NEWS: A stage adaptation of Andrea Levy’s The Long Song & major revival of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen Of Leenane feature in Chichester’s new season

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Four new productions to follow South Pacific in Chichester’s Festival 2021 have today been announced by artistic director Daniel Evans and executive director Kathy Bourne.

Two world premieres:

  • The Long Song, a new adaptation by Suhayla El-Bushra based on Andrea Levy’s novel, directed by Charlotte Gwinner
  • The Flock, by Zoe Cooper, directed by Guy Jones

Revivals of two great modern dramas:

  • Rachel O’Riordan directs Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen Of Leenane in a co-production with Lyric Hammersmith Theatre
  • Home by David Storey, directed by Josh Roche

Also announced are the full cast and streaming dates for Evans’ new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, an Open Air Weekend and Minerva Cabaret in June and the return of Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s production of Pinocchio by Anna Ledwich.

Daniel Evans and Kathy Bourne said:

“We’re delighted to announce four new productions to add to our summer musical, South Pacific. These plays – each with a director new to CFT at the helm – take us from the South Pacific to Jamaica, rural Ireland, the North-East of England and back to the Home Counties. All engage,  in varying ways, with the differences that divide us – from racial prejudice to warring families, social mores and conflicting beliefs – and whether tolerance and understanding can bring us together.”

Festival 2021 Productions – July to October

South Pacific

5 July to 4 September 2021, live in the Festival Theatre and also streamed as live on 4, 9, 14, 18, 21, 26, 31 August and 3 September (Press night is 13 July)
The full company has been confirmed for Daniel Evans’ new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The cast is led by Gina Beck as Nellie, Julian Ovenden as Emile, Joanna Ampil as Bloody Mary, Keir Charles as Luther Billis and Rob Houchen as Cable. It also includes Iroy Abesamis, Lindsay Atherton, Carl Au, Rosanna Bates, David Birrell, Leslie Garcia Bowman, Taylor Bradshaw, Bobbie Chambers, Charlotte Coggin, Danny Collins, Oliver Edward, Sergio Giacomelli, Shailan Gohil, Adrian Grove, Zack Guest, Cameron Bernard Jones, Amanda Lindgren, Matthew Maddison, Sera Maehara (as Liat), Melissa Nettleford, Rachel Jayne Picar, Kate Playdon, Pierce Rogan, Clancy Ryan, Charlie Waddell and James Wilkinson- Jones. Children’s roles are played by Lana Lakha, Kami Lieu, David Ngara O’Dwyer and Alexander Quinlan.

The Flock

6 to 28 August 2021, Minerva Theatre (Press night is 12 August)
The parishioners of All Hallows Church are putting on a production of Noah’s Ark, one of a cycle of mystery plays performed by all the local parishes. The Bishop is hopeful the project will help paper over the cracks revealed by an unfortunate incident involving an evangelical, a glass of wine and an angry liberal.

Rory, All Hallows’ vicar, wants to keep a low profile, and his partner Simon is happy to provide musical accompaniment but would rather he wasn’t given any lines, thank you very much. The congregation, however, have other plans. For Patricia (played by Selina Cadell), the show is an opportunity to show off the church’s artistic talents, while the curate, Hannah, hopes it will give her a chance to get to know the parishioners better. Meanwhile, Fin becomes ever more infuriated at Rory’s hands- off approach and teenager Erin just hopes that this is a family where she might find a home.

Above all, Rory wants to keep the ship – and his relationship – afloat. Can this battered vessel still offer its clergy and congregation sanctuary in the storm?

Directed by Guy JonesZoe Cooper’s play The Flock depicts the bumpy road to inclusion for this community, asking how we can live and worship alongside one another when our differences are so marked. How do we remain together when we’re so far apart?

The Beauty Queen Of Leenane

3 September to 2 October 2021, Minerva Theatre (Press night is 9 September)
Rachel O’Riordan directs a major revival of this darkly comic, award-winning play by Martin McDonagh. Ingrid Craigie plays Mag and Kwaku Fortune makes his Chichester debut as Ray.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is a co-production with Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, where it will play immediately following its Chichester run, from 9 October to 6 November.

The Long Song

1 to 23 2021 October, Festival Theatre Press night is 7 October
Miss July is born into slavery in Jamaica and is brutally parted from both her mother, and her name. But what she retains is resilience, charisma and a subversive, spirited wit. The Long Song is adapted from Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel by Suhayla El-Bushra. Charlotte Gwinner directs.


8 October to 6 November 2021, Minerva Theatre (Press night is13 October)
David Storey’s award-winning 1970 play has become a modern classic – a heartrendingly funny, haunting and deeply humane study of hearts, minds and England: islands adrift. Josh Roche directs.


18 December 2021 to 1 January 2021, Festival Theatre (Press night is 22 December
Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s brand new version of this classic tale by Anna Ledwich had just 15 live performances in 2020 before it was streamed globally during lockdown. It returns for Christmas 2021 again directed by Dale Rooks.

Open Air Weekend, Crave, Minerva Cabaret

Carly Bawden, Ako Mitchell and Sharon Rose are among the West End stars who’ll be appearing at CFT’s Concerts in the Park from 3 to 6 June, part of CFT’s Open Air Weekend.

During lockdown Tinuke Craig staging of Sarah Kane’s Crave was live-streamed to thousands in 50 countries around the globe as the cast of four performed in Chichester Festival Theatre’s empty auditorium. This film is a new edit of the live stream, with remastered sound and incorporating new footage, available to watch from 18 to 29 May.

The Black Cat Cabaret presents Salon des Artistes (10-12 June) and there’s another chance to see Barely Methodical Troupe’s Bromance (17-19 June).

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Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.