Chichester Festival Theatre at 50

3 March to 3 June 2012
Pallant House Gallery, 9 North Pallant Chichester –
Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-8pm, Sun 11am -5pm, Closed Mondays

Just one of the many events contributing to this anniversary is an exhibition at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, The Art of Chichester Festival Theatre, which is curated and designed by renowned scenographer Professor Pamela Howard OBE who began her career as a headdress maker for The Broken Heart, one of the first productions in 1962. She has lectured to the Society.

This exhibition celebrates the ways in which visual theatre artists responded to the challenge of designing for the first purpose-built Thrust Stage Theatre in the UK, which enabled spectators to see the players from all angles for the first time,

The ‘Thrust’ stage, posed new challenges for costumiers who began to make garments in meticulous detail which would be interesting for the entire audience: “All the old theatre sayings like ‘you won’t notice that from the front’ or ‘it will be alright when it’s lit’ just would no longer apply”, says Pamela Howard of that time. “We had entered the new age of reality and perfection in construction and materials, and the age of theatrical fakery had passed”. Featured are set models, drawings, paintings, costumes, props and designs from the early productions by artists such as Michael Annals, Daphne, Dare, Jocelyn Herbert, Julia Trevelyan Oman, Sean Kenny, Ralph Koltai CBE, Malcolm Pride, Peter Rice and Alan Tagg, many of which will be shown for the first time.

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