The award-winning Guildford Shakespeare Company (GSC) are set to return to the town centre this Bank Holiday Weekend with a special outdoor theatre event.
Across the August Bank Holiday Weekend, GSC will be returning to the open air with a brand-new theatre production for live audiences.
Entitled THY ETERNAL SUMMER, the theatre company promises a celebration of Shakespeare, community and the joy of sharing a live theatre experience once again. The show, whose title comes from Sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day), will feature some of Shakespeare’s best-loved scenes and sonnets from plays including amongst others Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing.
The cast of 11 actors will also feature many faces familiar to GSC’s regular audiences. The professional theatre company have been working with Guildford Borough Council on the project who have given special permission for the event to go ahead as a pilot event to examine what safety protocols need to be in place for future live outdoor events.
MATT PINCHES, Co-Founder: “For all the right reasons, we have all had to reshape our summers this year, and whilst not being able to present our annual outdoor season was a huge blow for us, we are thrilled at the prospect of seeing our audiences again for these special performances. We’re indebted to Guildford Borough Council, with whom we have been closely working, to make this pilot event happen. Our audiences and artists are at the centre of everything we do, so naturally their safety is our top priority.”
Using UK Government and Public Health England guidelines, the theatre company have created extensive protocols to ensure public and staff safety. Using the principles of GSC’s popular Sonnet Walk Weekend, audience groups of no more than 25 will follow a prescribed route from Racks Close (off Quarry Street) to the Bandstand in the Castle Gardens. Each performance will last 75 minutes, and social distancing will be in force throughout. Seating will be provided at the three stopping points where the performances take place. The full range of protocols can be read on the GSC website.
MATT PINCHES: “We have all been living through an extreme period of unprecedented restrictions on our everyday lives, but we hope that the shared experience of attending a live event will be another step in helping our community continue to return to some form of normal.” It has been almost 6 months since GSC staged their last production (Macbeth in February), with their Spring and annual Summer Seasons being postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company (also a registered charity) have continued to entertain and engage during this time, delivering their award-winning education and well-being programmes via online platforms and virtual performances of Murder Mysteries and a much-celebrated production of The Wind in the Willows, attended by over 600 households from across the world.
Tickets for THY ETERNAL SUMMER are now general sale at www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk