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Guys and Dolls at the Savoy Theatre

June 16, 2015 

Chichester Festival Theatre’s highly acclaimed and sell out production of Guys and Dolls transfers to the West End’s Savoy theatre.

Guys and Dolls will play a strictly limited 13 week run at the Savoy theatre opening on 6 January 2016 with previews from 10 December 2015. Sophie Thompson and Jamie Parker will reprise their roles as Miss Adelaide and Sky Masterson with further casting to be announced.

A joyous and vibrant celebration of Prohibition-era New York, Guys and Dolls first premiered on Broadway in 1950 and captured the optimism and energy of post-World War Two America. This hugely popular and multi award-winning musical, based on the colourful stories by American journalist Damon Runyon renowned for his vivid fictional depictions of the gamblers, hustlers and nightclub singers of New York, features some of Broadway’s greatest musical numbers including ‘My Time of Day’, ‘Luck be a Lady’ and the show-stopping ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat’.


Nathan Detroit is desperate: he needs money for an illegal dice game, and he needs it fast. Not to mention a 14-year engagement with nightclub singer Miss Adelaide (Sophie Thompson), whose patience is finally running out. Enter notorious gambler Sky Masterson (Jamie Parker), a guy who can never turn down a bet, and straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown, a doll with a heart of ice. Nathan’s wager is that Sky has to romance Sarah by taking her to Havana for dinner and in return he’ll provide a dozen ‘sinners’ for Sarah’s mission. Surely this is one bet Nathan absolutely can’t lose?


Sophie Thompson plays Miss Adelaide.  Her theatre credits include The Physicists (Donmar), She Stoops To Conquer (National Theatre), Clybourne Park (Royal Court), Measure for Measure (Shakespeare’s Globe), Into the Woods(Donmar Warehouse) for which she received an Olivier Award, and Company (Donmar Warehouse and West End). Television credits include Lightfields, Watson and Oliver, Poirot, Doc Martin, Big Top, and Stella Crawford in EastEnders. Film credits include Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Eat, Pray, Love, Fat Slags, Nicholas Nickleby, Gosford Park, Dancing at Lughnasa, Emma and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Jamie Parker plays Sky Masterson. Jamie is currently starring as Mike Connor in High Society at The Old Vic. Other theatre credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Chichester and West End), Proof (Menier Chocolate Factory), Henry V, Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part 2, As You Like Like It (all for Shakespeare’s Globe), Racing Demon (Sheffield Crucible), Revenger’s Tragedy (National Theatre) and The History Boys (National Theatre, Broadway and Australia and Hong Kong). Television credits include Parade’s End, Silk, The Hour, Silent Witness and Wire in the Blood. Film credits include Le Weekend, Valkyrie and The History Boys.

Further casting to be announced.


Guys and Dolls is directed by Gordon Greenberg with choreography by Cuban dancer and former Royal Ballet star Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright whose credits include Chichester Festival Theatre’s Singin’ in the Rain. It is based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows.


Coming soon

Guys and Dolls transfer to the Savoy theatre

June 12, 2015 

Chichester Festival Theatre’s critically acclaimed and sell out production of Guys and Dolls is to transfer to London’s Savoy theatre.

Chichester Festival Theatre continues its string of West End transfers with Guys and Dolls scheduled to play a limited 13 week run at London’s Savoy theatre.
Starring the hugely talented Sophie Thompson and Jamie Parker, Guys and Dolls is a multi-award winning musical based on the colourful stories by American journalist Damon Runyon renowned for his vivid fictional depictions of the gamblers, hustlers and nightclub singers of New York.  The show features some of Broadway’s greatest musical numbers including ‘My Time of Day’, ‘Luck be a Lady’ and the show-stopping ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat’.

Sophie Thompson and Jamie Parker reprise their roles of Miss Adelaide and Sky Masterson with further casting to be announced.

Guys and Dolls will play a limited season from 10 December 2015 until 12 March 2015 at the Savoy Theatre.

Book tickets to Guys and Dolls

Production photos: Way Upstream at Chichester Festival Theatre

April 30, 2015 

Production photos of Alan Ayckbourn’s Way Upstream at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Photos of Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Way Upstream.

Way Upstream is directed by Nadia Fall, with design by Ben Stones, lighting by Tim Mitchell, sound by Fergus O’Hare and fight directors Rc-Annie.

The cast includes Jason Durr (Vince), Peter Forbes (Keith), Jill Halfpenny (Emma), Jason Hughes (Alistair), Sarah Parish (June), Emily Laing (Fleur) and Nicola Sloane (Mrs Hatfield).

Way Upstream plays a limited season from 23 April 2015 until 16 May 2015 at Chichester Festival Theatre


‘Boats are a society in miniature. Everyone has a role, everyone has a function.’

Four old friends, one cruising boat, two weeks off work, and the perfect setting of the beautiful River Orb. What could possibly go wrong?


Casting update: Mack has found his Mabel

March 13, 2015 

Chichester Festival Theatre have announced further casting for Mack & Mabel.

Joining the already announced Michael Ball as Mack  is American Rebecca Le Chance as Mabel.

Rebecca LaChance

Rebecca LaChance recently debuted on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical as a featured ensemble member while understudying Jessie Mueller in the title role. Her other credits include Johnny Baseball directed by Gordon Greenberg, the director of Chichester’s acclaimed production of Guys and Dolls during Festival 2014,  Central Avenue Breakdown and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

The casting to date includes Anna-Jane Casey as Lottie, Jack Edwards as Fatty, Alex Giannini as Mr Kleiman, Gunnar Cauthery as Frank and Mark Inscoe as William Desmond Taylor. The company also includes Michelle Francis, Emily Langham, Rebecca Louis, Joshua Lovell, Joseph Prouse, and Emily Shaw.

Mack & Mabel forms part of the 2015 Chichester Festival Season and will be directed by Jonathan Church, with choreography by Stephen Mear and design by Robert Jones.

Starring Michael Ball as Mack, with American new-comer Rebecca Le Chance as Mabel, Mack & Mabel is based on the true romance between Hollywood legends Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand. Nominated for eight Tony Award when it opened on Broadway in 1974 this musical comedy includes the much-loved score Time Heals Everything and I Won’t Send Roses. Music and lyrics are by Jerry Herman (La Cage aux Folles) and the book by Michael Stewart (Barnum, 42nd Street), the multi award-winning team behind the classic Broadway musical Hello, Dolly!


Mack & Mabel is based on the tumultuous romantic relationship between Hollywood director Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand a waitress who became one of his biggest stars.  In a series of flashbacks, Sennett relates the glory days of Keystone Studios from 1911, when he discovered Normand and cast her in dozens of his early “two-reelers”, through his creation of Sennett’s Bathing Beauties and the Keystone Cops to Mabel’s death from tuberculosis in 1930. Like all good musicals it ends on a happy note!


Chichester Festival Theatre announce Festival 2015

February 26, 2015 

Jonathan Church and Alan Finch announce Chichester Festival’s 2015 season including Lenny Henry in Educating Rita and Michael Ball in Mack & Mabel.

Chichester Festival 2015 marks the first full season since its major refurbishment with an ambitious programme of shows that use the scope of the building to its fullest potential.
Highlights include:

  • Young Chekhov, a major season of the dramatist’s early work, Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull, in versions by David Hare, directed by Jonathan Kent, featuring Anna Chancellor, James McArdle and Samuel West
  • Two major musicals feature in the Festival Theatre: Michael Ball returns to Chichester in Mack & Mabel and a new stage version of A Damsel in Distress
  • Lenny Henry makes his Chichester debut in Educating Rita
  • The Festival Theatre stage will be transformed into a river for Alan Ayckbourn’s Way Upstream, featuring Sarah Parish
  • A sumptuous revival of Jean Anouilh’s The Rehearsal will be directed by Jeremy Sams
  • The themes of war, conflict and freedom of speech are explored in two productions: Frank McGuinness’s award-winning drama, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me and W. Somerset Maugham’s For Services Rendered
  • Chichester Festival Youth Theatre marks its 30th anniversary with the world premiere of Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild

WAY UPSTREAM by Alan Ayckbourn
Director: Nadia Fall
23 April 2015 – 16 May 2015 , Festival Theatre
Four old friends, one cruising boat, two weeks off work, and the perfect setting of the beautiful River Orb. What could possibly go wrong? This hilarious expose of the murky depths that lurk beneath the surfaces of friendship, love, desire and power is vintage Ayckbourn.
Nadia Fall makes her directorial debut at Chichester having recently directed Dara and Home for the National Theatre, and Hobson’s Choiceat Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Sarah Parish also makes her Chichester debut as June. Her television credits include W1A, Mistresses and Cutting It.
THE REHEARSAL by Jean Anouilh
Translated by Jeremy Sams
Director: Jeremy Sams
8 May 2015 – 6 June 2015, Minerva Theatre
The Count, better known as Tiger, is planning another of his spectacular parties, including an evening of amateur dramatics. But as soon as rehearsals begin, it’s clear that his play will unleash just as much passion, shock and intrigue off stage as it will on. This clever comedy exposes the truths that people conceal and the secret roles that they really want to play.
Jeremy Sams directs the production, having also provided the celebrated translation. His directing credits include The Sound of Music in the West End, Noises Off at the National Theatre and The Water Babies at Chichester.
Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Book by Jeremy Sams and Robert Hudson
Based on the novel by P.G.Wodehouse and the play by P.G.Wodehouse and Ian Hay
Director: Rob Ashford
30 May 2015 – 27 June 2015 , Festival Theatre
Bring together a world-weary American composer, a beautiful and irrepressible English socialite, a fierce aunt, and lots of other delightfully eccentric characters and the stage is set for a charming musical, based on a novel by P.G.Wodehouse with songs by George and Ira Gershwin.
This new stage musical is directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford whose credits include Shrek The Musical, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Scarlett Johansson, and Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston.
EDUCATING RITA by Willy Russell
Director: Michael Buffong
18 June 2015 – 25 July 2015 , Minerva Theatre
English lecturer Frank has never met anyone like plain-speaking Rita – until the Open University brings them together. Willy Russell’s touching and enduring comedy has delighted audiences around the world, and celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.
Actor, broadcaster and comedian Lenny Henry makes his Chichester debut as Frank. His theatre credits include The Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre and award-winning performances in West End productions of Fences and Othello.
Also making her Chichester debut is Lashana Lynch whose recent credits include Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet at The Shed (National Theatre), BBC 1’s Death in Paradise and BBC 3’s Crims.
The production is directed by Michael Buffong, Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company, whose recent credits include All My Sons andMoon on a Rainbow Shawl.
Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman Book by Michael Stewart
Book revised by Francine Pascal
Director: Jonathan Church
13 July 2015 – 5 September 2015 , Festival Theatre
This musical comedy is a poignant love story and a riveting tribute to the silent movie era, based on the true romance between Hollywood legends Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand. It received eight Tony Award nominations when it opened on Broadway in 1974.
Michael Ball plays Mack Sennett. His other recent credits include his Olivier Award-winning performance in Chichester’s production ofSweeney Todd (also West End), the BBC drama That Day We Sang and the West End production of Hairspray.
Director Jonathan Church’s most recent musical hit is the award-winning Singin’ in the Rain, which continues its international tour in 2015. His other credits include Festival 2014’s Taken at Midnight (currently running in the West End) and Amadeus, as well as The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Choreography is by Stephen Mear, whose credits include Festival 2014’s Amadeus and Gypsy.

FOR SERVICES RENDERED by W. Somerset Maugham
Director: Howard Davies
31 July 2015 – 5 September 2015 , Minerva Theatre
Written in 1932, this engrossing drama confronts the damaging consequences of war, loss and trauma for one ordinary English family.
Director Howard Davies’s many acclaimed productions for the RSC, the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway have garnered him many awards. In 2009 he made his Chichester debut with The House of Special Purpose.

by Michael Morpurgo
in a new adaptation by Samuel Adamson
Director: Dale Rooks
2 August 2015 – 16 August, Cass Sculpture Foundation
A touching and thrilling story of the devastating Boxing Day tsunami, and a young boy’s remarkable jungle adventures afterwards.   This tale of healing and the power of nature is based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel, in a new adaptation by Samuel Adamson, directed by Dale Rooks, with puppetry by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié.
The promenade production by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre will be staged in the evocative landscape of Cass Sculpture Foundation, against the spectacular backdrop of monumental sculptures and dramatic settings.
Director: Michael Attenborough
10 September 2015 – 10 October 2015, Minerva Theatre
Based on the experiences of those taken hostage in Lebanon in the 1980s, this drama features an American doctor, an Irish journalist and an English academic – three men with little in common who somehow forge bonds that testify to the power of the human spirit.
Director Michael Attenborough makes his Chichester debut. Whilst Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre, his award-winning productions included Measure for Measure and The Knot of the Heart.  David Haig returns to Chichester following his appearance in Festival 2014’s highly acclaimed Pressure, which he also wrote.
in versions by David Hare
Director: Jonathan Kent
28 September 2015 – 14 November 2015, Festival Theatre
Three plays written when Anton Chekhov was young offer a new perspective on this undisputed master of modern drama. With sunbursts of youthful anger and romanticism, they reveal a very different playwright from the one known through his mature, more familiar work.
Acclaimed playwright David Hare has written these versions.
Anna Chancellor, last at Chichester in Private Lives and South Downs/The Browning Version (also West End), is confirmed to play Arkadina in The Seagull, with her other role to be announced.
James McArdle, whose credits include The James Plays at the Edinburgh Festival and National Theatre, plays the title role in Platonov and Lvov in Ivanov.
Samuel West, last seen at Chichester in Enron and Doctor Faustus, plays the title role in Ivanov and Trigorin in The Seagull.
Director Jonathan Kent returns to Chichester following his acclaimed Festival 2014 production of Gypsy which transfers to London in 2015.

Lenny Henry makes Chichester debut with Educating Rita.

February 26, 2015 

Lenny Henry is to star in a new production of Educating Rita at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

Lenny Henry Photo Credit: Jack Lawson

Lenny Henry. Photo Credit: Jack Lawson

A new production of Educating Rita by Willy Russell stars Lenny Henry making his Chichester debut as the world-weary lecturer Frank, alongside Lashana Lynch as Rita, directed by Talawa Artistic Director Michael Buffong.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Willy Russell’s touching and enduring comedy has delighted audiences around the world. English lecturer Frank has never met anyone like plain-speaking Rita – until the Open University brings them together.

Lenny Henry said: “When I began studying for an Open University degree, it was a pivotal period that opened my mind to the delights of Shakespeare and so much more. I’d already become established as a successful comedian, but education held the key to a world that led to a new chapter in my career. It means a great deal to me personally and professionally to be in Willy Russell’s classic play about the ways in which education can change your life. I hope that it’ll inspire audiences to think about the pathways and obstacles to success that education offers the young – and not so young! – today.”

Educating Rita plays for a strictly limited season from 18 June 2015 until 25 July 2015 at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester.

Michael Ball to star in Chichester Festival Theatre production of Mack & Mabel

February 2, 2015 

It was announced today that Michael Ball will star in Chichester Festival Theatre’s major new production of Mack & Mabel this summer.

Directed by Jonathan Church, Chichester’s Artistic Director, Mack & Mabel plays the Chichester Festival Theatre 13 July til 5 September, followed by a UK tour from October.

Based on the true romance between Hollywood legends Mack Sennett (Michael Ball) and Mabel Normand, this musical comedy received eight Tony Award nominations when it opened on Broadway in 1974.

Tour dates released so far include Plymouth Theatre Royal (1 Oct – 10 Oct), Manchester Opera House (12 Oct – 24 Oct), Dublin BGE Theatre (27 Oct – 7 Nov), Edinburgh Playhouse (10 Nov – 21 Nov), Nottingham Theatre Royal (23 Nov – 28 Nov), and Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre (1 Dec – 6 Dec). No news on London dates but given the recent success of Chichester Festival Theatre productions it will hopefully transfer to the West End.
Michael Ball is to play Mack Sennett with full casting to be announced shortly.
Michael Ball has recently been seen in the BBC television drama That Day We Sang, which reunited him with Sweeney Todd co-star Imelda Staunton. Theatre credits include the title role in Sweeney Todd (Chichester’s Festival 2011 and West End), Hairspray, Les Misérables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Passion, Aspects of Love, The Woman in White and The Phantom of the Opera. Ball co-produced Chichester Festival 2010’s West End transfer of Love Story.
The creative team also includes choreography by Stephen Mear, Chichester’s Associate Choreographer and design by Robert Jones whose Chichester credits include Festival 2014’s Taken At Midnight (also West End), Kiss Me, Kate (also Old Vic) and Calendar Girls (also UK tour, Australia and Canada). Other credits include West End productions of A Chorus of Disapproval and Much Ado About Nothing.

Imelda Staunton in Gypsy heading to the West End’s Savoy Theatre?

November 21, 2014 

Is Imelda Staunton heading back into the West End in the Chichester transfer of Gypsy?

Imelda Staunton in Gypsy. Photo: Roy Tan

Imelda Staunton in Gypsy. Photo: Roy Tan

West End rumours are flying (and we are praying) that Imelda Staunton’s star turn in Gypsy gets a West End airing.

The show is rumoured to be replacing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre from the end of March 2015 onwards.

The show has been one of this year’s biggest new musical openings, and was a must-see at the Chichester Festival Theatre this autumn.

Jonathan Kent’s production of the Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim show, based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, has garnered some heady notices and everyone involved is currently willing it into the West End.

Imelda Staunton stars Mama Rose in the show alongside Kevin Whately as Herbie and Gemma Sutton as June.

Some very nifty choreography by Stephen Mears is worth the transfer alone!

Source: Daily Mail (07/11/14)

Original post: 7/11/14. Updated 21/11/14


Book tickets to Gypsy at the Savoy Theatre

More about Gypsy on WestEndTheatre.com

Taken at Midnight starring Penelope Wilton to transfer to West End

October 23, 2014 

Penelope Wilton returns to the West End in hit Chichester drama Taken at Midnight at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

The Chichester Festival Theatre production of Mark Hayhurst’s new play Taken At Midnight is to get a West End transfer.

Penelope Wilton in Taken At Midnight

Penelope Wilton in Taken At Midnight

Directed by Jonathan Church, the play sees the return of Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey) to the West End after 5 years to star as Irmgard, the mother of celebrated lawyer Hans Litten who puts Hitler on the witness stand in 1930s Germany with devastating consequences.

This emotionally compelling play will run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a limited 9 week season, from 15 January 2015 to 14 March 2015.

In the play Irmgard’s relationship with her son, Hans, and her courageous efforts to help him are at the heart of this new drama. Fearless and indomitable,  she confronts his captors at enormous personal risk and the unquestionable love of a mother for her son is put centre stage in Hayhurst’s study of the horrors of pre-war Nazi Germany.

Mark Hayhurst is well known for writing TV drama documentaries which explore key historical moments, including BBC drama 37 Days about World War One. He wrote Taken at Midnight with Penelope Wilton in mind for the role.

Joining Penelope Wilton are Martin Hutson as Hans Litten, Allan Corduner as Fritz Litten, Pip Donaghy as Erich Mühsam, Mike Grady as Carl von Ossietzky, John Light as Dr Conrad, David Yelland as Lord Clifford Allen, Marc Antolin as Gustav Hammerman, Christopher Hogben as Hotelier and Dermot McLaughlin as SA Officer.

The production is directed by Jonathan Church, with design by Robert Jones, lighting design is by Tim Mitchell, sound design by Mike Walker and music by Matthew Scott.

Currently playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket is the National Theatre transfer of Richard Bean’s satirical comedy Great Britain.


Book tickets to Taken at Midnight at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Book tickets to Great Britain at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Gypsy Reviews – Round-up of reviews at Chichester Festival Theatre

October 16, 2014 

Imelda Staunton stars in GYPSY at Chichester Festival Theatre – Round-up of Reviews

Imelda Staunton in Gypsy. Photo: Roy Tan

Imelda Staunton in Gypsy. Photo: Roy Tan

Chichester Festival Theatre’s revival of Gypsy has opened to rave reviews.

Jonathan Kent’s new staging sees him reunite with Imelda Staunton following their triumphant work on Sweeney Todd.

Imelda stars as ultimate stage mother ‘Mama Rose’ in the show, alongside Lara Pulver as Louise and Kevin Whately as Herbie.

Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, this 1959 show features a score by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents.

To say that there are rumours of a West End transfer for the show is understating it! Let’s hope it comes to town, but where’s it gonna go?!

Gypsy runs until 8 November 2014.


Book tickets to GYPSY at the Savoy Theatre starring Imelda Staunton


First look at photos from GYPSY
More about Gypsy on WestEndTheatre.com

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