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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, BOUNCERS, BBC Big Band and More Set for CFT's Winter 2015 Season

Following the successful reopening of the newly refurbished Festival Theatre, Chichester announces its first Winter season since 2011 offering a diverse mix of drama, comedy and dance as well as music and arts events.

High quality work especially for children and young people is a thread running throughout the season. December heralds the welcome return of the Youth Theatre to the main stage with a production of the much-loved canine classic The Hundred and One Dalmatians from 20 December - 3 January, adapted by Bryony Lavery and directed by Dale Rooks.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas depicts an unlikely friendship between two boys during World War II. This moving and thought-provoking story based on the best-selling novel by John Boyne premieres from 19 - 28 February. It is the latest production to be presented by Chichester Festival Theatre and the Children's Touring Partnership whose work includes the Olivier Award-winning Goodnight Mister Tom.

An enthralling evocation of childhood is also at the heart of the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre award-winning adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, based on Harper Lee's much-loved novel. This unforgettable portrait of racial injustice and its consequences in the heart of America's Deep South runs from 19 - 24 January.

Jason Donovan (Festen, Night Must Fall, Sweeney Todd) plays Lionel Logue, an eccentric therapist who helps monarch George VI to overcome his stammer in the uplifting true story The King's Speech. The West End show that inspired the Oscar-winning film is presented from 5 - 14 February by Chichester Festival Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Robert Bathurst (Downton Abbey, Toast of London, Cold Feet) and Caroline Faber (Merlin, A Good Murder) star in Love, Loss and Chianti, a touching and funny exploration of relationships which premieres from 22 - 31 January. This charming double bill is by Christopher Reid, whose lyrical narrative A Scattering won the Costa Book of the Year Award in 2009.

A short story by Virginia Woolf is the inspiration for Like Rabbits on 16 January. This collaboration between Lost Dog and award-winning playwright Lucy Kirkwood (Chimerica, NSFW, Skins) explores the relationship between a couple through a piece that uses theatre and dance. A tale of women, their men and astronomy is told in Stella by Siobhán Nicholas staged by Take the Space on 19 February.

Robert Webb (Peep Show) reprises his role as Bertie Wooster in the West End hit comedy Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. Delightful theatrical absurdity abounds in this production, adapted from the timeless works of PG Wodehouse and directed by Sean Foley. This play runs from 2 - 7 March, with further casting to be announced.

More humour will be provided by Bouncers from 3 - 7 February. This international hit comedy written and directed by John Godber paints a vivid portrait of one night in a 1980s Yorkshire disco.

Funny Business is promised by comedian Jimmy Carr whose 'witty and incisive musings', will be punctuated by the inevitable rude gags on 27 January.

Moscow City Ballet -- one of Russia's most successful touring companies -- return to celebrate the New Year with two classic productions from 6 - 11 January. Giselle is the powerful story of a tragic love affair, coupled with the evergreen festive charm of The Nutcracker's magical characters and Tchaikovsky's enchanting music.

Younger audience members can also look forward to two enchanting plays. Arthur's Dream Boat presented by Long Nose Puppets on Friday 20 - Saturday 21 February depicts a colourful nautical adventure. There was an Old Woman by Oily Cart Production from Tuesday 10 - Saturday 14 February features a multi-sensory journey -- and an array of shoes!

There will be a variety of one-night concerts for music lovers. The BBC Concert Orchestra returns to its regional home for the popular Friday Night is Music Night on 16 January and Essential Classics on 8 March. There will also be A Swinging Affair featuring multi award-winning vocalist Claire Martin and saxophonist and vocalist Ray Gelato on 28 January, The BBC Big Band celebration of the swing era on 31 January and Perrier Jazz Vocalist of the Year Julia Biel on 18 February. Southern Pro Musica return to Chichester with their popular Children's Concert which includes musical classics and plenty of audience participation on 30 January.

The National Open Art Exhibition celebrates its 18th year at the Minerva Theatre, running from 17 December - 3 January. As well as showcasing 123 works of art which are all for sale, this year's event also marks the launch of an annual exhibition at Somerset House and a BBC 1 South series.

The Winter season is announced on Thursday 18 September.

BOOKING INFORMATION:

Priority booking for Friends of Chichester Festival Theatre opens:

Monday 22 September (online and booking forms only)

Thursday 25 September (phone and in person)

Public booking opens:

Monday 29 September (online only)

Wednesday 1 October (phone and in person)

Box Office 01243 781312; Online cft.org.uk

16 - 25s Ticket Scheme

An allocation of tickets priced at just £8.50 are available for 16 to 25 year olds for most plays in the Festival Theatre. These will be available one month before each production opens. cft.org.uk/850.


WINTER 2015 LINEUP:

Festival Theatre

The Hundred and One Dalmatians: 20 Dec - 3 Jan

Moscow City Ballet: 6 - 11 Jan

To Kill A Mockingbird: 19 - 24 Jan

The King's Speech: 5 - 14 Feb

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: 19 - 28 Feb

Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense: 2 - 7 Mar

Minerva Theatre

The National Open Art Exhibition: 17 Dec - 3 Jan

Love, Loss and Chianti: 22 - 31 Jan

Bouncers: 3 - 7 Feb

There Was An Old Woman: 10 - 14 Feb

Arthur's Dream Boat: 20 & 21 Feb

One-night events

BBC Concert Orchestra - Friday Night is Music Night: Fri 16 Jan (Festival Theatre)

Like Rabbits: Fri 16 Jan (Minerva Theatre)

Jimmy Carr - Funny Business: Tue 27 Jan (Festival Theatre)

Children's Concert: Fri 30 Jan (Festival Theatre)

A Swinging Affair - Claire Martin and Ray Gelato: Wed 28 Jan (Festival Theatre)

The BBC Big Band - The Music of the Great Swing Bands: Sat 31 Jan (Festival Theatre)

Julia Biel: Wed 18 Feb (Minerva Theatre)

Stella: A Story of Women, Their Men and Astronomy: Thu 19 Feb (Minerva Theatre)

BBC Concert Orchestra - Essential Classics: Sun 8 Mar (Festival Theatre)


For more information, visit cft.org.uk or follow on Twitter: twitter.com/ChichesterFT | @ChichesterFT and Facebook: facebook.com/chichesterfestivaltheatre.



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