Fringe Box



GSC’s ‘Vanquo’ to Help Travelling Players

Published on: 31 Mar, 2023
Updated on: 4 Apr, 2023

The new  GSC van, better known as ‘Vanqu’. On the left is GSC director Matt Pinches and centre Hon Freeman Keith Churchouse.

By Alice Fowler

Guildford’s award-winning theatre company, Guildford Shakespeare Company, is riding high, thanks to the purchase of a new van. The vehicle, nicknamed Vanquo, will allow GSC to extend its programme of drama workshops for schools.

Grants from The Foyle Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation, together with support from Guildford Lions and Chapters Financial, have enabled GSC to buy a higher specification vehicle that will also act as a crew van.

GSC co-founder Matt Pinches said: “We’re incredibly grateful to our supporters for this funding. Without their grants and the vision and generosity of our local supporters Guildford Lions and Chapters Financial, we simply wouldn’t be able to make these tours happen, which give so much inspiration and experience to people who otherwise would not have access to it.

The purchase of a new, larger van will allow the company to tour to more schools and venues in one day, taking their work to socially isolated and less advantaged groups and individuals further afield. GSC currently runs three school tours per year.

The company’s previous van, which had been donated by Chapters in 2012 and had clocked up some 130,000 miles, was no longer fit for purpose. The new eco-friendly vehicle can travel within the Greater London ULEZ, and has been nicknamed Vanquo, in honour of the character Banquo from Macbeth, the first play to have been toured in the vehicle.

GSC has just released details of this summer’s open-air theatre season. Henry V will be staged in promenade around Guildford Cathedral from June 15- July 1. The Canterbury Tales will unfold in the beautiful Stoke Park from July 14-29.

In April, the company will stage a series of events marking Shakespeare’s birthday. Included is a special collaboration between co-founder Matt Pinches and Dr Anjna Chouhan of Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, marking the 400th anniversary of the First Folio – Shakespeare’s Complete Works.

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