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Rehearsal Photography Steve Porter


17 January - 14 February 2015

Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Guildford

Approaching the end of a long and peaceful reign Lear proposes to divide his kingdom between his three daughters…but the size of their portion depends on the size of their declaration of love for him. When the answers are not what he expects, a tragedy begins that will take everyone to the brink of destruction. 

From blind rage to touching retribution, Shakespeare’s KING LEAR is a journey into the heart of madness and the essence of humanity.

We are thrilled to announce that BRIAN BLESSED, one of this country’s best known and most highly respected actors, will be joining the company to play the title role in Shakespeare’s great tragedy.

KING LEAR is brought to you by the same creative team behind 2014's acclaimed Othello, who, together with a feast of familiar GSC actors will propel you into the very heart of the storm!

Director Caroline Devlin | Designer Neil Irish | Lighting Declan Randall | Sound Matt Eaton

Assistant Director Richard Neale | Movement Vanessa Cook | Fights Philip d'Orleans

Booking Now Open


May we proudly present our cast for KING LEAR...

Brian Blessed

King Lear

Timothy Allsop

Oswald / King of France

Ben Ashton


Rosalind Blessed


Sarah Gobran


Simon Hepworth

Duke of Albany

Richard Neale

Duke of Cornwall

Matt Pinches

Edgar / Duke of Burgundy

James Sobol Kelly

Duke of Gloucester

Emily Tucker

Cordelia / Fool

Noel White

Duke of Kent




Scroll down to see what they've been up to...


Brian Blessed

Brian trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before beginning a distinguished and varied career, which has encompassed all media. Brian is now one of this country’s best known and most highly respected actors.

Television  includes: ‘Augustus Caesar’ in I Claudius; ‘PC Fancy Smith’ in Z Cars; ‘Porthos’ in The Three Musketeers; ‘Pepone’ in The Little World of Don Camillo; ‘Spiro’ in My Family and Other Animals;  ‘Richard IV’ in Black Adder; and ‘Squire Western’ in the BBC’s classic drama series Tom Jones.

On film, Brian has played ‘Talthybius’ in Trojan Women; ‘Vultan’ in Flash Gordon; ‘Pedro’ in Man of LaMancha; ‘Long John Silver’ in Return to Treasure Island; and ‘Lord Locksley’ in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  In Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V he played ‘Exeter’, in Much Ado About Nothing he played ‘Antonio’, in Hamlet he played ‘Hamlet’s Father and the Ghost’ and ‘Duke Frederick/Duke Senior’ in As You Like It. He played ‘Boss Nass’ in George Lucas’ Star Wars, The Phantom Menace, ‘Clayton’ in Walt Disney’s Tarzan and ‘Leonidas’ in Oliver Stones’ Alexander.

His theatre credits includes: ‘Old Deuteronomy’ in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS; ‘Claudius’ in Hamlet, ‘Exeter’ in Henry V and ‘Hastings’ in Richard III at the RSC; ‘Maxim Gorky’ in  State of Revolution and ‘Sir Tunbelly Clumsey’ in The Relapse at the RNT. He also played ‘Henry II’ in The Lion in Winter, and ‘Baron Bomburst’ in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.

Brian has written five books; The Turquoise Mountain, The Dynamite Kid, Nothing’s Impossible, Blessed Everest, an inspiring abbreviated history of Everest, and Quest for the Lost World. Brian’s next book will be published in the autumn of 2015.

Brian has had a great love of mountaineering and a great desire to stand on ‘the top of the world’. He has been on three expeditions to Mount Everest. The first to make the film Galahad of Everest, a tribute to George Leigh Mallory. In 1993 he returned to Everest, this time to climb the Southern side where he reached a height of 28,000 feet – the highest a man of his age has achieved without oxygen. He returned to the Northern side in 1996 when the climb was filmed by a Channel 4 Television team as part of the Encounters series. Brian has also completed a trek to the North Pole, an expedition to The Lost World in Venezuela, a climb to the summit of Mount Ararat in Turkey at 17,000 feet and a climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia.

Timothy Allsop

Trained Guildhall School of Music and Drama

For GSC: the title role in Richard III, Horatio in Hamlet and Oberon/Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Other theatre work includes: Thomas Becket in Murder in the Cathedral, Wilbur Wright in The Wright Brothers and Roger Bannister in The Four Minute Mile (all for Oxford Playhouse). He played the Servant in Helen (Shakespeare’s Globe); Sorcerer in Aladdin (Creation); James In Tom’s Midnight Garden (Manchester Library Theatre); and was part of the company for Therese Raquin (National Theatre). Recent TV/film includes appearing in Mackenzie Crook’s comedy series Detectorists (BBC) and playing a UKMTO officer in the Paul Greengrass film, Captain Phillips.

Ben Ashton

Trained Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

For GSC: Malcolm in Macbeth; Rivers/Richmond in Richard III; Hamlet in Hamlet (all directed by Caroline Devlin)

Other theatre includes: Wilfred Owen in Not About Heroes (Blackeyed Theatre); Cleante in The Miser (Watermill Theatre); Antonio in Twelfth Night (Reading Between the Lines); Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet (Creation Theatre); Paris in Romeo & Juliet (RSC); Dave in Something Stupid (Camden Fringe Festival) ; Jerry in The Zoo Story (Berzerk Productions)TV: Male PC in Silk; Toby Walters in Doctors (BBC). Film: Victor in Kansas (Corporeal Productions); George in Love (GoldenFish Films). Commercial: “O” in Crowd Trouble (McDonalds). Multimedia: Lead Voice in iphone app Adelaide Road; Mercutio in Such Tweet Sorrow (RSC). Radio: An Unchoreographed World (BBC4).

Rosalind Blessed

Trained: Central School of Speech and Drama

For GSC: Emilia in Othello

Theatre includes: Margaret, Richard III, Tamora, Titus Andronicus (Arcola); Wife of Bath, The Canterbury Tales (Southwark Playhouse); Nurse, Romeo and Juliet; Molly Brown, Iceberg Right Ahead; Frankie in the musical Legacy Falls; Ruth, Blithe Spirit, The Governess, Turn of the Screw; Sylvia Plath, Letters Home. Film includes: Callas Naked in London; Linda Cloud Cuckoo Land; Doctors with her father (BBC). Rosalind has written and directed her own play Love, Loss and Dogs and will be producing another The Delights of Dogs (and the Problems of People) next.

Sarah Gobran

Sarah trained at GSA and worked as an actress prior to setting up Guildford Shakespeare Company in 2006 with Matt. Favourite GSC roles include Titania (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Kate (The Taming of the Shrew), Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing), Gwendolyn (The Importance of Being Earnest) and Mistress Ford (The Merry Wives of Windsor). Most recently she has filmed the lead role in short film Monitor Locked. Other Theatre credits include: Peter Pan (Proteus Theatre); Sugar Daddies (Stephen Joseph Theatre/Yvonne Arnaud Theatre); Far From the Madding Crowd (The Phoenix Theatre); Gulliver’s Travels (Sutton Theatres); Desires of Frankenstein (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Just William (Charles Cryer Theatre). Other credits as producer include Aladdin for Creation Theatre in Oxford.

Simon Hepworth

Born in Blackpool and trained at LAMDA, (winner St Philip’s Trophy)

Recent theatre includes: Antony & Cleopatra (Chichester Festival); The Lion in Winter (Haymarket); The Rivals (Compass); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth (Arundel Festival); Twelfth Night (Bristol Old Vic); Blood Brothers (UK tour); The Winter’s Tale, The Glass Menagerie, The Deep Blue Sea (Royal & Derngate, Northampton); Romeo and Juliet (Colchester); Mario and the Magician (Almeida). TV includes: Law And Order, Emmerdale, EastEnders, Foyle’s War, Coronation Street, Casualty, Trial and Retribution, Wallis and Edward, The Royal, Inspector Morse – The Remorseful Day, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (LucasFilm). Film credits: Walking With The Enemy, Love’s Kitchen, 47 Cleveland, The Walker, (directed by Paul Schrader).

Richard Neale

Trained Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Theatre credits include: Travelling Light (New Vic Basement); Privates on Parade (New Vic Theatre, Stoke); Cinderella (Swan Theatre, High Wycombe); various national and international tours for Natural Theatre Company; Cassio in Othello, Claudio in Measure for Measure, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Creation Theatre Co); Puckoon (Big Telly Theatre Company);  Iago in Othello, King Lear, The Tempest (Actors From the London Stage); Kurt Tucholsky – His Life and Songs (Soho Theatre); The Comedy of Errors, Richard II (Tobacco Factory); Charlotte's Web (Birmingham Stage Co/Derby Theatre); Our Country's Good (Out Of Joint). TV: Just Desserts (HTV); Holby City (BBC TV). Film: Living in Hope (We Three Films); European Psycho (Meteoriit). Radio: Memoirs of a Twelfth Man, She Stoops to Conquer (both BBC Radio).

Matt Pinches

Trained: Bretton Hall

Matt is the Co-Founder of GSC, appearing in all 24 productions. GSC 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). Directed by Tom Littler, Joanna Read, Anna Ledwich, Hannah Chissick, Charlotte Conquest, Abigail Anderson and Caroline Devlin.

Other theatre includes: Spring Awakening (Theatre Royal, Bath); Georges Marvelous Medicine (Birmingham Stage); Anthem For Doomed Youth, Arabel’s Raven (Nuffield Theatre); A Perfect Match (Vienna’s English Theatre). Pantos include Chipping Norton, Newbury, Winchester, Barnstaple and Manchester Library. He has spent seasons with Solent People’s Theatre, Action Transport and Forest Forge. Matt is also a guest lecturer at the Guildford Institute, and voice over artist for BBC Bitesize.

James Sobol Kelly

Trained Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 

For GSC: The Merchant of Venice, Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo & Juliet.

Other theatre includes: The Drowned Man, Faust (Punchdrunk / National Theatre); Scorpio (Theatre 503); The Third Man (Secret Cinema); Romeo & Juliet, Othello (Creation Theatre Co.); Rainman (English Theatre Frankfurt); The Tempest, The Wild Duck (American Repertory Theatre, Boston); Love Suicides at Amijima (La MaMa ETC, New York). Film includes: The Two Faces of January (StudioCanal / Working Title); Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Warner Bros.); Santa's Blotto (New Division). TV includes: Brits Who Made the Modern World (Channel 5). Radio: Churchill's Other Lives (BBC Radio 4).

Emily Tucker

Training: Drama Centre London

For GSC: Viola in Twelfth Night, Princess of France in Henry V.

Theatre credits include: Fortune's Fool (Old Vic Theatre); The Man Who Pays the PiperThe Stepmother (Orange Tree Theatre); As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Iris Theatre); A Warsaw Melody (Arcola); Shiver (National Theatre Studio/Theatre6); The Importance of Being Earnest (Courtyard Theatre). Film include: The Seasoning House (Sterling Pictures); Hush (Shire Productions); Senet (11LittleFilms). TV include: The Cut (Channel 4). Radio include: Doctor Who:The Mask of Tragedy, Countermeasures (Big Finish Productions).

Noel White

Trained: Guildhall School of Music & Drama (Gold Medal Winner)

For GSC: Macbeth, Hamlet

Theatre: Robin Hood, Merlin, The Gift, Of Mice & Men, Jason & The Argonauts (Dukes, Lancaster); The Merchant of Venice (AFTLS); Grimm Tales (Keswick); Far From The Madding Crowd (ETT);Christmas Carol, Measure For Measure (Creation); Ladykillers, Comedy of Errors, Richard IV, Twelfth Night, As You Like It (Northcott, Exeter); Bedroom Farce (Torch); Outside Edge (New Vic, Stoke); Harvest (Southwark Playhouse); Dark Side, Great Expectations (Tours); Romeo and Juliet, King Lear (Orange Tree). Television: Holby City, Empathy, Second Sight, Oscar Charlie, Other People’s Children, Viking, Hope & Glory, Casualty (BBC); Where The Heart Is, Crossroads, Footballer’s Wives, Lucy Sullivan’s Getting Married, The Bill, Band of Gold, Anna Lee (ITV). Film: Pilgrim Factor, Journey. Writing: The Smilin’ State (Bristol Old Vic/Hackney Empire).


Creative Team

The Winter Season 'family' reunite for this special production!

Director Caroline Devlin (Henry V, Othello, Macbeth, RIII, Hamlet), leads Designer Neil Irish (Othello, Twelfth Night, RII), Lighting Designer Declan Randall (Henry V, Othello, Macbeth, RIII) and Sound Designer Matt Eaton (The Canterbury Tales, Henry V, Othello, Macbeth, RIII). Richard Neale joins us as Assistant Director.

Fights will once again be choreographed by Philip d'Orleans (The Canterbury Tales, Henry V, Othello, Macbeth...) and Movement Director Vanessa Cook (Henry V, Macbeth) returns again.


Post-Show Discusssion

Tuesday 27 January, after the evening performance FREE*

A unique opportunity to stay behind after the evening performance to hear the cast talk about how they created the show, and asks those burning questions!

*Open to 27 Jan ticket holders only

Audio Described Performance

Saturday 7 February, 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*


Winter 2015: KING LEAR

17 January - 14 February

Evenings 7.30pm (Tues 20 Jan 7pm)

Matinees 2.30pm (24 & 31 Jan, 7 & 14 Feb)

Running time 2hrs 40mins (approx. including interval)


£25.00 Full Price

£21.00 Concessions (Over 60, under 16, Equity, NUS, Jobseekers, registered disabled)

£18.00 Matinees

£18.00 Preview (17 & 19 January)

£80.00 Family (2 adults, 2 children under 16)

Special £12.50 TICKETS - Every Monday

As part of GSC's ongoing commitment to making great theatre available to as many people as possible, there is a limited number of £12.50 tickets especially set aside for 16-25s, students and Jobseekers.

These £12.50 -tickets are only available on the day of the performance from 10am, and are limited to 2 per customer. They can be purchased by calling the Box Office, and are sold on a first come, first served basis. ID will be required when collecting day-tickets from the onsite Box Office on the evening of the performance. These tickets cannot be booked online.


Book 10 tickets for the SAME performance and receive the 11th FOC!

Telephone 01483 304384

Box Office open Mon-Sat 10am - 6pm (7pm during show times)

Not open Sundays

Schools click here

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