Spring season of streamed events from Chichester Festival Theatre


FACING THE MUSIC interviews with Sheila Hancock, Philip Quast, Patricia Routledge, Imelda Staunton and Giles Terera streamed to audiences at home

Encore screening of CELEBRATING SONDHEIM

The distinguished and much-loved performers Patricia Routledge, Philip Quast, Imelda Staunton and Giles Terera join writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson to discuss their lives in musical theatre, illustrated by treasured recordings, in a new series of Facing The Music interviews streamed from Chichester Festival Theatre in February and March. Sheila Hancock’s recent Damehood is celebrated with a repeat of her Facing The Music event from November.

There’s also another chance to see the acclaimed Celebrating Sondheim concert first broadcast last autumn – this time marking the composer’s 91st birthday on 22 March – with Gabrielle Brooks, Daniel Evans, Clive Rowe, Jenna Russell and Hannah Waddingham.

While CFT’s Theatres remain closed, our commitment to staying connected with our community is undimmed. Offstage, our adult weekly community classes continue to run online during lockdown, along with Little Notes music sessions for babies and toddlers, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre sessions, and a new programme of weekly creative workshops for Young Carers.


FACING THE MUSIC interviews, hosted by Edward Seckerson:


Streamed as live, Wednesday 24 February at 7pm
Patricia Routledge has acted in many productions at Chichester Festival Theatre over five decades, ranging from The Magistrate to Office Suite. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in Darling of the Day on Broadway, and an Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Candide with Scottish Opera; her many other musicals include The Pirates of Penzance and Leonard Bernstein’s 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in New York, and Carousel at the National Theatre.


Streamed as live, Wednesday 3 March at 7pm

Imelda Staunton received Olivier Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her roles in Sweeney Todd and Gypsy­ – both of which transferred from Chichester to the West End – as well as for Into The Woods. Her innumerable musical appearances also include The Beggar’s Opera, Guys and Dolls, The Wizard of Oz and, most recently, the National Theatre revival of Follies.


Streamed as live, Wednesday 10 March at 7pm

Giles Terera won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical as Aaron Burr in the original London cast of Hamilton. His extensive musical credits include Avenue QThe Book of MormonThe Rat Pack, Jailhouse Rock, 125th Street and Rent in the West End, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Candide and Honk! at the National Theatre. He appeared at Chichester’s Concert in the Park last summer.


Streamed as live, Wednesday 17 March at 7pm

Philip Quast is renowned for his interpretation of Javert in Les Misérables in Sydney and London. He has won three Olivier Awards for Best Actor in a Musical: in the original London production of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George; in Dempsey & Rowe’s The Fix; and as Emile in the National Theatre production of South Pacific. His many other musicals include Evita, Mary Poppins, La Cage Aux Folles and Sweeney Todd.


Encore stream, Wednesday 24 March at 7pm

Another chance to see Dame Sheila Hancock’s fascinating interview looking back at her musical theatre career. Sheila’s most recent Chichester appearance was in This Is My Family (2019); her many West End credits include Sister ActCabaretSweeney Todd and Annie. She was created a Dame in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.


Encore stream, Monday 22 March at 7pm and on demand until Thursday 25 March

This dazzling cornucopia of music and song – staged last autumn to celebrate musical legend Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday year – saw CFT Artistic Director Daniel Evans joined on the Festival Theatre stage by stars from the West End to perform numbers from some of Sondheim’s major and lesser-known works. This encore streaming is broadcast on the composer’s 91st birthday.

Gabrielle Brooks wowed audiences at CFT’s Concert in the Park whilst Clive Rowe was last seen in Chichester in Me and My Girl. Jenna Russell starred opposite Daniel Evans in Sunday in the Park with George in London and on Broadway, for which they both won Olivier Awards. Hannah Waddingham made a welcome return following Kiss Me, Kate (2012).


CFT’s programme of weekly online activities aims to welcome a diverse group of participants. Get Into It! sessions offer adults the chance to stay connected to the Theatre and to learn new creative skills, socialising online in a supportive environment.

Little Notes sessions run weekly online during term-time: a perfect introduction to live music for ages 0 – 4, led by classically-trained opera singer and musician Mark Bradbury.

At a time when efforts to protect children’s mental health are paramount, online sessions for the award-winning Chichester Festival Youth Theatre are running weekly via Zoom, including for technical youth theatre, musical theatre, youth dance and for young people with additional needs.

Participants in the Young Carers Connect project are also taking part in free weekly creative workshops delivered online by professional artists, ranging from dance and puppetry to drawing and design. Young Carers Connect is providing 300 laptops to young caregivers across West Sussex to keep them connected with their education and the arts.

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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