Hoipolloi presents...

Written and directed by Shôn Dale-Jones
Inspired by the book by Edward Gorey

Nominated for a Total Theatre Award 2009

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night,
There was no one expected – and no one in sight
Then they saw something standing on top of an urn,
Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.

When a curious creature scuttles into the Bishop family’s house, they have no idea how to get rid of it. Eating plates, trapping them in their drawing room for weeks and throwing their favourite possessions in the pond, it holds them prisoners in their own home.

Vividly theatrical and uniquely fantastical, Edward Gorey’s creepily comic tale of mischief and disruption delighted children and adults alike.

Fusing the spectral sounds of its original score with unforgettably energetic performances, this was a show to make audiences laugh, shudder and lock their doors extra tight on a wild, wintry night!

Lots more information on the making and touring of this production can be found on the Hoipolloi blog.

The Doubtful Guest was first published in 1957. Over Gorey’s lifetime he generated a huge collection of work and when he died in 2000, he’d become an American cult icon.

For more information on Edward Gorey, why not visit the website of the Edward Gorey House in Cape Cod.

“The wonderful Hoipolloi is our leading purveyor of theatrical whimsy… This brief evening – childlike, but not childish and aimed at all ages – takes the 14 rhyming couplets of one of Gorey’s best-known stories and transforms them into a piece of visual theatre that captures all the Victorian pastiche, fantastical imagination and ominous air of Gorey’s original.”
The Guardian (here’s the original review)

Production Videos


Shôn Dale-Jones: Writer/Director
Stefanie Mueller: Designer
Alexander Rudd: Composer
Peter Harrison: Lighting Designer
Jill Norman and Holly Race: Assistant Directors
Lee Fisher: Ballet Coach

Performed by Ben Frimston, Stefanie Mueller, Jill Norman, Andrew Pembrooke, Trond-Erik Vassdal and Cassie Friend (who joined the cast for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009).

Production and Technical team: Richard Couldrey, Tom Cotterill,
Matt Spencer and Mim Spencer

First performance: Watford Palace Theatre, 13 March 2008

Hoipolloi and the Theatre Royal Plymouth in association with English Touring Theatre. Produced by arrangement with The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust. Originally produced in association with Watford Palace Theatre.


Our phenomenal ME & ROBIN HOOD audiences have raised over £20,000 for Street Child United this year! A massive thank you, to you all! Hope you can join us on the road in 2019.

Click on the link below for a full list of:

2019 Tour Dates 


343Head DukeOur generous audiences have raised over £50,000 towards Save the Children's Child Refugee Appeals since The Duke premiered. We're so grateful to you all and hope to continue to increase this phenomenal amount throughout 2019.

For a list of where to see The Duke this year please click here.