All posts by admin

Curtain Up On Murder – May 2019

Our spring 2019 play will be Curtain up on Murder by Bettine Manktelow

Performances at 8pm at The Riddell Hall, Walton on the Hill, Surrey KT20 7UL on 2nd, 3rd and 4th May, 2019.
Doors and bars open at 7.30.  Tickets £10 – box office 01737  812 703.

An amateur drama group is rehearsing in a theatre at the end of a pier. A storm is building up and any thought of leaving the theatre is baulked by finding that somehow all the exit doors are locked from the outside. A ghostly presence flits across the stage and when the assistant stage manager falls to certain death through a trapdoor, the players begin to flap. Then one of the actresses is found poisoned, and it becomes clear that a murderer is in their midst . . .

Open Auditions for our Spring 2019 Play

Our play will be Curtain up on Murder by Bettine Manktelow, with 5 roles for ladies and 3 for gents; it will be directed by Gill Gibbins.
Auditions will take place at 8pm on Wednesday, 9th and Monday, 14th January, 2019 at Christchurch Hall in Walton Street, Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey KT20 7RT, with rehearsals to start there from 6th February, 2019.

An amateur drama group is rehearsing in a theatre at the end of a pier. A storm is building up and any thought of leaving the theatre is baulked by finding that somehow all the exit doors are locked from the outside. A ghostly presence flits across the stage and when the assistant stage manager falls to certain death through a trapdoor, the players begin to flap. Then one of the actresses is found poisoned, and it becomes clear that a murderer is in their midst . . .

Linda – attractive, sharp, capable
Ginny – timid, unsophisticated
Sandra – bright, confident, outgoing
Harry (caretaker) – crabby, dogmatic
Alex – attractive, vain, self-absorbed
Sylvia – attractive, volatile
Martin – sure of himself, with a certain sang-froid
Moppet – untidy, endearing (in one scene, in ‘their’ play, she uses a cod Cornish accent)
Linda, Ginny, Sandra and Alex will look very much of an age; Martin, Moppet and Harry will look a bit older, with Sylvia in between these two groups.

Rehearsals will start on Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 at 8pm at Christchurch 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, 28th April. There may be an extra Sunday rehearsal at the Riddell in April.

Performance dates there are 2nd , 3rd and 4th May, 2019.

For any further information please contact the director, Gill Gibbins, on 01737 813 245 or


Newsletter – Summer 2018

Dear All,
I hope you are managing to enjoy the Summer and to take a break from your usual routines. As I type the weather has become more unsettled but I am sure the gardens are grateful for the rain we have experienced recently.

Performing Arts Library
The library for the performing arts, which keeps the many sets of play scripts and music scores as well as literature on drama, dance and music, has now left its base at Denbies Vineyard and is in the process of moving to Bourne Hall in Ewell. I understand that it will take some time to transfer such a vast stock and to familiarise staff at Bourne Hall. We hope to see this valuable facility up and running again in mid-September.

Well Done, Gage!
Following the evening of The Gage production of the Vintage Hitchcock: a live radio play by Joe Landry at the Banstead Arts Festival, the Banstead U3A gave The Gage a £50 donation in recognition of their audience’s appreciation of the play and the enjoyable visible work done with props and sound effects.

Preparations for our 70th Anniversary Celebrations
We will celebrate our 70th Anniversary in 2020 and we have already started to discuss plans and ideas. The performance dates will be 26th , 27th and 28th of November.
The committee are keen to ensure this is a full Gala production and are hoping to have a special evening performance on the Saturday, with a meal and drinks.
This will of course need a lot of planning, preparation and support to ensure things run smoothly.
The committee are keen to hear from those of you who are able to offer your ideas, time and commitment to ensuring this is a production to remember.

Social Events
The Gage continue to put together a Quiz Team and regularly meet on Wednesdays at The Duke’s Head Pub in Dorking Road, Tadworth. We are always welcoming to any members who want to join us. Please keep a look out for emails with future Quiz dates if you are interested, or contact us through our website.

Winter 2018 production
This is in the final stages of planning, so please put the performance dates in your diary now: 29th and 30th November and 1st December. More information on our website soon.

Anne Vine
It is with great sadness that I have to report the recent death of Anne Vine. Many of you will have known Anne from the amazing backstage support she gave us as a prompt. She was also a member of Heath Players and joined them after chatting to someone at a stall at one of the Village Fetes, many years ago.
Anne rarely missed a Heath Players or Gage production and played her part to the full, making a valuable contribution, whether that was on stage as a well observed and performed character part, such as a housemaid or cook, or more frequently at the side of the stage, during rehearsals and performances, as prompt.
Anne served on the Heath Players committee for many years as secretary, only standing down at their last AGM, earlier this year, because of her failing eyesight. She was regularly involved in the social life of both Gage and Heath Players and was always keen to join in on trips to see plays by other local drama groups. Anne was warm hearted and generous and will be sincerely missed.

Don White
I would also like to express our deepest condolences to Committee member Beryl White. Beryl’s husband Don died quite recently.
I know that we all send our thoughts and best wishes to Beryl at this difficult time.

Anne Henderson

Help support New Surrey Performing Arts Library

On Sunday 16th September, Gregory Ardan will be running in the 10k race at RunReigate. As well as being a personal challenge for him, he is taking the opportunity to raise funds for the New Surrey Performing Arts Library (NewSPAL).

To read more or to donate, please visit


Gatton Community Theatre is excited be hosting and inviting you to THE GAGE INVITATIONAL QUIZ 2018 for local drama groups

Saturday, 17th November at 7:30pm
St Katherine’s Church Room
Church Hill, Merstham, RH1 3BH

Please come with lots of teams – the more the merrier!

Ploughman’s supper for all those taking part and there will be a bar.
Hosted this year by GCT with Mike Fortune as quizmaster extraordinaire, the cost for this fantastically fun evening is just £10 per head, and all the profits of the evening will go to support the charity Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

Please reply to to let us know how many teams and numbers in each group (suggested teams of 6 or 8) or special dietary requirements.


The winner of the first Gage Players’ Invitational Trophy Quiz for local drama groups in 2016 was Gatton Community Theatre, and they will be hosting the 2018 quiz.

The quiz date is Saturday, 17th Novemberplease put this in your diaries now and please get busy rounding up a team or teams from your own drama group to take part.

The more teams the more fun, and the more we hope we can raise for Gatton’s chosen charity beneficiary, Combat Stress, the national organisation based in Leatherhead which helps veterans deal with trauma-related mental health problems. Prince Harry’s 2018 Invictus Games will have recently ended in Sydney, Australia by the time of our quiz, so we hope the need to support veterans will be very much in people’s minds.

Please get in touch with Gatton on to book a place for your team – they will give you details of per head cost, information about the supper being laid on and details of the venue.  The timing will be 7.30pm for arrival for a 7.45 or 8.00pm start. Please notify any special dietary needs when you get in touch – teams generally bring their own nibbles and drinks.

It would be very helpful if drama groups could be in touch with Gatton before the end of October to confirm they will be coming to the quiz, and then confirm numbers by Monday, 12th November so that Gatton can plan catering and setting up the venue in good time.

We very much look forward to welcoming lots of you on 17th November – we all support each other’s productions, and this is another way of enjoying each other’s company, all in a good cause.  It could be your team taking home the trophy this year!!

Open Auditions for our Winter 2018 production

Our play will be Party Piece by Richard Harris, with 4 roles for ladies, 3 for gents; it will be directed by Gill Lucas.
Auditions will take place at 8pm on Monday, 2nd and Wednesday, 4th July, 2018 at Christchurch Hall in Walton on the Hill, with rehearsals to start from 17th September, 2018.  Performance dates are 29th, 30th November and 1st December, 2018

Party Piece is a fast-paced laughathon about feuding neighbours, centred on an upwardly mobile couple throwing a fancy-dress barbecue party as a housewarmer on one side, and a dipped-in-acid widow on the other, who delights in giving her latest daughter-in-law a verbal mauling while dexterously manipulating her over-mothered son. Add to the mix a wandering zimmer frame, an igniting garden shed and some out-of control party guests, and the result is an evening of escapist fun with the chaotic action twisting and turning from beginning to end.

It is hoped that casting may be completed on 2nd July, enabling the Wednesday, 4th July meeting to be a read-through rather than another audition. Gill Lucas has copies of the play available now, so anyone wishing to read it ahead of 2nd July should contact her on the number below.

Dr Michael Smethurst – boring, yuppy, meticulous
Roma Smehurst, his wife – nervous, timid
Mrs Hinson – dominant, acid-tongued, selfish mother
David Hinson, her son – self-made man, ex-barrow boy made good
Jenifer Hinson, his second wife – middle-class, the brunt of Mrs Hinson’s comments
*Dr Toby Hancock, anaesthetist – bachelor friend of the Smethursts, a bit of a letch
*Sandy Lloyd-Meredith – estate agent, effusive flirt
* = second act only

Rehearsals will start on Monday, 17th September at 8pm at Christchurch Hall, and every Wednesday and Monday thereafter, except that the date of 7th November has been changed to 6th November; the production will transfer to The Riddell Hall from Sunday, 25th November.
Performance dates are 29th, 30th November and 1st December, 2018 at The Lord Riddell Memorial Hall, Walton on the Hill.

For any further information please contact the director, Gill Lucas, on 01737 812 703.

Previous Productions 1950-2018


Year Production Author Director
1950 The Chiltern Hundreds William Douglas Home Ivor Buckley and Dorothy Rae
1951 Love in Idleness Terence Rattigan Dorothy Rae
  On Monday Next Phillip King Dorothy Rae
1952 The Goldfish Isabel Andrews Cyril Sawyer
  Fumed Oak Noel Coward Heather Rae
  The Rose and Crown J. B. Priestley Ivor Buckley
  Betchworth Festival entry    
  Queen Elizabeth Slept Here Talbot Rothwell Dorothy Rae
1953 G. I. Bride Rae Varran Dorothy Rae
Betchworth Festival entry
  Murder at the Vicarage Agatha Christie Ivor Buckley
  Little Lambs Eat Ivy Noel Langley Dorothy Rae
1954 Barbara’s Wedding J. M. Barrie Dorothy Rae
Betchworth Festival entry
  The Barton Mystery Walton Hacker Margaret Smith
  The Paragon Roland and Michael Pertwee David Clatworthy
1955 A Certain Man Leslie Walker Dorothy Rae
Betchworth Festival entry
  Love’s a Luxury Guy Paxton and E. V. Hoile Norman Clatworthy
  Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw Dorothy Rae
1956 The Skipper’s Entanglement F. Morton Howard Florence Culver
  Browne with an ‘E’ Leopold Montague Vivienne Hale
  An Hour’s Light Entertainment Lilian Tyers
  Still Life Noel Coward Dorothy Rae
Betchworth Festival entry
  Tons of Money Will Evans and Arthur Valentine Norman Clatworthy
  Rebecca Daphne du Maurier Dorothy Rae
1957 Sganarelle or The Imaginary Cuckold Moliere Dorothy Rae
Betchworth Festival entry
  Ring Round the Moon Jean Anouilh Vera Sweet
1958 The Laboratory David Campton Dorothy Rae
Betchworth Festival entry
  One Evening at Nero’s A. J. Talbot Ted Perrett
Betchworth Festival entry
  Master Dudley Phillip Johnson Vivienne Hale
  The White Sheep of the Family L. du Garde Peach and Ian Hay Dorothy Rae and Vivienne Hale
  Separate Tables Terence Rattigan Norman Clatworthy
1959 The Life of Hercules Thomas Cruden Norman Clatworthy
Stage Cup
  Book of the Month Basil Thomas Vera Sweet
  A Midsummer Night’s Dream William Shakespeare Dorothy Rae
1960 The Farce of the Devil’s Bridge Henri Gheoh Vera Sweet
Betchworth Festival entry
  Breath of Spring Peter Cook Cyril Sawyer
  A Murder has been Arranged Emlyn Williams Cyril Sawyer
1961 Mother Goose Dorothy Rae Dorothy Rae
  The Curious Savage John Patrick Dorothy Rae
1962 The Neighbours Yves Cabrol Dorothy Rae
Betchworth Festival entry
1962 Quiet Weekend Esther McCracken Mabel Alexander
Bell, Book and Candle John van Druten Mabel Alxander
1963 The Pen of My Aunt Gordon Daviot Ivor Buckley
Betchworth Festival entry
  The Late Miss Cordell Philip Johnson Vera Sweet
  April Dawn Philip Johnson Christopher Evans
  Dock Brief John Mortimer Mary Butler
  The Chalk Garden Enid Bagnold Mabel Alexander
1964 The Rats Agatha Christie Vera Sweet
Betchworth Festival entry
1965 The Heiress Ruth and Augustus Goetz Dorothy Rae
1966 The Pigeon with the Silver Foot Pam H. Johnson and C. P. Shaw Vera Sweet
Betchworth Festival entry
1967 She Stoops to Conquer Oliver Goldsmith Vera Sweet
  Hay Fever Noel Coward Dorothy Howard
1968 Public Eye Peter Shaffer Dorothy Howard
Betchworth Festival entry
  Private Ear Peter Shaffer Sheila Poole
1969 Flowering Cherry Robert Bolt Geoffrey Wright
  The Irregular Verb ‘to love’ Hugh and Margaret Williams Sheila Poole
1970 Boeing Boeing Marc Camelotti Ivor Buckley
  April Dawn Phillip Johnson Marion Darby
  The Real Inspector Hound Tom Stoppard Christopher Evans
1971 The Proposal Anton Chekhov Geoffrey Wright
Betchworth Festival entry
  Eighty in the Shade Clemence Dane Margaret Hunter
  Lady Audley’s Secret G. Hazelwood Christopher Evans
  Passion, Poison and Petrification George Bernard Shaw Christopher Evans
Betchworth Festival entry
1972 Our Town Thornton Wilder Pat Curtis
1973 The Happy Marriage John Clements Sheila Poole
  The Rape of the Belt Benn Levy Sheila Poole
1974 Knightsbridge John Mortimer Pat Curtis
  Gladly Otherwise N. F. Simpson Pat Curtis
  What Shall We Tell Caroline? John Mortimer Pat Curtis
  An Inspector Calls J. B. Priestley Geoffrey Wright
1975 Candlelight – a revue Pat Curtis
Silver How the Other Half Loves Alan Ayckbourn Geoffrey Curtis
1976 Cabaret Christopher Isherwood Pat Curtis
  Black Comedy Peter Shaffer Pat Curtis
  Lumken Bunkum Peter Bensted Peter Bensted
1977 Night Watch Lucille Fletcher Gill Lucas
  Vivat! Vivat, Regina! Robert Bolt Su Johnson
1978 The Pool by the Dragon Gate E. M. Andrews Margaret Hunter
Stage Cup
  A Phoenix Too Frequent Christopher Fry Gill Lucas
  Dear Charles Alan Melville Margaret Hunter
1979 The Orchestra Jean Anouilh Gill Lucas
Betchworth Festival entry
  The Man Most Likely To Joyce Rayburn Jean Smith
  For Better, For Worse Arthur Watkyn Robin Easther
1980 The Red Velvet Goat Josefina Niggli Jean Smith
  Sunday Costs Five Pesos Josefina Niggli Gill Lucas
  A Kind of Justice Margaret Wood Gill Lucas
Betchworth Festival entry
  The Curse of the Werewolf Ken Hill Margaret Hunter
1981 Gosforth’s Fete Alan Ayckbourn Gill Lucas
Betchworth Festival entry
  Confusions Alan Ayckbourn Gill Lucas
  Lock Up Your Daughters Henry Fielding Gill Lucas
1982 A Murder Has Been Arranged Emlyn Williams Jean Smith
  Dracula Ken Hill Margaret Hunter
1983 The Mayor of Torontal Gweneth Jones Doreen Perry
Betchworth Festival entry
  Habeus Corpus Alan Bennett Gill Lucas
  The Beaux’ Strategem George Farquhar Margaret Hunter
1984 Random Moments in a May Garden James Saunders Les Schroeder
Betchworth Festival entry
1984 Post Horn Gallop Tony Benfield Tony Burch
Ring Round the Moon Jean Anouilh Gill Lucas
1985 Bye Bye Blues James Saunders Les Schroeder
Betchworth Festival entry
  Trelawny of the Wells Arthur Pinero Margaret Hunter
1986 Bedroom Farce Alan Ayckbourn Les Schroeder
  Sweeney Todd Brian J. Burton Gill Lucas
1987 The Diary of Anne Frank Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett Steve Peacock
  Outside Edge Richard Harris Jean Smith
1988 One Plus One Makes Three Peter Colum Gill Lucas
Betchworth Festival entry
  Pack of Lies Hugh Whitemore Les Schroeder
  The Odd Couple Neil Simon Andrew Cottingham
1989 Epitaph for a Hard Man Evelyn Hood Gill Lucas
  A Chorus of Disapproval Alan Ayckbourn Gill Lucas
  Nightmare Norman Robbins Jean Smith
1990 A Respectable Funeral Jimmie Chinn Dave Baker
Ruby Betchworth Festival entry
  At the Changing of the Year Malcolm Young Dave Baker
  Hunchback of Notre Dame Ken Hill Margaret Hunter
1991 Come into the Garden, Maud Noel Coward Jean Smith
Betchworth Festival entry – best supporting actor: Robin Hunter
  An Engagement with Coward Noel Coward Jean Smith
  Dangerous Obsession N. J. Crisp Andrew Cottingham
1992 Teahouse of the August Moon John Patrick Gill Lucas
1993 The Creature Creeps Jack Sharkey Marq English
  When The Cat’s Away John Mortimer and Brian Cooke Sylvia Currie
1994 The Cherry Orchard Anton Chekhov Steve Trasler
1995 The Café Neville Watchurst Gill Lucas
Betchworth Festival entry
  White Sheep of the Family L. du Garde Peach Jean Smith
1996 Murder for the Asking Derek Benfield Gill Lucas
  The Slipper and the Rose Adapted by Pip Burley Margaret Hunter
with The Heath Players
1997 Second from Last in the Sack Race Michael Birch Gill Lucas
  Death and the Maiden Georgina Reid Jean Smith
1998 Clerical Errors Georgina Reid Gill Lucas
  Habeus Corpus Alan Bennett Gill Lucas
1999 Tiptoe Through the Tombstones Norman Robbins Gill Lucas
  Close to the Wind Richard Everett Shelagh Bliss
2000 Ladies Who Lunch Tudor Gates Gill Lucas
Gold Dear Octopus Dodie Smith Margaret Hunter
2001 I Remember Mama John van Druten Gill Lucas
  Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte Margaret Hunter
2002 The Hollow Agatha Christie Gill Padbury
  The Junipere Affair Pip Rolls Pip Rolls
2003 Local Affairs Richard Harris Gill Lucas
  A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens Margaret Hunter
2004 Situation Comedy John Mortimer and Brian Cooke Shelagh Bliss
  Daisy Pulls It Off Denise Deegan Gill Lucas
2005 The Railway Children E. Nesbitt Wendy Phillips
  The Unvarnished Truth Royce Ryton Margaret Hunter
2006 Last Tango in Walton on the Hill Wendy Phillips
  Toad of Toad Hall Margaret Hunter
2007 Out of Order Ray Cooney Gill Lucas
2008 The Scottish Play Graham Holiday Wendy Phillips
  Vanity Fair Constance Cox Gill Lucas
2009 Ghost Train Arnold Ridley Yasmin Nixon
2010 The Weekend Michael Palin Wendy Phillips
Diamond Come on, Jeeves P. G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton Gill Gibbins
2011 The Titfield Thunderbolt Philip Goulding Gill Lucas
  The Drunkard Brian J. Burton Margaret Hunter
with The Heath Players
2012 Dangerous Corner J. B. Priestley Gill Gibbins
  Rumours Neil Simon Lesley Parker
2013 Take Away The Lady Jimmie Chinn Gill Lucas
  Semi-Detached David Turner Gill Lucas
2014 Yes, Prime Minister Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn David Wilson
  Pastiche Nick Hall Christopher Slater (rehearsed reading)
  Our Man in Havana Clive Francis Gill Lucas
2015 Murder in Play Simon Brett Lesley Crowther-Smith
  Knightsbridge John Mortimer Christopher Slater (rehearsed reading)
  Teahouse of the August Moon John Patrick Gill Lucas
2016 Bedroom Farce Alan Ayckbourn Sharon Laws
  Mother Figure and Between Mouthfuls Alan Ayckbourn Christopher Slater (rehearsed reading)
  Over my Dead Body Derek Benfield Debbie Nichols
2017 A Touch of Danger Francis Durbridge Debbie Nichols
  I Spy John Mortimer Christopher Slater (rehearsed reading)
  Waiting for the Train Pip Rolls Pip Rolls
2018 Vintage Hitchcock – A Live Radio Play Joe Landry Lars Sawyer

Newsletter – May 2018

From our New Chairman – Anne Henderson

Dear All,

I would like to thank you for welcoming me to my new role as Chair of The Gage Players, and I am looking forward to the year ahead.

Vintage Hitchcock: a live radio play – a resounding success
I am sure that those who attended our spring play, ably directed by Lars Sawyer, will agree that it was an excellent production and the write-up in the Surrey Mirror reinforced this. So, well done to all on stage and back stage, and also grateful thanks to those who supported front of house.  We wrapped the play with an extra, very well received, performance at the Banstead Arts Festival, the first time the Gage has been asked to take part in this.

Performing Arts Library, Dorking
As you may be aware, PAL has been under threat of closure and dispersal by Surrey County Council as a savings exercise.  The Gage committee has now heard that its current residence at Denbies Vineyard may also be under threat. The Gage has done a lot to garner support for PAL to prevent either its closure or the dispersal of the collection, and has also pledged some financial help and practical help; we have also recently written to the Surrey Country Council councillors most closely involved, urging them to work with the new charity, Newspal, and its board of trustees, to enable a sensible transfer of the library to new ownership.

Please may we ask you, if you have not already done so, to write in support of Newspal, by going to their website and completing a few minutes’ worth of input on their appeal site?  Thank you.

Quiz night
Our next social event will be the quiz at The Duke’s Head pub in Tadworth on Wednesday, 23rd May.  Timing is 7.30 sit down for an 8pm start; cost per head, £2.  Please let our social secretary, Jon Laws, know that you will be taking part, especially if you would like to eat at the pub before the quiz starts, so that he can book enough tables for us.  Everyone is welcome, especially those who can boost our general and modern music knowledge!!

Our winter production – open auditions
Our winter play will be a roaring comedy, Party Piece by Richard Harris, directed by Gill Lucas.  Gill will be holding auditions (3M, 4F) at 8pm on 2nd and 4th July at Christchurch Hall in Walton on the Hill, so do please come along to try out for this.

Rehearsals will begin on 17th September, every Monday and Wednesday evening at 8pm, also at Christchurch Hall, with performances at the Riddell Hall in Walton on 29th and 30th November and 1st December.

Please put all these dates in your diary now, and do come to the auditions – this will be a fun production!
You can keep up to date and see production photographs by visiting the Gage website ( and our Facebook page.

I look forward to seeing you at the quiz, and at Gage and other local amdram productions.

Best wishes,


Anne Henderson