April 28, 2013
Production photos of The Pajama Game at the Chichester Festival Theatre starring Joanna Riding
It doesn’t take a leap of faith to predict that Chichester might have another West End transfer on its hands this summer, as Richard Eyre directs this revival of classic feelgood musical The Pajama Game (now playing until 8 June 2013).
Starring Joanna Riding and Hadley Fraser, the Richard Adler and Jerry Ross musical The Pajama Game is set within the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory, as handsome new Superintendent Sid Sorokin falls head-over-heels for firebrand Union rep Babe Williams.
With a medley of well known songs including Hey There (You With The Stars In Your Eyes), Hernando’s Hideaway and Steam Heat, and it’s unashamedly upbeat romance and comedy and should go down well with Chichester audiences.
It’s also great to see more of Hadley Fraser and Joanna Riding as the two leads, plus a well-known supporting cast that includes Jenna Boyd and Peter Polycarpou, alongside
Dan Burton, Ricardo Coke-Thomas, Amy Griffiths, Richard Jones, Claire Machin, Eugene McCoy, Jo Morris, Sophia Nomvete, Landi Oshinowo, Alexis Owen Hobbs, Carl Sanderson, John Stacey, Colin Stinton and Lauren Varnham.
Choreography is by the dance go-to man of the moment Stephen Mear (Kiss Me, Kate).
Photos by Roy Tan.
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March 12, 2013
Words and music by RICHARD ADLER and JERRY ROSS
Book by GEORGE ABBOTT and RICHARD BISSELL
Based on Bissell’s novel 7½ Cents
Director RICHARD EYRE
Choreographer STEPHEN MEAR
Minerva Theatre, Chichester
22 April – 8 June
Distinguished director Richard Eyre returns to Chichester to open Festival 2013 with the evergreen Broadway musical, The Pajama Game.
Love is in the air at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory as handsome new Superintendent Sid Sorokin falls head-over-heels for firebrand Union rep Babe Williams. But when the employees are refused a seven-and-a-half cents an hour raise, sparks fly and the couple find themselves deliciously at odds. Will love, eventually, conquer all in this delightful romantic comedy?
The Pajama Game includes the songs Hey There (You With The Stars In Your Eyes), Hernando’s Hideaway and Steam Heat.
Hadley Fraser plays Sid Sorokin. His West End theatre includes Les Misérables, The Far Pavilions and The Fantasticks. Broadway theatre includes The Pirate Queen. Film credits include The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary and Les Misérables.
Joanna Riding plays Catherine ‘Babe’ Williams. Her theatre credits include National Theatre productions of A Little Night Music and Guys and Dolls, as well as My Fair Lady and Carousel; she won Olivier Awards for the latter two productions. West End credits include The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Billy Elliot, The Witches of Eastwick and Blithe Spirit (also UK tour). Her television credits include the Sky comedy Stella.
Peter Polycarpou plays Vernon Hines. His Chichester credits include Sweeney Todd and Love Story, both of which transferred to the West End. Other credits include the West End productions of Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and The Secret Garden, Oklahoma! for the National Theatre, and the popular BBC sitcom, Birds of a Feather.
The cast also includes Jenna Boyd, Dan Burton, Ricardo Coke-Thomas, Amy Griffiths, Richard Jones, Claire Machin, Eugene McCoy, Jo Morris, Sophia Nomvete, Landi Oshinowo, Alexis Owen Hobbs, Carl Sanderson, John Stacey, Colin Stinton and Lauren Varnham.
Richard Eyre directed The Last Cigarette for Chichester. He was Artistic Director of the National Theatre from 1988 – 1997 where his productions included Guys and Dolls, Racing Demon, Richard III, The Night of the Iguana and Skylight. He has recently directed Betty Blue Eyes and the current West End production of Quartermaine’s Terms. Film and television credits include Notes on a Scandal, Stage Beauty, Iris, Comedians, Henry IV Parts I and II and Tumbledown.
Choreography is by Stephen Mear, whose Chichester credits include Kiss Me, Kate (which recently completed a season at The Old Vic), She Loves Me (which he also directed), The Music Man, Funny Girl and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. West End credits include Shoes, Mary Poppins, Hello, Dolly! and Crazy for You. Mear worked with Trevor Nunn on the National Theatre’s 2002 production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes which transferred for an extended West End run.
Design is by Tim Hatley whose theatre credits include West End productions of Spamalot (also Broadway), Shrek the Musical (also Broadway and UK tour), Betty Blue Eyes (also US tour), Private Lives (for which he won Tony and Olivier Awards) and Humble Boy (for which he won an Olivier Award). He has designed over 20 productions for the National Theatre including Stanley (for which he won an Olivier Award), Henry V, Vincent in Brixton, Endgame and Mrs Klein. Film credits include Notes on a Scandal, Stage Beauty and Closer.
Gareth Valentine is the Musical Supervisor and Musical Director, and is also responsible for the Dance Arrangements. His previous Chichester credits include Kiss Me, Kate (which recently finished a season at The Old Vic) and My One and Only. Other credits include the Olivier Award-winning production of Crazy For You (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park and West End), Into the Woods, End of the Rainbow (Royal & Derngate, West End, UK tour and Broadway), the Olivier-Award winning production of Company (Donmar Warehouse), the West End production of Wicked, Acorn Antiques (West End and UK tour), West End productions of Porgy and Bess and My One and Only, and the Olivier Award–winning production of Anything Goes (National Theatre and West End).
Lighting Design is by Howard Harrison whose Chichester credits include The Way of the World, Love Story (which transferred to the West End), Hay Fever, The House of Special Purpose, The Music Man, The Circle, Twelfth Night, Macbeth (which transferred to the West End, and for which he won an Olivier Award, BAM and Broadway), The Water Babies and Nocturne for Lovers. Other theatre credits include West End productions of Backbeat, Butley, Glengarry Glen Ross, Guys and Dolls, Ragtime and Heroes.
Sound Design is by Paul Groothuis whose Chichester credits include Kiss Me, Kate, Sweeney Todd and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, all of which transferred to the West End. Other credits include His Dark Materials, Edmond, Henry V and A Streetcar Named Desire (all for the National Theatre), Anything Goes, My Fair Lady and All My Sons (National Theatre and West End), as well as the West End productions of Children’s Hour and Flare Path.
The Pajama Game is sponsored by Oldham Seals Group and Reynolds Fine Furniture.
The Pajama Game is at the Minerva Theatre from 22 April – 8 June. Evenings 7.45pm, except for Wednesdays at 8.00pm and the Press Night, Monday 29 April, 7.00pm. Matinees will be 2.45pm on Saturdays and 3.00pm on Wednesdays. Tickets: Previews/Press Night: £22.50, Evenings/Matinees: £31.50. To book, go to cft.org.uk or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.
Special Prices for 18s – 25s
An allocation of tickets for 18s – 25s priced at just £8.50 for all performances of The Pajama Game will be released on Friday 22 March. These may be booked on 01243 781312, online at cft.org.uk or in person.
Director Richard Eyre will be in conversation about The Pajama Game with author Kate Mosse on Friday 26 April, 6.00pm, Minerva Theatre. Tickets for this pre-show talk are free; please book in advance through the Box Office on 01243 781312 or online at cft.org.uk/events-2013.
After Words – join some of the Company of The Pajama Game after the performance to discover more about the production on Monday 20 May.
Release issued by: Chichester Festival Theatre
February 21, 2013
- Theatre in the Park is unveiled with major new productions of Barnum and Neville’s Island
- Richard Eyre returns to Chichester to direct The Pajama Game
- The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui returns to the Minerva Theatre, then transfers to the West End – Henry Goodman reprises his award-winning role
- Festival 2012 achieved record-breaking audience figures of 220,000
Theatre in the Park, a temporary state-of-the-art auditorium, will stage two productions at the heart of Chichester’s Festival 2013. The brand new space will be erected in June while the £22 million RENEW redevelopment of the Festival Theatre continues.
Mirroring the Festival Theatre’s auditorium, the purpose-built temporary building will house 1,400 seats and a thrust stage. It will be just a few minutes’ stroll across Oaklands Park from the Festival Theatre site.
Theatre in the Park will be unveiled with a major revival of the musical Barnum presented in association with Cameron Mackintosh. Directed by Timothy Sheader, Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, this production will star the versatile and consummate Broadway entertainer Christopher Fitzgerald in the title role.
Angus Jackson directs Neville’s Island, the second production to be staged in the Theatre in the Park. Tim Firth’s comedy about a disastrous outward bound expedition promises to be a technically and visually ambitious staging.
Richard Eyre returns to Chichester to direct the musical The Pajama Game, which opens the Festival season in the Minerva Theatre. Love is in the air at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory but sparks fly when employees are refused a pay rise.
Other highlights of Festival 2013 include the return of the critically acclaimed production The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht, one of the undoubted hits of Festival 2012. Directed by Chichester’s Artistic Director, Jonathan Church, the production will once again feature Henry Goodman reprising his award-winning performance in the title role. Set in Chicago in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the play is a powerful and sharp-witted parable of the rise of Hitler. Following the Chichester run, the play will transfer to the West End’s Duchess Theatre.
The second play to be directed by Angus Jackson during Festival 2013 will be the world premiere of political drama If Only by David Edgar, which takes a witty and astute look at the world of coalition government.
The season ends with Another Country, Julian Mitchell’s sensitive exploration of sexuality and politics, set against the backdrop of a public school. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, Another Country is co-produced with Theatre Royal Bath Productions in association with Fiery Angel.
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, directed by Dale Rooks, will present Roald Dahl’s The Witches in the Minerva Theatre over the Christmas period.
Since their appointment in 2006, Jonathan Church and Alan Finch have explored ways of developing a younger audience. Chichester Festival Theatre was one of the most successful participants in the Arts Council’s A Night Less Ordinary scheme to give away tickets to young people in 2009 – 10. During 2012 the Theatre also attracted a significant proportion of younger audience members through its temporary pop-up auditorium, Theatre on the Fly, which staged three critically acclaimed productions, Blue Remembered Hills, Playhouse Creatures and Fred’s Diner.
Chichester Festival Theatre remains committed to encouraging independent theatregoing among younger people during Festival 2013 and this has led to the launch of a new scheme for 18 – 25 year olds. A special allocation of tickets priced at just £8.50 for all performances in both Theatres will be released one month before each production opens. Alongside this initiative, the Theatre is revising its approach to ticket pricing by introducing a ‘flexible’ system. This will fix ticket prices at an early-bird rate for a certain period. After this time, the Theatre will have the option to vary prices in response to demand for the most popular performances.
THE PAJAMA GAME
22 April – 8 June, Minerva Theatre
IF ONLY by DAVID EDGAR WORLD PREMIERE
14 June – 27 July, Minerva Theatre
CHICHESTER FESTIVAL THEATRE IN ASSOCIATION WITH CAMERON MACKINTOSH PRESENTS
15 July – 31 August, Theatre in the Park
THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI by BERTOLT BRECHT
In a translation by GEORGE TABORI revised by ALISTAIR BEATON
15 August – 14 September, Minerva Theatre
NEVILLE’S ISLAND by TIM FIRTH
11 – 28 September, Theatre in the Park
ANOTHER COUNTRY BY JULIAN MITCHELL
18 September – 19 October, Minerva Theatre
THE WITCHES by ROALD DAHL
Adapted by DAVID WOOD
7 December – 4 January, Minerva Theatre
Release issued by: Chichester Festival Theatre
CHICHESTER THEATRE IN THE WEST END
September 17, 2012
Production photos of Antony and Cleopatra at Chichester Festival Theatre starring Kim Cattrall.
Janet Suzman directs this well-received production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, which first played at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2010 and is now revived at the Chichester Festival Theatre (until 29 September).
The production stars Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall as Cleopatra, reviving her 2010 performance, alongside Michael Pennington as Antony.
The play is Chichester’s final production before it closes its doors for a major 18 month refurbishment.
Photos by Roy Tan.
Derek Jacobi, Emma Fielding And Ronald Pickup Star In Heartbreak House By Bernard Shaw At The Chichester Festival Theatre, Directed By Richard Clifford
June 12, 2012
6 July – 25 August
Derek Jacobi returns to Chichester Festival Theatre during its 50th Anniversary season in Heartbreak House, Bernard Shaw’s comic exploration of love and social mores. The notable cast also includes Emma Fielding and Ronald Pickup.
Bernard Shaw, the master of wit and social commentary, brilliantly debates money and morality, idealism and realism, as he chronicles a society teetering on the threshold of enormous change. On the brink of World War I, Ellie Dunn, her father and her fiancée attend a house party at the home of eccentric Captain Shotover. The guests are soon divided by Ellie’s pragmatic decision to marry for money, not love.
Derek Jacobi plays Captain Shotover. His numerous credits at Chichester include Uncle Vanya, Playing the Wife, Hadrian VII, The Royal Hunt of the Sun and Saint Joan. Other theatre credits include King Lear (Donmar Warehouse, UK tour and Brooklyn Academy of Music), the West End production of Twelfth Night, for which he won an Olivier Award, A Voyage Round My Father (Donmar Warehouse and West End), Don Carlos (Sheffield Crucible and West End), Becket (UK tour and West End), Kean and The Grand Tour (both for The Old Vic), West End productions of Richard III and Richard II, and Breaking the Code (UK tour, West End, Washington DC and Broadway). Numerous productions for the RSC include award-winning productions of Much Ado About Nothing (which transferred to the West End, Broadway and Washington DC) and Cyrano de Bergerac (which transferred to the West End, Broadway and Washington DC). Film credits include My Week with Marilyn, The King’s Speech and Gosford Park. Television credits include The Borgias, The Long Firm and I, Claudius.
Emma Fielding plays Hesione Hushabye. Theatre credits include The King’s Speech (UK tour and West End), Decade (Headlong at St Katherine’s Dock), Private Lives (West End and Broadway) for which she received an Olivier Award-nomination and Theatre World award, Playing with Fire, Look Back in Anger and Arcadia (all for the National Theatre), The School for Scandal, for which she received an Olivier Award-nomination and The School for Wives, for which she won the Ian Charleson and Critics’ Circle Awards. Television includes Cranford and Kidnap and Ransom. Film includes Twenty8k and Fast Girls.
Ronald Pickup plays Mazzini Dunn. Recent credits include his role as a would-be womaniser in the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Television credits include Larkrise to Candleford and Fortunes of War. Theatre credits include the West End production of Waiting for Godot alongside Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Simon Callow, and Amy’s View (National Theatre and Broadway), for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award. He also worked with Laurence Olivier at the National Theatre, most notably in Three Sisters and Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
George Layton plays Billy Dunn. He is perhaps best known for two television roles: Dr Paul Collier in the comedy series Doctor in the House, and its sequels, and Bombardier ‘Solly’ Solomons in It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum. He has enjoyed success as a screenwriter, co-writing episodes of the Doctor in the House series with fellow co-star Jonathan Lynn (who went on to write the Yes, Minister series). Layton and Lynn also co-wrote another sitcom, My Brother’s Keeper. Layton was one of the original presenters of BBC TV’s That’s Life, hosted by Esther Rantzen. His theatre credits include West End productions of Chicago and Oliver! and Chips with Everything (Royal Court Theatre and Broadway).
Jo Stone-Fewings plays Randall Utterwood. He has already featured in Festival 2012, playing Mirabell in The Way of the World. He has previously appeared at Chichester in King Lear and The Scarlet Letter. Other theatre credits include War and Peace, Fuente Ovejuna and Ghetto (National Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The City Madam (RSC Stratford), King John, The Taming of the Shrew and The Park (all for the RSC), Richard III and Twelfth Night (RSC and West End), Dancing at Lughnasa (The Old Vic), and West End productions of The 39 Steps and The Country Wife.
The cast also features Fiona Button, Raymond Coulthard, Sara Stewart, Trevor Cooper and Maroussia Frank.
Bernard Shaw’s plays include Pygmalion, Mrs Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, You Never Can Tell, Man and Superman and Major Barbara.
Richard Clifford directed Playing the Wife for Chichester in 1995. Other directing credits include The School for Scandal, The Game of Love and Chance and All’s Well That Ends Well. Other credits include The Tempest, Faerie Queen, The Clandestine Marriage, Elizabeth the Queen, She Stoops to Conquer, All’s Well That Ends Well, Comus, The Mikado and Die Fledermaus.
Design is by Stephen Brimson Lewis whose Chichester credits include The Master Builder, Separate Tables and Racing Demon. West End credits include The Lion in Winter, The Tempest, Flare Path and Waiting for Godot. Other theatre credits include Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, All’s Well That Ends Well, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Taming of the Shrew (all for the RSC, where he is an Associate Artist), Indiscretions (which received a Tony Award nomination and won an Olivier Award for the National Theatre production as Les Parents Terrible), A Little Night Music, Marat/Sade, Private Lives, Inadmissable Evidence, Uncle Vanya and Mrs Klein (all for the National Theatre).
Lighting design is by Peter Mumford whose Chichester credits include The Last Confession, The Master and Margarita, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Out of this World, The Seagull, The Gondoliers, Heartbreak House, Easy Virtue and Saturday Sunday…and Monday, The Waltz of the Toreadors, Three Women and a Piano Tuner. Other theatre credits include Top Hat, Absent Friends, Much Ado about Nothing, The Lion in Winter, The Misanthrope, Carousel and Fiddler on the Roof (all for the West End), Cock and The Seagull (Royal Court Theatre and New York), Jumpy (Royal Court Theatre and West End), and National Theatre productions of All’s Well That Ends Well, The Hothouse, Exiles and The Bacchae (which won an Olivier Award).
Music is by Jason Carr whose Chichester credits include The Water Babies, Six Pictures of Lee Miller, Fortune’s Fool, The Seagull, The Master and Margarita, Three Women and a Piano Tuner, Doctor Faustus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 5/11, Carousel and Funny Girl. Other credits include Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre and West End), Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and Broadway, and for which he received a Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nomination), La Cage aux Folles (Menier Chocolate Factory) and A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factor and Broadway).
Heartbreak House is at Chichester Festival Theatre from 6 July – 25 August, Evenings 7.30pm (except Press Night: Thursday 12 July at 7.00pm), Matinees 2.15pm. Tickets: University of Chichester Previews £10 & £27, Previews/Press Night £14 – £33, Evenings/Matinees £15 – £36. To book, go to cft.org.uk or contact the Box Office on 01243 781312.
In the pre-show talk, Before Heartbreak House, playwright David Hare introduces George Bernard Shaw’s own ‘favourite play’. This event takes place on Friday 13 July at 5.45pm in the Festival Theatre. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance through the Box Office on 01243 781312.
After Words, a post show talk with some of the Heartbreak House cast and creative team, is on Thursday 2 August.
Release issued by: Chichester Festival Theatre
March 25, 2012
A well-deserved West End transfer for Chichester Festival Theatre’s excellent double-bill featuring Terence Rattigan’s one-act masterpiece The Browning Version and David Hare’s specially commissioned companion piece South Downs. The cast includes Anna Chancellor and Nicholas Farrell.
March 25, 2012
A round-up of reviews for Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi Theatre in London starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.
The acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which played last year in Chichester to packed houses, has transferred into the West End.
Starring Michael Ball as Sweeney Todd and Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett, the show is playing at the Adelphi Theatre, directed by Jonathan Kent and designed by Anthony Ward.
See below for a round-up of reviews, including The Guardian, Telegraph, Evening Standard and Variety.
November 4, 2011
The acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which has been playing in Chichester to packed houses, will transfer into the West End in March 2012.
Starring Michael Ball as Sweeney Todd and Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett, the show will play at the Adelphi Theatre from 10 March 2012.
The show is directed by Jonathan Kent and designed by Anthony Ward.
STAGE SPY CHECK-LIST
- Show: Sweeney Todd
- Author: Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Wheeler
- Theatre: Adelphi Theatre
- Director: Jonathan Kent
- Stars: Michael Ball, Imelda Staunton
- Opens: 10 March 2012
- Original production: Chichester Festival Theatre, 24 September 2011
October 11, 2011
Production photos of Sweeney Todd at the Chichester Festival Theatre starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton
Chichester’s 2011 festival closes this year with a new production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical Sweeney Todd.
Leading the cast are two of British Theatre’s biggest names, with distinguished musical performer Michael Ball and Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton starring in the show.
The deliciously dark musical depicts Sweeney Todd’s savage quest for justice and retribution after years of false imprisonment. Aided and abetted by the pie-shop owner, Mrs Lovett, he sets out to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family. Combining a gory sensibility with elements of English music hall, the production offers a fascinating portrait of a man driven to madness by injustice and grief.
Michael Ball plays Sweeney Todd in the show, joined by Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett.
The show is directed by Jonathan Kent and designed by Anthony Ward, and runs at Chichester until 5 November 2011.
Photos by Roy Tan.
October 1, 2011
Following its critically-acclaimed, sold-out run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Singin’ in the Rain is making a big splash at London’s Palace Theatre.
Based on one of the world’s best-loved films, this joyous show stars Adam Cooper, Louise Bowden, Stephane Annelli, Jennifer Ellison, Sandra Dickinson and Peter Forbes.
Set in the roaring ’20s and era of silent movies, this glamorous show is full of Hollywood charm, romance and comedy. Jonathan Church’s witty new production includes a glorious score including the classics Good Morning, Make ‘em Laugh, Moses Supposes and the legendary Singin’ in the Rain.
Adam Cooper recreates the song and dance roles made famous on film by Gene Kelly and heads a talented cast which also includes Louise Bowden, Stephane Annelli, Jennifer Ellison, Sandra Dickinson and Peter Forbes.
Theatre: Palace Theatre
”A night of sheer delight” Telegraph
”A splash hit” Express
“This production never puts a foot wrong” FT
“Exhilarating” Evening Standard
“Feel-good factor galore” Daily Mail