Our Team | Trustees

Sarah Gobran - Co-Founder & Producer

Favourite biscuit: One with cheese on it 

First single you bought? Agadoo by Black Lace! 

Muesli or bacon roll? I'm a vegetarian so muesli, but I'm more savoury than sweet so please can I have marmite on toast?

Sarah's passion for theatre and performance began at the age of seven with her discovery of Pam Ayres, regularly subjecting her classmates to a rendition of the latest poems she had learnt that week!

Sarah moved to Guildford in 1995 to train at the Guildford School of Acting and since graduating has performed in a variety of theatre and film, including a spell at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Alan Ayckbourn's Sugar Daddies. Sarah has also worked for many local theatre companies including The Phoenix, in Bordon, playing Bathsheba in Far From The Madding Crowd, and for Proteus in Basingstoke, as Wendy in Peter Pan. For both companies she toured to local communities in Surrey and Hampshire.

Sarah is delighted to have set up Guildford Shakespeare Company and by the tremendous response that they have received from the community, who appear to be as passionate as she is about Open-Air Shakespeare coming to life in Guildford!

Matt Pinches - Co-Founder & Producer

Favourite biscuit: Malted Milk 

First single you bought? I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany (but don’t tell anyone!) 

Muesli or bacon roll? Bacon every time... smoked with brown sauce please!

Originally from Worcester, Matt trained at University College Bretton Hall in West Yorkshire, graduating in 1998 with an honours degree in Dramatic Art. 25 years ago, open-air theatre gave him his first job, playing D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers in Manchester. He has continued to work in all forms of theatre from panto to TIE, from national No.1 tours to village halls, as well TV commercials and short films.

Matt leads talks and lectures on Shakespeare and his world, and in the summer of 2016 he walked the 146 mile Shakespeare Way from Stratford to The Globe in London.

He's also Council Member for the Surrey Chambers of Commerce.

He’s extremely proud of GSC and all it has achieved. Matt lives in Bramley with his fiancé and their dog Nellie. He hopes one day to own a 2CV.

Kerrie Driscoll - Creative Learning Producer

Favourite biscuit: Chocolate hobnob, it’s got great integrity for dunking

First single you bought? I really can’t remember but I was a big fan of the Spice Girls, so probably Wannabe!

Muesli or bacon roll? Out of those two I’d take bacon, but I am a veggie so is an egg sandwich an option?

Kerrie has been working as a Stage Manager for 17 years after completing her training at Guildford School of Acting on the Production and Stage Management course.

For 11 years she worked freelance, during which she spent 6 very happy seasons working for GSC and other companies such as Chichester Festival Theatre, Headlong and The Bridge Project. In the latter part of her career she has been at the Watermill Theatre (Newbury) as the resident Company Stage Manager. It was a great opportunity to be part of a producing house and to see how all the departments worked together. One she often collaborated with was the Outreach department so feels an obvious and creative step to join the GSC team as Creative Learning Producer.

Kerrie said “At the Watermill, I loved working on the main house shows, there are some fond favourites such as Amelie, A Little Night Music and Twelfth Night but the shows that spoke to me most were the ones that went to the small village halls, and witnessing how it bought communities together. Likewise with the Theatre in Education tours (TIE), students that might not be able to attend the theatre being exposed to plays.

Hannah Walker - Company Stage & Production Manager

Favourite Biscuit: Custard Cream

First Single Brought: Bring Me Back To Life, Evanescence

Muesli or Bacon Roll: Bacon Roll all the way

Hannah trained at East 15 Acting School and graduated with a First-Class degree in Stage Management and Technical Theatre in 2015. Hannah started off freelance to begin with and then joined the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, where she has been for the last 7 years. Starting as an Assistant Technician, she went on to become the Lighting and Sound Technician. During this time, she ran the Mill Studio for 3 years, where responsibilities included lighting designing, building sets, making props and stage managing a number of youth productions. Hannah is even more excited to be working full-time with GSC and all their upcoming productions after working freelance for them over the last year.

Rob Cann - Education & Outreach Operations Manager

Favourite biscuit: Same as Eli (Chocolate Malted Milk)

First single you bought? You Can't Touch This - MC Hammer

Muesli or bacon roll?  Can I have both...?

Rob trained at Mountview Academy Theatre. Credits include: Romeo (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond) Hamlet (Young Shakespeare Company UK Tour); Adam in Time of My Life (The Mill at Sonning); Orlando in As You Like It & Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew touring open-air theatre to English Heritage sites across the UK; Bertram, All’s Well That Ends Well & Antigonus The Winter’sTale (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival). He has also played Prince Charming for Disney Corporate events in London and Milan and is in an Xbox computer game.

Before GSC, Rob was Education Officer for the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and directed numerous youth theatre shows including: The Witches, David Copperfield, Eclipse, Macbeth and Five Children and It. He also has worked as an assistant director on Annie for the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton.

In 2018 Rob created Mis-Shapen Chaos Theatre Company and produced and directed productions of DNA and Punk Rock at the Mill Studio (Yvonne Arnaud) and Treasure Island (Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 2019).

Rob is delighted to be working for the GSC team having been working for them as a freelancer for over 10 years.

Eli Murton - Front of House Manager & Corporate Fundraising

Favourite biscuit: Milk chocolate malted milk

First single you bought: Salt’n’Pepa - Push it

Muesli or bacon roll?: Bacon roll

Eli grew up in Leicester  where she attempted to spend as much time as humanly possible at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre, and moved to Guildford for drama school. She has 3 boys, who she home educates the kids, grows veg, keep pigs, chickens and ducks as well as  two cats and a dog. Eli also hoard fabrics & wool and has far too many craft projects on the go at the same time.

Before joining GSC Eli taught drama, did some copy writing for children’s books, sung to small children in nurseries, was an actor in a theatre company that specialised in 18th century theatre (so many corsets!) and once upon a time sold novelty loo seats!

Saffron Waller - Company Administrator

Favourite biscuit: Chocolate digestive

First single you bought: The Frog Song by Paul McCartney (Don’t judge me, I was 5!!)

Muesli or bacon roll?: Bacon roll…with ketchup.

Saffron grew up in Ash, Cranleigh and Guildford, and attended Guildford College of Technology. She now lives in Whitehill, Hampshire, with her partner Craig and young son, Seth – which means she's getting to know the A3 very well!  

Before joining GSC, she spent nearly 20 years working the NHS, starting off working the laboratory at The Royal Surrey Hospital and ending up as a Medical Secretary at Haslemere Hospital – with a few different roles and departments in between. It was just a slightly different type of drama!



Jane Shepperd - Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Jane is one of the original board members of GSC, joining in December 2010.

Born in Northern Ireland, she has lived in and around Guildford on and off since the age of 8, and is from an old Guildford family!

She went to Guildford High School and then trained as a Nurse at St Thomas'. She had a successful career as a Nursing Sister before attending Drama School.

Jane enjoyed a varied Acting career in Television, Theatre, Musical Theatre and Film - largely comedy. She played principal roles in two West End productions before setting up Shepperd-Fox in 2005, a Theatrical Agency, of which she is the senior partner.

Her favourite Shakespeare play is Twelfth Night.


Peter Gordon - Trustee

An accomplished broadcaster and performer, communications specialist, and event host. Peter’s career spans more than 30 years; he was the Content Director, voice, and indeed the public face, of Eagle Radio, broadcasting to Surrey and Hampshire, which was the leading commercial radio station for audience reach in one of Europe’s busiest and competitive radio markets of more than 70 radio stations. He also hosted the radio station’s breakfast show for 25 years.

As one of the original employees of the ground-breaking UKRD Radio Group, which prided itself on a supportive company culture – winning the “Sunday Times Best Company to Work For” award many times – Peter actively promotes the importance of strong cultural values in business to help inclusivity and staff engagement. He now runs coaching sessions and workshops on request to help groups and organisations move forward through better conversations.

Peter is also a voice artist and professional actor - appearing over many years in pantomime at Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre as well as previously at Woking's New Victoria Theatre and Aldershot's Princes Hall.

Peter became a Trustee in April 2015. (Photo Steve Porter)

CJ Mitchell - Trustee (Safeguarding lead)

CJ called Los Angeles, California home before moving to Guildford over 18 years ago to study Theatre and Media. With degrees in Stage Management and Technical Theatre, Film and Media, and Theatre Arts, CJ has over 20 years’ experience with many theatre facets including Youth Work.

CJ is also an advocate for mental wellbeing and has been a Diversity Consultant for schools, encouraging access to diverse resources on campus and in the workplace.

CJ adores living and working in Guildford, and can often be found getting props or crafting supplies in town. She has had the privilege to work behind the scenes with Guildford Shakespeare Company on several shows and joined the Board in August 2022.

CJ loves Marvel, puns, and spending time with her family.

Her favourite Shakespeare play is ‘The Comedy of Errors’.

Karin Walker - Trustee

Karin became a trustee in October 2012.

Her professional background is a family lawyer, running her own niche family law practice in Woking and currently chair of the national Resolution DR committee. As a partner in her previous Guildford based firm, and now through KGW Family Law, Karin has been a proud sponsor of GSC productions since 2008.

Karin’s association with GSC supports her enthusiasm for the arts and the enrichment of the local community. She enjoys the theatre greatly and is overwhelmed by the standard of production repeatedly provided by GSC in the most atmospheric of locations.

Karin lives locally on the Surrey/Hampshire border with her husband John and their two children where she enjoys her garden and the countryside with her two dogs.

Jaz Blake - Trustee

Jaz became a trustee in January 2023.

Shakespeare has been a passion since Jaz’s school days with many trips from her hometown in Leeds to Stratford to watch RSC productions.

She was first introduced to GSC in 2012 when as a parent helper she accompanied her sons’ class to the promenade production of A Midsummers Night’s Dream at Guildford College of Law and she was hooked.

As Director of Perfect Pitch Consultancy – they became sponsors of shows such as Macbeth and Hamlet as well as attending many more.

She is thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful organisation and looks forward to being able to support the team in any way she can.

Gavin Thomas - Trustee

Born and bred in Guildford in the sixties, Gavin is a full-time singer, song writer, producer, and promoter, and has been involved in the local live music scene for over thirty years. He was also a local licensee, co-owning 'Beavers Bar' - the venue he ran in Jeffries Passage in the nineties.

Ten years ago, Gavin started the acclaimed GT Live Sessions, striving to promote new and developing local musical artists through weekly open mics, showcases, and charity festivals in Guildford. Originally from the worlds of marketing and publishing (Marketing Manager for the Children's Divisions of both Harper Collins and Dorling Kindersley publishers), Gavin is also an actor, having appeared in several short films, corporate projects, and television commercials; along with stage roles including Henry Higgins in 'My Fair Lady', Bill Snibson in 'Me and My Girl', Billy Crocker in 'Anything Goes!', and Fagin in 'Oliver!'.

Gavin plays his own solo gigs and curates his weekly showcase nights in Guildford, as well as using events such as his annual 'One Winter’s Night' concert at The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre to raise money for local campaigns and causes.

Cedric Gobran - Financial Controller

Cedric has more than 25 years experience in accountancy. Now retired, Cedric offers his expertise voluntarily to GSC, producing regular finance reports, P&L sheets and submissions to HMRC on behalf of the Trust.

Joanna Read - Honorary President 

Jo was one of the original board members when GSC became a charity in December 2010. She served as its Chair until 2014.

She first worked with GSC in 2008, directing The Comedy of Errors at the Bandstand in Guildford Castle Gardens. She returned the following year to direct The Two Gentlemen of Verona at the University of Surrey Lake.

Since 2018, Jo has been the Chief Executive and Director of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford.

Her previous appointments include: Principal of LAMDA (London Academy of Dramatic Art); board member of the Regional Theatre Young Directors; external Examiner for the LIR Theatre Academy, Trinity College Dublin; Chief Exec & Artistic Director of Salisbury Playhouse; Associate Director of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton; Head of Education & Participation for Birmingham Rep.