The Mary Roxburghe Trust is delighted to announce that the Guildford Shakespeare Company’s 2018 Sonnet Walks will take place at West Horsley Place on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April. There are 13 walks each day, starting at NOON – each walk lasts approx. 60 mins and are every 15 minutes. (no walk at 13:45).
The event is part of GSC’s annual celebrations of the birth of Shakespeare ‘Will’s Birthday Bash’. The Sonnet Walks are a magical mystery walking tour where you’ll encounter Shakespeare and his characters in the least likely of places. West Horsley Place has been home to Norman conquerors, great-grandsons of Edward III, cousins of Henry VIII, Gundpowder Plotters, and Raleighs (yes, they of potato and cloak-over-puddle-laying fame), and finally bestowed upon Bamber Gascoigne by his aunt Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe in 2014.
Guildford Shakespeare Company will be making full use of the ancient manor house and beautiful walled gardens to bring you a Sonnet Walk like never before! The walk and all details are still under wraps, but we will keep you posted with more information and booking details here.
Matt Pinches, Co-founder of GSC,
“We absolutely thrilled to be working with the Mary Roxburghe Trust and West Horsley Place for our 7th Sonnet Walk Weekend. These weekends were born out of a desire to open up hidden gems of Guildford that people either may not have considered visiting before or didn’t even know existed, such as Westnye Gardens, Racks Close or the Jellicoe Roof Garden.
Equally, there were sites which would be perfect for a moment from a Shakespeare play but couldn’t possibly host a full scale production – Angel Gate or St Catherine’s Ruin. Hence the promenade-vignette style of the Sonnet Walk Weekend was born. Quite quickly, the walks evolved into being like a mystery treasure hunt on which the audience didn’t know where the actors would appear next, or indeed who were actors and who were not!
We are always keen to explore and showcase new venues and when we were introduced to WHP we knew that this would be the perfect venue for the next weekend. It’s been fascinating getting to know the house and its history, and then working out how we tie this up with the Sonnet Walk experience. There is a lot of history that actually comes quite close to Shakespeare’s world and it’s exciting putting them together.
Audiences are definitely going to be in for treat, and I really hope that they will come away not only having had a unique theatre experience, but will have also got know more about this wonderful house and its gardens.”