Thursday, 22 March 2018

Constructing the Cat’s Cradle set

The Creswell Arms, ready to advertise!

The construction of the Cat's Cradle set!
So last Saturday, we started on constructing the set that would be home to the Creswell Arms for the performance of “Cat’s Cradle” this week. (Yes, the curtain is going up today!) It feels like only yesterday that we were announcing the auditions and then the cast!

The mini model of Creswell Arms

With every performance, the lovely Shep creates a small model of the set - for which is our reference/target for the finished set. Complete with multiple doors, a reception desk and staircase, the set was looking rather technical to begin with.

Like every set, it requires a specific combination of flats (these are the thick, large “planks” of wood that vary in length from 1ft to 6ft) to be decorated and painted over in the weeks running up to the performance- which sometimes requires multiple layers of paint to get rid of the previous set’s work. Let’s just say ATG is incredibly lucky to have some amazingly artistic members when they have a paintbrush in hand! 

Once we’ve got all the flats transported from their holding space (otherwise known as the hut!) to Warlingham Church hall where we perform, it’s time to start building. Drills and screws at the ready! 

Nailing the art of wallpaper paste!
But it isn’t all technical handiwork and power tools at an ATG set build day. It’s very common to find that there’s a few last minute jobs that need to be done. Every performance always has a scrap of wallpapering or painting that can only be done right at the end! (There is definitely an art involved in making a wallpaper paste...) 

What’s great about an ATG set build day is not only the fish and chip lunch from across the road, but the fact that there’s something for everyone to do, irregardless of experience, knowledge or strength. 

The Creswell Arms taking form
Seeing the finished set after a long day is a rewarding feeling. You can see for yourself just how much can be achieved in the space of a day by a bunch of ATG members. Curtain goes up tonight, tomorrow and Saturday night - there’s still time to buy tickets in case you haven’t from here:

ATG :) 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

A Look Back at 2017

Happy New Year!

 It's already 2018 and we thought it would only be fair to look back at 2017 and all of the lovely moments that have happened! 

There has been a murder on stage at the music hall!
 Twenty seventeen kicked off in January with the play reading for our March/April performance for a play written and directed by one of our members, Christine, called "Murder at the Music Hall." Fueled with cakes and coffees, we delved into the script, a murder mystery that takes place in the less than illustrious Empire Theatre with a twist - an added audience participation that sees the cast members interrogated by the audience. Something that seems like a daunting process, because believe me, you can never predict the questions the audience will ask no matter how much you practice in rehearsals. Come March and April, the curtains went up to sold out audiences who really got into the nitty gritty details when it came to the interrogation stage... "Why did you say *insert completely irrelevant throwaway line?" "What happened to the monkey?" (Yes, a monkey was mentioned!) But I'll let you in on a cheeky little secret, depending on which evening you went, the killer may have been different to the previous night ;) 

 At the AGM, the committee was re-elected and we welcomed Mori to the committee as our social secretary. As the new social chair, she threw herself into it and organised various social events for the year. Hot off the success of the run of "Murder at the Music Hall", Mori arranged for us to participate at the Horseshoe's pub quiz. ATG were fortunate enough to have not one, but two teams competing in the quiz - and boy, were they pulling out all the stops and little nuggets of knowledge to do us proud. Both teams finished in the top three (out of sixteen teams) taking third and first place! With a rematch to follow up in July...

"Playing with Shadows" set
 Shortly after we came out on top at the quiz, we had the second performance of the year cast. Two short one-act plays - "Playing with Shadows," and "I Never Thought it Would be Like This," which a linked theme creating a title for the evening as "Family Ties." (And we weren't just referring to the fact that the directors were married!) Having two plays in one night meant that during the interval, it was action stations to transform the stage from A) a pristine and comfortable looking living room into B) a deserted desert island - you can see the contrast in the pictures above! 

 Then it was July/August time, and in the summertime (when the weather is fine...) that means the BBQ was just around the corner. In true ATG tradition, Nicky and Martin threw open their wonderful home to the extravaganza that is the ATG BBQ. The BBQ acted as a great way to begin Summer and prepare us all for the next performance, a musical to be performed over two weeks rather than the usual one. 
On stage for Billy Liar ~ November 201

 That musical being Billy Liar, the well known musical that starred Michael Crawford in 1974 (although some of our younger members needed to do a little bit of extra research to learn more about Billy Fisher and his fiesta of marriage proposals!) It was this performance that saw a number of established and new members taking to the stage in a cast and chorus filled musical. It's safe to say Billy Liar was thoroughly enjoyed on stage and off stage - we hope that our new members stay with us and more members join :) 

Check out the teapot at the table!
Down the rabbit hole!
 Our jam packed year was rounded off with a fantastic Alice in Wonderland themed Christmas party. Our beloved hut was decorated from floor to ceiling with red and our team of creative minds rustled up a Mad Hatter’s Table, a rabbit hole and card guards. The night was a great success with a round of pass the parcel and a ever so slightly aggressive game of musical chairs!

 So what next? Well as we are well into January 2018, auditions have started for our March production of Cat’s Cradle - if you fancy taking part on stage or back stage, then let us know :)


Sunday, 24 December 2017

Presenting the ATG Blog!

Greetings, hello and hey!

 The first post is always the hardest so I will try to keep it short and sweet! 

Play Readings take place at the hut

 This little corner of the internet is the blog for the amateur dramatics group in Warlingham which goes by the name ATG. We put on three performances throughout the year at around April, July and November at Warlingham Church Hall, and just now, you’ve caught us fresh off the last performance we did of Billy Liar a few weeks ago!
Any excuse to be silly! 😜

Our pool of members is growing and we really are one big family. You can definitely gain a few siblings, parents or uncles and aunties with us! Our growing gang of lovable individuals includes teachers and managers, both young and old, so there’s no shortage of eccentric individuals in our group :) At the heart of ATG, we all like to have fun - to the right, you can see what happens when you leave your scarf at the pub after a rehearsal! We can thank our social secretary, Mori, for delighting us with this cheeky collage 😋

 But we’re not just about the performing - thanks to our committee, we have social events happening througout the year. The Summer BBQ and Christmas parties are definitely not to be missed! 

ATG Xmas Party 2016 - Under The Sea
We are always looking to have new members, interested in any aspect of Theatre (acting, singing, directing, choreographing, stage management, set design or front of house- the list goes on!) We also have social members to support us at rehearsal or join us at planned events. Do you fancy joining us for an outing to see another group's play? Or perhaps you have some little nuggets of information that might come in useful at the quiz night? (We have managed to win on one of the two weeks that we have been to the pub quiz!)
Christmas Jumper evening at a rehearsal

 You can find more information about us on a number of different platforms: 
Twitter: @ATGDramaGroup
Instagram: @atgdramagroup

And of course, here!

Don’t forget to check in with us again soon! 
ATG Drama Group :)