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.
November 21, 2014
Is Imelda Staunton heading back into the West End in the Chichester transfer of Gypsy?
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
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.
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.
October 16, 2014
Imelda Staunton stars in GYPSY at Chichester Festival Theatre – Round-up of Reviews
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.
October 12, 2014
Photo First Look at Gypsy at Chichester Festival Theatre starring Imelda Staunton.
Now playing at Chichester Festival Theatre until 8 November 2014, Imelda Staunton is starring as Mama Rose in Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne’s Gypsy.
Directed by Jonathan Kent, who worked with Staunton in 2011 on Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at Chichester and the West End, the show also stars Kevin Whately as Herbie and Lara Pulver as Louise.
Gypsy is based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee and features a book by Arthur Laurents, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Jule Styne.
Photos by Roy Tan
September 11, 2014
Imelda Staunton stars as Mama Rose in Gypsy at Chichester Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre has released more details of their forthcoming revival of Broadway musical Gypsy.
Starring Imelda Staunton (Pride, Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter) as Mama Rose, Gypsy will be directed by Jonathan Kent, and runs at the Chichester Festival Theatre from 6 October to 8 November 2014.
Joining Imelda in the cast are Kevin Whately as Herbie, Gemma Sutton as June and Lara Pulver as Louise, plus Emily Carey and Georgia Pemberton who play Baby June, and Holly Hazelton and Ruby Bridle as Baby Louise.
Gypsy tells the story of the ultimate showbiz mother – Mama Rose (Imelda Staunton) – who treks across America with her daughters Baby June and Louise in search of success with their homespun vaudeville act. As times change, Mama Rose is forced to accept the demise of vaudeville and the rise of burlesque, as well as her daughters’ quest for autonomy.
Choreography is by Stephen Mear, with design by Anthony Ward, lighting design is by Mark Henderson, musical direction by Nicholas Skilbeck and sound design is by Paul Groothuis.
Gypsy features a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and is based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee.
Chichester 2014 Season
Currently playing at Chichester is Guys and Dolls (21 September 2014), directed by Gordon Greenberg and with choreography by Carlos Acosta. The cast features Clare Foster as Sarah Brown, Jamie Parker as Sky Masterson, Peter Polycarpou as Nathan Detroit and Sophie Thompson as Miss Adelaide. Also currently playing is Richard Bean’s Pitcairn (until 20 September 2014).
Forthcoming productions include Taken At Midnight (26 September – 25 October 2014) by Mark Hayhurst which uncovers the harrowing true story of Hans Litten, a celebrated lawyer in 1930s Germany who famously put Hitler on the witness stand, and stars Penelope Wilton directed by Jonathan Church.
Also Dervla Kirwan stars in bittersweet romance Frankie & Johnny In The Clair De Lune (6 November – 6 December 2014) by Terrence McNally, Patricia Routledge stars in Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband (21 November – 13 December 2014) directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and a new adaptation of The Hundred and One Dalmatians (20 December 2014 – 3 January 2015) by Bryony Lavery directed by Dale Rooks.
MORE CAST INFO
Imelda Staunton plays Mama Rose. Theatre credits include Good People (Hampstead Theatre and West End), also directed by Jonathan Kent, the West End production of Entertaining Mr Sloane, Life x 3 (National Theatre and The Old Vic) and Guys and Dolls (National Theatre). Film credits include 2014’s Pride, the Harry Potter series and her award-winning performance in Vera Drake. Television credits include Psychoville and Cranford.
Lara Pulver plays Louise. She previously appeared at Chichester in Uncle Vanya. Other theatre credits include Parade (Donmar Warehouse) for which she received an Olivier Award nomination, Honk! (National Theatre) and Into The Woods (Royal Opera House). Television credits include Fleming, Sherlock, Robin Hood, True Blood and Spooks.
Kevin Whately plays Herbie. This role marks his Chichester debut, however he is familiar to many through popular screen roles in Lewis and Inspector Morse, as well as Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Theatre credits include the West End production of Twelve Angry Men.
Gemma Sutton plays June. Credits include Carousel, Blues in the Night and the forthcoming TV drama, Cilla.
The cast also features Dan Burton as Tulsa, Jimmy Chisholm as Uncle Jocko, Jack Chissick as Mr Goldstone, Anita Louise Combe as Tessie Tura, Harry Dickman as Pop, Roger Dipper as L.A, Louise Gold as Mazeppa, Clare Halse as Majorie May, Tom Hodgkins as Weber, Kieran Jae as Yonkers, Julie Legrand as Electra, Jane McMurtrie as Jaynee, Danielle Morris as Geraldine, Jack North as Little Rock, Damien Poole as Kansas, Lauren Varnham as Delores and Natalie Woods as Agnes.
August 21, 2014
Production photos of Guys and Dolls at the Chichester Festival Theatre
One of Broadway’s most popular shows, Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls, is the first musical to be staged in Chichester’s brand new Festival Theatre auditorium.
US director Gordon Greenberg makes his directorial debut at Chichester, ably assisted by a choreographer who is one of the most famous dancers on the planet – Carlos Acosta.
The Guys and Dolls cast includes a heavy-weight list of musical names including Peter Polycarpou as Nathan Detroit, Sophie Thompson as Miss Adelaide, Clare Foster as Sarah Brown and Jamie Parker as Sky Masterson.
The show won five Tony Awards when it hit Broadway in 1950 and has been in almost constant production ever since with its songbook of classics including Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat, Luck Be A Lady and My Time of Day.
Guys and Dolls is running at Chichester Festival Theatre until 21 September 2014.
Photos by Roy Tan.
July 21, 2014
Production photos of Amadeus at Chichester Festival Theatre starring Rupert Everett.Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus has opened at the Chichester Festival Theatre, in a revival directed by Chichester Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Jonathan Church.
Running until 2 August 2014, the play marks the reopening of the theatre after a major restoration and renovation programme.
Starring Rupert Everett as Salieri, the play centres on the Hapsburg Court Composer Antonio Salieri, who is highly admired and praised until Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrives on the scene.
Photos by Roy Tan
July 11, 2014
Two one-act plays are currently playing in the Minerva Theatre in Chichester (until 9 August 2014).
Miss Julie by August Strindberg is performed in a new version by Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright), alongside Peter Shaffer’s darkly comic farce Black Comedy.
The two plays were first put together by Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Tynan 50 years ago for the National Theatre in Chichester.
Miss Julie stars Rosalie Craig, Shaun Evans, Samuel Dutton and Emma Handy.
Black Comedy stars Roselie Craig, Jonathan Coy, Robyn Addison, Mike Grady, Paul Ready, Samuel Dutton and Marcia Warren.
Both plays are directed by Jamie Glover with design by Andrew D. Edwards.
Photos by Roy Tan
May 5, 2014
Production photos of Stevie starring Zoe Wanamaker at Chichester Festival Theatre
Award-winning actress Zoe Wanamaker returns to the Chichester Festival Theatre this month in Hugh Whitemore’s play Stevie – about the life and work of writer Stevie Smith.
Stevie Smith worked for a publishing company by day, and by night retreated to the suburbs and her beloved Aunt to write her piercing poetry and prose.
Directed by Christopher Morahan, this acclaimed play by Hugh Whitemore reveals the unconventional and challenging life of a much-loved writer and features Zoe Wanamaker as Stevie, Lynda Baron as Aunt and Chris Larkin as Man.