Dear Members and Friends,
Season’s greetings to you all. Hoping Christmas will be happy and that 2022 will be a much better year than the last!
It was with great disappointment that we had to cancel our November play, Molly’s Calling by Pip Rolls. We found that with the possible Covid risk, our ticket sales were too low to enable us to cover the cost of the production. It was a tough decision to make. In order to keep The Gage alive we need our performances need to do a bit better than break even – and of course to enjoy large audiences – but we couldn’t do anything like that this time.
However, undaunted and with increased enthusiasm, we plan to go ahead with a February 2022 evening of rehearsed play readings, a collection of short comedies written by Pip Rolls entitled What Really Happened. These are hilarious tales re-arranging the course of historical events with amazing outcomes! A fun evening to be enjoyed when all the Christmas and New Year festivities are over. There is nothing like live theatre to lift the spirits and we are looking forward to entertaining you during the drab winter days.
The evening will begin at 7.00 pm with a fish and chip supper (and vegetarian option), followed by three short plays – The Pyramids of Giza, The Battle of Hastings and The Reformation – then an interval when coffee/tea and cakes will be served, followed by two more short plays (The Battle of Waterloo and Giants of Science), with the evening finishing at about 10.00 pm. Please bring your own wine or beer or drinks of choice and glasses will be provided. The date is 5th February, the time 7.00pm and the place The Riddell Hall in Walton on the Hill. Food booking information will be circulated nearer the time. Do come along to support us and to enjoy laughing and rolling in the aisles!
In common with professional theatres and other indoor venues, following current Covid regulations, we will ask our audience members to wear a mask when not eating or drinking, unless they are exempt.
Because our social Zoom evenings of poems and short plays were so successful we thought it would be a good idea to make a programme of them for a matinee – a completely new and different kind of event for us, and one which will involve children too. The head of the junior school where we now rehearse has agreed to hold a poetry ‘competition’ for the children of the top two classes, to present a reading of their chosen poem and even perhaps to write their own. Those who do really well will perform on stage with The Gage Players company, in between our members reading poems or presenting short sketches. The matinee will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, 12th March. There will be an interval for afternoon tea, and a presentation of small gifts with a certificate for all those children taking part. If this proves a success, matinees may become a regular feature for us, so please come along and give all of us your support – do put the date in your diary now.
Our planned spring 2022 production in April is Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders by Derek Webb, directed by Christopher Slater. The performance dates for your diary are 28th, 29th and 30th April. The audition notice has gone out and is also on our web site, with audition dates in January plus contact information for Chris; rehearsals will start on Monday, 7th February, with Wednesdays and Mondays thereafter. This is a comedy thriller with a twist in its tale, so do step forward to audition for one of the great characters on offer, and put the playdates in your diary.
Looking further ahead, we will take part in the Walton May Pageant, but will send more details on that nearer the time, as well as for other social events during the late spring/early summer, and early autumn.
We plan to have our winter production next year on 24th, 25th and 26th November, 2022. The choice of play has yet to be decided, but please make a note of the performance dates in your diary.
We are looking forward with optimism to all the events planned for 2022, and won’t allow this variant of Covid to get us down!
I look forward to seeing you at our supper evening production on 5th February and wish you all a Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year!
Merry Christmas and good wishes,
Chair, The Gage Players