Category Archives: Future Events

NEWSLETTER – APRIL 2022

The Gage Players newsletter, April, 2022

 

Dear Members and Friends,

 

What a lovely Easter we’ve had and I do hope you enjoyed the weekend in the sun.

 

Whilst we have been unable to perform a spring production this year, due to Covid and our dwindling funds, applications have been made for grants, but they unfortunately take time.  It is a waiting game.  However, there are many interesting events in the pipeline, one or two of them by fellow local community groups:

 

Gala Organ Recital at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Tadworth

Saturday, 14th May, 2022 at 6.30pm

By Simon Johnson, one of the world’s leading organists, including music by Bach, Liszt, Vaughan Williams and Franck.

Wine and soft drinks at 6.30, concert at 7.00pm, and at 8.15pm adjourn to the Church Hall for a finger buffet, wine and soft drinks.

Admission is by pre-purchased tickets at £15 per person, which includes refreshments, but there is no charge to accompanied children under 18.

On-line: www.ticketsource.co.uk/goodshepherdtadworth

By phone: 01737 556 219

 

The Walton May Pageant, 21st May, 2022

The procession from Walton Pond starts at 2pm.  We are running the Gage Players/bottle tombola stall and would be grateful for help and donations, not only of alcohol but bottles or jars of anything from ketchup, jam, marmalade and lemonade to gin and fizz, so that there is something for all winners.  This promises to be a very popular and busy stall, so if any of you members, friends and family can join in, please let us know, then we can set up a rota of helpers to set up the stall, run it throughout the day, and dismantle it at the end.  Please help – thank you. If you can help, please email us at  friends@thegageplayers.co.uk

 

 

Platinum Jubilee Tea Party, 3rd June 2022

Friday, 3rd June, 2022 at 2.30pm in Jubilee Wood, Tadworth (Tadworth Street next to the railway bridge)

All users of the woodland are welcome.

Bring along your own rugs or seating and any additional food you may require.

Sadly no dogs except guide dogs.

gbockmeulen@hotmail.com

Tadworth and Walton Residents’ Association

 

The Gage midsummer lunch out of doors

We would like to hold a midsummer lunch, probably in a pub garden, either a barbecue or from the pub’s main menu.  We will let you know the venue, date and time as soon as possible.  It would be good to meet up.

 

A 90th birthday celebration, 14th August, 2022, St Peter’s Church, Walton

Our active Gage member, Chris Slater, who directs for us, has also had a very successful career as a professional musician – he is an accomplished organist, pianist, choirmaster and conductor, as well as having taught at the Royal College of Music.  His most recent distinctions include a master’s degree in conducting from Chichester University, achieving a 2021 sponsored play-through on the organ at home of hymn music in Hymns Ancient and Modern (completed by Whitsun 2021, raising over £1,200 for his local organ fund), and in October last year being made an honorary Associate of the Royal School of Church Music at a ceremony in Durham Cathedral.

 

Chris is planning to hold a concert to celebrate his 90th birthday on 14th August, 2022 (though the actual day is in December).  This will be held at 3.15pm at St Peter’s Church, Walton on the Hill, followed by tea at 4.15pm at Breech Lane Community Hall in Walton.  There will be no charge for concert or tea, though a retiring collection will be made after the concert to benefit St Peter’s.  Although this is an event personally organised by Chris, the Gage Players will be supporting him wholeheartedly in the audience, and we hope you may join us.

 

Gage Players rehearsed reading with supper, 24th September 2022

This will be Playgoers by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, directed by Chris Slater.  This has been deferred since lockdown, so we are delighted to be staging it.  We hope the original cast are still available, but if not everyone is, a call for auditions/read-throughs will go out a bit later on, dates to be during September at Chris’s home, with a couple of rehearsals there as well, before transferring to the Riddell Hall.    Please put the date in your diary now.

 

Gage Players rehearsed reading with supper, 3rd or 10th December 2022

Christmas may seem a long way off, but we are looking forward to early December when we will present scenes from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which should put everyone into the true Christmas spirit (some of you may remember The Gage’s full production of this, back in 2003!).  A firm performance date, as well as audition and rehearsal dates, will be notified nearer the time, so please keep some space in your December diary

 

Joint event with Walton School, March 2023

It has been agreed with the school that our first planned joint event – a pop-up poetry matinee with interval tea – should be delayed from this March to March 2023.  I sincerely hope that this dreaded Covid virus is over by then, or at least that life will be much more manageable.  More information on this show later in the year.

 

Gage Players spring play, April 2023

Hoping that we receive some grant monies and that we ourselves have raised funds throughout this year, we are planning to perform Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders by Derek Webb, directed by Chris Slater.  This play was already partially cast before Covid problems hit us again, but a call for auditions will go out once we know we can safely fund the production and that we have put all the practicalities in hand.

 

We hope to have some interim activities during 2023, but then we look forward to:

 

Gage Players winter play, November 2023

We are determined to make a fourth attempt to perform Molly’s Calling written by Pip Rolls.  This clever, funny play so deserves to be seen.  Anyone who saw our performance of Pip’s What Really Happened in February will share our enthusiasm for his work, I’m sure.

 

Enjoy our lovely spring.

 

Best wishes,

Gay

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Newsletter – March 2022

Dear Friends and Members,

While enjoying this sunny spring day, I’m reflecting on our first Annual General Meeting in two years, held on 22nd March via Zoom. We now enjoy freedom from lockdown, and the Gage is looking forward to summer events, when we hope you will be there with us.

The Walton May Pageant, on 21st May, is an interesting and deservedly popular event, where we look forward to running our Gage stall and the bottle tombola stall next door to it. Donations of bottles would be appreciated, please, as the tombola is a great draw for people, so the more, the merrier!

However, the Pop-up Poetry matinee performance with Walton on the Hill Primary School has been deferred to March 2023. So many Surrey school children are now unwell with Covid, plus their families and teachers in many cases, that a September date would have been the earliest feasible one – but then the children in the top two classes would have changed at the start of the school year, leaving little time for all the preparation involved, and then closely followed by a very busy November/December getting ready for the school’s Christmas events. So they have agreed that next March would be best, and we look forward to that.

Our active member, Chris Slater, an accomplished organist, pianist, choirmaster and conductor, is planning a concert to celebrate his 90th birthday. His proposed date is 14th August at 3.15pm at St Peter’s Church, Walton on the Hill, followed by tea at 4.15pm at Breech Lane Community Hall. The programme is chosen but Chris is looking for more tenors and basses. The music would be rehearsed at 2pm ahead of the concert, so singers would need to be good sight-readers. Please contact the Gage if you can help. Although this is an event personally organised by Chris, the Gage will wholeheartedly be supporting him in the audience.

A rehearsed reading with supper is planned for 24th September – Playgoers by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, directed by Chris Slater. Audition dates at Chris’s home will be set nearer the time.

Once again, our hoped-for winter production is going to be Molly’s Calling by Pip Rolls, performance dates planned as 24th, 25th and 26th November. Due to Covid and lockdowns, this would be our fourth attempt to stage this wonderful comedy and we will be so happy to see it performed on stage at last.

Two grant applications are in progress for funding to tide us over until we have built up our reserves to pay the very considerable up-front costs for a main production, and our winter play this year is partly contingent on our receiving at least one of these grants, so we eagerly await news .

Looking ahead to 2023, we hope to put on another main production in April, directed by Chris Slater, audition, rehearsal and production dates to advised at a later date.

Wishing you all a happy Easter when it comes, and looking forward to seeing you soon.

Best wishes,

Gay

Gay Weeden
Chair, The Gage Players

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Newsletter – February 2022

Dear Friends and Members,

I hope you are keeping well and are enjoying a bit more freedom now that most Covid restrictions have ended. I am writing this on a bright, crisp day, looking forward to the coming of Spring, with longer and warmer days ahead.

The Gage were delighted to tread the boards last Saturday with our first stage event in two years, an informal occasion for Gage members, their families and friends. Five short, historical comedies written and directed by Pip Rolls made up an evening of rehearsed readings, and they were hugely enjoyed by everyone – Pip, cast and crew, and visitors. The audience were amazed by the quirky twists and turns, altering the outcomes of history, and said what a clever concept it was and how much they’d relished it all. We were pleased that in the end more people came to enjoy the fun than was initially anticipated, and also that we were able to recoup a small part of the losses made in March 2020 when we were obliged to cancel a full show days ahead of opening.

The show that never opened was Molly’s Calling, also written and directed by Pip Rolls. In fact Pip brought the play to the point of performance twice more during 2020-2021, but two lockdowns and the continued risk of low audience numbers made it impossible to risk. Pip has now chosen a caretaker director, Val Anscombe, to lead on what we all hope will be a triumphant staging later on this year – we will keep you posted on dates, of course, and trust that all our stalwart supporters will return to enjoy a good story and a lot of laughs.

Unfortunately, due to the rising numbers of Covid cases among pupils and teachers in schools locally, we have had to postpone our planned March Saturday matinee, Pop-up Poetry. This is a joint Gage Players/Walton on the Hill Primary School event, for which children have a competition to write their own, or choose a favourite poem, and the best three from the top two classes will join the Gage on stage to read them out. A number of Gage members will also take part on stage, and currently we are hoping to put this event back in the calendar for September.

We are greatly looking forward to taking part in the Walton May Pageant on Saturday, 21st May. The pageant theme is ‘Our precious planet’ and as usual will begin with a costumed procession starting opposite the Blue Ball pub, up to the Pageant Green Arena in Howard Close, Walton on the Hill. The Gage will have its own stall and will also be running the tombola, so we look forward to welcoming old friends and making new ones at what is always a very popular day out for people, with or without their dogs, but generally with.

For now, we are hoping to stage some more one-off events, with people bringing their own choice of supper and enjoying the Gage’s additional catering. As we found on Saturday, these are very popular, and make a light-hearted and sociable evening out. We also have another full play in the planning, and one which we believe will be an instant draw for audiences, but more of that another time.

On 22nd March at 7.30pm we shall be holding the Gage AGM via Zoom, to review the period
gone by since the last one, and to outline forward plans. That is also the time when we ask members, old and new, to pay their subscriptions – £20 for full membership and £10 for juniors. The Zoom link will be sent round nearer the time, and if you are not already a member and would like to sign up to receive this, please visit our website:

www.thegageplayers.co.uk

I hope to welcome many of you to the AGM. Meanwhile, keep safe and stay well.

Very best wishes,

Gay

Gay Weeden, Chair, The Gage Players

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Audition Notice – Agatha Crusty

Our play will be Agatha Crusty and The Village Hall Murders by Derek Webb; the play will be directed by Christopher Slater.   Auditions will take place at 8pm on Wednesday, 12th, Monday, 17th and Wednesday, 19th January, 2022 at Chris’s home: 12 Crabtree Lane, Great Bookham, Surrey KT23 4PF, with rehearsals starting on Monday, 7th February, 2022 at Walton School Hall,  Walton Street, Walton on the Hill, Surrey KT20 7RR.

Contact Chris on:
Telephone: 01372 454 963 or email christopherslater@ntlworld.com

COVID-19 SAFETY NOTICE FOR
ALL AUDITION ATTENDEES

We ask everyone intending to audition on any of these dates to:

  1. Bring with them evidence of a negative lateral flow test result taken on the day of audition
  2. Wear a face mask indoors
  3. Maintain social distancing indoors

This is to protect everyone’s safety.

If for any reason you cannot comply with any of the three above, please contact Chris to let him know of your interest in taking part in the play, so that he may be able to arrange a time to discuss a role or roles with you.

*

Agatha Crusty (pronounced Croosty) is a crime novelist who’s also pretty adept at solving crimes.  Lucky, because when her sister-in-law Alice invites her to spend a few days in the village of Chortelby, it’s not long before she gets caught up in a series of murders, which seem directed at members of the All Saints Village Hall committee.

 

From Toby the vicar and Eleanor, chair of the committee, to Harry Knott the hall caretaker and identical twins Olivia and Oliver Truscott-Pratt, there are plenty of suspects.  And with an investigating officer as incompetent as DI Twigg, there are plenty of laughs amid the mayhem even while the body count racks up.  Packed full of wit and very funny scenes, this is also a genuine murder mystery, with an ingenious plot which will certainly tax the little grey cells of the audience right up to the end.

*

Characters:
Harry, the hall caretaker – cynical, worldly-wise, down-to-earth (doubling with Lockett?)
Agatha, a crime novelist – unassuming but very on the ball
Alice, Agatha’s sister-in-law – pleasant, unpretentious
Olivia – upper-crust landed gentry with less land than she’d like (doubling with Oliver?)
Eleanor, chair of the hall committee – mother-superior style, but with a soft centre for some
Twigg – a detective inspector of extraordinary incompetence
Maisie, a cleaner – pleasant but not afraid to call a spade a spade
Toby, the vicar – generally genial and a little naïve, but can be forceful
PC Lockett, the village bobby – cousin to Harry (doubling with Harry?)
Isabella, the pub landlady – mumsy, with pretensions
Oliver – Olivia’s identical twin brother, but with shorter hair (doubling with Olivia?)
Mandy, a model – a streetwise girl 

 

Rehearsals will start on Monday, 7th February, 2022 at 8pm at Walton School Hall and every Monday and Wednesday thereafter until the production transfers to The Lord Riddell Memorial Hall in Deans Lane, Walton on the Hill, Surrey KT20 7UA for performance week from Sunday, 24th April.  There may be an extra Sunday rehearsal at the Riddell, tbc.

Performance dates there are 28th, 29th and 30th April, 2022    

For any further information please contact the director, Chris Slater, on 01372 454 963 or christopherslater@ntlworld.com

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Pop Up Poetry Evening – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19

THE POP-UP POETRY EVENING
Saturday, 21st March, 2020

The Gage Players are launching a new community event in March – not a play this time, but an evening of fun open to all, with a meal included: a new chance for socialising.

People instinctively turn to poetry in times of trouble or happiness, or just to be comforted with well-remembered lines from childhood. And poetry fits the bill each time – there’s something that feels right for every event and every emotion. Stories, images and magical words in magical rhythms from the pens of people who have felt and ‘seen’ what they wrote.

At school, many of us learned poems by heart, and later in life even famous speeches or paragraphs from favourite books, or parts of favourite hymns or songs retained a place in our memories. At one of The Gage Players’ committee meetings not so long ago, one of us spoke some lines of poetry that capped the point under discussion, and suddenly, all round the table, people piped up with pieces they knew – funny, naughty, or just a lovely thing remembered. And we enjoyed it so much that the meeting agenda got forgotten for a while, and the idea for this evening event was born.

Learning by heart is so good for memory training, language skills and communication skills, and helps to develop a flexible mind – such a pity more schools don’t include it in their curricula. But here’s a chance to display your favourite piece, and perhaps for younger people to come along as well and have a go – and maybe see what their elders can do that they can’t! You don’t have to know a piece by heart, you can read a favourite if you’d prefer.

So, we are inviting people to book a place at Pop-up Poetry with The Gage.

The date is Saturday, 21st March, 2020, the place is The Riddell Hall, Dean’s Lane, Walton on the Hill, Surrey KT20 5AS, the time is 8pm with doors open at 7.15, and the cost per head for the meal and to cover hall hire charges, will be £12. If you prefer not to eat, there will still be a smaller charge of £6. After the meal, we’ll invite people to stand up and give their best, with the evening planned to end around 10-10.15pm.

Please book at friends@thegageplayers.co.uk or on our ticket office number, 01737 812 703 – booking is essential, please, because of having to pre-order catering. Money will be taken at the door, and the food will be delivered for 8pm. The meal choices are fish or chicken or vegetarian option with chips; please bring your own drinks, nibbles and glasses.

We look forward to seeing you.

‘Prose: words in their best order – poetry: the best words in the best order.’
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834

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