Derek Jacobi, Emma Fielding And Ronald Pickup Star In Heartbreak House By Bernard Shaw At The Chichester Festival Theatre, Directed By Richard Clifford

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 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


Chichester Festival Theatre website

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