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Posts Tagged Guildburys show archive

Shows 1963 – present

This page lists Past Productions in chronological order. Scroll down to see a full list of all our archived shows.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

One Night in November

Waiting for Godot

On the Razzle




Guildburys Theatre Company have been staging plays in Surrey since 1963 and the company has an enviable reputation for high quality productions and well crafted live shows.

Whatever we produce, from local festival shows, to those further afield at the Minack in Cornwall & the Edinburgh Fringe, to our main productions at the Electric Theatre and annual PicnicTheatre summer productions performed open air around Surrey in Farnham, Guildford and Haslemere, you are assured of superb entertainment and a great night out.

An asterisk * denotes a festival production. Click on the show link to see details of a particular show

2018 Dracula November The Electric Theatre
2018 Anne Boleyn July Waverley Abbey House/Merrist Wood
2018 All My Sons April The Electric Theatre
2017 One Night in November November The Electric Theatre
2017 Nell Gwynn July Waverley Abbey House
2017 The Lady in the Van May The Electric Theatre
2016 On The Razzle December The Electric Theatre
2016 The Merry Wives of Windsor August The Minack, Cornwall
2016 The Merry Wives of Windsor July Waverley Abbey House
2016 Waiting for Godot April The Electric Theatre
2015 Jamaica Inn November The Electric Theatre
2015 Twelfth Night August Haslemere Museum
2015 Twelfth Night July Waverley Abbey House
2015 Blue Stockings March The Electric Theatre
2014 Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde November The Electric Theatre
2014 Macbeth August Haslemere Museum
2014 Macbeth July Waverley Abbey House
2014 Ten Times Table April The Electric Theatre
2013 The Locked Room November The Electric Theatre
2013 Tartuffe August The Minack, Cornwall
2013 Tartuffe July Farnham Castle
2013 Dancing at Lughnasa April The Electric Theatre
2012 The Royal Baccarat Scandal November The Electric Theatre
2012 The Marriage of Figaro July Farnham Castle
2012 The Memory of Water April The Electric Theatre
2011 The Ghost Train November The Electric Theatre
2011 Mixed Doubles * October Rhoda McGaw
2011 As You Like It July Farnham Castle
2011 Burnt by the Sun March The Electric Theatre,
2010 Private Fears in Public Places November The Electric Theatre
2010 The Taming of the Shrew July Farnham Castle
2010 The Titfield Thunderbolt March The Electric Theatre
2009 Hobson’s Choice November The Electric Theatre
2009 The Comedy of Errors July Farnham Castle
2009 After Mrs Rochester March The Electric Theatre
2008 Great Expectations November The Electric Theatre
2008 The Servant of Two Masters July Farnham Castle
2008 A Dog’s Life * May Festival winner
2008 Time and the Conways April The Electric Theatre
2008 The Government Inspector  March The Electric Theatre
2007 Playhouse Creatures November The Electric Theatre
2007 After Midnight before Dawn* October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
2007 Much Ado About Nothing July Farnham Castle
2007 The Government Inspector March The Electric Theatre
2006 Pygmalion November The Electric Theatre
2006 Bar & Ger * October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
2006 Frankenstein August Edinburgh Fringe
2006 Two Gentlemen of Verona July Farnham Castle
2006 Vanity Fair April The Electric Theatre
2005 Comfort and Joy December The Electric Theatre
2005 The Importance of Being Earnest July Farnham Castle
2005 Deckchairs * June Rhoda McGaw Theatre
2005 Frankenstein April The Electric Theatre
2004 Chorus of disapproval November The Electric Theatre
2004 Nobody here but us Chickens * October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
2004 Loves Labours Lost July Farnham Castle
2004 Rebecca March The Electric Theatre
2003 The Owl & the Pussycat went to See November The Electric Theatre
2003 A Midsummers Night’s Dream July Farnham Castle
2003 The way we live now * June The Electric Theatre
2003 Billy Liar March The Electric Theatre
2002 Blythe Spirit November The Electric Theatre
2002 Conversations with a Golliwog * October Rhoda McGaw
2002 Canterbury Tales July Farnham Castle
2002 Long away & far ago * April The Electric Theatre
2001 The Great Coarse Acting Show October The Electric Theatre
2001 The River * October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
2001 The Beggar’s Opera July Farnham Castle
2001 Arcadia April The Electric Theatre
2000 Death & the Maiden December The Electric Theatre
2000 Jack * October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
2000 The Merchant of Venice July Farnham Castle
2000 Blue Remembered Hills April The Electric Theatre
1999 A Flea in her Ear December The Electric Theatre
1999 Cat on A Hot Tin Roof December The Electric Theatre
1999 Can You Hear The Music?* October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1999 Twelfth Night July Farnham Castle
1999 Three Sisters April The Electric Theatre
1999 Birdsong January The Mill Studio
1998 Birdsong* October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1998 As You Like It July Farnham Castle
1997 A Kind Of Alaska* October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1997 Cold Comfort Farm October The Electric Theatre
1997 The Rivals July Farnham Castle
1997 King Lear April Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1996 The Crucible November The Mill Studio, Guildford
1996 Antigone August Edinburgh Festival
1996 The Comedy of Errors July Farnham Castle
1996 Antigone April The Mill Studio
1996 Les Liaisons Dangereuses March Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1995 Antigone* October
1995 Dame Agatha’s Greatest Case October – December Touring (multiple venues)
1995 The Country Wife July Farnham Castle
1995 Season’s Greetings January Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1994 The Orchestra* October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1994 A Midsummer Night’s Dream July Farnham Castle
1994 Amadeus March Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1994 Murder at the Music Hall February – March Touring (multiple venues)
1993 The Dresser December
1993 The Last Days of Don Juan July Farnham Castle
1992 Equus December
1992 Tom Jones July Farnham Castle
1991 The 15 Minute Hamlet October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1991 The Merry Wives of Windsor June Farnham Castle
1990 Twelfth Night July Farnham Castle
1989 Miss Julie*
1989 Sufficient Carbohydrate
1988 Loot
1988 Miss Julie*
1988 Olde Tyme Music Hall
1987 Flowering Cherry Ben Travers Theatre
1987 Olde Tyme Music Hall
1987 Way Upstream Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1986 Confusions* October Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1986 The Happiest Days of Your Life July Ben Travers Theatre, Charterhouse
1986 Olde Tyme Music Hall February – October Touring (multiple venues)
1985 Rumplestiltskin December – January George Abbott School Guildford
1985 The Roaring Twenties November-December Touring (multiple venues)
1984 Camelot November-December Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1984 Olde Tyme Music Hall July
1984 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie March Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1984 Hamlet February – March Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1983 Olde Tyme Music Hall December
1983 Canterbury Tales June – July Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1982 Olde Tyme Music Hall December
1982 Half a Sixpence June – July Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1982 Waiting For Godot February Bellerby Theatre Guildford
1981 The Merry Wives of Windsor November-December
1981 Salad Days July Albury/Onslow
1981 Olde Tyme Music Hall February Reeds School, Cobham
1980 Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves December Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1980 Olde Tyme Music Hall November Royal Grammar School, Guildford
1980 Sleuth May Bellerby Theatre , Guildford
1980 Two Stars For Comfort May Bellerby Theatre , Guildford
1979 The World Of Sweeney Todd Nov -Dec Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1979 The Merchant of Venice July & August Rhoda McGaw Theatre The Minack theatre Cornwall
1979 A Phoenix Too Frequent* March – May – June Drama Festivals
1978 Riders to the Sea
1978 Gigi December Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1978 Olde Tyme Music Hall December
1978 Macbeth May Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1977 Olde Tyme Music Hall
1977 Jack and The Beanstalk December Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1977 Semi Detached May Touring (multiple venues)
1977 The Collection March – June Touring (multiple venues)
1976 Cabaret December Rhoda McGaw Theatre
1976 Conduct Unbecoming (*also festival entry) May Touring (multiple venues)
1975 After Magritte*
1975 The Snow Queen November-December Touring (multiple venues)
1975 Fiddler On the Roof July Touring (multiple venues)
1974 My Fair Lady
1974 Indians May Touring (multiple venues)
1974 Muwich February
1974 Pickwick January Civic Hall, Guildford
1973 The Bald Prima Donna*
1973 Not Now Darling November Touring (multiple venues)
1973 Hello Dolly July Civic Hall, Guildford
1973 Under Milkwood May Touring (multiple venues)
1973 Muwich March
1972 Interview* Touring (multiple venues)
1972 West Side Story December Civic Hall, Guildford
1972 Salad Days July Touring (multiple venues)
1971 Aladdin December Touring (multiple venues)
1971 Close The Coalhouse Door July Touring (multiple venues)
1971 A United Family* March Walton & Weybridge Drama Festival
1970 Camelot December Touring (multiple venues)
1970 Oh What A Lovely War* December Touring (multiple venues)
1970 Black Comedy & Seven Years On June Touring (multiple venues)
1969 Zip Goes a Million July Touring (multiple venues)
1969 At The Turn Of the Tide*/The Lesson*/ The Audition* – multiple category festival entries + touring April Touring (multiple venues)
1968 Reluctant Heroes December
1968 Follow that Girl July Onslow
1968 Something We Eight April Touring (multiple venues)
1968 Master Of Two Servants* March Walton & Weybridge Drama Festival
1967 Robinson Crusoe December Touring (multiple venues)
1967 Paint Your Wagon July Touring (multiple venues)
1966 Puss In Boots December Touring (multiple venues)
1966 Free As Air
1965 1066 and all That
1964 Curry Favours
1963 Not Much Cop


The Ghost Train. December 2012

Stranded in a lonely Cornish railway station late at night an ill-assorted group of characters find themselves caught up in the eerie tale of a spectral train and the series of startling events that its imminent appearance sets in motion.

The Ghost Train is a thrilling and chilling suspense drama with plenty of twists and turns and it certainly kept everyone guessing to the very end. Its special effects were unrivalled in its day and the dramatic appearance of the Ghost Train itself is a spectacular piece of theatre; a spooky evening out that had audiences on the edge of their seats.

In the run-up to Christmas, Guildburys were delighted to join forces with the Rotary Club of Guildford district to raise funds for Disability challengers and an evening performance was dedicated to doing just that, raising £1675.

Audience comments

‘Fabulous show yesterday evening. We all really enjoyed it very much. Congratulations to you, all the cast and, of course, to all who remain unseen behind the stage.’

Might I say that I really enjoyed “The Ghost Train.” My companions and I had a lovely evening at the Electric Theatre watching this. It was a really entertaining and suspenseful production! We all had a great time.

REVIEW. Tinx Newton, Surrey Advertiser

‘In the words of the director, Rob Sheppard, ‘The Ghost Train is a good old fashioned yarn of the kind that used to be found in boys’ comics, magazines and annuals’. Written by Arnold Ridley and was first performed at Brighton’s Theatre Royal in 1925.
The play is set in a Cornish railway station which in this production was beautifully designed by Ian Nichols and evoked an air of old-fashioned charm. Into this rather stark room of muted creams and browns tumble a nervous band of travellers who have been marooned in the late evening with so sign of a train until the early hours. We learn that the nearest house is 5 miles away and that it is inconceivable that the ladies in their finest clothes could walk that far.
The play took a little while to warm up on the night I went, a bit like the chilly railway station, but once the cast got their confidence the action rolled along at a hearty pace.
It is hard to pick out a particular star amongst this very able cast, but Pam Hemelryk, as the prudish Miss Bourne who gets tipsy after a hearty sip from a hip flask, had the audience in stitches and seemed completely at ease on stage. She has the knack of cutting across a conversation making it all the more convincing, and she managed to lie still on a table for nearly a whole act – possibly a dream role for some!
With a mix of old fashioned ham, tension and some comedy The Ghost Train continues to amuse and delight audiences. It is a great choice for an amateur group with its range of very different characters and plenty of scope for ambitious set design, lighting and of course dramatic sound effects. The Guildburys tackled all of these with their usual enthusiasm and gusto.’


The set, a simple effective 1920’s railway waiting room was designed by  Ian Nichols and  constructed by Stage Manager Michael Burne assisted by Mike Dean and Brian Meldrum. Robert Sheppard directed this fast moving production of The Ghost Train, about a spooky train crash which happened many years ago and is re-enacted every year at the same hour, well assisted by the cast who kept up the pace of the play in a very professional manner.  All the actors played their parts in a convincing manner creating the required tension.
Special mentions of the station master Mark Ashdown (Saul Hodgkin) with his superb Cornish accent, Pam Hemelryk (Miss Bourne) as the tipsy, very hilarious lady with a liking for brandy and Eddie Woolrich (Teddie Deakin) in the comic part. A highlight was the convincing acting of Claire Racklyeft (Julia Price) when the train was about to arrive.
Overall this was an excellent production enjoyed by the audience and made for a good evening’s entertainment
Well done to the entire cast.

Production photography Phill Griffith

Click on a thumbnail to see the full sized image



As You Like It. July 2011

As You Like It runs the glorious gamut of pastoral romance with cross-dressing and love-notes, poetry and brilliant conversation, gentle satire, slapstick and passion.


The director of the 2011 version of As You Like It loved the play so much that she As You Like It Flyernamed her daughter after Shakespeare’s eponymous heroine, Rosalind! Performed open air with the castle walls as a backdrop the play was a perfect choice, transporting the audience into the magical woodland setting of the Forest of Arden.

‘My wife & I love Guildburys at Farnham Castle. They act with such passion and commitment. We always sit in the front row as I like to see their eyes and faces. I get drawn in to the play. I am not learned in Shakespeare and do not profess to understand all of the text but the passion, power and delivery of the story draws me in so that I laugh and cry until the end. Above all Guildburys do not let the weather diminish their performance, in fact they utilise it to enhance the story. We will continue to see Guildburys at Farnham for as long as we are able.’

Mr P Adams. 2011 Audience survey

Prize draw to win champagne and tickets to this show was won by Mrs K Hayes

July 13 – 16 2011

Click on a thumbnail to see the full sized image

Burnt by the Sun. March 2011

This was the first production of this critically acclaimed play since it was premiered at The National Theatre in 2009. An outstanding success for Guildburys !

Mr and Mrs J.S. wrote :

I really have to write straight away to say how superb your production of this play is.Such a moving,thought-provoking play, exactly what the theatre is all about. But above all, what a marvellous production and performance. My husband and I try to attend all Guildbury performances and have done for many many years, because we know you set yourselves very high standards indeed. And tonight’s performance was the Crowning Glory, as far as we are concerned. Top class performances all round, a totally excellent cast.

Couldn’t have seen better at the National, I’m quite sure of that!

The Electric Theatre, Guildford
March 30 – April 2, 2011

Production photographs © Guildburys Rob Sheppard

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Private Fears in Public Places. November 2010


“Director Colin Orbaum was fully aware of the challenges ahead when he chose this play. He felt sure he could present a strong cast and this he did. In a nutshell this production was well cast, rehearsed and well delivered.”

The pace was good and the constant movement around the stage kept the audience attentive and intrigued.Claire Racklyeft presented a strong presence as an ambitios young lady frustrated by her out of work fiancee Dan. Michael Lawrence as Dan was an affable drunk. Andrew Donovan played the lonely estate agent Stewart with endearing sensitivity. Kathryn Attwood was sweetly convincing as his sister, desperately looking for love.The most complex character of all was Charotte. Charlotte’s actions affected, directly or indirectly, with purpose or without, the lives of all those around her. Classic Ayckbourn who believes that ‘ we are all walk on parts in other people’s lives’

Well done Guildburys.

Tinx Newton – Surrey Advertiser

The Electric Theatre, Guildford.
November 24 – 27
Production photographs © Guildburys Peter Chapman

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The Taming of the Shrew. July 2010



Guildburys celebrated their 21st year at the castle in style with this new adaptation of Shakespeare’s much loved tale of the battle of the sexes. The stormy relationship between the colourfully eccentric Petruchio and his scornful and unwilling bride Katharina was played against the magnificent castle backdrop, transformed into an Elizabethan playhouse – home to The Lord Bishop’s company – whose boisterous actors were to be found carousing in the adjacent Blue Boar Tavern, (complete with comely serving wenches !) as they waited for Master Shakespeare to complete the final scene of his play.

The weather may not have been as kind as it could have been, but it did nothing to dampen the enjoyment and loyalty of capacity audiences.

Farnham Castle July 14- 17  2010

Production photographs © Guildburys Peter Chapman

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The Titfield Thunderbolt. March 2010


This Guildburys production didn’t disappoint and  we knew that we were in for an entertaining couple of hours.I had been looking forward to this production & I wondered how they could stage a version of this 1950’s Ealing comedy.  The setting was simple and  Ian Nichols’ set  props  and Simon Price’s lighting and sound design were undoubted stars of this production. Titfield Thunderbolt Guildburys Theatre

Period was also perfectly created by Diane Nichols’ costumes which accurately captured the austerity of the early fifties but still with the obligatory matching shoes and bag and doubtless a net petticoat to puff out the full skirted dress.The cast worked well as an ensemble, all striving to be true to the Ealing comedy genre, keeping tongues firmly in cheeks.

A rattling pace was sustained throughout and culminated in the cast singing their curtain-call with gusto.  This was Director Gilly Fick’s first production and, this being so, I certainly look forward to her next one!

Jenny Haynes –  Pranksters Theatre

The Electric Theatre Guildford March 17- 20  2010

Production photographs © Guildburys Philip Griffith

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Hobson’s Choice. November 2009

Guildburys were delighted for the first time to be associated with The Rotary Club of Guildford district and the performance on November 4th raised funds for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Guildburys’ charity partners in Farnham.

The performance raised £1500 for the hospice.

Review of Hobson’s Choice. Jeff Thomson Surrey Advertiser theatre critic.

It was a full house when I joined the audience for “Hobson’s Choice” by Harold Brighouse at the Electric Theatre, Guildford – the Guildbury’s latest production. It is a strong play that has survived numerous interpretations and pivots around Maggie, ‘thirty years old and a bit on the ripe side for marriage’ and her domineering father, Henry. Laura Sheppard, as Maggie, was feisty but with a self-deprecating sense of self; Ian Nichols, as Henry, blustered and cajoled until he is seen as crushed into a form of compliance. Both players tackled their roles with conviction.

There is a third and key component. Willie Mossop (Andrew Donovan) is a reluctant ‘love interest’ – but it is Mossop who is the catalyst for Maggie’s ambition and ultimately that of Henry’s submission too. Under Colin Orbaum’s meticulous direction, Donovan offered a well-observed performance that grew plausibly in stature. The success lay in an unhurried decision to retain Mossop’s diffident beginnings but to carefully mark each step of his journey to successful businessman. The result was pleasantly believable.

This production offered many satisfying moments; Laura Sheppard’s ‘nervousness’ as she confronted her Father, replicating a tremulous voice that gained in power. Ian Nichols’ body posturing as he sought to dominate the family. It was, however, the simple tenderness of the proposal scene that remains with me – two chairs upstage with Maggie and Willie facing out. There could only be one outcome – his bewildered acceptance to her offer of marriage; sensitively directed and beautifully realised.

The final curtain attracted sustained applause from the capacity audience.

The Electric Theatre Guildford November 4 – 7 2009

Production photographs © Guildburys Phill Griffith

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The Comedy of Errors. July 2009

A sell out success at Farnham Castle July 15-18 2009


OPEN-AIR theatre is always special, whatever the weather. As long as you have someone special to cuddle up with and a well-performed piece to keep you warm through the driving showers you are bound to enjoy the show.

That was the case on Friday evening when the Guildburys came to the moat at Farnham Castle for their twentieth year.

Renowned for their high quality productions this year was no exception with a fabulously staged Shakespeare play, ‘The Comedy of Errors’. This is not necessarily Shakespeare’s best, but none the less full of poignant comedy, mistaken identity, glorious English style slapstick, farce, puns and elegant wordplay.

The performance that most stood out for me was that of Dromio of Ephesus the indigenous servant of Antipholus played by Luke Owen. His comic timing was superb and really brought out the fool in his character. Angelo, the goldsmith played by Michael Lawrence was also another highlight of the show. He brought more comedy with his somewhat camp performance of the artisan..

Paul Blowers, Farnham Herald

Some of the many fantastic comments from our audience survey during the show

“The show was excellent. It was an extremely good production. We enjoyed everything about it and will come again next year…..”

“We thoroughly enjoyed the show at Farnham Castle on Friday evening and would definitely want to know of future productions as we have every intention to go to other of your shows”

“Exceeded all my expectations. Thanks very much for providing such a lovely experience.”

“It was absolutely superb!”

“Yet another brilliant performance and night!!”



Production photographs © Guildburys Philip Griffith

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After Mrs Rochester. March 2009

‘Guildburys is one of Surrey’s most adventurous and successful drama groups. An accomplished company brings a fast paced story to life with intelligence and verve”

Surrey Advertiser  ‘What’s On’


Polly Teal’s script for ‘After Mrs Rochester’ is stylistic and frequently surreal.  It is a challenge for any company but was confidently chosen by Guildburys for performance at the Electric Theatre, Guildford.

‘After Mrs Rochester’ was an ambitious choice for the company and was achieved with merit. The production had pace, atmosphere, and despite its complexity, a useful clarity. Centrally placed was Diane Nichols as the mature and alcoholic Jean Rhys. As Rhys she fragments before our eyes but her performance retained an integrity that anchored the production to the stage as we attempted to make sense of her drunken excesses. Sarah Evans played Rhys as a young woman, trying to make sense of parental abuse, her life and situation. She sustained a believable intensity of emotion that ranged from isolated neglect to hormonal hurricane.

Jeff Thomson – Theatre critic Surrey Advertiser

The Electric Theatre, Guildford
March 25-28 2009 – production photographs © Guildburys Phillip Griffith

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