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Chichester Festival Theatre to build spiegeltent for season featuring Hugh Bonneville, Sheila Hancock and John Simm

Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo: Philip Vile Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo: Philip Vile
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Chichester Festival Theatre is introducing a new spiegeltent venue for its 2019 season, which also includes appearances from Hugh Bonneville, John Simm, Sheila Hancock and James Nesbitt.

The venue will install a spiegeltent next to the Festival Theatre to stage an immersive production of Roy Williams’ Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, which is set in a pub.

The spiegeltent, with a capacity of between 100 and 200, will host a range of cabaret, music and special events during its month-long installation in October, including a comedy club and a drag night.

The Roy Williams play, which will be directed by Nicole Charles, is one of several revivals announced by artistic director Daniel Evans in a programme that also includes two world premieres and two musicals.

The season begins in April with a revival of Tim Firth’s musical This Is My Family. Evans, who directed the show when it premiered in 2013, will take the reins once again, while the cast includes Nesbitt, Hancock and Clare Burt.

Plays include William Nicholson’s Shadowlands, starring Hugh Bonneville and directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, and a production of Macbeth starring Simm and Dervla Kirwan. It will be directed by the Orange Tree’s Paul Miller.

Director Kate Hewitt takes on David Hare’s Plenty, with a cast led by Rachael Stirling, while Nancy Carroll will play Hester Collyer in Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, directed by Paul Foster and also starring Hadley Fraser.

Jeremy Sams will direct the second musical in the programme – Oklahoma! – featuring Josie Lawrence as Aunt Eller and The Stage Debut award-winner Amara Okereke as Laurey.

The Stage Debut Awards 2018: the winners in their own words

New plays include Nicholas Wright’s 8 Hotels, directed by Richard Eyre, and an updated version of Hedda Gabler – Hedda Tesman – written by Cordelia Lynn and directed by Holly Race Roughan. This will be a co-production with Headlong and the Lowry, Salford.

CFT’s writer in residence Anna Ledwich will adapt Michael Morpurgo’s The Butterfly Lion, directed by Dale Rooks, as well as penning a new play for the theatre’s youth theatre, Crossing Lines.

The 2019 season runs from April to November.

Season at a glance

This Is My Family by Tim Firth
Directed by Daniel Evans
April 20 to June 15, with press night on April 29
Festival Theatre

Shadowlands by William Nicholson
Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh
April 26 to May 25, with press night on May 2
Festival Theatre

Plenty by David Hare
Directed by Kate Hewitt
June 7 to 27, with press night on June 13
Festival Theatre

The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan
Directed by Paul Foster
June 21 to July 27, with press night on June 2
Minerva Theatre

Oklahoma! by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed by Jeremy Sams
July 15 to September 7, with press night on July 22
Festival Theatre

8 Hotels by Nicholas Wright
Directed by Richard Eyre
August 1 to 24, with press night on August 7
Minerva Theatre

Crossing Lines by Anna Ledwich
Directed by Daniel Hill
August dates TBC
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre

Hedda Tesman by Cordelia Lynn, after Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Holly Race Roughan
August 30 to September 28, with press night on September 5
Minerva Theatre

Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Directed by Paul Miller
September 21 to October 26, with press night on September 27
Festival Theatre

Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads by Roy Williams
Directed by Nicole Charles
October 4 to November 2, with press night on October 10
Spiegeltent

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Anna Ledwich
Directed by Dale Rooks
October 5 to November 9, with press night on October 14
Minerva Theatre

The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum, Harold Arlen and EY Harburg
Directed by Lucy Betts
December 14 to 29
Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre

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