Photo Flash: Meet the Cast of CRANFORD at the Garrick Theatre

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BRUSH off your bustle and fasten your bonnets -- good old-fashioned gossip and romance are coming to Garrick Theatre this July. Adapted from the Elizabeth Gaskell novel by Martyn Coleman, Cranford is set in the sleepy English village of the same name where a mysterious new arrival sets hearts aflutter. Scroll down for a first look at the cast!

Set in the 1830s, the play has been described as a "witty comedy of manners" as two outrageously proper spinster sisters head a collection of misguided womenfolk who engage in snobbery, gossip and social scandal, pitting lost loves against old friends.

Cranford was first published in 1851 as a serial in the magazine Household Words, edited by Charles Dickens, and made into a 2007 BBC television series featuring Judi Dench and Michael Gambon.

Director Ailsa Travers said the play is actually only a small slice of the novel. "It's set after the Napoleonic wars when women were in the majority," she said. "This show has the advantage of being funny as well as pretty to look at."

Acting for most of her life, Travers directed her first in play in 1968 and now has 55 to her credit after directing shows at the Old Mill, Melville, Marloo, Garrick, KADS and Upstream Theatres.

She has received numerous awards for acting, directing and costuming over the years and has been made a life member of the Independent Theatre Association, as well as being a founding member of Stirling Theatre.

Cranford marks a slight change for Travers as her last few plays have either been medieval or modern. "This one appealed because I have directed many period plays and it had many parts for women," she said.

Cranford plays at 8pm, July 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 with 2pm matinees July 13 and 20. Tickets are $20, $17 concession, $15 children - book on 9378 1990 or bookings@garricktheatre.asn.au. Garrick Theatre is at 16 Meadow Street, Guildford, opposite the Stirling Arms Hotel and Guildford Town Hall.

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Photo Flash: Meet the Cast of CRANFORD at the Garrick Theatre
Kerry Goode (Miss Matty Jenkyns), Veronica Fourie (Miss Pole), Susan Vincent (Mrs Jamieson) and Di Graham (Miss Barker)

Photo Flash: Meet the Cast of CRANFORD at the Garrick Theatre
Mr Hoggins (Graham Miles) is the only eligible bachelor in Cranford, much to the delight of Lady Glenmire (Heidi Davies), Miss Pole (Veronica Fourie) and Miss Barker (Di Graham).

Photo Flash: Meet the Cast of CRANFORD at the Garrick Theatre
Young love blossoms in Cranford between Martha (Ellie Bawden) and Jem Hearn (Ethan Acott).

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