As they celebrate their 15th birthday, Guildford Shakespeare Company kick-off their return to the stage with the irresistible comedy She Stoops to Conquer, in the gardens of Guildford Castle from 17th June to 3rd July.
Oliver Goldsmith’s magnificent Georgian play is one of the best-loved and most-performed of English comedies. This outdoor production transports the play to the 1930s country house world of Jeeves and Wooster, replete with fearsome aunts, hapless young men, determined debutantes and hilarious misunderstandings.
The play takes place over the course of a single night, when Marlow, a debonair man-about-town, is led to believe that his future bride’s rural family home (the Hardcastles, whom he has never met), is in fact a country inn. When confronted with the elegant Kate Hardcastle, Marlow’s swagger melts away, and so to conquer his heart and keep up the pretence, the tenacious Kate poses as a barmaid.
Director Tom Littler: “A year later than planned, I’m over the moon to return to Guildford Shakespeare Company with She Stoops to Conquer. Oliver Goldsmith’s evergreen comedy combines romance, farce, satire and wit. It’s a perfectly constructed play with memorable, larger-than-life characters. We’re relocating the action from the 18th century to the between-the-wars world of PG Wodehouse, so you can expect a jazzy night out under the stars.”
Tom Littler is the Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre, London, and returns to Guildford following his 2019 production of All’s Well That Ends Well (‘A beautiful, magical production. 5 stars doesn’t do it justice.’ – London Theatre 1), which was GSC’s first London transfer, and was nominated for five Off-West Awards.
It will have been 15 months since GSC’s last full-scale show (Macbeth, Feb 2020), and 21 months since their last open-air season. This will also be the theatre company’s 45th production, and returns to the venue where it began in 2006.
Matt Pinches (GSC Co-Founder and Producer): “GSC is a family, albeit a very large one! Every artist and audience member are part of our extended family, and like so many of us over the last year, we have missed our family very much. This moment has been a long-time coming, and we are taking every precaution to ensure our audiences, artists and staff are able to return safely with confidence to share once again the thrill and magic of live theatre in the open-air.”
In August last year GSC piloted Guildford’s only outdoor event in association with Guildford Borough Council, bringing over 800 people to the town’s Castle Gardens. During the last 12 months GSC have continued to stage original shows online, producing 9 live productions, seen by over 4000 households worldwide. Together with their ongoing education and outreach work, the theatre company created 145 jobs for freelance artists, and winning a number of local awards for their commitment to the community. In July, the same cast will move to Guildford’s now wooded former chalk quarry for Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT.
To book or for more details, please visit www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk