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Joseph Fiennes, Iain Glen, Felicity Kendal, Diana Rigg, Samuel West to Star at Chichester Festival

By London
Diana Rigg
Diana Rigg
Preliminary casting had been announced for the 2009 Chichester Festival.

The Festival will open with the premiere of The Last Cigarette, March 11-April 11. The work, which will transfer to the West End, is based of the late playwright Simon Gray's acclaimed Smoking Diaries, and Felicity Kendal, Nicholas Le Prevost, and Jasper Britton will all play Gray. It will be directed by Richard Eyre and designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by John Driscoll.

Next up will be a new production of Noel Coward's Hay Fever, April 9-May 2, starring Diana Rigg as bohemian actress Judith Bliss. The production will be directed by Nikolai Foster and designed by Robert Jones.

There will be a double bill of Ronald Harwood's 1995 play Taking Sides and his new play Collaboration, April 16-May 28, which are expected to transfer to the West End. Both are directed by Philip Franks and star Michael Pennington as, respectively, conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler and composer Richard Strauss, two men wrangling with Nazism. The company will also feature David Horovitch and Isla Blair.

In addition, at the Festival Theatre, Joseph Fiennes will star in the title role of Trevor Nunn's Cyrano de Bergerac (May 8-30); Tony Award winner John Doyle will direct a new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, starring Michael Xavier, Leila Benn Harris, Natalie Casey, Craige Els, and Michael Matus (June 5-August 29); Jonathan Church will direct The Grapes of Wrath (July 10-August 28); and Philip Frank will helm Terrence Rattigan's Separate Tables (September 10-October 3).

At the Minerva Theatre, Iain Glen will star in Angus Jackson's production of Mike Poulton's new version of Wallenstein (May 22-June 13), Howard Davies will direct Heidi Thomas' The House of Secret Purpose (June 20-August 22); and Rupert Goold will direct Lucy Prebble's ENRON (July 11-August 29), which will transfer to London's Royal Court in September, and which will star Samuel West.


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