Will’s Birthday Bash is Coming to Cranleigh

Will’s Birthday Bash is Coming to Cranleigh

This year, William Shakespeare will be turning 460 years old, and once again, the award-winning Guildford Shakespeare Company will be celebrating with more exceptional theatre in extraordinary places.

Since 2011, the theatre company have been marking Shakespeare’s Birthday (23rd April 1564) with a series of one-off events, including their hugely popular Shakespeare Walks and their Young Company’s annual production.

12-13th April: WEB OF LIES

What do you get if combine the stories and characters of Jekyll & Hyde, Richard II and The Canterbury Tales?

At a New Year’s Eve party, the President is suddenly, and fatefully, taken ill. With no-one at the helm, and as corrupt Government Officials attempt to cover up any incriminating evidence, violent rebellions ensue and family members jostle for power. Can anyone solve the mystery behind his murder and, if they do, will the regime let them speak the truth?

The GSC Young Company is the theatre company’s flagship youth theatre group. Over eight months, working with Education Manager Rob Cann and playwright Theo Toksvig-Stewart, the company devise, design and perform a brand-new play based on three shows from the main company’s recent programme.

The GSC Young Company has seen many members go on to train for a career in the theatre industry.


Imagine a treasure hunt where the jewels you’re seeking are actors poised to share a beautiful sonnet or a fabulous speech from Shakespeare… but as they are all costumed to blend in with their everyday locations, it’s your job to work out who’s an actor and who’s not.

This year, the company are performing for the first time in England’s largest village, Cranleigh.

Nestled at the foot of the Surrey Hills, historic Cranleigh also boasts the newly created 60-acre Knowle Park: a country park and nature reserve, featuring a lake, outdoor performance spaces and an adventure park.

Previous Walks have taken over the rooftops of Guildford, the alleyways of Godalming, the courtyards of Farnham and the historic West Horsley Place. As ever, the route will only be revealed on the weekend itself.

Matt Pinches, Co-Founder and Shakespeare Walks director: “We love this event in our calendar. Two small, but perfectly formed events celebrating the timeless uniqueness of Shakespeare’s legacy. The Young Company astound us and our audiences every year with their originality and clever devising; whilst the Walks provide a wonderful opportunity to explore brand new locations and hidden treasures on our doorstep… and there’s always cake too!”




No concessions | No booking fee

For the most up to date venue information, see the website

GSC Box Office


01483 304384

Founded by Sarah Gobran and Matt Pinches in 2006, who still lead the theatre company, Guildford Shakespeare began with a simple mission to create exceptional theatre in extraordinary places. By re-igniting people’s passion for theatre-going, they have sought to demystify the notion that theatre is only for the few, but rather is inclusive and accessible for everyone. The company’s site-responsive approach has seen them work in places as diverse as a Boeing 747, Guildford Cathedral, Watts Gallery, West Horsley Place, a Flemish Spiegeltent and even Queen Mary 2.

Crucial to the theatre company’s objective is its thriving education and outreach department. With 13 in-house drama clubs every week and an outreach programme that supports the most isolated members of their community, last year the company created some 24,000 engagement opportunities across the county. 18,000 of these are delivered ‘free-to-access’ and includes those living with the challenges of poor mental health, young carers, the elderly, homeless, excluded teenagers and their families, and touring to the least advantaged schools across the South East.

In 2023 Sarah and Matt received the Institute of Directors Award for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equality. GSC is a registered charity. Their buildings are supported by Guildford Borough Council.

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