Surrey’s premier open-air theatre company, Guildford Shakespeare Company, are revisiting two of their most requested shows.
HENRY V will be staged in promenade around Guildford Cathedral, whilst THE CANTERBURY TALES will unfold in the beautiful Stoke Park. HENRY V is Shakespeare’s triumphant story of victory against insurmountable odds, and a celebration of theatre’s electrifying power.
GSC’s acclaimed 2014 ★★★★★ “Phenomenal” production places just five actors centre stage. As night falls, together with “your imaginary forces”, they will conjure more than 30 characters into life, speak some of the Bard’s best-known words and transport audiences from London’s Whitehall to the mud and carnage of the Agincourt battlefield, via Southampton and the French court in Paris.
Guildford Cathedral will provide an awe-inspiring location, featuring an especially designed backdrop projected on to the building itself.
Adaptor/Director Caroline Devlin: “Having the Cathedral as a backdrop brings the epic, dangerous, action-packed, brutal yet redemptive story into blistering focus – the setting lets the thrilling themes of love and war truly resonate. As Henry and his men await their fate, the action of a 600-year-old battle doesn’t seem to have aged, as 5 – just 5 – actors bring Henry V back to life in 2023.”
In July the company relocate to their HQ in Stoke Park breathing new life into one of literature’s oldest set of stories in a gloriously fun-filled show. For 700 years tales of chivalry, romance and farting have sat side-by-side in Geoffrey Chaucer’s THE CANTERBURY TALES, delighting, surprising and bamboozling readers and audiences alike.
Revised and reworked for the open air with some new tales, treats and tricks, (GSC’s original ★★★★★ show was devised by the company in 2014), the show tells seven of the stories including the Knight’s, Miller’s and Wife of Bath’s Tale. Featuring original live music composed by Mary McAdam, puppetry, captivating storytelling, buckets of audience participation, and in keeping with Chaucer’s original concept of a contest, audiences will be asked to vote for their favourite tale at the end of every show. “This is matchless storytelling from a top-notch acting company” (Remotegoat.com).
Abigail Anderson returns to direct: “This is the perfect time to be bringing back our version of The Canterbury Tales because it brings people together for a joyful, live event which will leave everyone smiling and feeling like they’ve made a load of new friends. Our show celebrates the fact that performances, and audiences, are different every night. Join us to find out what will happen when YOU’RE in the audience!”
Matt Pinches (GSC Co-Founder) “We’re so excited to be revisiting these two knock-out shows. There is something for everyone this summer: huge belly-laughs, rousing speeches, silly slapstick, epic battles, projection, puppetry, and even a fart operetta! Story-telling is at the heart of theatre, and being transported by an inspirational story is a magical thing. We can’t wait to share magic with our audiences this summer.”
For more information and to book, visit www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk.