Newsletter January 2023

Dear members and friends,

I hope you managed to keep warm in the recent freezing frosty weather.

Have you made a note of the dates of our long-awaited spring production?  Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders written by Derek Webb will be directed by Lesley Crowther-Smith, due to play at 8pm on 27th, 28th and 29th April 2023 at the Riddell Hall in Walton on the Hill.  You will be intrigued by this comedy thriller which will keep you guessing ‘whodunnit’ right until the end!  Rehearsals will be starting very soon and we are excited to be back for a full-length production again, as Covid has prevented this for at least two years!

Our informal evenings of poetry and prose via Zoom, which started during lockdown, were reinstated on 18th January.  It was a fun time with a huge variety of poems, some of which were hilarious!  It was good to see everyone at this sociable little gathering, and a relief to be at home during the bitter weather.  These evenings will continue after our spring production.

We’re always looking to welcome anyone who is keen to act, or to help backstage or front of house.  Also, we are urgently needing someone who is willing to take the minutes at our committee meetings, which are held monthly via Zoom – please help us out!  We are a friendly group and would welcome new committee members who could bring fresh ideas, interest and enthusiasm to our team.  Do mention this to any friends you think might be interested and please get in touch via  We shall be holding our Annual General Meeting at 8pm via Zoom on Tuesday, 21st March – the link will be sent nearer the time.

It’s lovely to look ahead to May, when the Gage will be manning a bottle tombola at the Walton May Pageant on Saturday, 20th May.  So please save and donate a bottle(s) to help us make as much money as we can.  There will also be a guessing game to know how many sweeties are in the sweetie jar, which should be popular with the children!

We have now confirmed Saturday, 16th September for an evening of rehearsed readings.  This will begin at 7pm with a bring-your-own picnic supper plus drinks and snacks, followed by two one-act plays, with a coffee and raffle break between them.  It all makes for a friendly, relaxed evening which everyone enjoys.  These rehearsed readings are a good chance for anyone who’d like to get on-stage in a play, but is a bit nervous or shy about doing so, to take a small part with the script in their hand and see how they enjoy it.  I guarantee you will be hooked!  So keep an eye out for the auditions calls in the summer.

In November the Gage intends at last to produce Molly’s Calling written by Pip Rolls.  Covid has delayed it many times – on one occasion only a week before the first performance!  Many of the original cast are still keen to perform and I can confirm that the dates of the hoped-for production are 23rd, 24th and 25th November.  However, the play needs a caretaker director to refresh it and bring it back to performance level.  A first time for everything and a chance to direct a play – is there anyone out there who would like to take the plunge and direct Molly’s Calling?

Forward planning – we have two possible plays in mind as main productions in 2024: The Nightingales by Peter Quilter and Death and the Maiden by Georgina Reid.

Our respected and capable secretary, Gill Gibbins, is stepping down after many dedicated years and we are thankful for all she has done for us.  We need a successor as secretary as soon as possible.  You will find the outline job description on our web site: – look in the banner headline at the top of the home page and click on ‘Wanted – secretary’.

I hope you’ve made a note of these dates:

Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders by Derek Webb – at 8pm on 27th, 28th and 29th April 2023

The Walton May Pageant from around 2pm on Saturday, 20th May, 2023

Molly’s Calling by Pip Rolls – at 8pm on 23rd, 24th and 25th November, 2023.

More news next month, but meanwhile keep warm and stay well.

Best wishes,


Gay Weeden,

Chair, Gage Committee

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