Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre reopens

Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre will reopen on Thursday, June 3 with its own production of the new comedy, Siobhan Basset’s The Hound of the Baskervilles (June 3-12).
Joanna ReadJoanna Read
Joanna Read

The theatre is delighted to present the new comedy by Sara Crowe, directed by Yvonne Arnaud director and chief executive Joanna Read and designed by Neil Irish.

Siobhan Basset (Sara Crowe) is delighted to bring her magnum opus to the stage, lovingly craft-ed during lockdown in her spare bedroom in Teddington. In order to adhere, both physically and fiscally, to government measures, the production stars her husband, Michael (Stefan Bednarczyk) and may have to be achieved without set, crew, lights and sound and potentially without an audience.

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Olivier Award-winner Sara Crowe is known for her numerous film, TV and stage performances including The Entertainer (UK tour), Private Lives (Aldwych Theatre), Calendar Girls (UK tour) and Acorn Antiques: the Musical (UK tour), and also her screen role of Laura in the classic romantic comedy, Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Sara Crowe said: ‘I am delighted to be opening Siobhan Basset’s The Hound of the Baskervilles at the Yvonne Arnaud. This beautiful theatre has played a big part in my life, from joining the youth theatre as a teenager to many subsequent visits there with touring productions over the years. But surely the icing on the cake is the wonderful support Joanna Read and the team at the Yvonne Arnaud have given me for a new creation which has come out of a time of great difficulty for all.

“My purpose in writing it was an enduring belief that ‘Against the onslaught of laughter, nothing can stand.’ I have always loved the story of The Hound of the Baskervilles, a tale with such atmosphere: remote houses, misty moors, supernatural creatures and the like. Somehow my love of this story and a love of comedy have collided and Siobhan Basset’s adaptation is the result.

“I think there will be high spirits as theatre slowly starts to reopen, where all the creative pursuits which were fostered during lockdowns will come bursting to life. And just like when the theatres reopened after the plague and the Blitz, they truly will come back even stronger and something we have all hoped for has not been lost, but will come storming back. It will be exhilarating to be back on stage again.”

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Director Joanna Read said: “I’m proud that we’re reopening this summer with our very own production, after another long period of closure. This is an Yvonne Arnaud production through and through, and I can’t wait to share it with audiences.”

The production kicks off a busy summer season for the theatre the Donmar Warehouse’s ac-claimed socially-distanced sound installation Blindness (June 21-26), live music in the theatre’s riverside garden and a programme of drama and family work.