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Minutes of Cheshire Theatre Guild AGM held on 20th July 2014 at Harlequin Theatre Northwich

Present: John Powell, Yvette Owen, Gordon Hamlin, Sandie Laughlin, Gerry Card, , Maureen Melville, Marie Straker, Margaret Boschi, Kath Portlock & Peter Cliffe - Bollington Festival Players, Paulette Anderson - Davenham Players, Sue Green & Sheila Hetherington - MDG, Stella Blackhern & Meg Cooper - Alt Little Theatre, Michaela Warrilow

Apologies: Bob Almquist

Minutes from the previous meeting: Everyone happy with them.

Chairmans Report: Attached below

Treasurers Report: Attached. Approved by Cath Portlock & Seconded by Sheila Hetherington

Committee for 2014/2015

The existing committee were all re-elected on block as there were no new nominations. This was proposed by Mike Melville and seconded by Paulette Anderson

New Chairman’s remarks: Attached below.

Accounts Auditer : This will be Malcolm Chubb. Proposed by Sandi Laughlin and seconded by Gerry Card.


Meg Cooper asked if we could remove plays from the website once they have been performed to save cluttering up the site. Gordon said we may do links to the relevant clubs website rather than putting up the individual posters. Peter Cliffe said he would like to see lists of people who could help out other clubs in various different ways however John was concerned that people who put there names on the site to offer help and then are unreliable could have a negative impact on the CTG. Paulette Anderson asked if we could have a list of play copies owned by each of the clubs put on the site in order that plays could be shared amongst the members. Marie Straker mentioned that eBay and Amazon were cheaper ways to buy them.

There was a discussion about licence fees being proven to the adjudicator as other clubs require this, this is not something the CGT requires and so we would leave it up to the individual clubs to be responsible. Gerry asked that clubs keep us up to date with their current contacts and Meg Cooper thanked Gerry to updating their productions. Margarette Boschi wanted to know if July productions could be included in the awards. Gordon said we have to have a cut off date in order to have time to turn around the adjudication, decision on nominees and winners and engraving the cups, however it may be possible for them to go into the following year but the adjudicator for the following year should also have a say in this decision. Shelia Blackburn said she thought the season should run Sept to June and all plays outside of the set down dates should not be included in the awards.

Date of the Next Meeting

Wed 13th August at Maureen Melvilles’s 8pm


CTG CHAIRMAN’s address 2014

Thank you for your attendance.

This season: Largely overshadowed by the Death of Ian Hornby, our new Adjudicator.  And the Demise of the Web-site!  (Which we had been so proud of. Smug, even!)

Membership of the CTG: Affiliated Member Societies: 19. Reluctant to canvass an increase without (for example) a viable website.

Full-length Play Festival

Thanks to this year’s Adjudicators Ian Hornby; extremely enthusiastic and largely impressed by the standard within the CTG.  And Garth Jones who stood in during the second half of the season and for amalgamating two widely differing styles into one set of Nominations and Winners.

Single adjudicator for both Sections since Linda Sunners directed The Importance at The Grange.

Lower numbers this year:  Nothing from Altrincham or Sale also Nomads; some plays postponed and displaced later productions.

Total: 35 (33 in the competition) plays entered -: Full length Plays, IanHornby/Garth Jones (29); Youth and Musical; (6) from 11 societies; Stockton Heath Methodist Drama Group new this year (2)

Youth and Plays with Music: too small and too diverse to really be competitive (2 Panto’s, 2 Youth productions, 2 Plays with Music)

First half: a bit hand to mouth as entries build, second half more set; whole season dates communicated as a block. Again October/ March pile-up.

Awards Evening: Held at MADS; Thanks to them for hosting us so well. Attendance: 101

Same format: 3 Quality excerpts then Awards. Power Point! Last year’s probs sorted; new issue; stable power supply.

Nominations in most categories were announced 3 weeks in advance; (to encourage recipients present to receive awards) Only one of three young winners present!

Website – Falling apart all year.  We had no control – no training. Too many steps of failure.

Adjudicator Perennial search for a new adjudicator threw up two likely candidate one of whom withdrew late in the process; the other is with us today. Also two possible new names interested for

Closing remark: This year has involved a lot of fire-fighting (adjudicator and web problems); frustrating since we want to re-establish the CTG position as a viable and active central hub in support of mature amateur theatre throughout Cheshire.

Thanks to Committee, especially new members Yvette (as Secretary) with her fresh outlook.

Gordon Hamlin

New Chairman’s remarks

The adjudicator 2013 – 2014 will cover both Sections

Michaela Warrilow.  Passionate.  Motto: Life is not a rehearsal

Worked in a very diverse range of performance related areas over the past 30 years. (Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre 1987)

Cornerstone of her work is the beneficial effect of Drama and Theatre in repairing confidence/ communication/ team working as well as fun! 

Exploration of theatre in the presentation of social issues/prejudices and injustice. Especially working with victims and disadvantaged people.

She is Freelance, working largely across the North West from the with organisations ranging from The BBC, ITV, The New Vic and Nantwich Players.

Her acting experience ranges across theatre, film, television, voice-over to playwriting; in fact who could forget her prosecuting barrister Margaret Casely in this year’s Rough Justice or her impressive buns in last year’s Calendar Girls.

Hitherto, home societies have withdrawn from the Competition for the duration of tenure, but I intend to change that this year and hope Nantwich Players will remain within the competition. 

This year Adjudication Fees will increase by £5 to cover costs (to £75).

Plays for Adjudication -  Adjudication and Affiliation Forms will be sent out in the first of the New Newsletters after this meeting along with the minutes.

As a start to re-establishing communication with and through the CTG, I intend to issue a monthly Newsletter based around the calendar of plays What’s On over the next two months but also featuring What’s New, both from the CTG and other societies.

Website Cut out losses; grow one from within.

Have control.  Get what we want.  Get what you want (discuss later). Handle both Acute and Archival material.

Two options currently. Professional set-up (and management?) Cost implication.

Cheaper CTG-User set-up in conjunction with CTG members.

It should be SIMPLE and ROBUST.

This will then allow us to move forwards according to our Objectives.

Also, Gordon Hamlin