Chichester Festival Theatre’s 2017 season marks the beginning of a new era at Chichester Festival Theatre under the leadership of Artistic Director Daniel Evans and Executive Director Rachel Tackley.
Their first season, which stretches from April to November, sees directors Lisa Blair, Michael Longhurst and Blanche McIntyre making their Chichester debuts, while welcoming back Richard Eyre, Jeremy Herrin, Jonathan Kent, Jonathan Munby and Dale Rooks.
Among the leading actors announced so far are Sharon D. Clarke, Omid Djalili, Marcia Gay Harden, Ian McKellen, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Brian J. Smith and Richard Wilson.
SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH
By Tennessee Williams
Directed by Jonathan Kent
2 – 24 June | Festival Theatre
1956, a hotel on the Gulf of Mexico.
Alexandra del Lago, a fading Hollywood legend, has fled the ridicule that greeted the premiere of her come-back movie. Desperate for anonymity and forgetfulness, she is holed up in a small seaside town on the Gulf of Mexico.
With her is Chance Wayne – a young hustler, trying to lend his wasted, disreputable life some meaning and now returning home to reclaim his childhood love from her ruthless father, the corrupt politician ‘Boss’ Finley.
In perhaps his most searing and personal of plays, Tennessee Williams examines failed ambition, lost youth and love, and the corruption and bigotry that lurks beneath the American Dream.
As the present-day United States faces uncertainty and momentous change, Sweet Bird of Youth is a portrayal of the degradation of American values and the corrosive lure of celebrity.
Director Jonathan Kent returns to Chichester following his acclaimed productions of the Young Chekhov Trilogy, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and Private Lives, all of which transferred to London.
Oscar and Tony Award-winning actor Marcia Gay Harden makes her UK theatre debut as Alexandra. Her films include Miller’s Crossing, Pollock, Mystic River and the Fifty Shades trilogy, while television includes Law and Order: SVU and Code Black. She made an acclaimed Broadway debut in Angels in America and won a Tony Award for God of Carnage.
Brian J. Smith, who plays Chance, is currently reprising his Tony-nominated Broadway role as the Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie in the West End. His screen work includes Hate Crime, Stargate Universe and Netflix’s Sense8.
The production will be designed by Anthony Ward, with lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Debbie Wiseman, sound by Paul Groothuis and video by Andrzej Goulding.
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