On 2 June, the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre celebrates its 55th anniversary of producing and presenting fantastic theatre for the people of Guildford, and beyond.
We can’t be in the theatre to celebrate at the moment, so we are asking anyone who has enjoyed a show, worked on a production or has a personal connection to the theatre to share their stories with us. We’re also hoping that there might be some unseen photographs hiding in drawers or albums that can help us picture the inside of the building in the 1960s and ‘70s, if they are in colour, then even better.
Built in 1965, thanks to public subscription, and designed by local architect John Brownrigg, the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre has produced innumerable shows featuring a raft of stars such as Vanessa Redgrave, whose footprint can still be seen in the concrete café floor, as well as Ingrid Bergman, Michael Gambon, Christopher Reeve, David Tennant, and our Trustees Dame Penelope Keith and Dame Judi Dench, among many others.
Joanna Read became Director and Chief Executive in 2019. Her vision for the future theatre takes it back to the past, in some ways, with a return to producing and touring, beginning with Tim Firth’s Sheila’s Island, originally scheduled for May 2020, to coincide with the anniversary but now postponed until Spring 2021; bringing exciting new companies to the town, such as the acclaimed Frantic Assembly, and restoring the theatre building, dusting it off and rediscovering this stylish 1965 architectural gem.
If you, or someone you know, has a connection to the theatre or a photograph we may not have seen, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This theatrical institution deserves to celebrate its anniversary in style, and to continue to entertain audiences for many years to come.
How to help the Yvonne Arnaud
The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is a charity whose main source of income is from ticket sales. Guildford Borough Council kindly makes an annual grant, and the theatre is fortunate to have the support of loyal donors, but, without the safety net of ticket sales, the theatre is working harder than ever to ensure it will be back to entertain audiences as soon as it can.
You can support the theatre by making a donation via the website at www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/donate buying tickets for a future show, or purchasing gift vouchers.
This year’s traditional family pantomime is Robin Hood, starring the always popular trio of Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Peter Gordon and Jamie Brook, from Friday 4 December 2020 – Sunday 3 January 2021. Please don’t wait until the last minute to buy your tickets, book now to provide an invaluable cash flow.