Public Forum – May 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.

As most of you will know, at the meeting of the Surrey County Council on 26th February, 2019 agreement was given to transferring the management and eventual ownership of the library (currently within Ewell Library in Bourne Hall) to the new charity set up to take this on.  The charity’s managing committee acknowledge gratefully that this decision is due in large measure to the generous and vocal support given by the library’s users and supporters over a 15-month campaign.

They are now busy on agreeing a lease on a new library building in Woking, and setting it up; raising the remainder of the funds needed to finance the transition and provide a financial cushion; appointing library staff; buying and setting up the new custom-built IT system; and re-entering the stock catalogue in this.

The new library will have to be entirely self-financing as the SCC will not be providing any financial support, so there will be direct consultation with users about appropriate subscription levels and hire charges.

In the meantime, groups are being encouraged to renew their PAL membership whenever it falls due – income for any remaining period will be transferred pro rata to the new organisation when the transition from SCC is complete.

The new library committee would welcome questions from users at an early stage about any aspect of the library and its facilities, as this will help them to tailor-make their service.  If you have questions, please would you email the charity trustees at:

An appeal from NewSPAL’s trustees:

Exciting times!

The new charity trustees have already raised more than half of the £125,000 needed by the time the new library opens its doors, expected to be late this year.

As well as hoping for more donations, particularly those pledged in the early stages of the campaign to take over the library, NewSPAL are now also looking for help from volunteers in setting up and operating the service.  They have already appointed a project manager to oversee this stage in the library’s development, who will be starting work in early June.

They would be very grateful if you could spare just a few minutes to tell them, via the questionnaire link below, what interests and experience you have that you would be willing to share.

They are looking for professional skills and knowledge around acquiring and fitting out new premises (legal, financial, practical, fund-raising); also library experience, and a whole host of willing clerical volunteers who would be trained and led by these experts.

The questionnaire will genuinely take only a few minutes of your time [speaking as one who’s done it], but those few minutes could make an enormous difference to the work of the new PAL.  Please also ask your family and friends if they would be interested to take part in this new community undertaking: it could be an opportunity for them to develop an interest and to make new friends.

You, or they, may also know someone who would be prepared to make a donation if they cannot offer practical help.  The NewSPAL website is clear, informative and easy to navigate, so please go to  before you forget about it, click on the ‘support us’ heading and scroll to the foot of the page to click on the icons for volunteering and/or donating:

The Chipstead Players

Member of The Little Theatre Guild and BRBAC

More information next time.

The Gage Players;

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 will be extra Sunday afternoon rehearsals at the Riddell on 3rd and 17th 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

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.

More information next time or on our web site.

The Heath Players

Dear Players, Patrons and Friends: The Heath Players Need Your Continuing Support if they are to keep entertaining you.

Following the success of our last production, Inspector Drake and the Perfekt Crime by David Tristram, for which we were awarded a Certificate of Excellence by NODA (the National Operatic and Dramatic Association), The Heath Players are now facing a difficult and uncertain future.

The Heath Players came to Box Hill Village Hall in 1972 and have been performing to audiences from the local area ever since. The Players formed in 1963 when a group of Box Hill people joined the then drama group of Headley WI, and performed initially at Headley Village Hall, moving to Box Hill shortly after the new village hall was opened.

With the passage of time our number of members has sadly decreased to a level where it is now difficult, if not impossible to continue. We would very much like to keep going, but now we have so few regular members that our subscriptions and takings from shows do not cover our costs, even for the modestly budgeted productions.

If you would like to see more shows from The Heath Players, please get in touch and become a member. You could act or sing in our shows. You could help to build scenery or organise costumes or props. Help out ‘front of house’ assisting with: taking tickets at the door, selling programmes and raffle tickets, serving interval refreshments, and just generally helping us to put on a show. It would be great if you could get involved, and we think you will enjoy it.

We really do need some new members, and would welcome you to our regular Tuesday evening meetings at 8.00pm.  So please send your ideas to us or come to our AGM; we would love to hear your views.  Our AGM will be held on Tuesday, 28th May at 7.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Boxhill Road, Boxhill, near Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7JT.  However, only fully paid-up HP members may vote at the AGM.

Please phone or e-mail first, as we are taking our summer break:
send an e-mail to:
telephone our Treasurer, Caroline Mellis, on 01737 218241,
telephone our Chairman, Ed Stonard, on 01737 762751.

We look forward to hearing from you.
If we do not get a sufficient response, we shall have little alternative but to close the group, and Box Hill Village Hall will ‘Go Dark’.


The Heath Players are considering our next production, Haunted, by Eric Chappell.  A tale of intrigue and ghostly apparitions, part thriller, part comedy!  But we need your help – there is a cast of 6 (4 gents and 2 ladies) and we would like to audition aspiring cast members to join The Team.

To produce the show this year would mean performance dates of Thursday, 24th and Friday, 25th  October.   The cast would need to be available for that week from Sunday, 20th October for technical and dress rehearsals.

The Heath Players meet on Tuesday evenings at Box Hill Village Hall, with extra read-through rehearsals as required.  Preparation script reading and rehearsals would commence in August.

If you are interested in taking part in this play, and are available on the dates suggested, please let us know.  If you are not available this year but would be interested in participating in Spring next year please let us know, so that we can consider alternative dates.

We would love to hear from you, so please contact Caroline Mellis to discuss by phone or email.

Mobile: 07356 483808
Home:   01737 218241

Kingswood Amateur Drama and Dance Association (KADDS)

Our next production will be Rumours by Neil Simon, playing at 8pm on 30th, 31st May and 1st June at Kingwood Village Hall, Waterhouse Lane, Kingswood, Surrey KT20 6EB.

A fast-moving comedy, frenetic from start to finish.  A house-owner is about to celebrate his tenth wedding anniversary – guests begin to arrive, and found he has been shot.  Mayhem!

Tickets £10, children £5, available from Village Stores, Waterhouse Lane, Kingswood; or from

Merstham Amateur Dramatic Society (MADS)
More information next time.

The Oxted Players

The Oxted Players are affiliated to NODA and are members of BRBAC.
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 £9.00 students.
Our autumn production will be The Safari Party by Tim Firth.

Auditions will be held at The Barn Theatre from 7.30pm on Thursday, 23rd May.  If you would like to have the audition pieces or borrow a script, please contact the director, Peter Shore, on either of the contacts below.  Anyone who has already borrowed a script but is not going to be at the auditions is asked to contact Peter to arrange the return of the script before then.  If you are interested in auditioning but cannot come on 23rd May, please let Peter know, as it is likely that we will be arranging an additional date:  or 07712 315 406.

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 (both mid-20s to mid-30s), 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.  Both Adam and Daniel have grown up on the family farm and will have ‘uneducated’ accents and modes of speech, but there is no necessity for them to have a Cheshire accent.

Lol and Esther (both mid-40s to mid-50s), 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 (early 20s).

Inga (early 60s, but could be older or younger), 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.

Audition pieces
Daniel – from p.57 ‘We didn’t have time . . .’ to p.58 ‘ . . .North Cheshire.’

Adam – from p.62 ‘He didn’t.’ to p.63 ‘But his last words were “Hahargh.  Dirty Harry”.’

Lol – from p.39 ‘Right!  Buttyball!’ to p.40 ‘Why the hell’s that come on now?’

Esther – from p.54 ‘I thought we’d be on coffee and mints.’ to p.55 ‘I’m in Almaney.’

Bridget – from p.70 ‘No, no, no.’ to p.71 ‘ . . . into that hole to score a point.’

Inga – from p.66 ‘Look inside.’ to p.66 ‘I liked Esther.’

Polesden Lacey Shakespeare

Pop-up Shakespeare (in collaboration with The Cat’s Grin Theatre Company) continues this year from 1.30pm on 15th June and 22nd June, 2019 – short, family-friendly scenes from well-loved Shakespeare plays, performed at different places around the gardens, accompanied by strolling musicians playing authentic period music on authentic period instruments.  Free to all visitors to Polesden Lacey.

AND the main production is:

Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare at Polesden Lacey Open Air Theatre on Saturday, 29th and Sunday, 30th June and again on Saturday, 6th and Sunday, 7th July, 2019.

Love’s Labour’s Lost, a joyous comic masterpiece written early in Shakespeare’s career, is filled with romance, riotous fun, wit and humour.  Ferdinand, the young King of Navarre, and his three companions, have sworn an oath to dedicate themselves to study for three years, during which time no woman shall come within a mile of them.  They sign the oath, but almost immediately the Princess of France and her three ladies-in-waiting arrive to discuss her father’s debits to the King.  The men fall instantly in love, break the oath – and the fun begins.

Our production is set just before the outbreak of the First World War in the wisteria-clad gardens of a grand Edwardian country house – in fact, not unlike Polesden Lacey itself!  In this idyllic setting, the aristocratic lovers play out their romances, helped, but more often than not hindered, by flamboyant courtiers, eccentric village constables, schoolteachers, vicars, household and estate staff.  So why not come and join us for a sunny afternoon of Edwardian fun and frolics?

Tickets £12 per head, under-16s free and 10% discount on bookings of 10 or more people.  Box office 01306 881 717 or via website

Gates open 1.00pm, performance at 2.30pm, so why not bring a picnic lunch? Free parking with ticket.  For all further information, visit our website.

We are looking for maybe four to six people for walk-on parts, as members of the household of the King of Navarre.  These are non-speaking parts, but they are real characters, with plenty of important action on-stage.  There are roles for males and females.  You will need to attend some rehearsals, but not all.  A reminder that the production is set just before the First World War, so you will be costumed accordingly.

If you are interested in this lovely voluntary opportunity, in particular in taking part in open-air theatre in a truly beautiful setting, please look at our website: and get in touch, using the press table on the website.  We look forward to hearing from you!

St Mark’s Players

Our next production, Midsummer Mirth, will take place at St Mark’s Church Centre, Alma Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 0DA on Thursday, 20th and Friday, 21st June.

It will be an evening of light-hearted entertainment comprising a number of short plays or sketches with a fish and chip supper (or other choice of food) served during the interval.  The ticket price of £16 includes supper, which needs to be booked in advance, or you can just pay £10 for a ticket without supper.  Please bring your own drinks, nibbles and also glasses, plates, cutlery (if required).

Tickets can be obtained from TicketSource.  Use the ‘contact box office’ tab on our website, and click on the ‘book now’ button.

Sutton Amateur Dramatic Club (SADC)

Our next production is Hamlet by William Shakespeare, an abridged, modern-dress version directed by Dave Thompson, playing from Thursday, 27th to Saturday, 29th June, 2019 at St Mary’s Church, Beddington, Surrey SM6 7NJ.  Hamlet, the most famous play in all theatre.  Hamlet in a church? Ideal!

No place indeed should murder sanctuarise; revenge should have no bounds.’

Thus the unscrupulous King Claudius approves a young man’s reckless disregard of the time-honoured protection of a church against violence.

This opportunity of staging the tragedy in St Mary’s has been grasped with excited enthusiasm by its director, Dave Thompson, secure in the knowledge that theatrical killings in this sanctified and beautiful setting have met with fine and popular success over the past two years, as those who saw Murder in the Cathedral or Macbeth will verify.  Hamlet is not a religious play, but it asks ethical questions of the audience as much as the actors and the director.  What would we feel about being asked to kill someone?  Someone who deserves, it appears, to be killed?  Where do our sympathies lie? And, in both this question of vengeance and in the matter of love, all have serious choices to make, in which their very lives are at stake.

Tickets are available at

West Horsley Independent Players (WHIPS)
More information next time.

Woodmansterne Operatic and Dramatic Society (WODS) and Junior WODS
More information next time.


Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter