We were saddened to learn that John Durnin, Gatton Community Theatre’s first artistic director from 1999 to 2003 died on Sunday, February 16th, after a short battle with cancer. With his help and guidance the original Gatton Passion in 2000 was staged and a framework developed for the future. Following the success of The Passion, it was John who encouraged us to build on what we already had, by writing and directing Nativity, which we staged in a tent in the grounds of Gatton Park in a very cold and frosty December. Once again this was a great success which was appreciated and enjoyed by both cast and audiences alike. GCT have used his script for both further staged performances and dramatised readings that have been successful in local churches over the years. Following his appointment as artistic director at Pitlochry Festival in Scotland in 2003, John never lost his interest in what we were doing at Gatton and was always happy to give advice, encouragement and glowing references. We know he had a special place in his heart for us and we will really miss him. Our sympathies go out to his family, friends and colleagues.
Started in 1999 as an initiative of the Parish of Merstham, Gatton Community Theatre was formed to stage a passion play to celebrate the new millennium bringing the story of Jesus, from his baptism to resurrection, to a wide audience in an exciting and different way. The Christian principles of forgiveness and love or the promotion of a strong moral or spiritual theme remain key objectives and at the heart of our productions. Though now an independent registered charity, GCT continues to maintain strong links with the Merstham Team Ministry.
GCT operates a policy of inclusiveness; anyone of any age, experience and ability may take part with young people playing a vital part in productions. Participation in our drama projects is open to all wherever they may live. There is no charge of any kind for membership nor a production fee.
In the twenty years of GCT’s existence the company has staged both large scale open air promenade and site specific productions as well as theatre events for young children.
GCT is keen to help raise awareness among participants and audiences of the environment of Gatton Park and its place in local history, working closely with The Gatton Trust on a number of different projects. GCT’s use of the site enables large numbers of people to visit Gatton Park who may otherwise have been unaware of its existence and stunning restoration, which is carried out by volunteers.
Visit the Gatton Trust website to find out more about Gatton Park open days, special events and activities for adults, children and families.
It is the policy of Gatton Community Theatre to safeguard the welfare of all young and vulnerable people with which it works by protecting them from neglect and physical, sexual and emotional harm. Our Safeguarding Policy and procedures are reviewed by the trustees annually. Read our Safeguarding policyGCT april 2018