Stage 100 Awards 2012: Regional theatre of the year
As nominations open for the 2013 awards, we shine the spotlight on this year's winners. To nominate an organisation for The Stage 100 Awards 2013, click here
Regional theatre of the year 2012: Chichester Festival Theatre
Who's in charge?
Jonathan Church, artistic director, and Alan Finch, executive director
Why did they win?
"It was a stunning year for this regional powerhouse, making it the unanimous choice of the judges. Jonathan Church’s artistic choices continue to be pitch-perfect, setting favourites alongside
unfamiliar pieces and, of course, showcasing some of the best musical talent this side of the Atlantic. The theatre celebrated no fewer than six West End transfers in 2011 – Caryl Churchill’sTop Girls, Trevor Nunn’s production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Pygmalion and musicals Singin’ in the Rain and Sweeney Todd, both of which will open in Theatreland this spring alongside a transfer of Bingo to the Young Vic. The Rattigan season was at the heart of this year’s programme, featuring classics such as The Deep Blue Sea and fresh interpretations of the playwright, with the premiere of David Hare’s South Downs taking inspiration from The Browning Version. It stood out as a golden tribute to the late writer in a year full of Rattigan revivals. CFT is currently looking to embark on a major capital project to refresh its venues and make them fit for the next 50 years. Few causes come closer to the heart of British theatre."
[pullquote]We were absolutely delighted to receive this award from The Stage in 2012. It was gratifying to have this appreciation of our work from colleagues at the heart of our industry, particularly at the beginning of our 50th anniversary year[/pullquote]
What have they been up to since winning?
Seven CFT co-productions transferred to the West End during 2012: Bingo, Singin' in the Rain, Sweeney Todd, South Downs and the Browning Version, Kiss Me Kate, Goodnight Mister Tom and the return of Yes, Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Chichester won in two categories at the Theatre Awards UK for work produced at its south coast base and Sweeney Todd won best musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
During 2012, the venue also launched a new pop-up space in Chichester, Theatre on the Fly, which staged three acclaimed productions by Chichester Festival Theatre’s graduate directors, Blue Remembered Hills, Playhouse Creatures and Fred’s Diner.
The theatre also continued to fundraise for its capital project and received a major boost from Arts Council England, which has awarded the company £12 million towards the project.
What they say about their Stage 100 Award
“We were absolutely delighted to receive this award from The Stage in 2012. It was gratifying to have this appreciation of our work from colleagues at the heart of our industry, particularly at the beginning of our 50th anniversary year. Our success has only been possible because of the incredibly hard work of our staff, actors, creative teams and commercial partners, as well as the ongoing support of our funders, and of course, our audiences.”
To nominate an organisation for The Stage 100 Awards 2013, click here