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National Poetry Day 2020

At the Gage, we celebrated a day early at our weekly Poetry and Prose Zoom evening. At the previous evening we asked the participants to come up with a Limerick for this one. Here are some of them:

There once was an amdram theatre
That performed every play to the letter.
They became all the rage,
Their name was The Gage,
And they kept getting better and better.
by Gill Gibbins

There was an old fogey from Cheam
Who, of reading, really was keen,
He read Orson Scott Card
And the Marques de Sade
But the latter found rather obscene.
by Lars Sawyer

There was a young woman from Kent,
Who never could quite pay her rent.
Filled her landlord’s belly
With grub off the telly
He said, ” Nigella, my dear, you just ain’t!
by Franki Gray

There was a young lady from Surrey,
Who seemed,always, to be in a hurry.
When asked what the rush was,
She got in a tiswas
Which really became quite a worry.
by Franki Gray

Also read and/or performed during the evening included:
On Aging  by Maya Angelou
Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas
Father William by Lewis Carroll
Bat by D.H. Lawrence
Death by Dollars by D. M. Larson
Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

If you would like to join in on any Wednesday evening for an hour, starting at 8pm, please join our mailing list and then send us a message at and we will add you to the Zoom invitation list. If you have already signed up to the mailing list but do not yet get an invitation and would like to get one, please email as above.

The variety of contributions during the evening has been wonderful and extremely entertaining.

Pop Up Poetry Evening – POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19

Saturday, 21st March, 2020

The Gage Players are launching a new community event in March – not a play this time, but an evening of fun open to all, with a meal included: a new chance for socialising.

People instinctively turn to poetry in times of trouble or happiness, or just to be comforted with well-remembered lines from childhood. And poetry fits the bill each time – there’s something that feels right for every event and every emotion. Stories, images and magical words in magical rhythms from the pens of people who have felt and ‘seen’ what they wrote.

At school, many of us learned poems by heart, and later in life even famous speeches or paragraphs from favourite books, or parts of favourite hymns or songs retained a place in our memories. At one of The Gage Players’ committee meetings not so long ago, one of us spoke some lines of poetry that capped the point under discussion, and suddenly, all round the table, people piped up with pieces they knew – funny, naughty, or just a lovely thing remembered. And we enjoyed it so much that the meeting agenda got forgotten for a while, and the idea for this evening event was born.

Learning by heart is so good for memory training, language skills and communication skills, and helps to develop a flexible mind – such a pity more schools don’t include it in their curricula. But here’s a chance to display your favourite piece, and perhaps for younger people to come along as well and have a go – and maybe see what their elders can do that they can’t! You don’t have to know a piece by heart, you can read a favourite if you’d prefer.

So, we are inviting people to book a place at Pop-up Poetry with The Gage.

The date is Saturday, 21st March, 2020, the place is The Riddell Hall, Dean’s Lane, Walton on the Hill, Surrey KT20 5AS, the time is 8pm with doors open at 7.15, and the cost per head for the meal and to cover hall hire charges, will be £12. If you prefer not to eat, there will still be a smaller charge of £6. After the meal, we’ll invite people to stand up and give their best, with the evening planned to end around 10-10.15pm.

Please book at or on our ticket office number, 01737 812 703 – booking is essential, please, because of having to pre-order catering. Money will be taken at the door, and the food will be delivered for 8pm. The meal choices are fish or chicken or vegetarian option with chips; please bring your own drinks, nibbles and glasses.

We look forward to seeing you.

‘Prose: words in their best order – poetry: the best words in the best order.’
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834

Newsletter – Christmas 2019

I hope you are managing to escape the winter colds and fill your dark winter evenings with some fun.
I think we certainly managed to bring some cheer with our production of Good Things. I have heard so many positives about this production and in particular how nice it was to have a different set based in a shop rather than the traditional front room set. I would like to thank our director, Debbie for her vision and energy in putting the play together. Also my thanks go to the cast who portrayed the colourful and likeable characters so well, the amazing technical support back stage and of course our front of house volunteers. Very well done to all involved with this successful production.

Our next production is Molly’s Calling by Pip Rolls. The play dates are 23rd, 24th and 25th April and auditions are in the New Year, 6th and 8th of January. Look out for audition notices on the website and please come along to the audition, all are welcome, the more the merrier.

Our 12th or technically 13th Night Celebration Meal is at The Dukes Head on Tuesday 7th January. If you would like to book a place please contact Jon Laws as soon as possible.

Quiz Night we hope to put together a team to continue our recent run of quiz success. Look out for dates in January and if you haven’t joined us before you are very welcome, we usually have a bite to eat first (about 7pm but that is optional) if you don’t want to eat the quiz starts at about 8pm at The Duke’s Head in Tadworth.   A booking notice will be set round shortly.

Could I also ask you to put Wednesday 18th March in your diary, as this is when we will have our AGM. This is a brief meeting but important and precedes our rehearsal in the Christchurch Hall.

Did you learn a poem by heart when you were at school? The committee were reminiscing many favourite poems from our childhood or celebrated poems which we haven’t heard for years.  This led us to the idea of having a Pop Up Poetry evening on the 21st of March, including supper. Perhaps you have a favourite poem you would like to read out or maybe there is a poem you could recite. If you have a few minutes to spare over the festive period look out a poetry book or google a poem you used to know but haven’t heard in ages. We will give more details of the evening venue and format in the New Year but in the meantime … do look out something you would like to share.

NewSPAL the new Surrey Performing Arts Library have started to produce their own newsletter with information and updates on this important facility. To enable a safe transition of all the books, music and resources, NewSPAL are continuing to fund raise. If you are interested in the progress so far or wish to make a donation you can find the details at
Finally I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Anne Henderson     Chair – Gage Players

Public Forum – October 2019


As we are passionate about local, affordable theatre, we have set up this newsletter feature providing information about shows by other amdram groups in our area – with their agreement, of course.  There will also be web links on The Gage Players’ website.

Please, as originally agreed, circulate this to your own members and put in on your own web site – thank you.   It’s important that we support each other. 

The Chipstead Players

Member of The Little Theatre Guild and BRBAC

Our October production is The Nether by Jennifer Haley.  The Nether offers complete freedom – a new virtual wonderland, providing total sensory immersion.  Just log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire. An intricate crime drama and a haunting thriller set in the year 2050, our play follows an investigation into the complicated, disturbing morality of identity in the digital world, and explores the consequences of making dreams a reality.

Contains adult sexual themes; parental guidance advised.  Although we are warning about adult sexual themes, these are only implied and discussed during the course of the play.


Performance dates: Monday, 21st to Saturday, 26th October inclusive, at 8pm with a matinee at 2.15pm on Saturday, 26th October.  Venue: The Courtyard Theatre, Longshaw, Hazelwood Lane, Chipstead, Surrey CR5 3QU (near The White Hart pub).


Tickets £10 all performances.  Box office 01737 555 680 and leave a message or email: or book online. 



The Gage Players;

Our winter production 2019 will be Good Things by Liz Lochhead.  Set in a charity shop on three different days in one year – Twelfth Night in January, Valentine’s Day in February and Christmas Eve in December – Good Things is a poignant and funny play with a lot to say about finding love later in life. 


Performance dates at The Riddell Hall are 28th, 29th and 30th November, 2019.  Tickets £10. Box office 01737 812 703. 

Patrons intending to dine before the show at The Blue Ball pub near The Riddell Hall will be offered a discount on food if, when you come to pay the bill, you show your pre-bought ticket/s to the staff, or if you have not got your ticket/s, you mention the name Jon Laws, who arranged this with the manager.  

Gatton Community Theatre

GCT operates as a fully inclusive organisation – anyone who would like to take part may join the cast or crew regardless of experience or age, although children must be over the age of eight.  There is no membership or production fee.  


We are taking a little break and planning for our next large-scale open-air production in July 2020.  There will be one or two smaller events before then, so stay in touch or check our website for more details on how to get involved or for more information.


Kingswood Amateur Drama and Dance Association (KADDS)

Our autumn production will be Murder in Play by Simon Brett, playing at 8pm on 30th October, 1st and 2nd November.  Tickets £10, children £5, available from Village Stores, Waterhouse Lane, Kingswood; or from


In October we are also holding auditions for adults and children for our February 2020 show, The Snow Queen, being stages at half-term.  Rehearsals will be on Sunday afternoons for children and Thursday evening for adults. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Richard Palmer on or 01737 3633 355. 


Merstham Amateur Dramatic Society (MADS)

Our October production will be Dinner by Moira Buffini, directed by Lisa-Jane Ray.

Take one deranged but elegant hostess and her long-suffering husband, mix with jilted, bohemian artist school friend (with a sprinkling of an affair), a foul-mouthed seductress, a jealous microbiologist and an uninvited misfit, finish off with a silent, mysterious waiter and what you have is a delicious feast of comedy at its most heartless and macabre.


Performance dates are 23rd, 24th and 25th October at 8pm at Merstham Village Hall, Station Road North, Merstham, Surrey RH1 3ED.  Box office 01883 742 708, email: or book online.



The Oxted Players; 

The Oxted Players are affiliated to NODA and are members of BRBAC.

Our autumn production will be The Safari Party by Tim Firth.

The play is set in rural Cheshire around the early part of the 21st century.  Three households have agreed to hold a ‘safari party’ – a dinner party where each course is served in a different house and the participants move from one to another.


Brothers Daniel and Adam, struggling to make a living on the dilapidated farm they have inherited from their recently deceased father, have undertaken to do the first course, but are entirely lacking in any culinary skills or, indeed, in any suitable furniture.  Lol and Esther, a vulgar, pretentious and snobbish upwardly mobile couple, recently moved to the countryside, will provide the main course in their converted barn, reluctantly assisted by their rebellious adult daughter, Bridget. Inga, an antiques dealer of dubious integrity specialising in ‘authentic’ rural artefacts, is to do the dessert.


The dinner party is a disaster.  Misunderstandings and conflicts mount as we move from location to location until this black comedy culminates in violent destruction, both of apparently valuable objects and of the pretensions and secrets that the characters carry with them.


Performance dates are Wednesday, 16th to Saturday, 19th October at 7.45pm.  Booking office telephone number 01883 724 852 for cheque and cash payments, and online at or for all card payments.  Tickets £10.00 adults and £8.00 students.


Polesden Lacey Shakespeare 

Undoubtedly one of Shakespeare’s best loved plays, our summer 2020 production of Romeo and Juliet explores the usual themes of thwarted young love and passion, youth, family status, violence and the inevitability of fate, with some interesting twists in both performance and setting.


Join us in the beautiful surroundings of the theatre lawn at Polesden Lacey on Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th June and Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July, 2020. Performances at 2.30pm, with the Theatre Lawn open for picnicking from 1pm. Children under 16 go free. Group rates. Free parking with ticket. Tickets available online from January 2020.


We shall be holding open auditions on Sunday, 2nd February, 2020 at the Archway Theatre, Horley and on Sunday, 9th February at the Follett Hall, United Reformed Church Dorking, both from 3pm – 6pm.  We’d love to welcome anybody from the local community who would like to audition (also to provide backstage/ front of house help). 


We’re now in the run-up to 2021, our 70th anniversary year, when we shall be presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the first play performed on the Open Air Stage at Polesden Lacey in 1951. There are also lots of other exciting plans for this 70th anniversary year. If you’d like to get involved, please go to the website and contact our Marketing Director, Franki Gray, via the press tab at the top of the page.



St Mark’s Players

Our winter production will be a play entitled The Inaccurate Conception by Richard Ahsam and Geoff Saunders.  It’s a comedy about a school nativity play and will be performed on Thursday and Friday, 28th and 29th November at St Mark’s Church Centre, Alma Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 0DA.    


Tickets (likely to be priced at £16 to include fish and chip supper, or £10 if no food required) will be in due course be available through the website, and click the ‘book now’ button.  Do come to see it and get your Christmas festivities off to a fun start!


Sutton Amateur Dramatic Club (SADC)

Our November production is We Happy Few by Imogen Stubbs, the story of an all-female theatre company touring Britain during the darkest days of the Second World War. 


Performance dates are 13th, 14th and 15th November at 7.45pm at The Adrian Mann Theatre, 54 Reigate Road, Epsom, Surrey KT17 3DR.   Tickets: £13 –


West Horsley Independent Players (WHIPS)


Our October production will be Mind Over Matter by Stuart Tomkins, with performances on 16th, 17th 18th and 19th October at 8pm, West Horsley Village Hall, 95 The Street, West Horsley, Leatherhead, Surrey KT24 6DD.


Set in a care home, this poignant and gentle comedy explores relationships between young and old, with an unexpected ending.  


Tickets: £8 for 16th, with an 8pm start; £17.50 for a two-course supper on 17th, starting at 7pm; £12 for a bring your own supper on 18th, starting at 7pm; and £12 for 19th starting at 8pm.  Please book online at,


Woodmansterne Operatic and Dramatic Society (WODS) and Junior WODS

Our October production is MI5 to P45, a show in two halves – a one-act comedy with an interval for supper, followed by a one-act comic musical revue.  Performances dates are 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th October; doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start.  St Peter’s Church Hall, Woodmansterne, Surrey SM7 3NR, carpark entrance on Chipstead Way.  


Tickets £16 for a fish and chip supper, of £11 for no food.  Please book online:  

Good Things – Winter 2019 Production

Our Winter 2019 production

Our play was Good Things by Liz Lochhead.

Set in a charity shop on three different days in one year – Twelfth Night in January, Valentine’s Day in February and Christmas Eve in December – Good Things is a poignant and funny play with a lot to say about finding love later in life.

Performance dates at The Riddell Hall were 28th, 29th and 30th November, 2019.


Click on image to expand picture.



Newsletter – Summer 2019

Summer 2019 Newsletter

I hope you have all managed to have an enjoyable Summer break and are ready for a new season of Gage productions. At the time of writing we are preparing for the September show, our Rehearsed Reading with supper, ably directed by Chris Slater. The show is The Music Lovers by Reggie Oliver, adapted from the quick-moving comedy by Georges Feydeau,   playing at the Riddell Hall on Saturday, 14th September. These are always fun social events which family and friends can attend, but as food needs to be ordered in advance please make sure you have confirmed a space and ordered your supper (more details to follow).

Following the September show we are quickly into rehearsals for the November production of Good Things by Liz Lochhead, directed by Debbie Nichols. Please put the dates 28th, 29th and 30th November in your diary and we would love to see you in the audience if you are not already involved with the play. Now is a good time to drum up interest with neighbours, family and friends to see if we can all bring along a few new faces to see our production.

We have had a lot of success within the local community recently. Our last two outings at the Quiz Night at The Duke’s Head in Tadworth have put us into the top 3 places and we received a cash prize each time, always a welcome bonus for the Gage funds after a good evening out. We can’t fit Quiz Nights in alongside rehearsals but will resume them once the November show is over, so watch out for the next invitation – anyone can come along.

You may have seen that we had a Gage Players stall at the main field for the Walton May Pageant, to raise our profile within the community and to engage with people who might be interested in joining or supporting us. We were fortunate that the weather was good and I would like to thank everyone who gave up their time to help on the stall. We were recently delighted to receive a £200 donation from the Pageant Committee and this will go towards some refurb at the Riddell Hall (a new valence round the staging) and the purchase of much-needed new canvas for some of our flats.

The new Performing Arts Library will be up and running by spring 2020; there has already been one training day for trustees and volunteers to learn how to catalogue the theatre and music collections, with more training days to follow. If anyone is interested in taking part in that, and in finding out about other ways of supporting this invaluable community service, Gill Gibbins has more information or you can contact the New Performing Arts Library directly on their website.

Finally and sadly I wanted to mention the passing of two people you may know. Richard Pavy, with whom we liaised over all our Christchurch Hall bookings, had been ill for some time and recently died, as did Barbara Crawley, whom you may have acted alongside.  We send our deepest condolences to their families and friends.

On a happier note I hope the good weather continues and I look forward to seeing you with family and friends at our 14th September Rehearsed Reading.

Best Wishes

Anne Henderson

Open Auditions – The Music Lovers



a one-act farce by Reggie Oliver

adapted from Amour et Piano by Georges Feydeau
for a rehearsed reading performance with supper
in The Riddell Hall, Walton on the Hill
at 8pm on Saturday, 14 th September, 2019

Set in the salon of an elegant apartement in 1890s Paris, this lively and fast-moving play revolves around the idea of mistaken identity. Lucile is expecting the arrival of a new music teacher hired by her mother. What she doesn’t know is that Gabrielle, the maid of Mlle Dubarroy downstairs, has, with the bemused agreement of Lucile’s own maid, Baptiste, arranged for Edouard Lorillot (a prospective ‘suitor’ for Mlle), to be sent upstairs by the concierge while Mlle is out, so that he will go to Lucile’s home while Mlle is detained – quite literally! So, Edouard arrives, and conducts himself as he thinks a  man-about-town would, with a lady of whom he has certain hopes. What ensues is a series of misunderstandings and unintentional double entendres, with Lucile and Edouard each believing the other to be someone else – a situation complicated even further by the return of Madame, Lucile’s scandalised mother . . .

Characters – these can be any age, though Madame should be made to look older


A first audition/read-through will be held at Chris’s home in Bookham on Monday, 26th August (bank holiday evening) at 7.30pm, with a second read-through/audition at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 28 th August, also at Chris’s house. Rehearsals will be held there at 7.30pm on Monday, 2nd September, Sunday, 8th September and Friday, 13 th September. This last rehearsal will be a semi-dress rehearsal. Then there will be a dress rehearsal from 2.30 to c. 5.30pm at The Riddell Hall in Walton on the Hill on Saturday, 14th September, with a basic set plus props, lights and sound effects. This will be followed by a break until supper at 7.00pm and curtain-up at 8.00pm.

Please contact Chris if you are interested in taking part: or 01372 454 963

Open Auditions – Good Things

Open auditions for our Winter 2019 production

Our play will be Good Things by Liz Lochhead, written with one main male and one main female role. The remaining roles will be split between 2-4 actors.  One or two men and one or two ladies, giving at least 2 cast members the opportunity to double up in various roles. The play will be directed by Debbie Nichols.

Auditions will take place at 8pm on Monday 8th and Wednesday, 10th July, 2019 at  Christchurch Hall in Walton Street, Walton on the Hill, Surrey KT20 7RT, with rehearsals to start there from September.


Set in a charity shop on three different days in one year – Twelfth Night in January, Valentine’s Day in February and Christmas Eve in December – Good Things is a poignant and funny play with a lot to say about finding love later in life.


Susan: a shop volunteer, nearing fifty and divorced, is kept busy by relationship difficulties with her daughter, her father – and her ex
David: in his fifties, widowed, is parting with some of his late wife’s possessions – and keeps coming back with more.

Frazer : a dapper man in early middle age
Marjorie : a middle class matron type
Five other gents
Six other ladies

Rehearsals will start on Monday 16th September 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, 24th November.  There may be extra Sunday rehearsals at the Riddell in November.

Performance dates at The Riddell Hall are 28th, 29th and 30th November, 2019.

For any further information please contact the director, Debbie Nichols, on