Thursday, February 18

Half A Sixpence Confirmed at Chichester this summer

As previously mentioned Half A Sixpence will be presented at the Chichester Festival Theatre this summer from (press night 26th July). It is the  British musical adaptation of H GWells’s  autobiographical novel Kipps: The Story Of A Simple Soul, based on the author’s unhappy apprenticeship as a draper at Hyde’s Drapery Emporium in Southsea. This new stage version of the novel is a new adaptation by Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. They have written a score that is inspired by and features several of composer David Heneker’s memorable songs from the original production, which he co-wrote with Beverley Cross, including the show-stopping Flash Bang Wallop, Money To Burn and the irresistible Half A Sixpence.

The only casting announced so far is Bryan Dick in the lead role. He has worked chiefly in television, including as the younger version of Phil Davis's character, Archie, in tWhite Teeth,  Blackpool in 2004, playing sidekick to David Tennant's police detective and one of the leads in the Simon Curtis series 20,000 Streets Under the Sky, based on the trilogy by Patrick Hamilton, .More recent TV roles include Thomas Wyatt in the 2005 The Virgin Queen and Prince Turveydrop in the award-winning BBC version of Charles Dickens's Bleak House. He returned to Dickens in 2007 as Freddie Trent in The Old Curiosity Shop and in the same year was cast as Danny in the new ITV comedy drama, Sold. He also appeared in Ordeal By Innocence in the Agatha Christie Agatha Christie's Marple series alongside Geraldine McEwan. In 2008 he appeared as the character Adam in an episode of the same name in the BBC sci-fi series Torchwood. He also appeared in the popular television show Shameless as Jack Wyatt and Ian Bateley in the BBC drama Excluded.

Film  roles include Joseph Nagle opposite Russell Crowe in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) and the werewolf Rafe in  Blood and Chocolate (2007). Other films include Brothers of the Head (2005) and Colour Me Kubrick (2006).

On stage, he has appeared in Plasticine and Sliding With Suzanne at the Royal Court, in Edward Bond's Lear at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield and School Play at the Soho Theatre. In 2006, he appeared in two plays at the National Theatre in London, as Andrea Sarti in Bertolt Brecht's The Life of Galileo and as Dapper in The Alchemist. In 2007, he played the lead role of Mozart in Peter Shaffer's Amadeus  at the Crucible Theatre, with Gerard Murphy as Salieri

Arthur Kipps, an orphan, is an over-worked draper’s assistant at Shalford’s Bazaar, Folkestone, at the turn of the last century. He is a charming but ordinary young man who, along with his fellow apprentices, dreams of a better and more fulfilling world, but he likes his fun just like any other, except not quite.

When Kipps unexpectedly inherits a fortune that propels him into high society, it confuses everything he thought he knew about life. Watching him wrestle with his new identity is his childhood companion and not-quite girlfriend, Ann Pornick, who sees with dismay how Arthur is being made over in a new image by the beautiful and classy Helen Walsingham. She is always there with helpful hints on how Arthur could improve himself and make his life richer and more meaningful, if only he would believe in himself, and listen to her. Both of these young women love Arthur – there is no doubt about that – but which should he listen to? With the help of his friends, Arthur learns that if you want to have the chance of living the right life, you need to make the right choices.

Director Rachel Kavanaugh’s previous work at Chichester includes The Music Man (2008), Love Story (2010) and more recently Single Spies (2016). Bryan Dick’s previous work includes Ernie Wise in the acclaimed television drama Eric and Ernie, The Life of Galileo and The Alchemist at the National Theatre, and Mozart in Amadeus at Sheffield Theatres.

Online Priority booking for Friends for Festival 2016 opens on 22 February
Phone and counter Priority booking for Friends for Festival 2016 opens on 29 February

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