The Sleep-Tite pajama factory is back in business. Hadley Fraser and Joanna Riding will star as Sid and Babe, respectively, in a revival of The Pajama Game at the Chichester Festival Theatre. The theater's season will also include a new production of Tim Firth's Neville's Island, a West-End bound production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo UI and more. As previously announced, two-time Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald will lead a revival of Barnum during the summer festival.
The Chichester season will kick off with the Richard Eyre-helmed revival of The Pajama Game, running April 22 through June 8 at the Minerva Theatre. Opening night is set for April 29. Featuring a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, The Pajama Game deals with labor troubles in a pajama factory where workers' demands for a seven-and-a-half cents raise go ignored. Soon enough, love blossoms between Babe, the grievance committee head, and Sid, the new factory superintendent.
The world premiere of David Edgar's If Only, directed by Angus Jackson, follows from June 14 through July 27. Opening night is planned for June 20. Set in April 2010, the play follows a Labour special advisor stranded in the Malaga Airport due to an Icelandic ash cloud.
The revival of Barnum then runs July 15 through August 23 at Theatre in the Park. Directed by Timothy Sheader, the production will open July 24 and features a revised book by Mark Bramble, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Michael Stewart. Starring Fitzgerald in the title role, the tuner is based on the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, who founded the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. No additional casting has been announced.
Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo UI follows from August 15 through September 17 at the Minerva Theatre. The show tells the story of Chicago in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Henry Goodman reprises his role as the title character, having played the part last season. The production is directed by Jonathan Church and features music by Matthew Scott and design by Simon Higlet. Following its Chichester run, the play will transfer to the West End’s Duchess Theatre.
Next up is Neville's Island, directed by Angus Jackson, playing September 11 through 28 at Theatre in the Park. The Tim Firth play tells the tale of four middle-aged businessmen who set off on a team-building exercise and succeed in becoming the first people ever to get shipwrecked on an island in the Lake District. Julian Mitchell's Another Country, directed by Jeremy Herrin, then runs from September 18 through October 19 at the Minerva Theatre.
Rounding out the season will be Roald Dahl’s The Witches with direction by Dale Rooks. Adapted by David Wood, the children's classic is about a young boy who discovers the truth about a group of witches who are disguising themselves as nice ordinary ladies in order to rid England of its children.