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:
I hope to welcome many of you to the AGM. Meanwhile, keep safe and stay well.
Very best wishes,
Gay Weeden, Chair, The Gage Players