Dear Friends and Members,
While enjoying this sunny spring day, I’m reflecting on our first Annual General Meeting in two years, held on 22nd March via Zoom. We now enjoy freedom from lockdown, and the Gage is looking forward to summer events, when we hope you will be there with us.
The Walton May Pageant, on 21st May, is an interesting and deservedly popular event, where we look forward to running our Gage stall and the bottle tombola stall next door to it. Donations of bottles would be appreciated, please, as the tombola is a great draw for people, so the more, the merrier!
However, the Pop-up Poetry matinee performance with Walton on the Hill Primary School has been deferred to March 2023. So many Surrey school children are now unwell with Covid, plus their families and teachers in many cases, that a September date would have been the earliest feasible one – but then the children in the top two classes would have changed at the start of the school year, leaving little time for all the preparation involved, and then closely followed by a very busy November/December getting ready for the school’s Christmas events. So they have agreed that next March would be best, and we look forward to that.
Our active member, Chris Slater, an accomplished organist, pianist, choirmaster and conductor, is planning a concert to celebrate his 90th birthday. His proposed date is 14th August at 3.15pm at St Peter’s Church, Walton on the Hill, followed by tea at 4.15pm at Breech Lane Community Hall. The programme is chosen but Chris is looking for more tenors and basses. The music would be rehearsed at 2pm ahead of the concert, so singers would need to be good sight-readers. Please contact the Gage if you can help. Although this is an event personally organised by Chris, the Gage will wholeheartedly be supporting him in the audience.
A rehearsed reading with supper is planned for 24th September – Playgoers by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, directed by Chris Slater. Audition dates at Chris’s home will be set nearer the time.
Once again, our hoped-for winter production is going to be Molly’s Calling by Pip Rolls, performance dates planned as 24th, 25th and 26th November. Due to Covid and lockdowns, this would be our fourth attempt to stage this wonderful comedy and we will be so happy to see it performed on stage at last.
Two grant applications are in progress for funding to tide us over until we have built up our reserves to pay the very considerable up-front costs for a main production, and our winter play this year is partly contingent on our receiving at least one of these grants, so we eagerly await news .
Looking ahead to 2023, we hope to put on another main production in April, directed by Chris Slater, audition, rehearsal and production dates to advised at a later date.
Wishing you all a happy Easter when it comes, and looking forward to seeing you soon.
Chair, The Gage Players