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Chichester Festival Theatre cancels all 2020 productions

Some shows will be rescheduled to 2021

Chichester Festival Theatre
© Philip Vile

Chichester Festival Theatre has announced that all its shows for 2020 have been cancelled.

As it stands, no shows are expected to take place this year, though a "revised shorter programme of work" has been considered for the autumn, if possible. Two of the venue's productions, The Unfriend and South Pacific, have been rescheduled for 2021.

Kathy Bourne and Daniel Evans, executive and artistic director respectively, said: "We are devastated that for the only time in Chichester Festival Theatre's history, no Festival performances will take place this year. We had been hoping to be able to produce at least some Festival 2020 shows in the summer and autumn; but all the indications from government point to social distancing being in place for many months to come, as the country continues its vital fight against coronavirus while protecting the NHS.

"At this unprecedented time, with the full support of the Trustees, we feel this is the most responsible course of action we can take in order to ensure the future resilience of our organisation as well as protecting our staff, artists and audiences.

"We are currently considering a revised shorter programme of work from Autumn 2020, including Pinocchio over the Christmas period, and are working on a new schedule for 2021 which we hope will include some of the planned Festival 2020 shows, in addition to South Pacific and The Unfriend. All ticket holders will be contacted by our box office with the option of exchanges, credits, refunds or donations in good time.

"We are determined to stay connected to our audiences through our learning, education and participation activities and online streaming, and to continue the initiatives we have implemented which support our community (such as our partnership with the Chichester Scrub Hub, lending our accommodation to the NHS and helping UK Harvest with food deliveries). We are immensely grateful to our supporters and sponsors who have stayed with us during this hugely challenging period; and to the many people who have sent us good wishes and donations. We are living for the moment we can reopen our doors, gather together and make some theatre."

The venue's 2021 season is to be announced.