London Theatre: THE SOUTHBURY CHILD (Chichester Festival Theatre and The Bridge Theatre)

Post image for London Theatre: THE SOUTHBURY CHILD (Chichester Festival Theatre and The Bridge Theatre)

by Tony Frankel on June 9, 2022

in Theater-International

A new play by Stephen Beresford
Directed by Nicholas Hytner
A co-production with The Bridge Theatre

Chichester Festival Theatre, 13 – 25 June, 2022
Bridge Theatre: 1 July – 27 August, 2022

Sharp-witted, willful and frequently drunk, David Highland has kept a grip on his parish through a combination of disordered charm and high-handed determination. But when his conscience forces him to take a hard line with a parishioner who wants Disney balloons at a family funeral, he finds himself dangerously isolated from public opinion. As his own family begins to fracture, David must face a future that threatens to extinguish not only his position in the town, but everything he stands for.

Stephen Beresford’s very funny new play is a deeply humane exploration of family, faith, tradition and tolerance in a rapidly changing world. His work includes The Last of the Haussmans at the National Theatre, an adaptation of Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander for The Old Vic and the BAFTA-winning film Pride.

Triple Olivier Award-winner Alex Jennings returns to Chichester to lead the cast. The Southbury Child reunites him with Nicholas Hytner who has previously directed him in Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, Collaborators, The Habit of Art, The Alchemist and The Winter’s Tale (all at the National Theatre) amongst others. His many other credits range from My Fair Lady to Stuff Happens and Hansard at the NT, as well as Hamlet for the RSC. His screen work includes The Crown, The Lady in the Van, The Queen, Victoria, A Very English Scandal and This Is Going to Hurt.

The cast also includes Holly Atkins, Josh Finan, Jack Greenlees, Jo Herbert, Phoebe Nicholls, Racheal Ofori and Sarah Twomey.

Nicholas Hytner also makes a welcome return to Chichester, where he previously directed The Scarlet Pimpernel (with a cast including Alex Jennings) in 1985. Director of the National Theatre from 2003-2015, he is Co-Founder of The Bridge Theatre where his recent work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Beat The Devil, Bach & Sons, The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage and the forthcoming Straight Line Crazy.

The production will have set designs by Mark Thompson and costume by Yvonne Milnes, with lighting by Max Narula, sound by George Dennis and casting by Robert Sterne CDG.

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