Dear Members and Friends,
I hope you are well and enjoying these bright days before the clocks go back!
As summer gives way to autumn, we at The Gage are looking forward to our November production, Molly’s Calling, written and directed by our own Pip Rolls. Rehearsals are well under way in our delightful new rehearsal hall at Walton Primary School – it has been so good to see everyone face to face after many months of Zoom meetings – and rehearsals are going well, with everyone enjoying the play’s clever humour. We are wrapping up warm while rehearsing simply because we are keeping the windows open for good ventilation – still, most of us have rehearsed in far worse conditions, so we can make light of it.
I hope you have all made a note of our performance dates: 25th, 26th and 27th November, with an 8.00pm start. Tickets are bookable now at our box office – 01737 812 703. Everyone ringing will be asked to remember to wear or bring layers of clothing, or other means of keeping comfortable, as the windows of the Riddell Hall will also be open for fresh air during performances. Hand sanitation will be available on entry and at other points in the hall and cloakrooms. If you wish to wear a face covering, please do, but it will not be compulsory, unless regulations change beforehand.
Looking ahead into 2022, we have lined up a really hilarious evening of short plays on Saturday, 5th February to get the year off to a good start. Step forward again Pip Rolls, who has devised some wonderfully whacky alternative takes on history that might have been. What if The Pyramids of Giza were really built by the Marrinot Hotel Group in a bid to capture the long-term market? What if The Battle of Waterloo was really fought at Waterloo Station during the day, to avoid rush hour? These and three other uproarious scenarios from across the ages will be played out for you in fast-moving, full-blooded comedy.
The evening will begin with supper at 7.00pm (to be pre-ordered in due course), followed by three plays and then an interval for coffee and cake, then two more plays to round the evening off by about 10.00pm. A call for auditions will go out in December, and booking information for members and friends will be sent early in the New Year, so keep the date free – remember, 5th February.
Our main spring production in 2022 will be Agatha Crusty and The Village Hall Murders by Derek Webb, with playdates of 28th, 29th and 30th April. More information next time, but you won’t want to miss this one, so do keep a note of the dates. The call for auditions will go out in January.
We have other events in view for the first half of the year, including our anticipated participation in the Walton May Pageant, and other plans (perhaps even including a matinee) at the Riddell Hall. Please let us know your views on matinee performances via our website – if lots of you are in favour of these we will do our best to comply.
In the second half of 2022 there will be the Gage Invitational Trophy Quiz, on 17th September at St Katharine’s Hall in Merstham, hosted by the previous winners, St Mark’s Players, and The Gage helping with admin. More about this in due course.
Our winter production dates will be 24th, 25th and 26th November, auditions in July, with rehearsals to start in September.
Back to this year – we are planning to hold the next informal Gage meeting on Zoom for play- and poetry-readings among friends on Tuesday, 2nd November at 8.00pm, and we hope as any people as possible will join in.
We are looking at suggestions for fund raising to help us cover the unavoidably increased costs of rehearsal space, so if you have any ideas you would like us to consider please get in touch via our web site.
We also look forward to welcoming you back to The Gage next month to enjoy Molly’s Calling, so do book your places soon, and help us ensure that live performances continue in our community.
Very best wishes to you all.
Chair, Gage Committee