Tuesday 23 July 2019

Blanchman’s fair ~ June 2019


Earlier in June, ATG headed up to the Warlingham Fair up at Blanchman’s Nature Reserve with the hopes of drumming up interest and new members. As a drama group that isn’t just specialised to performing, we like to show that we are a creative and social bunch both on and offstage.
Some members ready to meet and greet at Blanchman’s 

Our little gazebo was pitched up in the early hours of Sunday morning, completed with a couple of tables (including one that may have been borrowed from the food tent nearby...), a carefully crafted set model and one of our lighting desk. To add to the silliness of the group, we also had an array of different wigs and hats for people to joke about with! Some of which may have been used during our last performance of “Pirate Radio” back in May. 

The fair itself was full of different stalls - whether it was creative people selling their own produce, cakes or cards, or various groups that were also recruiting for new members. Not to mention there was also a large space in the centre of the field where people were able to watch the parade, dance performances, falconry and an agility course for dogs throughout the day.

A small team of our members were ready and armed with advertisement flyers and a clipboard for potential members details. In reflection of our previously mentioned silliness, some of us were all decked out in fancy dress of which may or may not have acted as a deterrent! Only time will tell on that one, but if anything, it did land us a photo in the CR2 magazine! 
A glimpse of ATG in the CR2 magazine! 

Unfortunately, and in true typical British weather, we were hit by the odd occasional burst of rain, but we refused to let it dampen our spirits! (Yeah, there was some lovely sunshine in the morning, although short lived obviously!) 

As always, we are constantly on the lookout for new members both onstage, backstage and socially. If you are interested in finding out a little bit more about the group then check out our website at https://www.atgdramagroup.co.uk/ where you can check out our backlog of past shows, social events and upcoming dates for your diaries.

Hope to hear from you soon,


Wednesday 5 June 2019

Avast me hearties! ~ May 2019

Cue cards for the crew and Cut Throat Bill

Can you believe it’s already June?! More importantly, we have just finished our first show of 2019 - Pirate Radio. A play that centred around a drama group called TWADS who are about to broadcast a radio drama that has been written by the chairwoman of TWADs, but it was never going to be plain sailing. The group experience various issues, technical faults and having to rely on members of the audience to fill in for the crew of the Black Gherkin and the ship’s parrot called Cut Throat Bill!

You may not have heard of a play called Pirate Radio and there is a good reason for that too - we are fortunate enough to have incredibly talented writers in our group and this particular play was written by Christine and actually marks the eighth play hat she has written for the group(!!) 
Kelly on stage as Calliope

Wellies, bonnets, hats and wigs in rehearsals...

Pirate Radio saw us welcome new member Kelly to the stage. She told us she wanted to join a drama group - to try something new - and once the cast had been announced, she couldn’t wait to get started on rehearsals. Playing the part of Pamela/Calliope got Kelly to jump into ATG with two feet and she cannot wait for the next performance that ATG puts on later this year. 

The rehearsal period went by like the click of your fingers... (made even more enjoyable with the extra trips to the pub for a quick tipple after rehearsals on Thursday!) and before the cast knew it, they were standing on deck waiting for the curtain to go up. 

One thing that proved challenging/funny was the voices and accents that the cast had to use in order to differentiate between the many different characters within the radio broadcast of ‘High Winds in Tortuga.’ Hats off to Adam who was not only TWADs member Edgar, but also... wait for it and take a big breath!... The narrator, Old Hugh, Ben Pistol, Pestilence Pete, Bulk, Gnasher, Foul Old Tomaso (originally just Tom, but it was amended mid rehearsal), the Great Giant Clam, the Siren, the shrunken heads and Captain Blaggard. 
Introducing Vera the Voodoo Priestess

After the shows were done, ATG partied late into Saturday and played some comical games - including a returning yet challenging cereal box game. What is this game? I hear you say. Ultimately it’s torture for the less flexible of us! Imagine an empty cereal cardboard box that you must pick up using only your mouth and only your feet can touch the floor. With each round that passes you rear off a strip or the cereal box until it’s just a small slither of card on the floor. 

So what’s next for ATG? Well at this current moment in time, we are looking at a couple of plays to put on at the end of November. For now, we have a couple of social events coming up including a trip to Blanchman’s fair and our annual BBQ and AGM.

That’s all for now :)

The cast of Pirate Radio

Looking back at 2018


It has been a while, hasn’t it?

Having realised that we’re nearly at the halfway point of June, it seemed only right that we cast our minds back to 2018 and share our favourite moments with you. Twenty eighteen saw us celebrate our fiftieth anniversary, hold our biannual awards night and put on three enjoyable performances.

Taking a bow with Cat's Cradle
Kicking off a cold 2018 and hot off the success of Billy, we were set to put on Cat’s Cradle  as our March production - a play set in the Creswell Arms where Detective Inspector Frost finds himself returning to, set on solving a peculiar mystery that happened many years before. Cat’s Cradle saw us welcoming new and returning members to the stage in Peter and Amy (Amy joined us last year in September so it’s safe to say we didn’t scare her off!) 

Exactly a year ago, (or at least it will be by the time this post is uploaded) we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary of which you can read about the laughs and memories we shared in one of our previous posts. At the end of the event, it was safe to say we all looked forward to the next however many years the group continues to grow and thrive. 

Dress rehearsal for Relatively Speaking
Shortly after came our second show of the year - Relatively Speaking, a hilarious comedy full of misunderstandings and confusion. For a cast of four, it was amazing to watch them have fun on stage and see how well they bonded over the rehearsal period (of which we’re sure they were glad that the temperatures were warmer than for the March production!) 

ATG Awards Night 2019
Before we started auditions and rehearsals for the final performance of the year, the group held its biannual awards night. Having had the fiftieth anniversary of the group in June, there was some debate as to whether or not we should push the awards night back a year... but ATG members love a good party and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for an awards night. The theme for the night was “The Greatest Show” and it certainly embodied that! (Make sure to check our older posts if you haven’t read about the awards night!)
Part of the PTMTT cast backstage
Rounding off the year was the performances of “Prepare to Meet Thy Tomb” and it certainly played to one of the group’s strength of murder mysteries. With Drusilla and Hecuba being the only surviving members of the Tomb family, they’re ready to modernise the Monument House into an alternative health farm (“whatever that is!”) but when some unwanted guests start appearing, new plans needed to be set in motion... Seeing ATG put on a show with a big cast made the experience all the more exciting and we had a lot of fun at the after play activities! 

Speaking of after play activities, ATG is super traditional and normally has shows running from Thursday night to Saturday night with something to do after each performance. Thursday night - pub night (we have a choice of two well loved pubs just further than a stone’s throw where we perform!) Friday night - curry night - this may sound bizarre but it’s actually quite fun being able to have a meal after a show! Saturday night - party night (need I say more?!) 😉

And thus concludes the year of 2018 for ATG seeing as we kind of had the Christmas party in January! 

Hope to write some more posts soon!


Monday 4 February 2019

Potter Party! ~ January 2019

 Happy New Year! 

Time to fill you in on our Christmas party, but first- here's a snapshot of some decoration, any guesses??
Our beloved hut was transformed into a floating letter haven!
Bellatrix was a popular character!
  This year, ATG had to celebrate Christmas a little later than usual and earlier in January. The hut was adorned with floating letters, flying keys and magical wands. In case you haven’t guessed, the theme was Harry Potter, and after last year’s Alice in Wonderland extravaganza, the magical world was about to hit ATG in incredible ways!

ATG's Ollivander's shop!
  Our social secretary and a small team of helpers tidied up the hut of all the numerous props and leftover wood from the last show, “Prepare To Meet Thy Tomb” and armed with an array of material, transformed the beloved rehearsal space into an almost unrecognisable space.

  Like any ATG Christmas party, we all have a lot of fun getting all dressed up as various characters and with a franchise like Harry Potter, we were sure that our imaginations would run wild. Although nobody came dressed up as Harry, we have some fantastic costumes - Voldemort, Ron, the Grey Lady and a Professor Sprout with a home made mandrake to name a few. Even those who weren’t familiar with Harry Potter got stuck in :O 

Each member got a unique wand
  The eagle eyed amongst our members were quickly keen to know the significance behind the letters that had been hidden around the perimeter of the room. Letters that were addressed to each attendee, with a Hogwarts seal on the back. On opening the letters, members were invited to visit a pop up Ollivander’s where a number of wand boxes were waiting. Everyone had their unique combination of wood and core that their wand would be made up of so it just depended on what kind of wand they would choose. 
Once we got to the games, we were intrigued to find that we would be playing a modified, health and safety appropriate game of Quidditch. Based on who we had all come dressed up as decided who would be on what team - whether that was Gryfinndor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. (It’s important to note that Bellatrix Lestrange was a very popular character so Slytherin was healthily filled!) Members took turns at thrown bean bags into three various sized holes in a stack of three boxes, points varying based on which “hoop” the bag was thrown through. There was a three way tie for second place, but pipping them all to the post by one point was Slytherin... there must have been some dark magic in the air!
Slytherin took first place in the Quidditch game

  In ATG’s eyes, it isn’t a party without a game of musical chairs - some of us knew just how surprisingly violent a game of musical chairs with a bunch of adults can get and chose to sit this one out... there has been know to be a few bruises in the past when it can to musical chairs!

Luna or Harry's glasses? 
 Towards the end of the night, Harry Potter inspired selfie props were on hand to mess about with and create some funny photos- with Hedwig, a death eater mask, some butter beer and lots of other props, it is clear to say we have some creative minds in the group.

  Looking back at the night, we only wished that we had taken the chance to give a prize for the best dressed! 

Obviously we are past saying Merry Crimbo and a Happy New Year, seeing as we are in February now!

So here's to wishing you a magical 2019,