Featuring five world premieres, two musicals, five great dramas and more, there's something for everyone in Festival 2020
Take a look at a few of the highlights
The Taxidermist’s Daughter
Immerse yourself in this thrilling Gothic mystery set in and around historic Chichester. This world premiere is written by Cicestrian Kate Mosse, based on her best-selling novel.
1912. In the isolated Blackthorn House on Sussex’s Fishbourne Marshes, Connie Gifford lives with her father. His Museum of Avian Taxidermy was once legendary, but since its closure Gifford has become a broken man, taking refuge in the bottle. Robbed of her childhood memories by a mysterious accident, Connie is haunted by fitful glimpses of her past. A strange woman has been seen in the graveyard; and a few miles away, at Chichester’s Graylingwell Asylum, two female patients have, inexplicably, disappeared. As a major storm hits the Sussex landscape, old wounds are about to be opened as one woman, intent on revenge, attempts to liberate another from the horrifying crimes of the past.
This much-loved, Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical opened in 1949 to huge success, becoming one of Broadway’s longest running hit shows. It boasts one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most memorable scores, featuring songs such as Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair and Bali Ha’i.
Transport yourself to 1943, on an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean... US troops are kicking their heels amid the cacao groves while restlessly waiting for the war to reach them. Nellie Forbush, a navy nurse from Arkansas, finds herself falling for the French plantation owner, Emile de Becque – a man with a mysterious past. The scheming sailor Luther Billis runs a makeshift laundry to earn a quick buck, but he’s no match for the quick-witted Polynesian Bloody Mary who’s intent on exploiting these foreigners. When young Princeton graduate Lieutenant Joe Cable is flown in on a dangerous reconnaissance mission, love and fear become entwined as the island’s battle for hearts and minds begins.
See four shows in a weekend!
This year the Festival Theatre reintroduces repertory in which means there are opportunities to binge-watch four productions in three different venues in Chichester over a single weekend - a proper theatrical treat!
Friday 16 - Sunday 18 October
Start with The Taxidermist’s Daughter on Friday evening in the Festival Theatre. On Saturday afternoon, catch the world premiere of The Narcissist in the Minerva Theatre followed by Sarah Kane's Crave in the Spiegeltent. Finally on the Sunday afternoon, experience Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s darkly comic musical Assassins.
Friday 23 - Saturday 24 October
Start your weekend early with a Friday matinee of Assassins in the Festival Theatre followed by an evening in the Minerva Theatre with The Narcissist. On Saturday, enjoy a matinee of The Taxidermist’s Daughter and Crave in the evening.
Please note, other configurations are possible on this weekend.
Friday 30 - Sunday 1 November
Watch three shows and a cabaret in this special weekender: On Friday morning, don't miss a chance to explore behind the scenes on one of our 60-minute backstage Theatre Tours. Then catch The Taxidermist’s Daughter on Friday night, and choose your order of Assassins and Crave on Saturday. Finish the weekend with Sunday in the Park with Daniel; a dazzling evening of music and song in celebration of Sondheim's 90th birthday.