Forty Years On


This event has been and gone.

1968. A public school on the South Downs. The Headmaster is retiring and today is his last day. His final task is to appear in the school play. The problem is: he’s yet to read the script. It soon becomes clear that ‘Speak for England, Arthur’ is not quite the celebration of school tradition the headmaster might have expected.

A glorious comedy, Alan Bennett’s first play is a hilarious and at times unnerving enquiry into Englishness, nostalgia and identity. Written at a time of tumultuous social change it explores, with great satirical verve, the impact of the past on the present.

Alan Bennett is one of our most cherished writers, internationally famous for classics such as Talking Heads, The Madness of George III, The History Boys and The Lady in the Van.

Daniel Evans, Chichester’s new Artistic Director, opens Festival 2017 directing a cast which will include over 50 local young people.

The company will be led by Richard Wilson as the Headmaster. The much-loved star of TV’s One Foot in the Grave appears as an actor at Chichester for the first time; his recent stage work includes Krapp’s Last Tape (Sheffield Theatres).


Richard Wilson

Best known for his role in BBC TV's 'One Foot In The Grave'.

See Richard Wilson tour dates

Chichester Festival Theatre

  • Oaklands Park
  • Chichester
  • PO19 6AP

01243 784437
01243 781312
Disabled Booking:
01243 781312