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Witty comedy of manners full of gossip and romance

  • Garrick Theatre 16 Meadow St Guildford, WA, 6055 Australia (map)
Young love blossoms in Cranford between Martha (Ellie Bawden) and Jem Hearn (Ethan Acott).

Young love blossoms in Cranford between Martha (Ellie Bawden) and Jem Hearn (Ethan Acott).

Ellie Bawden is brushing off her bustle and fastening her bonnet in preparation for her next play Cranford at Garrick Theatre this July. Adapted from the Elizabeth Gaskell novel by Martyn Coleman and directed by Ailsa Travers, Cranford is set in the sleepy English village of the same name which is full of good old-fashioned gossip and romance – especially when a mysterious new arrival sets hearts aflutter.

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.

Ellie plays Martha, a lower-class maid to the main character Miss Matilda Jenkyns (known as “Miss Matty”). She's a rough country girl not yet fully trained at the start of the play so is a little clumsy and can say some inappropriate things at times. 

First involved with theatre in 2008, Ellie toured the UK last year with Snapshot Youth Theatre in River Dreaming and appeared in the WA premiere of Don Parties On at Melville Theatre in early 2014. In her final year of high school, she received the Pilbara Development Commission Cultural Award for her contribution to arts in the region.



  • WHEN: July 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 & 26 at 8pm, and Matinees July 13 & 20 at 2pm
  • WHERE: Garrick Theatre, 16 Meadow Street, Guildford, opposite the Stirling Arms Hotel and Guildford Town Hall
  • COST: Standard $20, Concession $17, Children $15
  • BOOKINGS: Book on (08) 9378 1990 or online at