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Puss in Boots 2024

Ben Newton

Our 2024 January Pantomime will be Puss in Boots – written and directed by Mattie Frieacre.

Auditions will be held on Sunday 8th October at midday in Eynsford Village Hall.

Check the audition pack for full details: new and old members of all ages welcome!

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AGM 2023 Minutes


Further to the AGM this year, we can now share the minutes from this with you and they can be found here: AGM Minutes



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AGM Notice 2023

Ben Newton

The Riverside Players Annual General Meeting for 2023 will be held at 6PM on Sunday, 4th June 2023 at the Eynsford Village Hall.

The business of the meeting will be:

  • Report on the activities for the last year
  • Updates on our forthcoming planned activities
  • Election of Committee members and Auditor (You must register as a member prior to the AGM date to be eligble to stand or vote)
  • Voting and announcement of the annual Riverside Players awards.

There will be an honesty bar as well as entertainment after the business of the meeting is concluded.

Since you’re going to be emailing us anyway please also submit your nominations for our annual awards. Whilst historically nominations tend to cover the last year, our reduced output this year gives us the perfect opportunity to look back and nominate members who have demonstrated the values from each award. The categories are below – please submit nominations (as well as your attendance confirmation and party size) to [email protected].

Caroline Frost Creativity Award – Caroline was a member many years ago who was very dedicated to the group. The award was created in her memory to celebrate people who have shown creative talent in many different aspects of the group.

Suzie Fenlon Spoken Word Award – Suzie was a long standing member and character within the Riverside Players family. The award was created to celebrate those who have stood out during performances with their characterisation and delivery.

Ian Slipper Award for Musicality – Ian could turn his hand to anything and was frequently known to pick up a new instrument and learn it within a few days when called upon. He directed shows, performed on stage, ran and played in the band and even got involved with tech. This award was crated to celebrate outstanding musical contribution, be it through performance, support or learning something new.

All registered members should confirm they currently receive emails from the [email protected] email address.

AGM Paperwork below. Please note, all files are in .docx format. Email us if you have issues on [email protected].



Minutes of the 2022 AGM 

Committee Nomination Form


Proposal to amend the Riverside Players Consitution
Under rule 14 of the Riverside Players Consitution (‘the Constitution’), note must be given to the members of any proposed changes to the society rules.

The Committee proposes an amendment to Rule 4.

What is the substance of the change? 

We wish to move from a fixed renewal date (1st April) to a rolling 12 month subscription model.

The relevant text at present reads:

The subscription rate will be agreed at each annual general meeting of the society.  Subscriptions are due on 1st April each year.  

The proposed alteration is:

The subscription rate will be agreed at each annual general meeting of the society.  Subscriptions will last for a 12 month period, at which time the renewal charge will be set at the latest price agreed at an annual general meeting.  

Why do the committee wish to propose this change?

The system we have today has been in place for over 50 years and was structured for the conveniences of accounting, not the membership.

We see several advantages in the new method:

1. Fairness: 
Under our current system, members who join us mid-year (for example in December for pantomime) are getting less “membership time” for the equivalent amount paid by someone who paid on April 1st.

2. Clarity:
We have seen examples of members assuming that our existing system is already a 12 months basis and when asked to pay again are confused.

3. Modernisation of tools
The committee wishes to move to a web based platform to manage membership: including renewals, reminders and subscription management. This would not only reduce the administrative burden for the Committee, but it would also make joining and renewing a lot easier for all the members concerned. Such a platform can track the subscription lifecycle in much greater detail and therefore everyone will receive the same length of membership for the same length of time.

This proposal will be voted upon at the 2023 Annual General Meeting: a change will require 2/3 of the vote to pass.

Any feedback or discussions around the proposal (for or against) should be sent to [email protected]

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Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood: Reviews

Ben Newton



Eynsford Village Hall 

Director – Lorraine Slipper 

Musical Director – Peter Nicholson 

Choreographer – Heidi Phillpott   

Sunday 19th January 2020 (12.30 performance) 

You can always rely on Riverside Players to produce a fantastic family pantomime and this year’s production was no exception. It was almost like writer and director Lorraine Slipper had put a tick against a check-list on how to write the perfect pantomime. We had a hero, villain, love story, comedy, ghosts, delightful dance routines, audience participation, trendy songs and of course a fantastic Dame Trott in the shape of Matt Frieacre. Not forgetting the ‘Babes’ Arthur (Finn Prior) and Sarah, (Lily Deal). All the cast were splendidly costumed. 

The band, a quartet of guitar, keyboard, bass and drums, I thought was going to be too loud, but in fact it wasn’t and I could hear all the vocals. Lighting and sound enhanced the whole experience as did the well thought out and designed scenery.  

The story is set in Medieval England and King Richard is away fighting in the Crusades. The rather comedic Sheriff of Nottingham (Jack Barker) and his villainous sister Malevola (Ferne Haxby – what wonderful facial expressions!) hatch a plan to ‘lose’ the Babes in the woods, but of course Robin Hood (Jen Armstrong) and her, sorry – his merry men are there to thwart their plans, with a bit of help from the Forest Spirit (Kerry Chesher). Who is the mysterious stranger keeping an eye on things? Why it’s none other than King Richard (Jason Down) come back to claim his rightful place. The Babes are saved, Robin marries Maid Marion, Dame Trott gets her man (The Sheriff) and all the baddies are put where they belong. What other possible ending could there be to the story?   

All of the cast played their parts as individuals,  to make this show gel. The production relies on panto traditions and talent.The script is funny and entertaining for the kids with enough topical jokes to keep the adults amused. 

Two of my grandsons came with me this year and the 8yr old was joining in with the “It’s behind you” at the top of his voice. I asked the 11yr old what he thought was the best bit, his reply “I got two chocolate coins!” Typical!  We all had a lovely afternoon’s entertainment, thank you and well done. 

Doreen Grierson 

NODA representative 

District 7 


And, from one of our audience members…

Brilliant panto. The musical direction was brilliant with small band accompanying but brilliantly put together. In my opinion no more needed! It was well balanced and the instruments blended well. The vocal arangements were simple and effective with good harmonies and strong voices! A strong dance number in the second half highlighted the talents of both the choreographer and some of the younger performers. The babes are cute with some great cutting asides about the ‘hideous’ audience and the main characters well established. It was nice to see a traditional set up with the principal boy and the ever so slightly confusing dame. The quick too and fro for some of the characters made the audience laugh and the sheriff is now to blame for my two children singing ‘lovely’ every chance they get! Thanks for that. One of the many highlights of the show was the interval number. It was well put together and simply staged. Well done to all involved creating that! The other stand out moment was the fight sequences. A mixture of boxing, sword play and kung fu were chorographed well and added a lot of comedy especially with the constantly drunk friar. It made me laugh and smile. My kids loved it so much they made me come twice!
 truly well done! Xstar-struck

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Alice In Wonderland – A Review


This evening I had a truly delightful experience at the Youth Group production of Alice in Wonderland. I was transported to a magical, fun and colourful world of nonsense by a group of talented, enthusiastic and dedicated performers who were clearly enjoying every minute of being on stage. I particularly enjoyed the identity crisis of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee (Zoe Giles and Mischa Booyse), the camp terpsichorean antics of the Caterpillar (James Brodie) and the firebrand Queen of Hearts (Ruby Dye). But every single cast member was at the top of their game – whether in consistent characterisation, tuneful and strong singing or confident dancing – and made this a show to remember. It was a pleasure to see the sheer enjoyment on their faces as they performed the final song.

While the kids were great, I want to highlight the real stars of this production – and the Youth Group as a whole: the organising team. It was evident how much effort had gone into drilling the kids in their dances, acting and singing – and not only did this result in great performances, it gave the kids the confidence to go out and do it all with gusto and to cope when things didn’t go quite to plan with the recorded music and sound. It cannot be easy to maintain enthusiasm and performance standards throughout the extended period of weekly rehearsals.

Then of course there are the technical team who contribute so much through lighting, sound, a colourful set and costumes, and the backstage wrangling of set and actors. What made a particular impression on me for this production was the attention to detail front of house, from the dressing of the entrance and auditorium to the costumes of the front of house team – all themed to suit the production. I didn’t experience the tea, but I heard it was a great success. A lot of work went into this and it paid dividends in creating a positive, upbeat vibe even before the curtain went up. (Not to mention the pink gin on optics in the bar!)

Because this is meant to be a critical review of the show, I feel I ought to try and be critical – which is actually very difficult. My only comments are that I felt the kids could have been given more variety in things to do during the overture – it became a little repetitive. Perhaps more of the cast could have been out in the audience interacting with us, as that worked well at other points in the show. And why was the White Rabbit dressed in black? Not that this detracted from her performance in any way!

Having said that, I want to congratulate Naomi and her team for such a joyous theatrical experience. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

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Thoroughly Modern Musicals – A Review


We spent the night experiencing Thoroughly Modern Musical. It was a well-staged production that clearly showed a lot of love and effort. The set was stripped back with an industrial feel. The lights were highlighting the themes and tones of each show with simple colours and  uplighting to compliment the staging. It created a different atmosphere that was refreshing. Songs started from many different directions and sometimes from within the audience which added a different flavour and style to the show straight away. 

The band were highlighted on the main part of the stage which was great to see as they did an amazing job, moving from song to song with different styles. They played each number with enjoyment that was infectious and clear to see in the audience. Brilliantly led my Peter Nicholson they tackled difficult numbers with a variety of full band and stripped back numbers. 

The soloists were well suited to their given songs and it certainly made us consider musicals to see in the future (including some we hadn’t heard of beforehand!). It was lovely to see some new faces and some frequent favourites. A welcome and congratulation to new faces Mia and Sophie who showed us how different vocal styles both rocky and more traditionally musical theatre belong on the riverside stage with ‘I’d rather be me’ from Mean girls and ‘Legally Blonde’ from Legally Blonde. We hope they are here to stay. A surprise came from new performers Liam with ‘You’ll be back’ from Hamilton which showed evolving flair and Harry with ‘Objects in the rearview mirror’ from Bat out of hell and ‘Legally Blonde’ which showed such feeling for a new performer. Congratulations to these gentlemen who have previously hidden backstage or in the tower, we hope they don’t hide away in future. 

 Kudos should be given to the simple yet effective costuming where everyone wore the same black base with suggestions of details which helped convey the style without going over the top. Some costume sharing in the form of a simple jacket helped create continuity. In some cases, a simple ruff or hat added the detail needed and in others more complex details with a full Arthurian outfit completed the look.

A show that was unlike any other musical reviews we have seen with audience participation and a surprise hello was just the thing to help bring modern musicals to Eynsford. We would happily attend the sequel!

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You, Me & Dementia


Sat 27th April 2019
1pm & 6:30pm
Eynsford Village Hall
Tickets £11 (£9 for concessions)
Includes a Ploughman’s Supper
Book Now:

Ferne Haxby and Naomi Morgan along with the rest of the Riverside Players Youth Group & friends of the Eynsford and Farningham Dementia Cafe are raising money! As this is such a great cause, we would urge you to book tickets for this event sponsored by Vitality Home Health. The event will consist of two plays being performed, a ploughman’s supper and a bumper raffle. As the cafe relies 100% on donations (no fees are ever charged), proceeds will go towards the cafe so it can continue to provide crucial social interaction and support for those living with dementia be it as a relative, carer, friend or, of course, those diagnosed with the disease. We strive to raise awareness and give support where we can.

Both Ferne and Naomi have first hand experience of the devastating toll this disease takes both on those living with it and those around them. They are fully committed to doing everything they can to ease the pathways of others.

Chocolate Muffins
Written and Directed by Naomi Morgan

The Riverside Players Youth Group shall be performing Chocolate Muffins which is a view of dementia through the eyes of a child.

Bothered and Bewildered
Written by Gail Young and Directed by Ferne Haxby

Friends of the Cafe (including some Riverside Players members) will be performing this funny and poignant tale of Eileen’s pathway through dementia with her funny ‘friend’ Barbara.

Win Big! Two Tickets to a West End show with overnight accommodation + travel plus much much more.

We have been lucky enough to have experienced enormous generosity from our sponsor and the local businesses. First prize is a bumper one of two west end show tickets with overnight accommodation and travel. We also have a month’s free gym membership from Brands Hatch Place, family tickets to local attractions, meals out for two, hampers, spa treatments and much much more. Raffle tickets will be available from most local businesses, Ferne, Naomi, the Cafe and its friends, the Youth Group. If someone isn’t selling you a ticket beforehand, you can buy them on the day at the event.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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