Fringe Box



It’s Murder at Home With the Family … and GSC

Published on: 28 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 28 Apr, 2020

by Alice Fowler

With live entertainment in scarce supply, two local theatre companies – Guildford Shakespeare Company and Guildford Fringe – are stepping in to fill the gap. 

GSC has announced a second set of live online performances, taking place in May. An initial run of dates sold out in less than eighteen hours.
Across four dates, the award-winning theatre company will stage a live Murder Mystery. Participants will be able to engage with suspects, question them and attempt to solve the mystery of ‘The Shakespeare Solitaire’.

Using a video communications platform, guests will ‘arrive’ at Solanio’s Swinging Speakeasy, where instructions will be given by the host. They will then witness live scenes played out by actors, before being divided into ‘breakout rooms’ to further interrogate the characters. Start times vary to ensure families and couples with young children can take part. Running time is 90 minutes.

Set in the 1920s, The Shakespeare Solitaire is a classic ‘Whodunnit?’, written by GSC’s Associate Playwright Ant Stones. The Solitaire is a precious diamond, rumoured to have been gifted to Shakespeare by Elizabeth I herself. Following its theft from the Bard’s lodgings, it has laid a curse on all its owners since. The body of the last owner, Henry Lear, was discovered in the streets of Guildford just two weeks ago. Will it be the last murder, or just the beginning?

GSC co-founders Sarah Gobran and Matt Pinches

The cast features GSC’s co-founders Sarah Gobran as host Solanio and Matt Pinches as Inspector Gaunt. Joining them are Jack Whitam (Macbeth 2020), Annabelle Terry (Macbeth 2020) and Eleanor Murton (Alice in Wonderland 2015/18). Those taking part are encouraged to dress up to help get into the Speakeasy spirit.

Matt Pinches said: “We’re thrilled that these online live performances have had such a wonderful response. They’re vital not only in helping keep actors and artists employed but are integral to ensuring there is a future for GSC. We want our audiences to stay involved with us and very much hope that these will be the first of more live events to come.”

GSC’s Online Shows are part of the #AtHomeWithGSC initiative: a commitment to inspire and entertain, whilst ensuring the charity can continue to operate. Shows take place on May 2nd  (7.30pm), May 3rd (6pm),  May 8th (8pm) and May 9th (7.30pm). Tickets cost £20.

See for details.

Separately, Guildford Fringe has also announced two online events live streaming into homes. On Thursday, April 30th, Guildford LIVE! will feature a variety of entertainment with guests including Flavia Cacace, Tony Hadley, Gyles Brandreth, Bruce Foxton from The Jam, Roger Black, Max Fulham the award-winning ventriloquist, Charley Farley Sunday Four, Guildford’s Rock Choir and The Barricade Boys alongside host, Nick Wyschna from Guildford Fringe.

All money raised will be donated to The Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity and The Wysch Foundation.

On Saturday, May 1, Giggle With Gag House takes place in partnership with Gag House Comedy Clubs. The line-up includes comedians Andrew Ryan and Rosie Jones.

See for details.

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