Friends, supporters and performers gathered at the Novium on Wednesday night to launch this year’s Festival of Chichester programme which goes live today (Thursday).
Organisers are thrilled with the programme that has come together, four weeks of top-quality entertainment from June 16-July 15 which will celebrate the city of Chichester.
Festival chairman Phil Hewitt said: “The programme is superb, a fantastic sweep of the wonderful talent that we have got in Chichester – plus some performers from outside who are tempted to sample our city’s delights.”
Festival co-ordinator Barry Smith added: “Chichester is a special city and thoroughly deserves a special Festival. Our motto is that the festival is grounded in the community but aspires towards the stars. After five years of putting on what has become one of the largest and most vibrant arts festivals in the south, the challenge to go one better becomes tougher every year. But we think we’ve got something for everybody for the 2018 festival.
“For lovers of classical music, we have two of the world’s most celebrated pianists, Stephen Kovacevich and Victor Ryabchikov, as well as a major orchestral concert from WSO and Kosmos Ensemble featuring Dvorak’s New World. Elsewhere, we have Pavlos Carvalho at St John’s Chapel and String Dimensions at St Pancras. For literature lovers we have a real treat with Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author Louis de Bernieres reading his poetry at the Poetry & Jazz Café.
Observer editor in chief Gary Shipton said “The Festival of Chichester is a fantastic event which the Observer is proud to support. Every year, it gets bigger and better and is a true celebration of the many artistic and community groups that operate across the city and beyond. Like the paper, it brings the community together.”
Mr Shipton added that very special thanks were due to the festival committee and its chairman Dr Phil Hewitt who established the festival and is the arts editor of this title.
Tickets from the Chichester Box Office, The Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH; phone 01243 816525 or 775888; website http://www.thenovium.org/boxoffice; email firstname.lastname@example.org.In person: The Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH.
Among the festival's first-half highlights will be:
Saturday, June 16: All That Malarkey, St John’s Chapel; Chichester City Band, St Paul’s.
Sunday, June 17, Little Vicky And The Seven Assassins, Isosceles, St John’s Chapel; Oberon’s Cure, The Rude Mechanical Theatre, Halnaker Park Cottage Garden.
Tuesday, June 19, Solo Bach Cello Suites 1 And 2, Pavlos Carvalho, St John’s Chapel; The Parnassian Ensemble, St John’s Chapel; Hamlet, All The World’s A Space, The Chichester Inn.
Wednesday, June 20: ‘Allo ‘Allo!, Chichester Players, Centenary Theatre, Chichester High School; A Spagna In The Works, St John’s Chapel.
Thursday, June 21: Country Chronicles, David Johnston, New Park Community Centre; Tyger, Tyger: Deborah Rose & Mari Randle, Blakefest, St John’s Chapel.
Friday, June 22: Dandelion Charm, Tidy St Studio, Whitestone Farm, Main Road, Birdham; Geoff Robb – Spanish And Celtic Inspired Guitar Music, Oxmarket Gallery; Rob Johnston In Concert, St John’s Chapel
Saturday, June 23: Bear Hunt, Chichester Community Theatre, Pallant House Gallery Garden; Ensemble Reza Reveal Romantic Gems, St John’s Chapel; A Garden Of Song, Chantry Quire, St Paul’s Church
Sunday, June 24: Guitars In The Garden, West Dean Gardens Restaurant; Eduardo Niebla Experience, St John’s Chapel.
Monday, June 25: The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, New Theatre Productions, West Dean Gardens.
Tuesday, June 26: The Roundabout By J B Priestley, West Dean Gardens
Wednesday, June 27: Selling One’s Own Wares, Sandra Saer Of SMH Books, New Park Centre; Peter Rice And Friends, St Martin’s Organic Coffee House.
Thursday, June 28: Poetry & Jazz Cafe with Louis De Bernières, Edes House, West Street,
Friday, June 29: Seascape Drawings and Paintings by Catherine Barnes, Festival Artists, Juno Studio, 107 Cedar Drive, Chichester; Louis De Bernières Lunchtime Talk, Vicars’ Hall; Opera Night, 60 Minutes Of Classical Music, The Regis Centre, Belmont Street, Bognor Regis; Phoenix Big Band, Assembly Room, North Street.
Saturday, June 30: Festival Artists, Merston Studio and St Giles Church, Marsh Lane, Merston; Family Concert – Chichester Chamber Concerts, Assembly Room; An Evening with Kate Mosse, Talks At Six, New Park Centre; Summer Charity Concert, Chichester Community Choir, St Paul’s; The Azure Main, Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia, St George’s Church; NMH with Consort Of Viols, Boxgrove Priory.
Sunday, July 1, The Grand Tour, Consort Of Twelve, St Paul’s Church; Guided Tour of City Walls.