Our last open air production Tales from the Surrey Hills

at Reigate Fort

June 2014


 See bottom of page for details of our next major open air project at Gatton Park in July 2015   















Imagine an empire …  Imagine a birth …  Imagine a King …

Gatton Community Theatre will once again be performing their staged dramatic readings of Nativity on Saturday 3rd January at 7.30 pm at The Epiphany Church Merstham and on Sunday 4th January at St John’s Church, Redhill.  Especially written for adult audiences and most appropriate for the season of Epiphany, GCT has in recent years toured local churches both before and after Christmas so a wider audience can experience this powerful yet sensitive presentation of the nativity story.   


This contemporary play was written especially for adults (but is suitable for children over the age of about eight)  and through storytelling explores some of the human experiences of the characters.  As well as including the more uplifting elements of Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts the play also embraces some of the more painful aspects of the Gospels – the slaughter of the innocents and the flight into Egypt.  It includes very human versions of Joseph’s trial of faith and the shepherds encounter with Gabriel from the great Medieval Mystery plays.  It also creates parts of the story for which there is no source, Mary and Joseph’s first meeting, for example, or their wedding.  The Christian principles of faith, trust, hope and love are all brought out in the play which is an inspiring experience for audiences, particularly through the inclusion of evocative music.   The late Jim Thompson, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who saw the original production at Gatton, described it as “brilliant” on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day on Christmas Eve 2001.


Gatton Community Theatre is a unique community theatre company founded in 1999 by the Merstham & Gatton Team Ministry but with members now coming from many other churches in and around East Surrey.  Written by John Durnin for Gatton Community Theatre,  Nativity  was first performed at Gatton Park in 2001.



The Epiphany Church, Merstham, Saturday 3rd January at 7.30pm:  John Turner, tel:  646201 and  Gill Buchanan, tel: 642588 and if available on the door on the night.  Adults £8, children free,

 St John’s Church, Redhill,  Sunday 4th January at 6.30 pm.  Contact Ian Lamont, tel: 07719 391179 and if available on the door on the night.  Adults £8 under 16s £5.


Proceeds from each evening will be shared between the individual parish and Gatton Community Theatre.



GCT’s Summer Production  July 2015

Pippa's Progress:  A Pilgrim’s Journey to Heaven

The GCT Trustees and committee are really excited  to announce details of our next big open air production at Gatton Park which will be created by the very successful team of Artistic Director Anna Thompson and Associate Director Lixi Chivas.  Performances will be during the weeks 13th - 25th July 2015.  We are delighted that author Simon Parkes has given his blessing to the prospect of the wonderful Gatton Community Theatre  adapting his inspirational book for this large community theatre project. 


Times have changed since John Bunyan wrote his classic Pilgrim’s Progress, telling of Pilgrim’s journey up Hill Difficult and through the Slough of Despond to the Celestial City.  Adapted by Anna Thompson, Pippa’s Progress will follow the journey of Pippa, a 21st-century Pilgrim.  This moving and modern-day story  follows the original’s premise of a pilgrim’s journey to heaven, but this time through the trials and temptations of our secularised, multi-cultural society.  Pippa’s challenges along the way include the Rock of Subconscious, the Cliff of Hopelessness, Headspin’s Hallucinatory Mental Circus, The Garden of Sadness, the City of Socialmeja, the Fabulous Fame Game, the Sea of Identity and, of course, Heaven - all brought to life in true GCT style in the dramatic setting of Gatton Park.


If you would like to join us on this journey, whether as actor or backstage help in any way, come along to our drama workshops at Gatton Hall on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March 2015 at 2.30 pm.  There will be nine performances during the weeks 13th - 26 July.  Exact days to be confirmed.