from 13 July) directed by Philip Franks; and The Browning Version (from 2 September) directed by Angus Jackson, alongside the world premiere of a new one-act play by David Hare, South Downs, directed by Jeremy Herrin and commissioned by the Rattigan Trust as a response to The Browning Version. Also Nicholas Wright’s new play Rattigan’s Nijinsky, based on a screenplay by Rattigan, will get a world premiere from 19 July  directed by Philip Franks; and from 31 July the festival will hold a series of rehearsed readings of some of Rattigan’s lesser-known plays, including First Episode,  Adventure Story, Variation On A Theme, Heart To Heart and Harlequinade, plus In Praise Of Rattigan, devised by Jack Tinker and Martin Tickner and directed and featuring Penelope Keith.

Other new productions include Trevor Nunn following his spring production of Rattigan’s Flare Path in the West End, by directing Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (from 20 May); Max Stafford-Clark and his Out of Joint theatre company join forces with Chichester to revisit Caryl Churchill’s 1982 play Top Girls (from 23 June); and Sir Ian McKellen stars in a new version of Eduardo De Filippo’s The Syndicate (from 21 July), also starring Michael Pennington and directed by Sean Mathias.

LINKS

Chichester Festival Theatre website

Video: Sweeney Todd – Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton on The Michael Ball Show


Chichester Festival Theatre Announces Festival 2011

February 17, 2011 

At the heart of the sixth season from Artistic Director Jonathan Church and Executive Director Alan Finch will be ‘a Festival within a Festival’ celebrating the achievements of playwright Terence Rattigan in the centenary year of his birth. There will be productions of two of his finest plays, The Deep Blue Sea and The Browning Version, both of which will play in conjunction with the world premiere of a connected piece, Rattigan’s Nijinsky by Nicholas Wright and South Downs by David Hare. There will also be a series of Rattigan-themed rehearsed readings, discussions and talks. For the first time, the season also features three musicals, She Loves Me, Singin’ in the Rain and Sweeney Todd, which will form the beginning, middle and end of the Festival. Vastly different in style and content, these three productions reflect the diversity and range of musical theatre itself.

SHE LOVES ME
Book by Joe Masteroff
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
9 May – 18 June, Minerva Theatre (Press Night: Monday 16 May 7.00pm)

Director & Choreographer: Stephen Mear
Designer: Anthony Ward
Lighting Designer: Chris Davey
Musical Director: Phil Bateman
Sound Designer: Matt McKenzie
Orchestrator: Steven Edis

A witty and warm-hearted musical gem – later reworked for the big screen as The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail – this is the delightful story of Georg and Amalia, two lovelorn assistants in a 1930s parfumerie. They squabble by day but at night write anonymous love letters, both unaware that they are each other’s secret correspondent.

The cast features Joe McFadden. Last at Chichester in Festival 05’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, his other credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Rent on stage and Heartbeat, Casualty and Cranford on television.

Dianne Pilkington plays Amalia. Her stage credits include The 39 Steps, Wicked, The Wolf Man, Taboo, Tonight’s The Night, The Beautiful Game and Les Misérables.

The musical will be directed and choreographed by Chichester Festival Theatre Associate Stephen Mear.

His productions for Chichester include The Music Man and Funny Girl. Other credits include the forthcoming West End production of Betty Blue Eyes, Shoes, Mary Poppins, for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Choreography, together with Matthew Bourne, and Hello, Dolly! for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer.

TOM STOPPARD’S ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD
20 May – 11 June, Festival Theatre (Press Night: Tuesday 31 May 7.00pm)

Director: Trevor Nunn
Lighting Designer: Tim Mitchell

This richly inventive play retells Hamlet through the eyes of two of its minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who inhabit a world completely beyond their grasp and control.

Tom Stoppard’s plays include The Real Inspector Hound, Jumpers, Travesties, The Real Thing, Arcadia and Rock ‘n’ Roll, while his screenplays include Shakespeare in Love for which he was awarded an Oscar for Best Screenplay, together with co-writer Marc Norman.

Trevor Nunn directed Cyrano de Bergerac for Festival 09. He has been Artistic Director of both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, and his credits include the forthcoming West End production of Flare Path, as well as Birdsong, A Little Night Music, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Hamlet, King Lear, The Seagull and Porgy and Bess.

TOP GIRLS by Caryl Churchill
23 June – 16 July, Minerva Theatre (Press Night: Thursday 30 June 7.00pm)

Director: Max Stafford-Clark
Designer: Tim Shortall
Lighting Designer: Jason Taylor

One of the boldest and most original plays of the 1980s, Top Girls remains equally relevant today. A provocative study of powerful women in Thatcher’s Britain, the play examines the compromises made by women in the quest for success, and what happens to those left behind.

Caryl Churchill’s plays include Cloud Nine, Serious Money, for which she received the Evening Standard Award for Best New Comedy and the Olivier Award for Best New Play, Far Away and A Number.

Max Stafford-Clark returns to Top Girls, having directed its premiere at the Royal Court in 1982. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1979 – 1993 and of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh from 1968 – 1970. He co-founded the Joint Stock Theatre Group in 1974 and Out of Joint in 1993. Among his directing credits are regular collaborations with writer Caryl Churchill, including Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine and Serious Money.

Top Girls is a co-production with Out of Joint.

Contains adult themes and strong language.

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
Based on the MGM film
Screenplay and adaptation by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed
27 June – 10 September, Festival Theatre (Press Night: Tuesday 5 July 7.00pm)

Director: Jonathan Church
Designer: Simon Higlett
Choreographer: Andrew Wright
Lighting Designer: Tim Mitchell
Musical Director: Robert Scott
Sound Designer: Matt McKenzie

This classic musical evokes the era when the silver screen was changed forever by the emergence of talking pictures. The glorious score features Make ‘em Laugh, Good Morning, Moses Supposes and Singin’ in the Rain.

Adam Cooper, whose credits include On Your Toes and Guys and Dolls, plays silent movies star Don Lockwood. The cast also features Daniel Crossley, whose credits include Hello Dolly!, Chicago, Fosse and Mary Poppins, and Scarlett Strallen, who has appeared in The Music Man (Festival 08), Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Jonathan Church is Chichester’s Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director. His credits for Chichester include The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound, The Grapes of Wrath, Pravda, Hobson’s Choice, The Circle and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. His credits also include Master Class and the Olivier Award-nominated Of Mice and Men.

THE DEEP BLUE SEA by Terence Rattigan
13 July – 3 September, Festival Theatre (Press Night: Monday 25 July 2.15pm)

Director: Philip Franks
Music: Matthew Scott

With his trademark empathy and sensitivity, Rattigan explores the driving force of desire and its devastating consequences through his depiction of Hester Collyer, torn between her love for a callow younger man, and the security of a lifeless marriage.

Terence Rattigan’s plays include Separate Tables, In Praise of Love, The Winslow Boy and The Browning Version which will also be staged during Festival 2011. The Deep Blue Sea will be partnered by the world premiere of Rattigan’s Nijinsky (see below) which will be performed by the same company of actors. Both productions form part of the ‘festival within a Festival’ taking place to mark the centenary of Rattigan’s birth.

RATTIGAN’S NIJINSKY by Nicholas Wright WORLD PREMIERE
Based on a screenplay by Terence Rattigan
19 July – 3 September, Festival Theatre (Press Night: Monday 25 July, 7.00pm)

Director: Philip Franks
Music: Matthew Scott

This production marks the staging of two world premieres in one. In 1974 Terence Rattigan wrote a television script for the BBC about Diaghilev, the impresario behind the Ballet Russes and Nijinsky, the most renowned dancer of all time. The screenplay was later withdrawn in mysterious circumstances by Rattigan himself and neither produced nor published.

Now, in his new play, Nicholas Wright imagines why. The dying Rattigan meets Nijinsky’s elderly widow, Romola, to fight over his play. Meanwhile, in the same room, Diaghilev and the young Romola fight over the tormented Nijinsky.

Nicholas Wright’s work includes Mrs Klein, Vincent in Brixton, the adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, and The Reporter.

Philip Franks directs both The Deep Blue Sea and Rattigan’s Nijinsky. His productions for Chichester include The Master Builder, Separate Tables, Twelfth Night and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

THE SYNDICATE (Il Sindaco Del Rione Sanità) by Eduardo De Filippo
In a new version by Mike Poulton
WORLD PREMIERE
21 July – 20 August, Minerva Theatre (Press Night: Tuesday 2 August 7.00pm)

Director: Sean Mathias

Ian McKellen returns to Chichester for the first time in several decades to play Don Antonio, the Godfather making someone an offer they can’t refuse in this witty dark comedy set in 1960s Naples. McKellen’s distinguished career includes theatre credits for Macbeth, Waiting for Godot and King Lear. His film credits include The Lord of the Rings, Gods and Monsters, Richard III, Dance of Death and X Men.

The cast also features Michael Pennington as Dr Fabio. His credits include The Master Builder (Festival 2010), Collaboration and Taking Sides (Festivals 08 and 09), The Iron Lady and Love is My Sin, as well as extensive work with the RSC and his English Shakespeare Company.

Eduardo De Filippo’s plays include Napoli Milionaria, Filumena and Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Mike Poulton’s adaptations include Wallenstein (Festival 09), The Cherry Orchard, The Father, Fortune’s Fool and Uncle Vanya.

Sean Mathias’ stage credits include Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, A Little Night Music and the award-winning film Bent.

SOUTH DOWNS by David Hare WORLD PREMIERE
THE BROWNING VERSION by Terence Rattigan
2 September – 8 October, Minerva Theatre (Press Night: Wednesday 14 September 7pm)

South Downs
Director: Jeremy Herrin

David Hare’s new one-act play, written at the invitation of the Rattigan Trust as a response to The Browning Version, concerns a lonely boy at a public school on the South Downs. It is a meditation on learning, faith and teenage friendship set against the backdrop of a Britain still striving to maintain the established order.

David Hare’s plays include The Power of Yes, Stuff Happens, Gethsemane, The Vertical Hour, Amy’s View, Racing Demons, which received an Olivier Award for Best New Play, Murmuring Judges, The Absence of War, Pravda (with Howard Brenton) which received an Evening Standard Award for Best Play and Skylight; his screenplays include The Reader and The Hours.

Jeremy Herrin is Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Court where he has directed David Hare’s The Vertical Hour, That Face and The Heretic. He has also directed The Family Reunion at the Donmar and Statement of Regret at the National Theatre.

The Browning Version
Director: Angus Jackson

Classics master Andrew Crocker-Harris, brilliant scholar turned unpopular teacher is retiring from a public school to teach in a crammer. His years of self-loathing, buttoned-up disappointment and humiliation are released by a small gesture of unexpected kindness from one of his pupils in this poignant one-act play.

Associate Director Angus Jackson’s credits for Chichester include Goodnight Mister Tom (currently touring), Bingo, Wallenstein, Funny Girl, The Waltz of the Toreadors and Carousel. His other stage credits include Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, Rocket to the Moon and David Hare’s The Power of Yes, all for the National Theatre.

SWEENEY TODD
The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
From an adaptation by Christopher Bond
24 September – 5 November, Festival Theatre (Press Night: Thursday 6 October 7pm)

Director: Jonathan Kent
Designer: Anthony Ward
Choreographer: Denni Sayers
Lighting Designer: Mark Henderson
Musical Director: Nicholas Skilbeck
Sound Designer: Paul Groothuis

Acclaimed musical theatre actor Michael Ball takes the title role in this dark and witty portrayal of corruption and revenge, generally acknowledged as Sondheim’s masterpiece. Combining elements of horror with English music hall, the musical depicts Sweeney Todd’s return to nineteenth century London following years of false imprisonment.

Stephen Sondheim’s musicals include Follies, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George and Passion.

Michael Ball’s stage credits include originating the role of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, for which he won Laurence Olivier and Whatsonstage Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. He will be reprising the role on tour this Spring. Other stage credits include Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Phantom of the Opera, Passion and The Woman in White. Last year he co-produced the West End production of Love Story following its Chichester premiere during Festival 2010.

Award-winning actress Imelda Staunton plays Sweeney Todd’s accomplice, the pie-shop owner Mrs Lovett. Staunton’s film credits include Vera Drake for which she received the BAFTA Best Actress Award and an Oscar nomination, Another Year, the Harry Potter series and Shakespeare in Love. Her stage credits include Entertaining Mr Sloane, Guys and Dolls and Into The Woods. On television she has featured in Cranford and Psychoville.

Jonathan Kent directed A Month in the Country for Chichester’s Festival 2010. Other recent work includes the National Theatre production of Oepidus starring Ralph Fiennes and The Fairy Queen at Glyndebourne. He was Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre for 12 years where his work included When We Dead Awaken, All For Love, Medea, The School For Wives and Gangster No.1.

Age guideline: 12+

TERENCE RATTIGAN – A CELEBRATION
As part of this year’s celebration of the life and work of Terence Rattigan, there will be a series of rehearsed readings of some of his lesser-known plays with members of the Festival Company and special guests.

FIRST EPISODE (1933)
Sunday 31 July, Minerva Theatre 3.00pm
Directed by Philip Franks
Written with Philip Heimann while Rattigan was still at Oxford, this play depicts the devastating impact of a visiting actress upon a group of undergraduates.

IN PRAISE OF RATTIGAN
Sunday 7 August, Minerva Theatre 3.00pm
Directed by and featuring Penelope Keith
An entertainment devised by Jack Tinker and Martin Tickner.

ADVENTURE STORY (1949)
Sunday 14 August, Minerva Theatre 3.00pm
Directed by Tim Hoare
One of Rattigan’s own favourite plays – never been produced since its premiere – this sweeping historical drama is the story of Alexander the Great, who conquers the world and loses his soul.

VARIATION ON A THEME (1958)
Sunday 21 August, Minerva Theatre 3.00pm
Directed by Michael Oakley
Rattigan’s retelling of the story of Camille, in which Marguerite Gaultier falls hopelessly in love with a bisexual dancer much younger than herself.

HEART TO HEART (1962)
Sunday 4 September, Minerva Theatre 3.00pm
Directed by Philip Franks
During the course of a live interview, an eminent politician is forced to reveal the truth about his political and personal life. This prophetic play is based on the infamous television interview programme Face to Face hosted by John Freeman from 1959 – 1962.

HARLEQUINADE (1949)
Sunday 25 September, Minerva Theatre 6.00pm
Directed by Angus Jackson
This humourous caricature of post-war theatre life was originally performed in a double bill with The Browning Version, which plays this season in the Minerva Theatre.

There will also be various other events, pre- and post-show talks, Saturday shorts and workshops related to Festival 2011 productions. Full details are in the Festival brochure, pages 25 – 27, or online at www.cft.org.uk/takingpart

Priority Booking for Friends of Chichester Festival Theatre opens on Thursday 17 February at 10.00am. To become a Friend of the Theatre and benefit from priority booking and discounted tickets, call 01243 781312 or join online at www.cft.org.uk/friends.

Online public booking opens for everyone on Monday 28 February at 10.00am. Telephone and counter booking opens for everyone on Thursday 3 March. Tickets £10 – £38 available online at www.cft.org.uk or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.

Chichester Festival Theatre is working in partnership with The University of Chichester to offer reduced price tickets for the first three performances of all productions in the Festival Theatre. To book for The University of Chichester Festival Theatre Previews, visit www.cft.org.uk or call the Box Office on 01243 781312.

Release issued by: Chichester Festival Theatre press office

LINKS

Chichester Festival Theatre website

OLIVIER AWARDS – Best Play Winners

June 15, 2010 

OLIVIER AWARDS – Best Play Winners

Best New Play

2012 Collaborators by John Hodge
2011 Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
2010 The Mountaintop
2009 Black Watch by Gregory Burke
2008 A Disappearing Number
2007 Blackbird by David Harrower
2006 On The Shore Of The Wide World by Simon Stephens
2005 The History Boys by Alan Bennett
2004 The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

The BBC Award for Best New Play

2003 Vincent In Brixton by Nicholas Wright
2002 Jitney by August Wilson
2001 Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall
2000 Goodnight Children Everywhere by Richard Nelson
1999 The Weir by Conor McPherson
1998 Closer by Patrick Marber
1997 Stanley by Pam Gems
1996 Skylight by David Hare
1995 Broken Glass by Arthur Miller
1994 Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
1993 Six Degrees Of Separation by John Guare
1992 Death And The Maiden by Ariel Dorfman
1991 Dancing At Lughnasa by Brian Friel
1989/90 Racing Demon by David Hare
1988 Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker
1987 Serious Money by Caryl Churchill
1986 Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton
1985 Red Noses by Peter Barnes
1984 Benefactors by Michael Frayn
1983 Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
1982 Another Country by Julian Mitchell
1981 Children Of A Lesser God by Mark Medoff
1980 The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, adapted by David Edgar
1979 Betrayal by Harold Pinter
1978 Whose Life Is It Anyway? by Brian Clark
1977 The Fire That Consumes by Henry de Montherlant, English version by Vivian Cox with Bernard Miles
1976 Dear Daddy by Denis Cannan

Best Revival

2012 Anna Christie by Eugene O’Neill
2011 After the Dance directed by Terence Rattigan
2010 Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
2009 The Histories
2007 The Crucible by Arthur Miller
2006 Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Richard Eyre
2005 Hamlet by William Shakespeare
2004 Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill
2003 Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekov
1995 As You Like It by William Shakespeare
1994 Machinal by Sophie Treadwell
1993 An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley
1992 Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
1991 Pericles by William Shakespeare

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