Archive for Past Shows
‘La Wow! Wot a great delight from one end to the other and everything in between. Wicked word play…farce at its very best. Great direction and a great cast giving it all they got with great gusto….and enjoying it immensely themselves. A treat for the mind and you will leave the theatre thoroughly thoroughly pleased with yourself for going to this great play. Non-stop laughter all the way……This is what I want theatre to do to me….change every molecule of me so that I am a different me when I come out….and a better me for all that! If I could go see this night after night after night…I would. Yes…it’s that good.’ Audience review
Production photography and graphic design by Phill Griffith. Original music composed by Andrew Donovan
To view cast and production members click TEAM below.
REVIEW by Janice Windle. Read the full review – ESSENTIAL SURREY
‘ If you want a really hilarious evening at the theatre, “On the Razzle” at the Electric Theatre is the place to be this week!’
‘Robert Sheppard plays Zangler, their employer, with tremendous verve: pompous and larger than life.Dom Gwyther is brilliant as the extraordinarily assertive new servant who interviews Zangler before “hiring” him as his employer!
……Jason Orbaum as Weinberl has the serious, touchy charisma and expressive legs of John Cleese. Claire Racklyeft’s sense of comic timing as Christopher, a straightforward young hick just out for fun, is vigorous and infectiously joyous. They make a great comedy duo.
…..Of course, there’s a star-crossed young couple: handsome penniless Sonders (Michael Thonger) and pretty, “proper” Marie (Hana Bird) of whose love Zangler, her guardian, disapproves. Gilly Fick and Kathryn Attwood are flirtatious in beautiful hats as mature sexy Viennese women. Graham Russell-Price plays the lustful coachman to Louise Johnson’s frustrated Lisette, with great gusto. The whole cast is superb in ensemble scenes.
The evening is full of puns, double-entendres and witty wordplay, incidents of mistaken identity, mistaken gender, slapstick and even a pantomime horse! What’s not to like in this romp!’
REVIEW by Tricia Marcotti. Read the full review – GUILDFORD DRAGON
‘A triumph for the company and for The Electric Theatre and I highly recommend a visit.’
‘Zangler (Robert Sheppard) tangles his speech with zeal, abetted skilfully by his new servant, Melchior (Don Gwyther)…..Zangler’s niece Marie (Hana Bird) has fallen for a young man Sonders (Michael Thonger), but Zangler is not happy with it, setting the scene for a whole host of laughs as he attempts to thwart the young couple’s intentions. Zangler’s employees, Weinberl (Jason Orbaum) and Christopher (Claire Racklyeft) decide they can play while the boss is away and go “on the razzle” to Vienna, with a number of hilarious close calls as they try to avoid their boss whilst enjoying themselves……… Zangler’s fiancée Mrs Knorr (Gilly Fick) and one of her clients Mrs Fischer (Kathryn Attwood) get caught up in the action between Zangler, his employees and his niece and her suitor.
…..The play is quite fast-paced and if the actors didn’t need the break, the audience needed one to recuperate from all the antics of the first half. The second half was as frenetic as the first, and I feel the audience couldn’t wait for the next hilarious encounter.
……The cast are very well rehearsed in their parts as the laughs came from the audience frequently. It was also obvious to me that they were enjoying performing the play as much as the audience enjoyed watching them.The Guildbury Theatre company should be very proud of themselves as they have produced a slick rendering of On the Razzle for Guildford to enjoy……..A triumph for the company and for The Electric Theatre and I highly recommend a visit.’
REVIEW by Pauline Surrey. N.O.D.A. Read the full review – NODA – reviews
‘A play the cast and production team so obviously delighted in…… Excellent in all respects…..A gem of a play……It really is the play that keeps on giving.’
On the Razzle is a rampaging romp of a farce set in Old Vienna, but having been written by Tom Stoppard, it is also a delight to the ear….. The puns, the malapropisms, the witty remarks came so thick and fast, it was difficult to keep up….. A gem of a play.
I was absolutely transported back to Vienna, a city I love, by the 4 different skilfully crafted and authentic sets…..I have to say that not only the set, but also the cast with their finely-honed performances were able to transport me back to Vienna, that status-obsessed but yet charming city. Robert Sheppard gave us a wonderfully over-confident Herr Zangler. Jason Orbaum has the deferent Herr Weinberl down to perfection….a brilliant performance!
….Gilly Fick makes a superb Madame Knorr, all flamboyance and Big Hat – one senses that she will make mincemeat of her future husband, Herr Zangler! Kathryn Attwood is a fine Frau Fischer – eagerly taking up the reins of the situation in discovering her new ‘husband’ in the shape of Herr Weinberl. She flirts very well with her eyes, and a genuine affection between the two ensues. Claire Racklyeft romps through all the disastrous near-miss situations with a joyous depiction of Christopher, our newly promoted ex-apprentice, thoroughly delighted by these adventures on the razzle. Graham Russell-Price, the opportunistic randy coachman, and Louise Johnson as Lisette, his catch, the French maid, produce much hilarity.
Seamstresses must have spent weeks sewing the wonderful costumes, and hats… a superb effort by Diane Nichols and her team, which really enhanced the audience’s enjoyment of the show. Of course, Ian Nichols, the Director, is to be lauded as always for his fine touch, a wonderful piece of work.
…..So, a play I will never tire of watching, a play the cast and production team so obviously delighted in. Excellent in all respects.
Guildburys triumphant return to Cornwall’s beautiful Minack Theatre!
2013 saw Guildburys production of ‘Tartuffe’ play to packed houses at The Minack and in August 2016, fresh from a successful run at their summer home open air at Waverley Abbey House in Farnham, Guildburys Theatre Company returned to perform at The Minack Theatre, bringing The Merry Wives of Windsor to life on its spectacular stage.
The cast and crew are shown in this spectacular aerial image designed and photographed by Phill Griffith.
The show sold out before it opened and we had a fantastic run!
See the Minack show images and review here
Jenni Balow – Minack Theatre critic. This production by the Surrey based Guildburys, directed by Rob Sheppard, looks and feels absolutely right. It is fast-paced and its actors clearly relish their traditional comic roles, with Welsher-than-Welsh parson (Mike Lawrence) sparring with a leek as Frenchman (Phill Griffith) comes at him with a baguette!
Mistress Meg Page (Laura Sheppard) engages all of us with her gleeful skipping as she ‘tee-hees’ with her close friend and ally Mistress Ford (Tessa Duggleby) over plans to get their own back, when Falstaff targets the two married women, ” looking for entertainment and sovereigns”.
Costumier Diane Nichols has chosen an array of toning tunics and robes ranging from peach to cherry red to match the shining nose and cheeks of Sir John (Ian Nichols) who looks the part as the “fat knight” in fine brocade, swathed in white as the Witch of Brentford, and finally with quivering antlers as he realises that he’s not really a deer, but an ass.
Frank Ford (Jonathan Arundel) makes us laugh with more disguise as Brook, along with George Page (Dave Ufton) and the dashing Fenton (Oliver Bruce) in orange ribbon breeches.
Ian and his team also designed the simple set, persuading us that we are in Tudor Windsor, with oak beams in the background, and a very fine castle indeed.
A chorus of Elizabethan-sounding songs composed by Tamara Douglas-Morris is tunefully sung by Amy de Roche, Hatty Lawrence, Lizzie Burton and Kim Ferguson.
This is a very Merry production, enhanced by Rob Sheppard’s programme full of historical information, and is a fitting fourth play by Shakespeare to be presented at the Minack this season, reminding us of his remarkable writing 400 years since his death.
A view of the glorious setting in which we performed – simply stunning !
Picnic Theatre is special – the perfect summer evening Open Air at Waverley Abbey House, Farnham.
“A fantastic production with plenty of humour! Thoroughly enjoyed by the whole family.”
With excellent reviews, and huge enjoyment all round our audiences toasted the summer in the company of some of Shakespeare’s most colourful characters, including the infamously lovable rogue, Sir John Falstaff whose schemes and plots are spectacularly foiled by the wit and the guile of two of the most merry of Merry Wives.
A SELECTION OF COMMENTS ON THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR FROM OUR AUDIENCE SURVEY
‘Guildburys Theatre Co. put on excellent shows with fine acting, clever staging and sets and amazing costumes. The Picnic Theatre is always enjoyable, come rain or shine and the grounds of Waverley Abbey House are the perfect setting for such events.’
‘We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening to be outdoors and rewarded with such a great performance of ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’. What an impressive cast and so delightfully performed.’
“The performance was excellent and the setting was perfect’
‘Magical experience. First time attended Guildbury play and found acting excellent and spoken so clearly. Enjoyed relaxed atmosphere and being able to enjoy picnic on grass whilst watching play completed a memorable day. Thank you.’
An excellent cast as always gave a great performance. Guildburys presented this masterfully plotted comedy that storms ahead at a furious pace, with excellent characterisation, wonderful accents, great fellowship of women, and believable young lovers triumphing over mercenary interests. A merry night was had by all! SURREY ADVERTISER
‘Under the direction of Robert Sheppard all the players fully developed Shakespeare’s large array of colourful characters…..Ian Nichols is every inch the perfect Falstaff, both in looks, stance and demeanor. Laura Sheppard’s Mistress Page is indeed a merry soul while Tessa Duggleby’s Mistress Ford is a rather more restrained lady, but then who wouldn’t be with a possessive and humourless husband’ FARNHAM HERALD
Production photography John Sherringham – Front of House Photography
Original music composed for the production by Tamara Douglas-Morris
Click on our video to see more !
With 5 star reviews, innovative staging set against a post apocalyptic backdrop, Guildburys stylish interpretation of this fascinating play added to the intrigue that is Beckett’s masterpiece. A play that famously bemuses and amuses whilst challenging every answer the audience comes up with certainly lived up to its reputation. Described as a play where nothing happens twice, plenty happened constantly and it won over a whole new audience – as it never fails to do.
REVIEW – Essential Surrey
“Don’t wait! Go to see the Guildburys Theatre Company’s brilliant production of this classic Beckett play at the Electric Theatre….. The back and forth between Didi (Dave Ufton) and Gogo (Tim Brown) is brilliantly handled by both actors. …… Phill Griffith as Pozzo delivers a masterly performance…. Tom Kent as Lucky, unusually performs the important ‘thinking’ speech with bravura and eloquence……. The power relationships amongst the characters are handled by Oli Bruce the director with tremendous humour and much slapstick.” Read the Essential Surrey Review in full here
REVIEW – Surrey Advertiser
“The Guildburys production of this intriguing play allows a fine cast to perplex us, to amuse us, and to make us think. About all kinds of things. About relationships; about being alone; about who is dependent on whom; about nature; about fate; about being happy; about being bored; about being needed; about the passing of time; about memory; about existence. It is a very comic play, but also a sad glimpse into 5 lives. Beckett described it as a tragi-comedy.
Director Oli Bruce has achieved a long-standing dream of staging Godot, aided by the reliably excellent Guildburys team of actors we have come to expect. A fine evening, great fun, and I’m still thinking about it now! Not to be missed. I look forward to the Guildburys next production at the Electric Theatre in November -Tom Stoppard’s hilarious ‘On the Razzle’.
REVIEW – Sardines Magazine
Ufton and Brown were a brilliant double act, particularly in their moments of slapstick but also during more sombre moments.Griffith brought a manic urgency to the (lack of) proceedings, commanding the barren wasteland like a steampunk circus ringmaster and having Gogo and Didi engrossed in his tales.
Kent has a truly beautiful speaking voice, no doubt made more appealing following the incredibly long silence that preceded it. Contrasted with Griffith’s more egomaniacal presence, this was another pair that worked very well together. The final member of the cast, Jordan Gunner as Godot’s messenger boy, well-spoken and more youthful than the rest. A fine young actor who, based on his two brief appearances, will no doubt go on to more prominent roles in the future.
But this particular production in the hands of Oli Bruce was absolutely excellent and a real triumph – I can’t wait to see what he does next… (I’ll get my own coat) Sardines Magazine review in full here
Production images Mike Lawrence – click to view our video
Guildburys production of Daphne Du Maurier’s iconic tale, adapted for the stage by Lisa Evans, received rave reviews, and was thoroughly enjoyed by the large numbers who came to see it. With strong performances from the principles, supported by a talented ensemble and an innovative narrative chorus, this was a brave and exciting production with a clear vision. The striking set, original music and evocative lighting combined to make this a really memorable show.
Mary Yellan’s journey across the bleak Bodmin Moor, fulfilling her dying mother’s wish that she stays with her Aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn is the start of a nightmare. She finds her Aunt a broken woman, married to the brutish Joss Merlyn. Jamaica Inn exudes a brooding malevolence, drawing Mary unwillingly into the dark deeds of her Uncle Joss and his murderous accomplices as she falls dangerously in love with a man she dare not trust.
“Great Clarity and atmosphere….. wonderfully inventive, stepped beyond the cautiousness of many amateur productions”
“A brilliant evening’s entertainment… exemplifies the best of amateur dramatic productions…. the ensemble scenes are faultless…. an experienced and talented dramatic group”
All show image photography Phill Griffith
With some of the Bard’s most oft quoted lines and many of his best loved characters, this production was a delight, as Guildburys returned to perform in the gardens of Haslemere Educational Museum – a wonderfully intimate venue with a picturesque outlook over Black Down. The area is all grass and the formal lawn offers a great picnic area. The play itself is a classic –
A cross-dressing, ship-wreck surviving, poetry-loving girl who finds herself at the centre of a not-so-average love triangle.
What’s not to love ? Who’s not to love?
Who could not fail to be entranced ?
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
“If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it….”
“Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.”
Twelfth Night followed our tradition of
Plays with Picnics, Pimms and Pure Pleasure.
Guildburys were delighted to return to perform again at Haslemere Museum
To see general information for Guildbury audiences at Haslemere Museum including picnic details,opening times, weather policy and more please click here
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
“If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it….”
“Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.”
Love or knowledge – which would YOU choose?
Jessica Swale’s first play, ‘Blue Stockings’, premiered to great acclaim at The Globe theatre in 2013 and depicts the battle that women fought to be permitted to graduate from Girton College, Cambridge. Set during a tumultuous academic year between 1896-97, the play follows feisty Tess Moffat and 3 of her fellow students as they join the vanguard of women’s education. Tess studies hard, dances the can-can, has her heart broken and passionately embraces education, but unlike her male counterparts she is denied a degree. The Girton Girls fight to become bachelors rather than spinsters, but the establishment will grant them nothing – save the title of an unmarriageable ‘blue stocking’. Tess outrages everyone as she publicly challenges the visiting Dr Maudsley’s proposition that ‘hysteria is the product of women’s lack of moral judgment’, and as the leading psychiatrist of the period, (after whom the hospital is named), Tess’s challenge is nothing short of scandalous. But worse still – she champions science against the arts and refuses to accept the choice between love and knowledge imposed by her teachers.
‘An intelligent, thought-provoking work’ Tim Walker, Daily Telegraph
Audience comments on Guildburys’ production
Magnificent. I was privileged to be there last night. The performance was excellent and beautifully presented by all !!!
Was at last night’s performance with a group of friends and we all thought it was a terrific show, very thought-provoking, well-acted and well staged. We agreed, too, that the scenery changes were fascinating!
Excellent job, congratulations to all on an excellent production.
Thought-provoked and emotionally stirred by tonight’s performance of Blue Stockings. Well done.
Really enjoyed it tonight – even if I did want to punch the men!
Great production tonight, super performances. I absolutely LOVED the scene changes. Not just for the clarient. They were so…graceful. It was a mini choreography treat between each scene. Just glorious.
Production photography Phill Griffith
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at The Electric Theatre, Guildford
A play by David Edgar based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson.
London. 1886. Autumn. The streets of the city, swirling with yellow fog, are chill and gloomy. Stalking them is the monstrous Edward Hyde, a murderous brute who seems to appear and disappear at will.
The lawyer, Gabriel Utterson, becomes increasingly caught up in the mystery, eventually making the horrifying discovery that Hyde is the alter ego of his client and friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, who has been secretly conducting an investigation into the darkest recesses of the
human mind. But as Hyde’s exploits become ever more horrifying and Jekyll’s ability to control his experiments diminishes at an equally frightening rate, Utterson finds himself caught up in a twisted tale of nerve-jangling horror that can end only in tragedy.This adaptation of Stevenson’s classic gothic horror story, with its fascinating study of the diversity of man’s psyche, was the perfect treat for an autumn evening at the theatre.
REVIEW – The Surrey Advertiser
“The company’s interpretation of Edgar’s characters was excellent…… this was a demanding play produced by an ambitious and talented company”
“Jonathan Arundel accomplished the change with admirable subtlety, particularly in the later stages of his impending permanent transformation.
Georgie Wilkins as Annie…. deserves a special mention for her spirited and humorous interpretation of the character”
REVIEW – N.O.D.A.
“This adaptation of Stevenson’s story by David Edgar was brilliantly scripted and the director brought out the very human and personal tragedy that followed. A gruesome tale but a very absorbing evening…… Rob Sheppard‘s direction of this well know play was superb, complemented by a very talented cast.The dual role of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Jonathan Arundel) required tremendous skill.
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Production photography Phill Griffith. Click on a gallery thumbnail to enlarge
“The whole cast were absolutely brilliant and not a weak actor in sight…….. Every cast member was brilliant. If I was to write about everyone, saying how good they were, I would be writing a book instead of a review ……Top marks. Director Ian Nichols ought to show the professional companies how it’s done…… I came away from Waverley absolutely enthralled, making a note to come back again next year.
If you missed this must-see spectacular, then Guildburys are performing the whole thing again in the grounds of Haslemere museum from the 31st July until the 2nd of August. Give yourself a treat and go along, you won’t be disappointed.”
BOB HEATHER – Sardines magazine
Read the full review here SARDINES MAGAZINE REVIEW
Following their performances of Macbeth at Waverley Abbey House in Farnham, Guildburys took this exciting production to the beautiful grounds of Haslemere Museum from July 31st – August 2nd .
Performing at Haslemere was a very exciting development for us, enabling us to bring our flagship summer show to a beautiful new venue and to a much wider audience.
‘Fair is foul, and foul is fair’