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2015 kicked off with one of our country's most respected actors joining the company to play King Lear. This was the first time Brian Blessed had played the part on stage, and the first time he had appeared on stage with his daughter.

It was a tremendous honour to work with Brian and it was very sad for us all and him, when he had to withdraw from the production under doctor's orders. Nevertheless, the show continued with the fabulous Terrence Wilton stepping in to the part.

The company were fabulous with director Caroline Devlin and her Creative Team creating another inspiring production for GSC, seen by over 6,400 people!

*** “This is why British theatre is such a marvel” Daily Telegraph

**** “Long may theatre of this calibre grace the lucky city of Guildford.” Remotegoat.com

****  “A beautifully balanced production” The Stage

*** The Daily Mail

*** What’sOnStage.com



Brian Blessed

King Lear

Terence Wilton

King Lear

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

Timothy Allsop

Oswald / King of France


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.

Terence Wilton

Terry is originally from Brighton and studied at Manchester University

He has recently appeared as Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Theatre Royal, Northampton, and the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Last spring he filmed in Palestine and old Jerusalem, playing Professor Martin in “Revelations- End of Days” which has just premiered in the USA and in the UK on the History Channel. Last year he played in his first musical production, “The Sound of Music” for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

For the RSC he recently played Baptista Minola in “Taming of the Shrew”, and appeared in a number of seasons, as Duke in “Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in “‘Tis Pity she’s a Whore”, “Julius Caesar”, Henry IV part One”, the title role in “Perkin Warbeck”, Posthumous in “Cymbeline”, Wagner in “Dr Faustus” and Buzz Goodbody’s “Hamlet”.

He has been a regular performer over many years in his favourite theatre, The Royal Exchange in Manchester: Duke Senior and Duke Frederick in “As You Like It”, Col Pickering in “Pygmalion”, The Messenger in “The Bacchae”,  Hermocrates in “The Triumph of Love”, Judge Brack in “Hedda Gabler”, Enobarbus in “Antony and Cleopatra”, Kent in “King Lear”, Octave in “Court in the Act”, Paul Verrall in “Born Yesterday”, Queequeg in “Moby Dick” and in the premiere of a number of new plays.

At the National Theatre he played Harry Crookshank in “Never So Good”.

For Regent’s Park Open Air:  Belarius in “Cymbeline”, Badger in “Wind in the Willows”, Worcester in “Henry IV part 2”, Antonio in “Twelfth Night”.

For the Almeida he was Sir Walter Whorehound in “A Chaste Maid in Cheapside.

With Mike Alfred’s Method and Madness Company, he played Pastor Manders in “Ghosts”, the title role in “Uncle Silas”, Tournel in “A Flea in her Ear”, and Antigonus and Autolycus in ‘The Winter’s Tale”.

He appeared as Valentine at the Haymarket Theatre in the West End in “You Never Can Tell”, and has regularly toured the world and the USA, in productions of Shakespeare, Claudius in the Lyubimov “Hamlet”, Petruchio in “The Taming of the Shrew”, Prospero in “The Tempest”, Laertes in the Old Vic “Hamlet”.

TV includes “Revelations-End of Days”, The Crusades: The Crescent and the Cross”, “The Forsyte Saga”, “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries”, “Rides 2”, “Waterfront Beat”, “Bulman”, “Henry IV part 1”, “Some Distant Shadow”, “Eleanor Marx”, “Law of the Land”, “Edward VII”, “Egdon Heath”, “Dial M for Murder”, “Vanity Fair”, “Rogues Gallery”, and “Dr Who”.


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: Twelfth Night, 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.


Click on a thumbnail to view a photo ~ Photography by Steve Porter