If you are interested please register with Ramesh at firstname.lastname@example.org
Theatre-going has always been a popular pastime for Elmbridge U3A members and outings to local theatres have featured in our programme of events for many years. Up until recently, these operated on traditional group lines where members met periodically to discuss future visits and to make their bookings and payments, but the level of interest and the large numbers involved made this an increasingly unwieldy process and it eventually lapsed at the end of 2017.
The theatre trips programme was relaunched in September 2018 in a different format. Rather than operating on group lines, interested members were invited to register their interest and go on a mailing list, with details of forthcoming trips being circulated by individual email, through the monthly email bulletin, in the newsletter and at the monthly speaker meetings in Claygate Village Hall. This new method has proved very successful with over 140 members registering an interest, and all of the trips so far advertised have been oversubscribed within a matter of days, to the extent that repeat visits have had to be arranged.
The first theatre visit made under the new arrangements was in November 2018 to see a Christmas comedy, ‘The Messiah’, at the Chichester Festival Theatre. We were fortunate in having a beautiful day, and members were able to explore the town and enjoy a leisurely lunch before the performance. Since then we have been to the National Theatre to see ‘Follies’ (twice), the Richmond Theatre (‘Art’), Windsor (‘A Song at Twilight’), and the Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford (‘The Remains of the Day’. Future trips include ‘Oklahoma’ at Chichester and ‘The Entertainer’ at Woking. Carol, the trips organiser, is an enthusiastic theatregoer herself and selects venues and shows she thinks members will enjoy, but she is open to ideas and suggestions from the membership.
Coach travel is used for many of the visits - a plus point for many of our members - and most are for Matinee performances, so there is no returning home late at night.
Many members still prefer to make their payments by cheque, although an increasing number are opting to pay by bank transfer which helps to simplify the process. Looking to the future, we are exploring the possibility of internet banking, but given the nature of our membership, cheques are likely to continue in use for a considerable period.