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Alison Steadman and Judith Chalmers to star in chat show at Highgate theatre

Upstairs At The Gatehouse to stag fundraiser to raise money for new mics and music stands

12 October, 2017 — By Richard Osley

Alison Steadman

A THEATRE is to be turned into a chat-show set with Abigail’s Party and Gavin And Stacey star Alison Steadman and Wish You Were Here presenter Judith Chalmers taking their seats on the guests’ sofa.

John Plews, manager at Upstairs At The Gatehouse in Highgate village, will be asking the questions as the two famous faces help out in a fundraiser aimed at bringing in money for new equipment.

He said: “We are very fortunate to have people who come back and buy tickets for our shows and the theatre is ticking along, but big-ticket items are expensive for a fringe theatre. Microphones can cost thousands of pounds. People say: ‘Why do you need microphones in a fringe theatre’ above a pub, but if you try singing over a live band without one, nobody will hear them. The actors often have the mics taped to their foreheads or on their cheeks, and the truth is – and it may not sound very nice – that as they are singing and dancing, sweat gets into the mic and over time it does the damage.”

He added: “So, while ticket sales keep the theatre running, it’s events like our chat show which enable us to keep up the quality by getting the equipment we need. We have Joanne Clifton in Top Hat at Christmas but people need to hear her. Both Alison and Judy have been really kind to help out – and I think a lot of people will be interested to hear their stories.”

The theatre celebrates its 20th anniversary in January.

“I’ll be playing it somewhere between Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross,” said Mr Plews, who runs the theatre with his wife, Katie. “Alison Steadman is known for Abigail’s Party for older people, but then it’s Gavin and Stacey for a new generation.”

The Gatehouse Chat Show is on Saturday, October 28.

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