So much to see, so much to hear, so much to experience
Highlights of three Sussex theatres this autumn
Chichester Festival Theatre
The Festival Theatre from 6th October to 8th November sees Imelda Staunton, Lara Pulver and Kevin Whatey star in Gypsy, based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Gypsy is considered by many to be the greatest of the Broadway musicals. Featuring classics such as Let Me Entertain You, Rose’s Turn and Everything’s Coming up Roses, Gypsy is both moving and spectacularly entertaining.
Rose Hovick has big plans for her two little daughters. Baby June is the innocent star of her show, and across the shabby stages of far-flung American towns Mama Rose plans to keep her that way. When teenage June dramatically quits the show, desperate Rose turns her fierce attention to her other, shyer daughter, Louise. Vaudeville has been replaced by the riskier attractions of burlesque, and audiences are now expecting to see much more of their stars than ever before.
An Ideal Husband
From the 21st November to 13th December the Festival Theatre hosts Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, set in London in 1895. The play is considered to be Oscar Wilde’s dramatic masterpiece. Blisteringly witty, it is both a stylish comedy and a searing exposure of hypocrisy and bogus morality. In its analysis of ambition, shame, corruption and ruin, it speaks most passionately, not only to our age, but also to Wilde’s personal crisis at the time.
Patricia Routledge returns to Chichester to play Lady Markby; back in 1999 she was widely celebrated for another Oscar Wilde performance, Lady Bracknell in Chichester’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
Visit www.cft.org.uk for full information about the theatre and what’s on in autumn.
A fabulous variety of musical genres at Worthing Theatres this autumn
Worthing Theatres’ seasons always have an exciting and eclectic mix of performances and this autumn is no exception. Here are a couple of the musical treats of contrasting genres during the autumn.
The Assembly Halls on the 21st October will ring to the sound of Clannad celebrating their 40th anniversary, featuring some songs from ‘Nádúr’, the Celtic band’s first album of new material since 1998, as well as songs they are arguably best known for such as the hauntingly beautiful ‘Theme from Harry’s Game’ and ‘In a Lifetime’. They have an incredible musical legacy stretching back to the 70s, including movie soundtracks such as ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ and many successful albums.
Thursday 20th November sees the Denton Lounge hosting the second concert in Worthing Symphony Society’s Interview Concert Season 2014–2015, with classical pianist Jessica Zhu. The Chinese-American’s programme, ‘Soirée of Preludes’, promises to voyage vividly into dreamland. Taking the audience will be Chopin’s Preludes − 24 poetic miniatures, each specific in mood and intent, contradicting the improvisatory concept of prelude composition − then a special 10 of Debussy’s Preludes, moving into an even wider palate of description and imagination.
The seating for this Interview Concert will, even more excitingly, be set in the round. This brings each listener into even closer proximity to the performer as well as more inter-visibly with each other, in an already intimate format. The result is an even more intense concert and social experience.
Visit www.worthingtheatres.co.uk for full information about the theatres.
The Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne; three gripping plays of scandal, murder and an amazing tale of survival
Sherlock Holmes; The Scandal of the Scarlet Woman
I have been a life-long fan of Conan Doyle’s famous detective since reading The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was young. From Tuesday 30th September to Saturday 4th October Sherlock Holmes once again lives on as the theatre presents ‘The Scandal of the Scarlet Woman’, a twisting, seductive new thriller based on the classic story A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Perfect Murder
Monday 13th to Saturday 18th October sees the new stage hit from the No.1 best-selling author Peter James at the theatre. This highly entertaining dark comedy thriller has been acclaimed by audiences and critics around the country. Have you ever wondered how you commit the perfect murder? A young detective, Roy Grace, starts to investigate his very first homicide case and dark forces intervene. With an all-star cast led by television stars Robert Daws, Dawn Steele, Gray O’Brien, Thomas Howes and Simona Armstrong, a superb evening of entertainment is promised.
Later in November the theatre presents ‘Shackleton’s Carpenter’ by Gail Louw. It runs from Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd November and stars Malcolm Rennie, currently appearing in the BBC’s series Mr Selfridge.
Shackleton’s Endurance sank in Antarctica, leaving him and his crew of 27 stranded. Harry McNish, Shackleton’s carpenter and brilliant shipwright, challenged him, but went all the way with him, ensuring all lives were saved after a journey universally agreed to be the most astonishing voyage of survival in history. Now again, alone and destitute in the middle of a still night, he challenges Shackleton one last time.
Visit www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk for full information of varied events at the theatres.