Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) has announced plans to reopen, with a season of drama, music, comedy and cabaret featuring appearances from Michael Ball, Patricia Routledge, Rebecca Trehearn, Alfred Enoch, Jenna Russell and Le Gateau Chocolat.
Social distancing and covid-19 safety protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of actors, crew and theatre patrons.
CFT Artistic Director, Daniel Evans said “We’ve worked long and hard to put all the necessary measures in place for our audiences’ and artists’ health and comfort, and to make their visit COVID-safe.”
He added “While social distancing is in place, we are having to explore other forms of live performance to ensure the Theatre’s future sustainability.
The venue will throw open its doors on 29 October with a production of Sarah Kane’s Crave, running until 7 November 2020. Directed by Tinuke Craig it will feature Erin Doherty, most recently seen as Princess Anne in Netflix drama The Crown and How To Get Away With Murder actor Alfred Enoch.
The season includes Celebrating Sondheim – Sunday in the Park with Daniel, which takes place on 1 November 2020. Hosted by Daniel Evans the concert celebrates Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday and features Jenna Russell (Sunday In The Park With George), Clive Rowe (Guys and Dolls), Gabrielle Brooks (The Book of Mormon) and Hannah Waddingham (Kiss Me, Kate).
In Facing the Music, writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson will talk to performers Patricia Routledge (11 November), Sheila Hancock (18 November) and Michael Ball (25 November) about their work in musicals.
Christmas carols, mulled wine and cheer will be plentiful at A Merry Little Christmas Celebration (30 November – 3 December) as Daniel Evans, Rebecca Trehearn (Show Boat) and Rebecca Caine (Les Misérables) alongside five musicians sing a range of Christmas carols, yuletide prose and poems.
Chichester Youth Theatre will perform a new adaptation of Pinocchio by Anna Ledwich, which is suitable for ages 7+ and runs from 11 December until 2 January 2021.
Other planned events include Comedy Nights, featuring comedians including Russell Kane, Rich Hall and Rosie Jones; concerts and A Night at the Musicals starring Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo.
Evans said: “In putting together this eclectic mix of drama, music, cabaret and comedy, we hope there is something to entice people of all ages to experience once more the uniquely uplifting exhilaration of live performance. The season includes some distinguished names in drama and music, alongside ground-breaking contemporary performers.”
Tickets are on sale now.