Chichester Festival to Feature Patrick Stewart, Rupert Everett and Musical Love Story

By Mark Shenton
12 Feb 2010

Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart will return to Chichester Festival's Minerva Theatre to appear in a new production of Edward Bond's 1973 play Bingo, due to premiere in April.

According to London's Daily Mail, other plans for the annual Chichester summer season include a new production of Pygmalion, starring Rupert Everett as Professor Higgins; a new musical version of the 1970 film "Love Story," scored by composer Howard Goodall with lyrics co-written by Stephen Clark; and a new stage production of 42nd Street. The theatre is due to make a formal announcement of the full season Feb. 18.

Stewart previously appeared at Chichester's Minerva Theatre in the title role of Rupert Goold's Macbeth in 2007, before that production transferred to the West End and subsequently Broadway. Stewart was last seen on stage in Waiting for Godot at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket last year.

Bingo, subtitled Scenes of Death and Money, is a fictional account of the retired William Shakespeare at his Warwickshire home in 1615 and 1616, suffering pangs of conscience in part because he signed a contract which protected his landholdings, on the condition that he would not interfere with an enclosure of common lands that would hurt the local peasant farmers. It will be directed by Angus Jackson, who has previously directed Funny Girl, The Waltz of the Toreadors, The Father and Carousel at Chichester.

Pygmalion will mark Rupert Everett's first return to the U.K. stage since he appeared on Broadway last year in Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit, opposite Angela Lansbury. The production will be directed by Philip Prowse, who previously directed him many times at Glasgow's Citizens' Theatre, including productions of Coward's The Vortex and Tennessee Williams' The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore that subsequently transferred to London. Also already cast is Stephanie Cole as Mrs Higgins. The role of Eliza Doolittle is reportedly still to be cast.



Love Story is to be directed by Rachel Kavanagh, and will open at Chichester's Minerva Thatre in late May. 42nd Street is to be directed by Paul Kerryson.

Tickets are not yet on sale for these productions.