wed 28/02/2024

Chichester Festival Theatre

Flowers for Mrs Harris, Riverside Studios review - lovely, low-key musical finds a London berth

Although based on the 1958 Paul Gallico novel Mrs 'Arris Goes To Paris, this musical adaptation arrived much later. With a book by Rachel Wagstaff and music and lyrics by Richard Taylor, Flowers for Mrs Harris premiered in Sheffield in 2016,...

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The Vortex, Chichester Festival Theatre review - naturalism clogs up Coward's pipes

Sometimes I go outside and look at our kitchen drain. Where there should be a vortex there’s a largely static pool. Tree roots have recently grown through the old pipes, their clumps colonised with fat, dog hair and coleslaw bits, and though a bit...

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The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Lyric Hammersmith review - matchless revival of a contemporary classic

“You can’t kick a cow in Leenane without some bastard holding a grudge for 20 years,” sighs Pato Dooley (Adam Best) prophetically; he has already started making his escape from that particular Galway village, doing lonely stints on London building...

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First Person: Rachel O'Riordan on the enduring power of a sad, funny, and extraordinary play

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a vicious, sad and extraordinary play.On the surface, Martin McDonagh's play, first seen 25 years ago and revived now in a collaboration between Chichester Festival Theatre and my home base, the Lyric Hammersmith...

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First Person: Andrea Levy's husband recalls her path toward becoming a novelist

The opening sentence of Andrea’s 2010 historical novel The Long Song is in the voice of Thomas Kinsman, who is introducing the reader to his mother, July."The book you are now holding in your hand was born of a craving," Kinsman declares. "My mama...

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South Pacific, Chichester Festival Theatre review - gloriously revived and also refreshed

We’ve come to learn what socially distanced means but, 72 years ago, the distance that concerned Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers was that between racial groups in the United States. With a catalogue of hits behind them, they turned to ...

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Flowers for Mrs Harris, Chichester Festival Theatre online review - a warmly open-hearted weepie

18 months or so after it opened in Chichester, Flowers for Mrs Harris launches a sequence of streamed productions from the West Sussex venue just in time to allow a new British musical to join the ever-swelling ranks of theatrical offerings online....

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Macbeth, Chichester Festival Theatre review - cosmic yet closely crafted

There’s a fine balance between the cosmic and the closely crafted in director Paul Miller’s Macbeth, his first production in the expansive space that is Chichester’s main stage. It comes across as a drama unravelling in the wide open spaces of...

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theartsdesk Q&A: playwright William Nicholson

It is 30 years since Shadowlands, William Nicholson's much-loved play about CS Lewis's unexpected love affair with Joy Gresham, an American poet, was first seen on stage. The famous academic and author of the Narnia books, apparently content in his...

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Charlotte Jones: ‘Plays come from your scar tissue’

I think it’s always a dangerous sport to try and consciously unravel where your ideas come from. Lest you break the spell and inadvertently silence yourself…There’s always the superficial reasons, of course: the geography and the history of a play....

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Quiz, Noël Coward Theatre, review - entertaining confection

You could be forgiven for not remembering the “coughing major” brouhaha in 2001, coming as it did the day before 9/11, when we had rather more pressing matters to attend to than a contestant being accused of cheating on television quiz show. But...

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'You win in the end!' Deborah Bruce introduces her play 'The House They Grew Up In'

My inspiration for The House They Grew Up In, my new play at Chichester Festival Theatre came about five years ago, in the café of an art gallery near my house. This café had a slightly intimidating air, full of its own importance, as if the art in...

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