Ian McKellen's LEAR & More In Chichester Festival Theatre's 2017 Season

Festival 2017 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.

Daniel Evans and Rachel Tackley said: 'We are thrilled to introduce our first season at the helm of Chichester Festival Theatre. It's been a joy to put together a variety of work created by some of the most exciting artists in the country.

'We're delighted to welcome those who are new to Chichester, such as Marcia Gay Harden, Sharon D. Clarke, Omid Djalili and Edna O'Brien, and the many who are making return visits - among them Ian McKellen, Richard Wilson, Jonathan Kent and Richard Eyre.

'It's a particular pleasure that some of the UK's most talented young designers and creative artists will be working on this year's productions, and we're also offering new opportunities for six assistant directors at the start of their careers.

'There will be over 10,000 tickets available at £10 in the Festival Theatre, and the price of tickets for 16 to 25 year olds has been reduced to £5. For the first time there will be a Relaxed Performance of our summer musical, Fiddler on the Roof; there'll be free entertainment for everyone in Oaklands Park and a Fun Palace weekend in October. We hope that everyone will find something to enjoy.'

Highlights include Ian McKellen starring in KING LEAR, Daniel Evans' revival of Alan Bennett's FORTY YEARS ON, Marcia Gay Harden making her UK theatre debut in Tennessee Williams's SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, Blanche McIntyre reviving Alan Ayckbourn's THE NORMAN CONQUESTS, Sharon D. Clarke starring in musical CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, and James Graham's new play QUIZ.

For full listings, tickets, and more information, visit cft.org.uk.

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