In a press statement, Sir William Castell, chairman of Chichester Festival Theatre, commented, "I am delighted to confirm Daniel Evans as our next artistic leader. After a comprehensive search, we were presented with a very accomplished shortlist of candidates but it was clear that Daniel's breadth of experience as a director and actor makes him a brilliant fit for Chichester Festival Theatre. He is widely admired for championing classical work and musicals alongside a commitment to new writing, and his passion for theatre is infectious. I am very happy he has chosen to share that with us as we look forward to a terrific future for CFT."
Evans adds, "I am truly delighted to be asked by the Board at Chichester Festival Theatre to become its next Artistic Director. Under the leadership of Jonathan Church and Executive Director Alan Finch, Chichester has developed into the most incredible theatrical powerhouse which has fed and nourished the local community in the South East as well as the theatre ecology throughout the UK and internationally. I look forward to collaborating with the team in West Sussex to develop that work further as the organisation evolves into this next exciting chapter in its history. nI am hugely grateful to the entire staff at Sheffield Theatres and I’m deeply proud of the bold, passionate and enriching work we'e achieved together in our City Region. It has been a real privilege to lead the organisation for the last seven years."
A new executive director to replace Alan Finch at Chichester, who announced his departure at the same time as Church, is yet to be appointed.
Evans has been artistic director at Sheffield since 2009. He trained as an actor and continues to work as one from time to time. He is currently directing a new production of Show Boat at Sheffield and his production of American Buffalo with Damian Lewis was seen at Wyndham's Theatre earlier this year. At Sheffield, he has also directed The Effect, Anything Goes, The Sheffield Mysteries, Oliver!, This Is My Family, An Enemy of the People, Racing Demon, Othello, Macbeth, My Fair Lady and The Full Monty. He has also appeared at the theatre as an actor in its productions of Company, The Pride, Cloud Nine and The Tempest, which transferred to the Old Vic Theatre, London.
Other acting credits elsewhere include regular work for the National and Royal Shakespeare Company, and Olivier Awards for Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse) and Sunday in the Park with George (transferred from the Menier Chocolate Factory to Wyndham's, before moving to Broadway where he was also Tony nominated). Under Jonathan Church, Chichester Festival Theatre has been the originating home for a series of West End transfers, including the recently shuttered Gypsy and the imminent transfer of Guys and Dolls.