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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.


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



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.

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,


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 Weeden
Chair, The Gage Players

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:

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

Newsletter – December 2021

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,


Gay Weeden
Chair, The Gage Players

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


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.


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

Newsletter October 2021

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.


Gay Weeden
Chair, Gage Committee


Dear Members and Friends,

I’m sure you are enjoying the glimpses of sunshine between the clouds – rather like life during this pandemic! I hope you have kept well and perhaps have managed to have a holiday in our lovely country and seaside.

Unfortunately, our rehearsed reading with supper on 11th September has had to be postponed due to unforeseen problems, but we hope you will all come to enjoy it during 2022.

However, after months of uncertainty, The Gage are looking forward to performing on stage and are excited that rehearsals for our long awaited November production will recommence on 13th September. Molly’s Calling, written and directed by Pip Rolls, was intended for April 2021, so it’s fortunate that all the cast are still available and have certainly had plenty of time to learn their lines! Performances will be on 25th , 26th and 27th November at 8pm in the Riddell Hall, so please reserve these dates for this special play in your calendar. We can assure you that all Covid safety and hygiene measures will be in place to protect the audience and the cast. Tickets are £12.50 – the box office number is 01737 812 703.

A new early venture on 5th February 2022 is the staging of short plays written by Pip Rolls (already tried out impromptu by Gage members at our weekly Zoom get-togethers). These rehearsed readings will be held at the Riddell Hall, and the evening will begin with a supper. Audition and rehearsal dates are 26th and 31st January and 2nd February, most likely to be held at Pip’s home and/or by Zoom. These clever comedies will certainly brighten the dull times after Christmas and New Year, before we start rehearsals for our spring 2022 production.

I know many of you would have wished to attend Paul Brown’s memorial service, but due to Covid and Church rules, no more than 80 people were eventually allowed into the church. Jo, Paul’s wife, was very sorry that she had to keep strictly to the rules, and the service was shown on Zoom for everyone who wanted to be there. The service was beautifully organised, with lovely hymns and music that Paul had chosen. Jo gave a history of Paul’s life; I think few people knew of his talents, because he was a modest man. He was a top high board diving champion in his younger days and he also held a pilot’s licence, apart from representing England’s veteran cricket team in a recent year, in Australia. Of course, you all know of his drama talents, both acting and directing. His daughters and all five grandchildren paid tribute to his memory. I really felt sad for them, being so choked with emotion that they could hardly get their words out. It was all very moving, and I’m very pleased that I was included in the limited guest list.

On a different note, we would welcome any fundraising ideas to help offset the greater hall hire charges, as well as the maintenance and repairs of costume and store sheds. Prices have increased so much that your suggestions will be very welcome.

It will be good to see you all at our November play, Molly’s Calling, and to believe that the world is beginning to get back to something like normal.

Very best wishes,

Gay Weeden,
Chair, The Gage Players


Dear Members and Friends,

I hope you are all enjoying this cooler weather and making the most of our long-awaited freedom from lockdown.

The Gage is keen to get back to normality, and our future plans are now under way.  However, firstly we had to find a different venue for our rehearsals, because of greatly increased charges not being able to have our usual evenings and timings.  After contacting several possible halls, it was decided that Walton Primary School was the best choice.  They are very welcoming and we have our usual Monday and Wednesday evenings at our preferred times, and use of their facilities.  We can, in return, help them with their school productions, and it will feel good to be involved with the local community.  The hall is next door to our previous venue, and offers off-road parking.

Because we are nevertheless paying triple the cost for hiring a rehearsal space we urgently need to raise funds.  It has been decided to increase our ticket price to £12.50 – the first increase in six years.  But greater production costs still need to be met, so we need other ways of raising money.  Your suggestions and support would be very helpful, so thinking caps on, please, and do contact us via our website if you have ideas we might be able to use.

Our first event since November 2019 will be a rehearsed reading with supper for Gage members, their families and friends.  The play is Playgoers by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero and will be directed by Chris Slater.  The date is Saturday, 11th September, 2021 – 7pm supper followed by 8pm performance at The Riddell Hall.  Information on how to book your places and your food will be circulated in good time.   

For our winter 2021 play we are delighted at last to be performing Molly’s Calling, written and directed by Pip Rolls; this was originally scheduled for April 2020, then November 2020 and then April 2021, each time delayed because of Covid 19 restrictions.  We now look forward to performing it on 25th, 26th and 27th November this year at 8pm each evening at The Riddell Hall.  There have been no auditions this time as the original cast are still available, so please put the dates in your diary and give The Gage your valued support once again.  Box office number is 01737 812 703. 

For the first time there will be an early event in 2022, another evening of rehearsed readings: supper at 7pm, the performance to begin at 8pm, an interval around 8.30 followed by the second half.  Pip Rolls has written some short comic plays for us, so it should be a very good evening.  The date is Saturday, 5th February at The Riddell Hall, with an auditions notice expected to be circulated in early December. 

Our spring 2022 production performance dates will be 28th, 29th and 30th April – the play is nearly chosen, so please put these dates in your next year’s diary, more information will follow next time.  Until rehearsals start, we enthusiastically continue our weekly Zoom get-togethers on Wednesday evenings at 8pm, reading short plays and poetry, keeping the Gage alive, and enjoying the humour and company of good friends.

I wish you all a good summer and look forward to welcoming you on 11th September and at our winter play.

Gay Weeden


Newsletter May 2021

Dear Everyone,
I hope you have all kept well during this worrying pandemic and lockdowns.
This has been a year like no other for The Gage, with all plans put on hold until we can mingle safely again. As a team, we have been inventive, determined to keep The Gage interesting and alive. Since mid-September we have held weekly 8pm Zoom sessions for all our members, with poetry, prose and play-readings. The variety has been great fun and our evenings very entertaining, sometimes with limericks and poems written by our own members, at other times listening to well-loved favourites, which so often could be new to others.
Recently we have begun to do one-act play readings – if they’re short we can often fit two into one Zoom session, so everyone can read/take a part. We are lucky to have our own playwright, Pip Rolls, who has provided some brand new hilarious shorties on topics we can all relate to. Even after lockdowns and restrictions have ended we plan to keep our Zoom sessions going, as they make such an entertaining break and are a fun way of keeping in touch.
As I write, theatres and halls are beginning to open their doors for plays and concerts – oh, how we have missed them and will appreciate their performances more than ever.
The Gage at recent Zoom committee meeting began to make tentative plans for its own events this year and next at The Riddell Hall, scheduling hall bookings, auditions, rehearsals and performances. We shall obviously be guided by any rulings or restrictions in place at the time.
So, diaries to the fore and please pencil in the following productions in the hope that we can all share enjoyable evenings together again soon.
On Saturday, 11 th September, 2021 we plan a rehearsed reading with supper at The Riddell Hall of Playgoers by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, directed by Christopher Slater, with supper after the performance. Curtain up at 7pm with supper at 8pm. Auditions and booking information will follow.

Our winter 2021 production will be Molly’s Calling, written and directed by Pip Rolls, to be performed at 8pm at The Riddell Hall on Thursday 25th, Friday 26th and Saturday 27th November.
We are also planning a Saturday evening event in February 2022, ahead of our spring production in late April.
We so look forward to seeing you all again.


Our renewed condolences to Clare Smyl, whose husband Ned died in February. Clare is one of our invaluable stage managers, and Ned was a stalwart backstager, always ready to lend a hand.
Many of you will have known Paul Brown, who died last year. Paul’s wife Jo will be holding a memorial celebration at Mickleham Church on Friday 30th July at 2.30pm, with refreshments afterwards in the village hall, and would be delighted to see many of you there.
Perhaps some of you are looking forward to a much needed holiday, so I hope the sun will shine for you after so much rain. Keep well and enjoy the summer with its gradually growing freedoms.
Very best wishes to you all,

Gay Weeden

Member Poetry Submissions

Lockdown by Gay Weeden

Lockdown is boring and long
’til everyone’s vaccine is done
For nearly a year
we’ve lived in great fear
Let’s hope Summer will bring us good cheer.

Each week I meet up with the Gage
reading poems and prose page by page
The variety’s fun
as we read one by one
’til we can perform on the stage.