Guildford Shakespeare Company’s Sarah Gobran on her perfect Surrey weekend

Sarah Gobran

Sarah Gobran - Credit: Guildford Shakespeare Company

As co-founder and producer of the award-winning Guildford Shakespeare Company, weekends are a busy time for actress Sarah Gobran – but when she does get some time off, she enjoys nothing more than a nut roast and a walk along the River Wey...

Sarah on stage with Guildford Shakespeare Company

Sarah on stage with Guildford Shakespeare Company - Credit: Guildford Shakespeare Company

I have lived in Guildford since 1995 when I moved here to train at the Guildford School of Acting. The plan was to move to London upon graduating in 1998, but Guildford was a perfect balance for me; a busy bustling town with good shops, the countryside on its doorstep and an easy commute to London.

A weekend off is still a rare event for me, as during our seasons, weekends either mean rehearsals or performances, and perhaps a bit of flyer-ing too, but during our quiet times a weekend starts for me on Friday evening for an after-work drink or two with friends either at the Royal Oak or Keystone pubs in Guildford.

Saturday sword fights

Regardless of whether we have a show on or not, Saturday morning always starts for me with GSC Saturdays, our weekly drama and stage fighting classes for eight to 18-year-olds, which take place from 10am to 12noon at the County School on Farnham Road. I love these mornings; the children’s enthusiasm and imaginations always inspire me and make me laugh and sets me up for the day.

A Saturday afternoon could be a trip around the shops on our beautiful cobbled high street. Shopping in Guildford is a favourite for my mum, who will stop at nothing to spend the afternoon doing a little retail therapy.

Alternatively, I might go to visit my three-year-old god-daughter in Hampton Court and spend the day at one of the lovely parks there. My god-daughter’s mother is our resident composer, Mary McAdam, who has created the beautiful and haunting melodies that have underscored many a GSC production, and we will often discuss creative ideas at the swings!

Most Read

Sunday nut roasts Sunday is always a nut roast – being a veggie! – with friends at the Drummond pub in Guildford; the best roast in town! It’s usually a late lunch at about 3pm, which enables us all to either sleep in after a big theatre ‘get out’ the night before, do a little work, or maybe just have a morning off before meeting up.

If it is a work-free morning for me then one of my favourite walks is along the River Wey from Guildford to Godalming – so beautiful whatever the time of year and for a moment you can forget the hustle and bustle of the nearby town and really feel like you are in the heart of the countryside.


Guildford Shakespeare Company presents Othello at Holy Trinity Church on Guildford’s High Street until Saturday February 22. Actor David Carr, who has recently been understudying Adrian Lester in the National Theatre’s hit production, will be taking the title role, and Rosalind Blessed, daughter of actor Brian Blessed, will be playing Emelia. Tickets are priced at £12-£21. Box office: 01483 304384 /