G Live partners with local charity and school

G Live partners with local charity and school in association with their Guildford International Concert Season

Guildford’s annual International Concert Season, produced by G Live, consists of a programme of classical concerts performed by orchestras from the UK and around the world. Last week saw the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra mark Rachmaninov’s 150th anniversary with ‘Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini’.

G Live selected The Cheryl King Trust as their charity partner for the concert season and, at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performance on Friday 10 November, a bucket collection, led by charity ambassador and BBC Radio 3 presenter Sarah Walker, raised over £2,000 for the charity.

The charity’s aim is that no young person in Surrey should be prevented from learning a musical instrument because their parents can’t afford it. They achieve this by providing bursaries for instrument lessons and grants for music ensembles. The donations from Friday’s performance will fund 8 students in Surrey to have music lessons for a year.

G Live also welcomed students from ACS International Schools to the venue, where they participated in a coaching session with members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, before experiencing their final rehearsal in preparation for the concert.

Future concerts in the Guildford International Concert Season include Dvořák’s ‘New World Symphony’, also performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (24 February 2024), and Beethoven: The Man and his Music, with chamber ensemble performances of some of Beethoven’s most popular sonatas and trios, including the ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Pathetique’ sonatas, performed by the English Piano Trio (11 April 2024). The last night of the Guildford International Concert Season includes Bruch’s ‘Violin Concerto’ (17 May 2024) performed by one the country’s most distinguished violinists, Guildford’s Chloe Hanslip, with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

For a full What’s On guide, visit glive.co.uk

G Live, London Road, Guildford GU1 2AA
Box office: 0343 310 0055

Twitter: @GLiveGuildford | Facebook: @GLiveGuildford | Instagram: gliveguildford

Guildford in Bloom 2023 winners announced

Mayor Masuk Miah (centre), MP Angela Richardson (right), the Guildford in Bloom team and all the winners of the 2023 Guildford in Bloom competition.

The Winners of the 2023 Guildford in Bloom Competition have been celebrated at an Awards evening at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and hosted by BBC Surrey’s Joe Talbot.

Recently saved for the future by generous crowdfunding donations, Guildford in Bloom held its annual awards on Tuesday to celebrate gardens and allotments across the borough.

Overall entry quality, especially for wildlife gardens has improved considerably this year with every Wildlife Garden entered achieving gold standard – creating wildlife havens across the area. In fact the wildlife gardens were so good – Rosamund Community Garden and Watts Gallery share the prize.

The Best in Competition winner for 2023 is Peter and Min Martin for their allotment on the Farnham Road allotment site. The Judges said: “If you want to see a plot with every inch packed full with fruit, flowers and vegetables of many varieties, look no further than this year’s winner. This was especially good to see as the season has not been the easiest and the plot is on a slope making watering more difficult. Truely a pleasure to judge.” Chairman of Guildford in Bloom, Paul Spooner said:

“As always, a lot of hard work goes into the competition and thanks must go to the Judges and committee who organise this fantastic event. We always enjoy the ‘back stories’ to each of our entries and this year’s overall winner is a result of year of work on their allotment and it shows. We were very encouraged by the number of quality wildlife gardens and those that followed our theme ‘For King and Countryside’. Also we cannot thank enough all those who generously donated to our crowdfunding campaign and ensured that this year awards is not the last.”

This year’s theme took in the coronation but endeavoured to give a nod to King Charles III’s lifelong love of nature and create wildlife haven pockets across the area to make a real difference to the decline of so many pollinators and wildlife species. More information on the work of Guildford in Bloom can be found at www.guildfordinbloom.com and on their social media channels.

The Motivation by Music Contemporary Gospel Choir entertaining the audience at the 2023 Guildford in Bloom Awards.

Full list of winners:

Best Allotment/Kitchen Garden
Peter and Min Martin, Farnham Road Allotments

Best Site for Nature Conservation
Clandon Wood Nature Reserve and Burial Ground

Best Neighbourhood Project
HMP Send Horticulture and Waste Management Department

Best Pub in Bloom
The Refectory

Best Garden for Wildlife
Joint Winners – Rosamund Community Garden and Watts Gallery

Best Front Garden
Susan Clutterbuck

Best Container Garden
Michael and Doreen Boxall

Best Themed Entry
HMP Send

Young Gardener Award
Lewis Jones

Voted Best in Competition
Peter and Min Martin, Farnham Road Allotments

Update from our local councillors

Our November and December issue includes a bi-monthly update from local councillors Katie Steel and Masuk Miah for Stoughton South and Gillian Harwood and Lizzie Griffiths for Stoughton North. Their goal is to keep the Stoughton community informed about their actions as representatives of both wards and how the Guildford Borough Council is supporting our local area.

Local councillors Katie Steel, Masuk Miah, Gillian Harwood and Lizzie Griffiths write:

Getting in touch with us

If there are any particular issues you’d like to discuss with us then please email us at katie.steel@guildford.gov.uk and masuk.miah@guildford.gov.uk for Stoughton South, and gillian.harwood@guildford.gov.uk and lizzie.griffiths@guildford.gov.uk for Stoughton North and we will be happy to do all we can to help.

Stoughton South will also be running monthly drop-in sessions so residents can come to speak to us in person on the first Wednesday of every month from 10.00am to 12.00pm at Emmanuel Church Café. Stoughton North will be running drop-in sessions as well, date to be confirmed.

Council Finances

In July the council passed a special budget in order to deal with financial difficulties caused by high inflation and rising interest rates on the council’s borrowing. The result of these financial pressures is that the council will have to make £18 million of savings over the next three years to balance the books, or else face having to effectively declare itself bankrupt.

The biggest cause of the problem is high interest rates, as previous administrations committed to borrowing large amounts of money to fund major capital projects, and the cost of repaying these loans accounts for around 80% of our budget gap. The situation has been made worse by years of government funding cuts.

We are pleased to say that after much hard work from the officers and the Liberal Democrat team at Guildford Borough Council (GBC), the threat of a section 114 notice has been avoided for the current financial year.

We are pleased to say that after much hard work from the officers and the Liberal Democrat team at Guildford Borough Council (GBC), the threat of a section 114 notice has been avoided for the current financial year. A section 114 notice is the local government equivalent to declaring bankruptcy. You would’ve seen in the news that Woking and Birmingham councils have declared this notice in recent months.

With this good news, it means that decisions around Guildford Borough Council (GBC) spending can be kept inside Guildford, and we will be able to provide discretionary services that many residents rely on, e.g. Meals on Wheels.

Big thank you to the compliance team

We would like to point out the excellent work the compliance team have done around Stoughton in recent weeks. First, we were able to work with the team to get the old NatWest Bank on Worplesdon Road secured safely after the building was broken into earlier this year. Secondly, we were able to work with the team to remove the traveller’s encampment that was set up on Stoughton Rec over the Summer. We will be working with the parks team as well to see what can be done about making the park more secure and provide a deterrent.

Stoughton North roadside repairs

Over the past couple of months two roadside areas have been repaired. The first involved QE Park where we were able to work with Thames Water to get the drains repaired along the roadside and ensure clear drainage of rainwater along the road. The second was the bollard on Johnston Walk whereby we worked with Surrey Highways to get the damaged bollard removed and a replacement one installed to ensure pedestrian safety in the area.

North Street application

A new planning application for the North Street re-development scheme has been received by the council and is now open for public comment. We don’t have the space here to give a proper update on it, so we have written a Frequently Asked Questions about the scheme on our website instead: GuildfordLibDems.org.uk/NorthStreetFAQs

G Live Macmillan Coffee Morning, Friday 29th

G Live host a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday, 29 September

G Live will be hosting a Macmillan Coffee Morning on the official date of Friday, 29 September. The venue joins thousands of people across the UK who raise money by participating in the world’s biggest Coffee Morning. The money raised will help many living with cancer to live life as fully as they can.

Right now, more than 3 million people are living with cancer in the UK. Macmillan’s mission is to do whatever it takes to support people living with cancer and their families. The generous donations received from the Macmillan Coffee Morning and other fundraising efforts can help provide cancer services, research, staffing and campaign for better care.

Join the team at G Live from 10:30am – 2pm for some delicious cakes and refreshments and get to know people within the local community, all whilst raising money for an incredible cause.

Vegan and Gluten free treats will also be available so grab your friends, family and collegues for this very special morning at G Live, Guildford.

Also on 29 September, the venue will launch their monthly Craft Café. At these Friday drop-in sessions, participate in a selection of free craft-based activities whilst enjoying refreshments from The Café at G Live. Suitable for all ages and abilities, the 2023 dates for the Craft Café are 29 September, 20 October, 17 November and 15 December. So, whether you’re a ‘blood sucker’ for Halloween, would rather the magic of Christmas, or just want to learn a new skill, there will be something for everyone.

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The Verdict – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

The Verdict, the best-selling courtroom drama that inspired the Oscar-nominated film comes to Guildford at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Middle Ground Theatre Company Ltd presents the powerful bestselling courtroom drama that inspired a multi–Academy Award-Nominated film starring Paul Newman, is set to thrill Guildford audiences this July.

Frank Galvin is a washed-up veteran lawyer and an alcoholic. He is presented with one last chance to redeem himself when he is given an open-and-shut medical malpractice case that no one thinks he can win.

Described by critics as ‘compelling’, ‘superb’ and ‘captivating’, the production has enjoyed standing ovations at theatres across the UK.

Up against the unforgiving medical establishment, he courageously refuses an out of court settlement, believing it is negligence that has condemned a young mother. Smelling a cover up, he instead takes the case and the entire legal system to court…

Described by critics as ‘compelling’, ‘superb’ and ‘captivating’, the production has enjoyed standing ovations at theatres across the UK. So what are you waiting for? This is a day in court that’s not to be missed!

A 15-strong cast, including TV favourite Jason Merrells, who is known to millions for his roles in Agatha Raisin, Emmerdale, Casualty, Waterloo Road, and multi award-winning Nigel Barber, bring this powerful and gripping courtroom thriller to life. They are joined by Richard Walsh (London’s Burning), Reanne Farley (River City), Vincent Pirillo, Okon Jones, Michael Lunney, Sarah Shelton, Jason Wilson, Teresa Jennings, Holly Jackson Walters, James Morley, Bruce Chattan, Anna Arthur and Dave Speck.

The 2023 production of The Verdict, directed & designed by Michael Lunney. Adapted by Margaret May Hobbs.

“If you love a courtroom drama then The Verdict is probably one of the best… this is a cracking production of one of the most famous in the field.”
British Theatre Guide

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX
Box Office: 01483 44 00 00


Headway Surrey look for a new chairperson

Headway Surrey, the brain injury support charity, is looking for a new chairperson, can you help?

Beccy Bowden became Chair of Headway Surrey, the brain injury support charity, in 2019 and now would like to step down as she should have retired in October 2023. It is a 4-year term of office.

Headway Surrey provides cognitive rehabilitation, support and services for those affected by brain injury in Surrey. Set up in 1985 by families with brain injury and legally established as a charity in 1994.

We are looking for a Chairperson who can help us lead the Board of Trustees and the charity to ensure that people living with brain injury in Surrey reach their maximum potential and recovery.

For further information about the role please download our PDF file here.

Someone in the UK will be admitted to hospital every 90 seconds with a brain injury.

Brain injury is indiscriminate, it is sudden and devastating for an individual and those around them. There are no ‘typical’ clients – we support people over the age of 18 in Surrey who have brain injuries. If we have space we will accept some people from outside the borders of Surrey. Brain injury can happen to anyone, from any background, ethnicity, religion, gender etc.

Brain injury can be traumatic or acquired brain injury, more commonly known as TBI or ABI (ABI tends to incorporate TBI as well). Some examples of brain injury cause are stroke, road traffic incident (as pedestrians, cyclists, motorbikes, cars, vans, lorries etc), trips, falls, sports injury (eg. cycling, skateboarding, jogging, boxing, rugby, horse riding, skiing, climbing), assault, combat, domestic violence, work accidents, falling objects (high winds, construction industry), hypoxia (lack of oxygen), brain tumour, aneurysm, encephalitis, meningitis and other viruses that attack the brain.

Headway Surrey provides a comprehensive range of bespoke cognitive rehabilitation sessions at Headway Surrey, Centre Workshops, art, communications, creative writing, guest speakers, 1:1 sessions, group sessions, helpline, Drop In Friday Friends, Family and Carers Survival Toolkit Course, Understanding Brain Injury Course, counselling, online coffee morning, individual or family brain injury education sessions, walking and talking group, young person group and hospital link worker support. Our services can be offered online or face to face.

Specialist Rehabilitation Coordinators with Accredited Certificates in Brain Injury Studies from Northampton University and Brain Tree Training provide a range of services to enable us to deliver sessions to aid the development of new neural pathways to enable those with brain injury to live well, re-learn skills, live independently and to their best ability.

We encourage students studying speech and language, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychiatry and neurology to volunteer with us. Which offers a 2-way learning opportunity. We offer holiday work experience to a limited number of 6 form students who are interest in the brain injury area of work. We offer a full range of volunteering opportunities for adults from all walks of life.

Background about Headway Surrey

Operating from a ground floor custom built, fully accessible Centre, called Headway House, at 21 North Road, Stoughton, Guildford, GU2 9PU we provide a comprehensive range of services.

We support adults with acquired and traumatic brain injury (ABI & TBI (more commonly combined as ABI)) to live well with their brain injury and optimise their cognitive rehabilitation recovery. We support ABI survivors to become independent, re-skill and re-enable them to their maximum level.

We support families, carers, employers and others connected with the survivor with education, advice and support. We raise awareness of brain injury and our services with the general public.

Headway Surrey is an independent registered charity and company limited by guarantee established in 1985, becoming a registered charity in 1995. It is an independent charity with an affiliation to Headway UK, the national brain injury association, which enables us to use the Headway Logo and to tap into the resources of the other groups and branches throughout the UK and Ireland.

Headway Surrey currently employs 10 members of staff (F/T equivalent 6) and is supported by a team of about 20-30 volunteers, including Trustees. We hold the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

At the end of the financial year 1/4/2023 income = £194,849 and expenditure = £241,329.

Income is mainly from:

  • Adult Social Care £77,330
  • Grants £45,340
  • Private funders £19,555
  • Sports Challenges £14,320

Our Services

Our work is based on cognitive rehabilitation and encompasses a comprehensive spread of subjects affecting brain injury survivors, their families and carers. Our current main services are:

Day Centre – Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-2.30pm. Up to 16 individuals are offered a regular full days of cognitive strategy and skills to assist recovery/reskilling of the brain in order to maximise independent living skills. Areas covered include executive skills, memory, attention, decision making, information processing, emotional behaviour, communication and life skills, IT sessions, creative writing, art, crafts, gardening and seated Boccia.

1:1 Sessions or Family Sessions: Tailor made to support individuals or families.

Online Coffee Mornings – For survivors and their families/carers to gain peer support and discuss topics that matter to them.

Friday Friends Drop In – Third Friday of every month, breaking down isolation, offering peer interaction and support, friendship and conversation practice. This helps to add to a routine, help alleviate social isolation, reduce depression, improve cognitive skills and conversation practice.

Telephone Helpline and Website – Providing information and support to a wide range of individuals and organisations. Clients are also supported on a wide range of social welfare issues – including Adult Social Care funding, housing, employment and personal resource management in areas such as personalisation budgets, housing and disability benefits.

Family and Carers – A 6-week Family and Carers Survival Toolkit Course. Modules include: understanding brain injury, cognition, emotion and behavioural changes, communication and fatigue.

Understanding Brain Injury Course – A 6-week course for those new to the service with a brain injury, it includes goal setting and selecting further groups to transition into.

Counselling Service – Short term counselling for survivors and family members to help with their mental and emotional wellbeing.

Walking and Talking Groups – with volunteer speech and language therapists.

Young Persons Group – peer led interactive group for the 18-30 year olds.

Links to the Hospitals, Health Care and Social Care – ABI Link Workers raise awareness with those affected by brain injury in all the main hospitals, often with a regular clinic/presence in the hospitals, Adult Social Care Services, Locality Teams, Community Care Teams, NHS, GPs, Stroke Pathways, Surrey Coalition of Disabled People, Long Term Neurological

Christmas at G Live

G Live have announced their christmas season for 2023, including:

  • Music from Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Christmas Kitchen Disco to Handel’s Messiah with Guildford Choral Society
  • Festive dining events with entertainment from the West End Jerseys and the Arg Band
  • The return of classical ballet to G Live with the Nutcracker
  • Santa is on his sleigh by Justin Fletcher for ages 3+
  • Partytime with a Massaoke, 80’s Tropicana Night and a kids’ Rudolph Rave
  • Magical escapism with Cirque Enchantment and comedy at the Hellfire Comedy Cracker

Guildford’s G Live have today confirmed their Christmas season of entertainment, comprising of music, comedy, ballet, theatre, film, party nights and festive dining events.

Celebrations start with a nostalgic sleigh ride through the golden age of Rock ‘n’ Roll with the That’ll Be The Day Christmas Show (21 November). Music continues with Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Christmas Kitchen Disco (7 December), with Sophie adding her own disco style to some festive classics and career favourites.

Festive dining events with all the trimmings include Christmas with the West End Jerseys (12 December), when live music celebrating Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will leave you “Beggin” for more, and Christmas with The Arg Band (13 December), serving up an evening of classic hits led by original TOWIE cast member James Argent.

Music of a classical nature comes from Guildford Choral Society with their performance of Handel’s Messiah (9 December), and ballet returns to the Surrey venue for the first time since 2019, with five performances of The Nutcracker performed by the 35-strong Nerubashenko Ballet and orchestra of 28 players (4-6 January).

G Live and Imagine Theatre are delighted to announce a brand-new magical family show for ages 3+, Santa’s On His Sleigh (16-24 December), written by Justin Fletcher. Starring Santa, Snowdrop the Elf, Rudolph and, featuring on screen, virtual little helper and Head Elf, Justy (played by Justin Fletcher), can you help fix Santa’s sleigh in time for him to deliver all his presents?

Also, for families with children aged 0-8, join the party at the Rudoph Rave (2pm, 16 December), where a DJ, glow sticks, glitter and giant balloons ensure a fun-filled afternoon complete with spectacular light display.

There’s party time for adults too, with MASSAOKE Christmas (16 December) – the UK’s biggest mass-karaoke event – featuring a live band and Christmas hits from Mariah, Wham!, Slade, Wizzard and The Pogues, as well as hairbrush anthems from the 80s, 90s, 00s and beyond. For those aged 25+, the venue’s regular party night, Tropicana Nights (15 December) will have you dancing to all the hits of the 80s. “Don’t’ Stop Believin’” – it’ll be a real “Celebration”.

With a reputation for hosting some of the best stand-up comedians on the circuit, the venue’s regular Hellfire Comedy Club is back with a Christmas special, the Hellfire Comedy Cracker (20 December) – complete with curry – shining a spotlight on exciting up-and-coming talent.

Miracle on 34th Street (1pm, 21 December) is the ultimate Christmas movie, and the 1947 original, featuring Maureen O’Hara and John Payne, forms part of G Live’s Memory Cinema season, which shows classic films in a relaxed and accessible environment.

In the period between Christmas and New Year, Cirque Enchantment (29 & 30 December) will take audiences on a magical adventure to a world of frozen beauty. Featuring superb choreography, breathtaking vocals and a troupe of amazing circus performers, this is the perfect treat for the festive period.

In addition to Christmas events, there are lots of other shows currently on sale during November and December, including Dawn French (23 November); Tom Davis: Underdog (22 & 24 November); Gareth Malone: Sing-A-Long-A-Gareth-Two (25 November); Far From Saints (27 November); Scouting For Girls (29 November); From The Jam (01 December); Noel Fitzpatrick – Beyond Supervet (2 December); Viggo Venn: British Comedian (6 December) and Wifi Wars (9 December).

With G Live Gift Vouchers the perfect Christmas present (available online at glive.co.uk/GLGiftVouchers), family and friends can choose what to see in the New Year. In January alone, events include: An Evening of Burlesque (12 January); Most Haunted Live with Yvette Fielding and Karl Beattie (16 January); Giovanni Pernice’s Let Me Entertain You (19 January); and The Making of a Murderer (30 January). There’s also comedy from Ed Night (20 January) and Sarah Millican (27 January), the ultimate tributes to Abba (Thank You For The Music, 11 January), The Bee Gees (The Magic of The Bee Gees, 18 January) and Elton John (The Rocket Man, 20 January), and – for younger audiences – Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out (24-25 January).

Get strong. You'll like it!

Christine Sciberras, Founder and Head Coach at Melita Fitness.

Strength training is important. I bang on about it. Muscle mass. Bone density. You know.

But what we don’t talk about enough is that it just feels so good. And why you’ll like it! Because you will!

The ability to do things!
There’s the sheer satisfaction of doing things that require strength: the ability to lift heavy stuff, the ability to move shift furniture if needed. But also, the ability…

  • to carry the overfilled shopping bags all the way home.
  • to lift the bike up onto the car.
  • to not even question whether you’re strong enough for that mountain walk.
  • to be able to do handstands on the beach with the children…

Building your capacity to do hard things
“I’d never worked out with weights before and always thought I wouldn’t be able to. But Melita Fitness has made me realise I am capable of so much more than I thought I was.”

It’s a common theme, especially with women who are new to exercise or weight training. Strength training helps you to realise that you are capable of so much more that you thought. Almost every person who starts a class, baulks at the 8kg weight that I suggest they start on. But within 4 weeks, they’re squatting, lunging and overhead pressing it confidently and competently.

And this new confidence this permeates into daily life. It gives you the willingness and belief to try new things. It gives you the gumption to attack hard things.

Because 2 or 3 times a week you are doing something hard. And completing it. And so over time, your capacity to do hard things increases.

“For me, it’s the joy of learning what my body can do.”

Women, particularly those of us born in the 70s and 80s, have spent so much of our adult life conditioned to judge our body for how it looks. But these days we’re learning to love and be grateful for what our body can do instead. Strength training is a brilliant way to emphasis and experience this. Session by session we increase the repertoire of things we can do and see tangible evidence of progress.

Plus working out to increase strength is a more positive goal for body image and self-acceptance. It shifts from the focus away from the “exercise to lose weight” mantra that we hear about all the time, and towards a healthier relationship with exercise.

For longevity
Muscle mass is vital for women especially as we age. But really, specifically, have we thought about why?

It’s important for the things it will help us do as we age. Like:

  • Get off the toilet unassisted when we’re 80+
  • Keep up with the grand-children when we’re 60+
  • Live a life full of adventure, right now!

For your mental wellbeing
“I feel physically and mentally stronger and no matter what the rest of the day throws at me. I know I have accomplished something and taken some time out of the day just for me.”

Whether it’s the release of happy hormones or the suppression of stress hormones, strength training leaves you feeling accomplished, with mental clarity and resilience to boot! And finally, it doesn’t need to be complicated. You can do it on your own with minimal equipment. Or join a group so you can’t go wrong.

Either way, pick up those weights and start your journey to getting strong. I promise you’ll love every moment of it!

Winnie the Pooh – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

A new adventure is about to begin… Winnie the Pooh the musical is coming to Guildford this summer holiday.

Robbie Noonan & Benjamin Durham in Winnie the Pooh (Photo by Pamela Raith).

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh is coming to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, and he’s bringing along all his famous friends from Hundred Acre Wood. Tickets for Friday 11th to Sunday 13th August are on sale now.

The production will be presented by Rockefeller Productions, in partnership with ROYO, and in association with Disney Theatrical Productions.

Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, a new adventure is about to happen. A.A. Milne’s beloved characters, Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl (and Tigger too!), will all arrive on stage in a beautifully crafted musical stage adaptation. This fresh stage adaptation is told with impressive life-size puppetry, exciting new stories and featuring characters that have played iconic roles in the lives of children for generations.

Accompanying the modern narrative is an original score by Nate Edmondson, featuring some of the Grammy award-winning songs written by the Sherman Brothers for the original animated features, including Winnie the Pooh, The Blustery Day, The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers and Whoop-De-Dooper Bounce, plus A.A. Milne’s The More It Snows (featuring music by Carly Simon) and Sing Ho in a new arrangement.

Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Adaptation is developed and presented by renowned family entertainment creator Jonathan Rockefeller (whose spectacular puppetry is omnipresent in the acclaimed productions of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show and Paddington Gets in a Jam). Inspired by the beloved books by A. A. Milne and the classic Disney featurettes, the production was welcomed in New York in 2021, where it broke theatre box office records for the largest advance, with rave reviews where it was called ‘Enchanting!’ (Time Out); ‘Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation is magical, sweet as honey, and full of humor. It’s a wholesome, delightful, enchanting piece of theatre,’ (BroadwayWorld)

The role of Winnie the Pooh will be played by Benjamin Durham (Young Frankenstein). The much-loved characters of Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo will be brought to life by an ensemble of performers, including Laura Bacon (Britain’s Got Talent, Star Wars), Harry Boyd (The Play That Goes Wrong, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story), Alex Cardall (Evita, The Osmonds: A New Musical), Chloe Gentles (Mamma Mia!, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Lottie Grogan (Smurfs Save Spring: The Musical, The Lips for Puppets with Guys) and Robbie Noonan (Avenue Q UK Tour, Jack and the Beanstalk).

Benjamin Durham as Pooh in Winnie the Pooh (Photo by Pamela Raith).
Find out more

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX
Box Office: 01483 44 00 00


Sixth Bishop of Dorking announced

The Venerable Paul Davies, Archdeacon of Surrey is to become the next Bishop of Dorking.

Guildford has been home to the Bishop of Dorking designate and his family since 2017, with Paul serving in his current role as Archdeacon of Surrey, responsible for the pastoral care and wellbeing of over 150 clergy, whilst sitting on the Bishop of Guildford’s leadership team.

Originally from Pembrokeshire, Archdeacon Paul Davies read theology at the Universities of Wales and Oxford. Following his training at Ripon College Cuddesdon, he returned to Pembrokeshire to be ordained in 1997 at St David’s Cathedral where he began his ministry (and fulfilled his childhood ambition of serving on a lifeboat crew!). This was followed by successive appointments as vicar of Solva in rural Pembrokeshire and then vicar of Burry Port in post-industrial Carmarthenshire. During these years he also served as Diocesan Director of Ordinands and an Officiating Chaplain to the Military.

In 2012, Paul moved to North Wales to serve as Archdeacon of Bangor and Anglesey before, in 2017, swapping a rural Welsh patch for a mainly urban English one, as he took up his present appointment as Archdeacon of Surrey. This month, he celebrates 25 years as a priest.

Paul is married to Louise, a town planner, who was born and spent her early years in Surrey. They have a son in university and a daughter who turned 18 this week. The whole family is delighted to be remaining in the area.

Paul will be ordained as a bishop in Westminster Abbey on 29th September. A service of welcome will be held at Guildford Cathedral on 8th October at 6.00pm. More details will be available shortly.

Paul says; “Whilst I am slightly daunted by the responsibility to be entrusted to me, my heart is full of joy at the prospect of continuing to serve a diocese and people I have grown to love. For the past six years, I have been constantly inspired by the faith, hope and love that pours out of our churches, schools and chaplaincies in the work of transforming lives. I feel immensely blessed to have been called to serve alongside Bishop Andrew in leading and caring for this diocese and, with the help of God, will do that to the very best of my ability.”

Bishop Andrew, Bishop of Guildford reflects on why Paul was such a good fit; “Those of us privileged to work with Paul here in Guildford over the past six years have recognised just what a treasure he is: a godly disciple, a wise pastor, a gifted preacher, a keen strategist, and someone with extraordinary capacity for hard work. His family are pretty special too!

For some while now I’ve known that Paul would make a wonderful bishop somewhere – and over the course of the past few months it’s become increasingly clear to me (among many others) that that ‘somewhere’ is here. I couldn’t be more delighted.”

Bishop Andrew continues on what is to come; “Paul and I will be sharing in episcopal ministry across the diocese, as together we continue to pray and work towards a Transforming Church, Transforming Lives. He will also have a particular brief to promote three of the areas in which we are investing the most, as Champion for children and youth, vocations and the environment. As Paul lays down one mantle and picks up another, I’m really excited at all that the Lord has in store.”

Following the announcement, the Bishop of Dorking designate will spend the morning out in the Diocese of Guildford with the Bishop of Guildford celebrating what God is doing. They will start the day at the Cathedral for a Family Fun Day with over 120 children; talking with young, inquisitive minds and their families and encouraging keen environmental stewardship – something that the Bishop of Dorking will be a champion. Children will receive wildflower seeds to take home, encouraging biodiversity in homes across Surrey & Hampshire.

Then it is on to St Martins, Old Dean in Camberley. This is a church whose vocational heart has been to support its community in ways that need it most. The Free Food Stall which the church started, in partnership with the Old Dean Community Group, has drawn in so many people to help improve the lives of people who live here, and has a transformative impact on the culture of this parish.

The Bishop of Dorking designate will then spend time with Diocesan staff, some of whom have known Paul since his arrival in Guildford, celebrating and praying together for their new leadership team and the exciting work to come.

At 2pm the Bishop designate will return to the Cathedral green to plant a tree, a symbolic step of not only the wider strategy of the Diocese to commit to becoming Net Zero by 2030 but also the long term partnership between the Diocese and Guildford Cathedral. All are welcome to join us – please do come on down!

Finally, the day will conclude with a visit to Dorking – giving thanks for the town after which the See is named. Paul will spend some time in quiet reflection at St Martin’s, Dorking.

Paul will lay down his Archdeacon ministry at an Evensong at the Cathedral on the 30th July and take some much-deserved time with his family before his consecration in September.

During the vacancy of the Archdeacon of Surrey, the Venerable Martin Breadmore (Archdeacon of Dorking) will also be Acting Archdeacon of Surrey ably supported by Claire Isherwood (Assistant Archdeacon of Surrey).

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