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Redgrave and Bathurst Join Fox and Routledge In Chichester's AN IDEAL HUSBAND


Robert Bathurst, Jamie Glover, Jemma Redgrave and Laura Rogers join Edward Fox and Patricia Routledge in Chichester's production of An Ideal Husband, the final drama of the season to be staged in the Festival Theatre.

This witty and searing exposure of hypocrisy and false morality is considered by many to be Oscar Wilde's masterpiece. It is set in respectable 19th century London society where many women have their eyes on snaring the perfect husband. By contrast, one of the central characters, Mrs Laura Cheveley, is set on securing a different kind of lucrative investment. Soon she is caught up in a web of secrets and lies involving politicians in high places.

The play is both a witty comedy and a razor sharp analysis of ambition, hypocrisy and corruption, echoing the personal crisis that Wilde faced at the time when it was written. The play was first produced in 1895 and in the same year, Wilde was arrested for gross indecency. Like much of Wilde's work, his dissection of society's false morality resonates as much today as when it was first written.

Edward Fox plays Lord Caversham. His award-winning screen roles include The Go-Between and A Bridge Too Far, plus acclaimed performances in The Day of the Jackal and Edward & Mrs Simpson. Recent theatre credits include the West End production of The Audience in which he played Churchill, Four Quartets and Lloyd George Knew My Father.

Patricia Routledge plays Lady Markby. Her distinguished career in drama, comedy and musicals includes numerous Chichester credits, such as her widely celebrated performance as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in 1999. Screen credits include Talking Heads and the formidable Hyacinth Bouquet in Keeping Up Appearances.

Robert Bathurst plays Sir Robert Chiltern. He will also return to Chichester in January 2015 in Love, Lies and Chianti, which he has devised for the stage. Theatre credits include Present Laughter, Blithe Spirit and Whipping It Up. Screen roles include Downton Abbey, Toast of London and Cold Feet.

Jamie Glover plays Lord Goring. He made his directorial debut at Chichester earlier this season in Festival 2014's Miss Julie / Black Comedy and featured among the cast of Festival 2013's If Only. Other acting credits include West End productions of Noises Off and The Invention of Love, All's Well That Ends Well and Edward III (for the RSC).

Jemma Redgrave plays Mrs Cheveley. Theatre credits include the 12-play cycle The Great Game (Tricycle Theatre), West End productions of Three Sisters and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Lady Windermere's Fan. Screen credits include Cold Blood and Bramwell.

Laura Rogers plays Lady Chiltern. She returns to Chichester having featured in Festival 2014's Pressure. Other credits include the West End production of The 39 Steps, and As You Like It, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream (all for Shakespeare's Globe).

The cast also includes Giles Coram as Harold, Max Hutchinson as James, Catherine Kanter as Lady Basildon, Timothy Kightley as Mason, Hattie Ladbury as Mrs Marchmont, Amy Morgan as Mabel Chiltern, Joseph Prowen as Montford, Giles Taylor as Phipps and Leon Williams as Vicomte De Nanjac.

Oscar Wilde is a renowned dramatist, novelist and poet whose other plays include The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere's Fan. He also wrote The Portrait of Dorian Gray and The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

The director is Rachel Kavanaugh whose Chichester credits include The Way of the World, Love Story (also West End) and The Music Man. Other credits include the acclaimed production of The Sound of Music (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Notes to Self (Birmingham Rep), The Merry Wives of Windsor and Alice in Wonderland (both for the RSC).

Design is by Simon Higlett, Associate Designer at Chichester. He has already designed Stevie and Amadeus for Festival 2014. Other Chichester credits include The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Yes, Prime Minister, Taking Sides and Collaboration (all of which transferred to the West End) and Singin' in the Rain, (also West End and UK tour).

Lighting Design is by Howard Harrison whose Chichester credits include The Way of the World, Love Story (which transferred to the West End) and Macbeth (also West End and New York) for which he won an Olivier Award. Other theatre credits include West End productions of Backbeat, Butley, Glengarry Glen Ross, Guys and Dolls, Ragtime and Heroes.

Music is by Catherine Jayes whose credits include numerous productions for Regent's Park Open Air Theatre such as The Pirates of Penzance, Kiss Me, Kate, the Olivier award-winning production of The Boys from Syracuse and The Boy Friend.

Sound Design is by Fergus O'Hare whose Chichester credits include Uncle Vanya and The Syndicate. Other theatre credits include Daytona (Park Theatre and tour), the West End production of Passion Play and The Winslow Boy (Old Vic/Roundabout).

An Ideal Husband is sponsored by Rathbone Investment Management.

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