Picture Gallery: Inside Chichester Festival Theatre

CHICHESTER Festival Theatre is finally ‘fit for 21st century eyes’, after its £22m refurbishment.

The Observer was invited to look around the theatre and go behind the scenes.

Chichester Festival Theatre SUS-140717-135756001

Chichester Festival Theatre SUS-140717-135756001

Johnathan Church, artistic director said: “All of this is about the legacy of the building.”

He said the ‘engagement’ of local people with the festival theatre has been part of the reason the theatre could celebrate 50 years.

“The businesses and the individuals in this community have made this theatre what it is today.”

“To be working here and being part of this team has been a real pleasure,” he said.

“The project has been to make sure the building is hear in the next 50 years.”

The theatre, which has a capacity of 1,300, is now better equipped to deal with larger staging – and will be more ‘flexible’ in terms of scenery.

The refurbishment includes new dressing rooms, backstage area and kitchens, and has been designed to be environmentally friendly.

The auditorium has also been renovated with changes made to the design, acoustics and layout of the room.

Water will be pumped from under Oaklands Park to regulate the heating, and there are plans to plant trees around the building.

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