Open Air Theatre returns to Guildford

Published: 9 August 2020
Reporter: Sheila Connor

Thy Eternal Summer

Across the August Bank Holiday Weekend, Guildford Shakespeare Company will be returning to the open air with a new production for live audiences, Thy Eternal Summer, "a celebration of Shakespeare, community and the joy of sharing a live theatre experience once again."

The show, the title of which comes from Sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day"), will feature sonnets and scenes from plays including Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing with a cast of 11 actors.

The company has been working with Guildford Borough Council on this as a pilot event to examine what safety protocols need to be in place for future live outdoor events.

Co-founder Matt Pinches said, "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. Our audiences and artists are at the centre of everything we do, so naturally their safety is our top priority."

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.