Sharon Small to play Miss Jean Brodie at Chichester Festival Theatre

Sharon Small to play the title role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

29 May – 20 June, Chichester Festival Theatre

Sharon Small will make her Chichester debut in the title role of THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Jay Presson Allen, adapted from the novel by Muriel Spark. Rachel Kavanaugh directs the production, running at Chichester Festival Theatre from 29 May – 30 June.

Known to a wide television audience for series including The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Flesh and Blood, Mistresses, Trust Me and London Kills, Sharon Small’s theatre work includes Men Should Weep and The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre), Arden of Faversham (RSC), Still Alice (West Yorkshire Playhouse and tour) and The Realistic Joneses (Theatre Royal Bath).

1931. Edinburgh. Schoolmistress Jean Brodie prizes beauty, truth and art above the curriculum, reaching beyond the classroom to find lessons in galleries, theatres and the opera. For her favoured set of girls – Sandy, Jenny, Monica and Mary – she is a fascinating enigma.

And it’s not only twelve-year-olds who are drawn to the provocative Miss Brodie. There’s Gordon Lowther, the diffident music teacher, whom she visits every Sunday, and the raffish married art teacher, Teddy Lloyd.

But not everyone is an admirer. Brodie’s unconventional style challenges the established order at Marcia Blaine School, and a headmistress who doesn’t wish lessons to be taught in the open air and minds to be recklessly expanded.

As the girls grow up and innocence gives way to experience, trust turns to doubt about their teacher. Soon, being a woman and an iconoclast, in a turbulent political age, becomes downright dangerous.

Jay Presson Allen’s bold, searching and funny play, written in 1966, was adapted from the 1961 novel by Muriel Spark. A hit both in London and on Broadway, it successfully transferred to the screen in 1969. 

Rachel Kavanaugh’s many Chichester productions include Shadowlands (2019), The Winslow Boy (2018) and Half A Sixpence (2016).

The production will be designed by Robert Jones, with lighting by Howard Harrison, music by Catherine Jayes, sound by Fergus O’Hare, movement by Georgina Lamb and casting by Charlotte Sutton.