Chichester Festival Theatre
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Last updated: 13 October 2020
The Chichester Festival Theatre opened in 1962 and it original artistic director was Sir Laurence Olivier. It was here that the National Theatre was formed with productions often transfering to the Old Vic, which was then the NT's London home.
The architects were Philip Powell and Hidalgo Moya. The former notably worked on the Barbican in London. Chichester Festival Theatre was the UK's first thrust stage.
The Minerva Theatre managed as part of the complex provides a studio space next door. It opened in 1989.
Chichester Festival Theatre is one of the UK’s flagship theatres, renowned for the exceptionally high standard of its productions as well as its work with the community and young people. Situated in a cathedral city in West Sussex between the South Downs and the sea, the Festival Theatre’s bold thrust stage design makes it one of England’s most striking playhouses – equally suited to epic drama and musicals. Its studio theatre, the Minerva, is particularly noted for premieres of new work alongside intimate revivals.
The annual Festival season runs from April to November, during which productions originated at Chichester reach an audience of over 230,000. Year-round programming continues through the winter with the Theatre presenting high-class touring productions, as well as a traditional Christmas show mounted by the renowned Chichester Festival Youth Theatre.
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