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A new stage version devised & written by the company

Director Abigail Anderson

Designer Dora Schweitzer

Composer, Arranger & Musical Director Mary McAdam

Puppets by Elaine Hartley

Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales are a flagon-filled feast of fun, brimful with chivalric romance, beautiful maidens, swindling merchants, bawdy wives, flatulent monks, and posing the Wife of Bath’s timeless question: ‘What is it that women most desire?’

This October and November, we would be thrilled if you would join us in Guildford’s oldest building for our inaugural Autumn Season. Live music, puppetry and enchanting story-telling combine in an original production devised and written by the company, where every night the audience will decide the outcome!


Meet The Canterbury Tale-tellers!

Philip Benjamin

Bea Holland

Matt Pinches

Lauren Silver

Ben Tolley



If you see them around,

do say hello...or buy them a flagon of claret...

Philip Benjamin

Training: Drama Centre London

Theatre Credits include: The Mob (Orange Tree); Piaf (Sheffield Crucible); The Trumpet Major (Bridewell); Sleuth, The Importance of Being Earnest, Diaries of Adam and Eve, The Public Eye, Chapter Two, How the Other Half Loves, Marsh House, One for the Road, Absent Friends, Come Blow Your Horn, Roleplay, The Turn of the Screw, Private Lives (Frinton Summer Theatre);  The Master of Mayhem (Eastern Angles); And Then They Came For Me (Lyric Hammersmith Studio); Twelfth Night, The Tempest, The Taming of The Shrew (Sprite Productions); Don Quixote (Croydon Warehouse); A Christmas Carol, Oh, What a Lovely War! (Basingstoke Haymarket); The Snow Spider (Ovalhouse Theatre); The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (European Touring); A Study in Scarlet (Southwark Playhouse). TV: 55 Degrees North, Sherlock, and Doctors (BBC). Film credits: Hard Hat (Gangway Productions).

Bea Holland

Trained: National Youth Theatre, English & Drama University of Hull.

For GSC: Love's Not Time's Fool (Valentine's Day 2009)

Theatre includes : Jack and the Beanstalk (Southwark Playhouse); The RSPLB (Wilderness Festival); Cinderella (Corn Exchange, Newbury); The Trial (Watford Palace); Blood Wedding, Agamemnon, Children of Hercules, Oedipus, Androcles and The Lion and  Petite Rouge (Scoop, More London); Ladies Monthly (Trafalgar Studios); Sleeping Beauty (Greenwich); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Dubai); The False Corpse (Brighton Theatre Royal); Masks and Faces (Finborough); The Dog Beneath the Skin (BAC); Aesop’s Fables (Orange Tree); Julia Pastrana the Ugliest Woman in the World (Brighton Festival & national tour); Henry VIII (Bridewell); Newsrevue (Edinburgh & London); A Christmas Carol (BAC); 2:18 Underground (Lyric Studio, Hammersmith); Dancing at Lughnasa (Arts Theatre) & Love Life (Lost Musicals). TV includes: Writing & co-starring in Bea and Sam’s Big Spread (E4); Teenage Kicks, William and Mary, The Bill.

Matt Pinches

Trained: Bretton Hall.

For GSC: Co-Founder, appearing in all 23 productions. Highlights include: Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Cassio (Othello), Touchstone (As You Like It), 3rd Witch (Macbeth), Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Laertes (Hamlet), Tranio (The Taming of the Shrew), Launce (The Two Gentlemen of Verona). Directed by Tom Littler, Joanna Read, Anna Ledwich, Hannah Chissick, Charlotte Conquest and Caroline Devlin.

Other theatre includes: Spring Awakening (Theatre Royal, Bath); George’s Marvelous Medicine (Birmingham Stage); Anthem For Doomed Youth, Arabel’s Raven (Southampton Nuffield Theatre); A Perfect Match (Vienna’s English Theatre). Pantos include Chipping Norton, Newbury, Winchester, Barnstaple and Manchester Library. In his early career he spent seasons with Solent People’s Theatre, Action Transport and Forest Forge. Matt is also a former Associate Tutor of the University of Surrey.

Lauren Silver

Trained: Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh; she has also trained in clowning and comedy with Philippe Gaulier and Spymonkey’s Aitor Basauri.  

For GSC: Sonnet Walk 2: The Return! (2012)

Credits include Celia in As You Like Ish (Teasel Theatre), Marie Antoinette in I’m an Aristocrat, Get Me Out Of Here and Lotte in Grimm and Grimmer  (Gonzo Moose Theatre); Scarlet in Robin Hood (Dukes Theatre Lancaster); Dandini in Cinderella (The Theatre Chipping Norton), Hermaphrodite in The Games (Spike Theatre); Alice Woodman in Walking Through Windows (Liverpool Everyman/Playhouse); (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh). In 2015, Lauren will be appearing in the feature film of Wall by David Hare produced by the National Theatre. Lauren is an actor and musician from Liverpool.

Ben Tolley

Trained: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Theatre credits include Silvius in As You Like It, Young Siward in Macbeth and an Officer in The Changeling (Shakespeare at The Tobacco Factory); Jack in Pinafore Swing and Duffy in Matilda and Duffy’s Stupendous Space Adventure (Newbury Watermill Theatre); King Rat (Gatehouse Theatre in Stafford); Charles Dickens in Dickens and The Great Operatic Disaster (Southampton Nuffield Theatre); The Merman in Shanty Theatre Company’s Salty Socks of Dunkirk; Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol and The Sorcerer in the Snow Queen (Theatre in the Quarter, Chester).

Creative Team

Much like the acting company, fresh faces are in abundance here too. The fabulous Abi Anderson joins GSC to direct her first show with the company; Abi and GSC have been in close contact for many years and we're delighted that the perfect project has arisen for us to join forces. Designer Dora Schweitzer is also new to GSC, along with Production Manager Tamsin Rose, Deputy Stage Manager Danyal Shafiq, Lighting Designer Will Evans and Puppet Designer Elaine Hartley.

There are still a few familiar faces behind the scenes: Mary McAdam, GSC resident composer and MD, will be composing and arranging the music; Beth Sweeney returns as Assistant Stage Manager (last with us in Summer 2013); and Sound Designer Matt Eaton.

...and of course our very own Sarah will be producing, writing and generally being totally fabulous.


Tales & Ales

Wednesday 8 Oct, 7pm – 8.30pm (The Keystone Pub, Portsmouth Rd) FREE

Got a story? Share it! Like stories? Come hear some!

From Chivalry to Flatulence

Friday 17 October, 7.30pm (St Mary's Church, Quarry Street) £4

Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales are considered to be the earliest example of English Literature written in the English vernacular. Ahead of our brand new stage version, GSC's Matt Pinches, discusses the life of Chaucer and considers why the Tales continue to be so popular 700 years after they were written.

Guildford Tales

Tues 28 - Wed 29 October, 10am - 5pm (Holy Trinity Church Centre) £60 includes Wed matinee ticket

Young actors’ 2-day workshop for 10-17 yr olds, creating and performing their own Tale

Puppetry Workshop

Thurs 30 October, 10am - 5pm (Holy Trinity Church Centre) £30

Design, make and perform your own puppet show! For ages 6+

Post-Show Discusssion

Tuesday 4 November, after the evening performance FREE

Find out how we created this brand new version of Chaucer's Tales...and let us know what you think!

Audio Described Performance

Saturday 8 November, 2.30pm (normal matinee price, carers go free)

Blind or visually impaired patrons are given infra-red headsets to listen to live commentary of the performance. Described by GSC's resident Audio Describer Kerry Elkins. *Call the box office to make your booking*


Autumn 2014: The Canterbury Tales

23 October - 8 November

Evenings 7.30pm

Matinees 2.30pm (26 Oct, 1 & 8 Nov)

Running time 2hrs 30mins

(approx. including interval)


£21.00 Full Price

£17.50 Concessions (Over 60, under 16, Equity, NUS, Jobseekers, registered disabled)

£16.50 Matinees

£12.50 Preview

£65.00 Family (2 adults, 2 children under 16)

Special Offers

Groups: Buy 10 tickets, get 11th FREE

Telephone 01483 304384

(Box Office open 10am - 7.30pm; Mon-Sat. Not open Sundays)

Schools click here

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