Wednesday 5 December 2018

This is the Greatest Show ~ October 2018


 Back in October, we celebrated our bi-annual awards night and after many of our members fell in love with the film, the theme just had to be “The Greatest Show” in homage to The Greatest Showman.

 The awards night is a fun celebration where we look back at the productions over the last two years having previously voted for our favourites in a number of different categories. Categories that include best and supporting actor/actress or best female/male newcomer. It isn’t all about the acting onstage, we also have three additional shield awards (the Grimwood, Wooderson and Davison award) that are awarded to individuals who have contributed to the group backstage or contributed above and beyond to the group that we want to celebrate and thank for their hard efforts.

 A helpful team of members decorated the hall with balloons, a drinks table and colourful bunting to create a twist on the circus environment. Traditionally, attendees receive a cocktail on arrival that links to the theme. Last year at our Casino Royale themed awards night, the obvious drink was a margarita - accidentally strong ones too! This year we were treated to a Pink Elephant. The drinks table was complimented by two cardboard cut out pink elephants that almost reminded us of the Pink Elephant Parade in Dumbo (You’d never know that the cutouts were made and decorate the night before/early hours of the morning!!)

 Entertainment was also on hand as well in between the dinner courses and awards. The opening number was headed up by the committee members who each dressed up as a wacky circus performer and it seemed only fitting that our chairman became the ringmaster. Our other cabaret acts included a beautiful rendition of ‘Never Enough’, a gymnastics and poi routine, a guitar solo and not forgetting the ATG anthem. It is always interesting to see the hidden talents that’s are buried within the group, some people are full of surprises.

 You would think that we would all be pretty tired after a delicious three course meals (which included a circus top cake that tasted amazing!) and all that entertainment and excitement, but it wouldn't be an ATG event without some dancing! As a typical ATG tradition, you can be sure of a couple of standard ATG favourites like Love Shack and Bohemian Rhapsody- we are a silly bunch sometimes!

 The 2018 awards night was a pleasant success and we cannot wait for 2020 when we will have our next awards night!

 Let us know if you have any questions at all,


Sunday 25 November 2018

Our 50th Celebration ~ June 2018

Hello again- it’s been a while!

 Lots has happened since we last posted, but the biggest thing has to be ATG’s 50th celebration! Yes, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of our little drama group and we all love a good party!
ATG turned the big five-o

 So much has happened since the start of the group... Rewind fifty years back to 1968, and ATG started with a leaflet drop in houses around the Selsdon and Forestdale areas asking for anyone who was interested in joining a drama group to attend a meeting at a local church. The meeting was well attended and fast forward through a few names changes, a couple of different rehearsal spaces and many enjoyable performances and ATG has blossomed into one heck of a group. 

Planning for the 50th started months ago, and no doubt that it was going to be upon us before we knew it! With a pre-prepared selection of delicious food either from Cook or our members, and the hall adorned with an array of decorations, we were ready! Our new tradition of having some hand made selfie props made another appearance and has proved humorous once again! They’re great fun, and we even had a photo opportunity with our chaise lounge (it should be mentioned that this particular piece of furniture is part of ATG as well - it’s been used in so many of our plays!) 

Baby ATG members both new and old
 Along with the selfie props and photo opportunity, we also had a guess the member’s baby photo for people to get all fourteen photos correctly identified. After all of the entries were marked and counted, we were surprised to find that only two members managed to correctly identify all of the photos correctly! (Even if they were working together, but teamwork makes the dream work, right?!) It’s always interesting to see who actually looks similar to their baby photo :) 

 It was an absolute pleasure to see our newer members mixing with the established or older members over the shared interest of ATG. One thing that is amazing about ATG

is the variety of different people that are a part of it - from all different walks of life that share ATG, whether it’s performing or being backstage. 

 Celebrating fifty Years was an absolute delight and we all hope that we will continue for another fifty!

ATG :)

Thursday 22 March 2018

Constructing the Cat’s Cradle ~ March 2018

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 :)