Author celebrates release of Chichester Festival Theatre book

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IN 1962 a theatre started in Chichester that was hailed as strikingly modern. Now, 50 years from its launch, Chichester Festival Theatre is celebrating the anniversary with a special summer season, a new temporary stage and a book, Chichester Festival Theatre at Fifty.

Written by city resident Kate Mosse, it charts the theatre’s colourful history. From Ben Kingsley appearing as a murderer in Macbeth to celebrated director Sam Mendes writing a letter begging for any kind of work at the theatre, many famous names began their careers in Chichester.

Kate started her working life selling ice creams at the theatre and says: “I have a long association with the theatre. My father was company secretary from 1965 to 1998 and I grew up in the happy shadow of CFT.

“When I was doing the research for the book I found out just how many people are tied so closely to the theatre.”

For the first in a four-part series, see next week’s Observer.