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CTG CHAIRMAN’s address 2016

This season we will have provided, to a healthy number of affiliated member societies:

·         A competitive Play Competition involving all ages.

·         Expert feedback from trained GoDA adjudicators.

·         A showcase of talent within the Cheshire Theatre Guild.

And have

·         Rewarded excellence with a broad spectrum of awards which will be presented at our annual Awards Event at MADS on July 13th.

·         Introduced a new adjudicator into the fold.

·         Provided and shared information across the Guild via a dynamic, website.


The Cheshire Theatre Guild currently has 18 Affiliated Member Societies. This season we welcomed      Players Theatre, Cheadle Hulme who entered four plays into our Full Length Competition. Chelford Players and Harlequin Junior Players entered productions into the Youth and Panto mix.

Play Competition 2015-2016

Youth and Panto Section, new adjudicator: Andy Wild; reported on 5 productions from 5 societies

Full-length Play Festival, GoDA Adjudicators: Robert Meadows, Sue Doherty and Colin Snell shared 34 productions from 9 societies

Changes to the awards profile: The Musical Award now covers productions in both sections. An               additional award for best Youth Production now balances Best Panto.

There will be a Creativity Award introduced this year.  Each season it will highlight aspects of amateur theatre usually outside those normally presented or areas we would like to encourage specifically. This year it will be aimed at recognising playwrighting. 

This season’s Awards Evening will be held at MADS Little Theatre on Wednesday 13th; Thanks in              advance to them for hosting us. Attendance at the time of going to press: well over 100!

                We can expect three quality excerpts of The Jungle Book from HP Juniors, Deckchairs from         MADS and fragments of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Nantwich Players – then the Awards.

                Following its success last year, we also intend to present a rolling slide-show of productions        from CTG affiliated societies.

                Nominations in most categories, were announced at Mid-day Monday 13th June and I have         encouraged as many nominated members (and others) to attend.

                The website is in its second year and as the CTG’s Central Hub it is the One-Stop Shop for

                Amateur Theatre in Cheshire with Up-to-date information and robust links to member                 societies.

                Traffic over the last year stands at 3,768 visits looking at 10,551 pages.

                When the nominations were announced on Mon 20th June we enjoyed 577 visits looking at         1442 pages.  Excluding spikes like this, web-traffic runs at around 10 visits a day.

                I intend to institute a dynamic Notice Board during season 2016-2017 showing acute, short          term News.  Please let me know what more the website could do for you.

Finally, Thanks to my Committee, John Powell, Sandie Laughlin, Maureen Melville, Gerry Card, Marie    Straker, Margaret Boschi and Laura Bason for their work during the year and especially in the run up to and execution of the Awards Evening.

Two long-standing Members will not, however be continuing as members of the Committee:

Maureen Melville Has served on the Committee for over 20 years; longer even than John Powell! For at least 19 of those she filled the role of Secretary and latterly as President. She introduced and managed the Poster Competition and was a firm champion of education in the days when there was money around to offer courses and workshops. She will be sadly missed from the committee, not least for her hospitality and hosting many committee meetings. We wish her and Michael well in their imminent move to pent-house living in Chester.               

Gerry Card is also a ’lifer’ on the committee, acting for many years as Treasurer and Membership Secretary before handing the baton to Sandie Laughlin. He also managed the e-mail lists of affiliated Societies, communicating appeals for help with productions, especially missing cast members.  For a time, he organised and ran the CTG One-Act Play Festival. Most visually he has photographed the moment of elation when the winners are presented with their awards at the annual Awards Evening.  For some considerable years, Gerry compiled and circulated the Diary of Plays produced within the CTG, a role that has, essentially been replaced by the CTG Website!

I am sure everyone will join me in offering them both our thanks for their unswerving support for amateur theatre in Cheshire over the last quarter of a century!


Gordon Hamlin


The Cheshire Theatre Guild