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Chichester Theatre Festival
15 April, 2010 - 16 October, 2010
Festival Theatre, Chichester, West Sussex
Theatre-lovers make an annual pilgrimage to this picturesque
West Sussex town to enjoy a selection of prestigious productions,
featuring an impressive roll call of West End stars.
The main Festival Theatre was built in 1962; the smaller, more intimate Minerva Theatre was added nearby in 1989. The inaugural artistic director of the Chichester Festival was Sir Laurence Olivier, and it was at Chichester that the first National Theatre company was formed, prior to its transfer to the Old Vic in London.
Under the directorship of Jonathan Church, the annual attendance has soared to over 175,000. The 2009 season at Chichester boasted a number of successful premieres and productions, including Simon Gray's The Last Cigarette, Noel Coward's Hay Fever, Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, Lucy Prebble's Enron, Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and - on a lighter note - Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!
The 2010 programme launches with Edward Bond's Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, a fascinating exploration of the last days in the life of William Shakespeare, starring Patrick Stewart. The programme also includes the premiere of a stage version of the outstandingly successful Yes, Prime Minister, the glitzy musical 42nd Street and theatrical stalwarts such as George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, Ibsen's The Master Builder and Turgenev's A Month in the Country. Enron, by Lucy Prebble, was the runaway hit of Festival 09, and returns to Chichester in Septebmber, prior to a national tour.