Chichester Festival Theatre announces new season for 2023

Chichester Festival Theatre has revealed its new programme of shows for 2023.

This is the final season of outgoing artistic director Daniel Evans – who is heading to the RSC later this year, and will be replaced by Justin Audibert.

Evans leaves Chichester with a stunning season of revivals and new work, with a starry lineup that includes Lia Williams, Dame Eileen Atkins, Rory Bremner, Danny Mac, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gina Beck, Alexandra Roach, Greg Wise, Zizi Strallen, and Samuel Barnett.

The new season will join two big West End shows that have transferred from Chichester: hit comedy The Unfriend starring Reece Shearsmith and directed by Mark Gatiss, which is currently playing at the Criterion Theatre in London; and the forthcoming blockbuster transfer of Crazy For You to the Gillian Lynne Theatre, directed by Broadway legend Susan Stroman and starring Charlie Stemp and Carly Anderson.

Highlights of shows in the Festival Theatre include:

The Vortex

Lia Williams and Joshua James star in a revival of Noel Coward’s first big hit – The Vortex. Directed by Daniel Raggett, The Vortex runs from 28 April to 20 May 2023 in the Festival Theatre.


Stephen Sondheim’s much-loved musical Assassins gets a new revival at Chichester, directed by Polly Findlay. The show runs from 3 to 24 June 2023, with a cast that includes Amy Booth-Steel, Luke Brady, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Harry Hepple, Nick Holder, Danny Mac, Sam Oladeinde and Jack Shalloo.

The Sound of Music

Gina Beck stars in a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein blockbuster The Sound Of Music directed by Adam Penford. Set in Austria in 1938, Maria and the von Trapp’s will play the Festival Theatre from 10 July to 3 September 2023.


A new UK tour of James Graham’s acclaimed play Quiz, starring Rory Bremner and directed by Daniel Evans and Seán Linnen, comes back to where it first premiered in 2017, running from 22 to 30 September 2023.

A View From The Bridge

A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller is revived in Chichester directed by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart. This co-production with Headlong, Octagon Theatre Bolton and Rose Theatre, will play Chichester from 6 to 28 October 2023, with casting to be announced.

Other highlights include the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre performing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (4 – 19 August) and The Jungle Book, (16 – 31 December).

Highlights of shows in the Minerva Theatre at Chichester include:

4000 Miles

Eileen Atkins and Heartstopper’s Sebastian Croft star in 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, directed by Richard Eyre, from 4 May to 10 June 2023.

Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles?

Off-Broadway hit Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles? by Adrienne Kennedy and Adam P Kennedy comes to the Minerva this Summer in a UK premiere. Directed by Diyan Zora, it plays Chichester from 16 June to 8 July 2023.

Rock Follies

New musical Rock Follies by Chloe Moss, with lyrics by Howard Schuman and music by Andy Mackay, gets its world premiere at Chichester from 24 July to 26 August 2023, directed by Dominic Cooke. Based on the much-loved TV series, the show promises to be a rousing, riotous rollercoaster celebration of woman power, and stars Samuel Barnett, Carly Bawden and Zizi Strallen.

Never Have I Ever

A new play by Deborah Frances-White called Never Have I Ever heads to the Minerva in September starring Alexandra Roach, Greg Wise and Susan Wokoma. Directed by Emma Butler, it plays Chichester from 1 to 30 September 2023.

The Inquiry

The Inquiry is a new political play by Harry Davies, directed by Joanna Bowman, which runs at the Minerva from 13 October to 4 November 2023.

In a press statement, Daniel Evans and Chichester’s Executive Director Kathy Bourne said:

“‘This year, we have an outstanding range of plays and musicals, including a handful of world premieres and renowned plays which have never been performed at CFT before. For example, we’ve never staged a play by the great Arthur Miller; nor have we staged Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most-loved musical. There is a rare outing of a play by US writer Adrienne Kennedy and, 50 years after his death, a new production of Noël Coward’s first big success. Contemporary, 20th century or classical, every piece has something to say about the world around us today. A company of exceptional actors are already lining up to join us including Dame Eileen Atkins, Samuel Barnett, Carly Bawden, Gina Beck, Rory Bremner, Sebastian Croft, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Joshua James, Danny Mac, Alexandra Roach, Zizi Strallen, Lia Williams, Greg Wise and Susan Wokoma; and seven directors are making their Chichester debuts.”

Daniel Evans added:

“‘On a personal note, this is the seventh and last season I’ve programmed at Chichester. I’d like to thank the many thousands of freelance artists, creatives and technical staff who’ve brought them to life; CFT’s indefatigable staff; and of course our audiences, who are among the most supportive and adventurous theatregoers in the country. I know they will welcome my successor, Justin Audibert, with the same warmth that greeted my and Kathy’s own arrivals in this beautiful and unique theatre.”

The Vortex – Read more

Assassins – Read more

The Sound of Music – Read more

4000 Miles – Read more

Rock Follies – Read more

📷 Main photo: Chichester Festival Theatre - 2023 Season

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