Newsletter August 2022

Dear Friends and Members,

How are you all? We won’t forget the summer of 2022, with the intense heatwave and now a probable drought. Isn’t it good to feel cool air again, and mustn’t grumble when it rains!

The Gage are delighted and grateful to have received a donation of £450 from the Pageant Committee following the Walton May Pageant, where we had the Gage Bottle Tombola stall. This has eased our finances and will help to enable us to put on a full-length play in April 2023.

After a short summer break, the Gage are looking towards the September rehearsed play reading to be directed by Christopher Slater. Talented Chris has recently celebrated his forthcoming birthday with his concert of choral and organ music at St Peter’s Church, Walton on the Hill. Sadly I was unable to attend but have heard how the concert was enjoyed, appreciated and very much praised by those who went.

So, on 24th September from 7pm at the Riddell Hall, Walton on the Hill, our rehearsed play reading (when you bring your own supper and drinks) will be Playgoers, a comedy by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero. Set before the First World War, enjoy a ‘what the butler saw’ glimpse into the domestic life of a newly wed couple when the wife wishes to give her staff the rare treat of a night off to go to the theatre. Unexpected reactions from these ill-assorted characters – not quite Downton Abbey!

Seating is at pre-booked table places only. £10 a head. Box office number is 01737 812 703. Do book early as table seating places are in more limited numbers than with conventional hall seating.

At our committee meeting this month we discussed how popular our Zoom poetry/play readings had become during Lockdowns, and we would like to reinstate these evenings for all to enjoy, especially those who, for various reasons, can’t easily go out. More about this in our next newsletter.

As you are aware, we are looking for ways to raise funds. If you have any used printer ink cartridges please save them for us. If enough can regularly be collected they would raise a small income for us. These can be sent or delivered to our treasurer’s address (Rod Lucas, Heatherview, Dorking Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 5SA).

Looking ahead to 10th December this year, the Gage Players will perform another rehearsed reading with bring your own supper and drinks – Scenes from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted and directed by Pip Rolls. Audition invitations will be emailed on 10th October, with audition times and scripts sent between 11th to 14th October, to be followed by auditions via Zoom at pre-arranged times between 31st October and 4th November. Please note these dates on your calendar if you wish to take part.

In March we are presenting a matinee (with tea) deferred for more than a year by Covid. Children from the top two classes at Walton School will compete to take part by writing or reading their own favourite poem. The successful ones chosen by their teachers will perform on stage at the Riddell Hall, alternating with members of the Gage reading their own choice. This will be varied and fun – more news of this in the New Year.

Planned spring production! On 27th, 28th and 29th April we expect to stage Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders, written by Derek Webb and directed by Chris Slater, a comedy ‘whodunnit’ keeping you guessing with its twists and turns until the end! Partially cast a while ago, but Covid curtailed, we are happy and relieved to be able to take this further. Now that we have confidence that it will be staged, the audition notice for the remaining roles will be circulated in the New Year, when we expect to apply for the performance licence.

Molly’s Calling by Pip Rolls is waiting in the wings to be our November 2023 production on 23rd, 24th and 25th November. Fourth time lucky?!

We celebrate that The Gage Players are back and have exciting times ahead. We look forward to seeing you at Playgoers on 24th September.

Best wishes to you all.


Gay Weeden, Chair, The Gage Players

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