Way Upstream at the Chichester Festival Theatre Review

WayUpstream1Way Upstream
Chichester Festival Theatre

23 April to 16 May 2015


Reviewed by Emma Booth

Me and my mum went to Chichester Festival Theatre to see Way Upstream. Even though I only live 15 minutes away I’m never been to see any shows here so was really excited to be going. Parking was a two minute walk away and free parking after 6 o’clock and very easy to get to from the A27. There is a lovely cafe at the Festival Theatre serving light lunches like salads and soups and also a bar with snacks and a selection of locally produced spirits lagers and wines etc… they also have free wifi.

When we took our seats we were very amazed at this stage, never before have we been to a theatre and seen a full size boat on water with real trees in the background. The theatre layout is really open with a massive stage so instead of looking head on to the stage you get more of a 3-D view.

Way Upstream
Photography by Simon Annand

The story is about four friends on a cruising boat for two weeks of cruising the River Orb. I laughed from the start with the character June (Sarah Parish) not happy with the facilities on the boat and her other half Keith (Peter Forbes) bearing the brunt of it. Heading along the river they call for help when they get stuck and a  handsome stranger named Vince (Jason Durr) happens to be around just in time to help them and he actually dives into the water to help push the boat off from where it is stuck , but is he all that he seems to be? Later on he brings his Bohemian friend called Fleur (Emily Lang) and then begins the party and drinking with hilarious outcomes.

The lighting effects are stunning as the light shines through the trees and the storm with rain and lightning was so realistic and the boat actually moves. With 65,000 litres of water the replica river is like a big pool and is deep enough for them to dive into as you see Vince doing at one point. The performances from all are very polished and thoroughly enjoyable.

The theatre has recently had a big redevelopment that has won five RIBA architectural awards. Chichester Festival Theatre reopened in July 2014 with a 22 million redevelopment of this grade 2 listed building. Chichester Festival Theatre is well worth a visit with very reasonable prices to suit everyone and the way the seats are laid out you can see well where ever you sit.

We had a great time on our first visit. it was around three hours long (including interval) which I found a little bit too long but the time flew by and I would definitely recommend this show and this theatre to anyone.

An excellent black comedy at a great theatre with lovely staff.

Rating: 5/5 thumbs_up

Tickets cost from £10 to £41 (booking fees may apply).

Way Upstream is at the Chichester Festival Theatre until 16 May 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01243 781312.

Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6AP


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