Newsletter – December 2022

Dear members and friends,

Seasons greetings to you all.  The snowy landscape has been beautiful, but back to rain is safer.  Maybe there will be no white Christmas, but we hope it will be less cold and easier to keep warm.

I’ll begin this newsletter with an important request.  We will be needing a secretary in April 2023 as our present much-respected secretary will be leaving us at the end of March after many years on the committee in this role.  The person we require would need good organisational and administrative skills and would be responsible for the agendas and minutes of our committee meetings.  We meet about once a month via Zoom.  It is not necessary to have a great deal of theatrical knowledge or experience, as committee members will be able to advise when needed.  The Gage committee are enthusiastic for our continued success and are a friendly group.  The Gage aim to put on two full-length plays and two rehearsed readings each year.  We would also like to add members to our committee, so that ideas and tasks can be efficiently shared.  If you are interested in joining, please email

Congratulations to all involved on a resounding success in our rehearsed play reading with supper on 10th December, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted and directed by Pip Rolls (also taking acting parts due to cast illness).  This play required many scene changes, costume changes and lighting and sound atmospherics for scene changes.  Altogether a huge challenge for cast, crew, front of house and all those involved in creating this performance.  The feedback from the audience was very satisfying – all thoroughly enjoyed the evening, with many wanting to know when the next event will be.  We made a good amount of much-needed money to add to our funds.  A heartfelt thank you to all involved!

It has been agreed to resume our very popular informal Zoom evenings for poetry and prose for Gage members, families and friends.  We choose to read poems, prose, extracts from plays, or one-act plays.  Anything that appeals at the time.  You are welcome to join in the meeting, bring something you would like to read or simply join the meeting and enjoy listening.  We cover a variety of comedy, drama or even short plays written by a member.  The next Zoom meeting will be on Wednesday, 18th January at 8pm.  Contact us via for the link.

Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders written by Derek Webb and directed by Lesley Crowther-Smith is our next planned Spring production, due to play on 27th, 28th and 29th April 2023, a comedy whodunit that will appeal to you all and keep you guessing until the end!  Please make a note of the dates in your diary, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Lesley Crowther-Smith will also be leading a drama lesson/theatre workshop in March with Walton School, where we hold our rehearsals.  It is also hoped that we can liaise with Walton School over a matinee performance some time next year to present poems written and read by the children, alongside some of our own members reading their own choices.

Looking ahead to our Winter production in November – due to Covid restrictions, this will be our fourth attempt to perform Molly’s Calling, written by Pip Rolls.  Please note the dates in your diaries – 23rd, 24th and 25th November 2023.  We are again looking for a caretaker director, with most of the cast willing to remain in their roles after this three-year delay.  As the play was originally to be directed by the author and was at performance level, a caretaker director would just need to oversee the performers and bring the play back to life again.  Is anyone amongst you keen to volunteer and try your hand at directing with us?

It is hoped that we will perform a rehearsed reading with supper in September 2023.  Chris Slater usually finds the play and directs it – however we ask whether anyone knows a one-act play that they have enjoyed watching or performing in to please let us know.  It would be useful to have a few to choose from for rehearsed readings and also to use for our informal Zoom poetry and prose evenings.

Forward planning for Spring 2024 – possibly The Nightingales by Peter Quilter.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

Best wishes,


Gay Weeden,

Chair, Gage Committee

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