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Lets be Social 2018

Jen Armstrong

For a new year lets be social!

We have some fantastic social events set up for you this year. Come and join us and see what we are all about.

February 24th:

Come and join us at the 5 bells for a drink  and the panto debrief from 6.30

March 31st:

Test your accuracy with a Bowling ball. Venue to be decided but Bowling and entertainment for all!

Time to be confirmed with venue

April 28th:

The 5 bells is a great venue for a get together between friends! from 7.30

May 25th/26th:

Come and watch Labyrinth for the fantastic soundtrack of just for David Bowie as the Goblin King! Family friendly movie for all. @ 7.30

Join us the following night to test your Bowie Knowledge with a Quiz that will have you wondering if there is life on Mars! @7.30

June 23rd:

Fancy a bit of Rocky Horror? Come with us to support one of our members at a venue to be dicided as he plays Eddie in a shadow cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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NODA Review

Jen Armstrong



Eynsford Village Hall

Director – Ferne Haxby

Musical Director – Dale Wills

Choreographer – Heidi Phillpott

Friday 19th January 2018

Review by Janice Redway (Assistant NODA representative)

A welcoming venue and a little ‘gem’ of a theatre tucked away in Eynsford Village. Being somewhat hidden away however, did not detract from audience numbers which were respectable for their first night. Riverside Players are obviously a well-respected and well-patronised group and being able to speak with Ferne Haxby (Director) ‘cemented’ this. First impressions can be revealing and the well-produced far-out programme, set the scene for a fun evening. It is always good to see NODA included. (Please note that NODA is an Association and not a society.) Individual cast synopsis always makes for even more interesting reading

Kirstie McMillan (Morgan Le Fay) offered a strong performance throughout, in all aspects and encouraged the audience to have their traditional ‘booing’ moments. Lorraine Slipper (mum) was suitably ‘constipated’ towards Matt Friett (Valerin the Vicious) who in turn gave a mesmerising and animated performance. Jack Barker (Laughalot) energetically maintained the humour with a ‘peppering’ of traditional audience participation, which certainly helped the first half along as the pace here was rather slow. Peter Nicholson’s Merlin was at times inaudible and it was evident that he lacked a little stage craft. He was much more confident in the second half and once the beard went he was more audible. James Lee (Arthur) appeared suitably regal but came across as being unsure of where his loyalties lay. His approach to both his father and Guinevere seemed inconsistent and offered mixed messages. Steve Fenlon (King Uther) was all that he should have been. James and Jen Armstrong (Guinevere) offered some lovely tender moments with sweet singing, changing the mood and enabling the audience to ‘yo yo’ their emotions. Kaz Cockburn (Gilda) impressed with her portrayal of a Tyrolean and Vicki Adams-Salmon (Connie Clatterbottom) offered a solid performance and was creative with the ad-libbing. Phil Ward (Marlon) really got into his character by the second half and the Knights worked effectively, adding yet another comic dimension. The youngest amongst them, demonstrating style and offering good gestures and rhythmical movement. The Evil Sisterhood were a welcome addition to the entertainment. They blended well within the storyline but their moves needed to be danced with much more feeling. Their French plaits were immaculate. Sharron Burley (Teddy) did a sterling job, in what must have been a difficult costume to manoeuvre in.

Effective and clever sets with smooth scene changes; fabulous costumes; well- chosen music; great creativity and innovation; accomplished band, albeit a little loud at times for some singers; spot on lighting, apart from a couple of occasions; efficient front of house and thankfully an underused prompt.

It was clear that all involved in this musical comedy worked as a team to produce a fun show which saw tradition and modernity ‘fuse’ together. Interval music was conducive with the up-beat atmosphere and the ice creams and appearance of Teddy, were a lovely ‘touch’.

Congratulations to Ferne for her ‘added sparkle’ and all the team for a faster paced second half and a thoroughly enjoyable evening and good night out.

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Audience Review

Jen Armstrong

A review from a frequent audience member of our most recent pantomime.

Having never heard of Camelot the Panto, I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but as it was a Riverside Players production I was confident I was in for a good night. I wasn’t disappointed.

First impressions were of the set, which was visually stunning as always. It never ceases to amaze me what talented set designers/painters we have in Riverside Players. Well done too on the ingenious contraptions in Merlin’s lab.

The band were in full swing and playing enthusiastically, led by an ever exuberant Dale Wills on keyboard.

This was Ferne Haxby’s first time in the directors seat, and she has clearly done a wonderful job of casting and organising a talented group of people. Great also to see some of the young talent coming through from the Youth Group.

In another first, James Lee took on the principle male lead role of Arthur, and deserves a lot of credit for such a mature performance both in acting and singing, despite his young years. This young man will go far!

Jen Armstrong provided the romantic foil to Arthur as Guinevere, and also put in a confident and polished performance as always.

I have to say that Steve Fenlon could not have looked and sounded more kingly! That beard was in its element!

Kirstie McMillan, played one of the best Evil queens I have seen in a long time (well, since I last saw her as an evil queen), with the just the right amount of panto evilness and obligatory cackle. Keeping on with the evil theme, Matt Friett was delightfully revolting as a creepy Valerin the Vicious. Great (and slightly disturbing) thigh rubbing Matt!

Maybe I’m weird, but I have to confess my favourite performance was the Max Headroom-esque disembodied head of Andrew McMillan. He was without doubt the best head in a bureau I’ve ever seen and I laughed uproariously!

I also laughed hard at Jack Barker’s entrance to Can’t Stop the Feeling. Great facial expressions and great timing. Have to admit though that the audience’s line of ‘Be brave Laughalot’ was upstaged by someone (who shall remain nameless) shouting ‘Man up Laughalot’!

Great performance from the Knights and the Evil Sisterhood, and some well worked choreography. Solid performances from the rest of the cast who all added to the fun and mayhem. And not forgetting the crew, backstage, front of house, and everyone that works tirelessly to put on such a great show – you all deserve a great deal of praise.

The only negative was the sound. There was occasional feedback from the band, and on-stage sound was also hampered by various gremlins with some mics not working at all, and other at inconsistent volume levels. It didn’t detract too much though.

Well done Riverside Players, a wonderful and successful family fun Panto. See you next time!

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Camelot! The Panto Gallery

Jen Armstrong

Pictures from out most recent production of Camelot! The Panto directed by Ferne Haxby. Look again I say, look again!

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Camelot rehearsal update

Jen Armstrong

Camelot the Panto!


Is this a blank sheet of paper? … look again!

Everything is going really well with rehearsals. It’s a kind of magic how the set of coming together with magical innovation such as… Oh NO! Not spoiling and of the surprises!!!


Just to say that the dancing, singing and funny lines are all being learnt to make what sould be a terrific extravaganza!


Watch out for skits of the show being advertised on social media and make sure you book your tickets early as to not miss the fun.


Ferne and the Team


p.s follow our new YouTube channel ans subscribe for the most up to date video diary entries:



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Camelot Video Diary

Jen Armstrong

Come and see our rehearsals in action with our new Camelot Video diary entry …

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Bowie night update

Jen Armstrong

Bowie 2.0

We are re-launching Our Bowie night with two weekends of fun.

Keep an eye on the newsletter and Facebook page for rehearsal/audition updates for the Bowie performances on the 18th and 19th of May.

Join us the following weekend for the cult classic Labyrinth in full costume if you desire and see if your knowledge is out of this world with a Quiz night on the 25th and 25th of may.

See you soon Stargazers!

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100 club winners 2018

Jen Armstrong

The 100 club is a monthly prize draw where people who have bought ‘numbers’ are in with a chance of sinning one of three prizes. At the AGM there is an extra big prize. Have you bought any balls for this month? You have to be in it to win it as they say!

1st prize is £50

2nd prize is £25

3rd Prize is £15


1st: Richard Gissing

2nd: Beryl Parker

3rd: Shula Parker


1st: Kat Pay

2nd: Amy Barclay

3rd: Jan and Clive Stanyon

Riverside Players Needs You!


What we’ve done lately


Riverside needs you! Submit your proposals for 18/19/20 NOW!