Riverside Players are proud to present their next show, The Sound of Music. This will be an outdoor extravaganza, set in the beautiful ruins of Eynsford Castle in Kent.
Friday 2nd August 2024- Saturday 10th August 2024
Tickets will be available online shortly – please keep an eye on our social media presence or sign up for emails via our website.
“The Sound of Music,” a beloved musical, is based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers. Set in Austria during the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, it follows young postulant Maria Rainer. Maria, with her free spirit, struggles to conform to the rules of Nonnberg Abbey. Commissioned as the governess for seven motherless children, she transforms their home into a place of joy, laughter, and music. Amidst the horrors of World War II, Maria’s journey leads her to love, family, and hope.
STOP PRESS – CASTING CALL
A great opportunity for 2 talented boys and 1 male actor to take part in The Sound of Music.
The performance dates are 2nd-4th and 7th-10th August and the majority of rehearsals will take place on a Sunday.
We nearly have a full cast for but are still looking for
2 Von Trapp boys
Kurt – playing age 9- 11
Friedrich – playing age 12-14
We also need a Franz, who is the butler, ex-navy and playing age 40+ (non-singing role)
If you interested in finding out more about the production please email [email protected] or text/ring 07971677868
Riverside Players would love to welcome you to our annual pantomime in January.
This year, we are proud to produce Puss in Boots – the tale of the boy who’s inheritance has been stolen, and his plucky cat who helps him get it back! With a colourful cast of princesses, ogres, comic double acts as well as a collection of zany chefs. This years production promises to be hilarious fun for everyone.
With a live band playing toe tapping tunes, a bar stacked with refreshments and some traditional corny jokes, bring the whole family along for a fantastic time!
Friday 19th @ 7:45pm
Saturday 20th @ 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Sunday 21st @ 11:00am & 4:00pm
Friday 26th @ 7:45pm
Saturday 27th @ 2:00pm & 7:00pm
Venue: Eynsford Village Hall
For more information, contact our box office team
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].
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:
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.
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]
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!
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!
The views are in!
Mike Lewin (Audience Member)
Matt Friett took the director’s chair for the first time in this year’s panto, Little Red Riding Hood, and stamped his own mark on the production, casting youngsters Neve Prior and Fred McGahan in starring roles.
It might sound risky to place so much responsibility on ones so young, but on closer analysis it makes perfect sense: they embodied the “have-a-go” spirit of Panto, engaged well with the young audience, and will hopefully inspire a new generation of actors into the Riverside Youth Group. Both Neve (Little Red) and Fred (Little Boy Blue) did excellently, giving performances as confident and accomplished as any of the adults.
They were well supported by an experienced cast including Tony Fish, Lorraine Slipper, Kirstie McMillan and Ferne Haxby, all perfectly cast and giving strong performances. Jason Down was a fine wolf, channeling his inner “Hammer Horror baddie” persona that had served him so well as Dr. Prospero in 2016’s Return to the Forbidden Planet. His velvet smoking jacket was a perfect touch, and thankfully his lewd innuendos went over the youngsters’ heads!
Jack Barker, who put in a great performance last year as “Laughalot”, saw his dreams come true this time around as he got to pull on a frock and play the Queen. He is perfectly suited for Panto, poking fun at himself and bringing the whole audience along with him. I was disappointed that he didn’t get a solo dance number this year, but he at least performed a passable floss in a well – choreographed group number.
All the components that we expect from a good panto were there, and delivered with aplomb – from the sound balancing of the mics with the tight 7-piece band to the prompt changes of the well produced painted scenery. The Monty Python references, the bad puns (ham-bush), the community sing-along and of course the obligatory “it’s-behind-you”s and “oh-yes-it-is”es.
Friett did a good job of dragging a very traditional story into the 21st century, ensuring that both Red and Grandmother were agents in their own fate and not merely damsels to be rescued. And the stand-out moment of the night was Woodcutter James Lee’s performance of the iconic pop hit Wrecking Ball . As the spotlight came on and he ripped off his burly gear to reveal a silver hot pant jump suit, the whole audience, young and old, was in equal measures surprised, amused and entertained. His pouting and swooning was spot on, and by the time he’d leapt up onto the eponymous swinging ball the whole place was in stitches. It was a genius move, perfect both in conception and execution, and one that deserves to go down as one of the great moments inRiverside history.
Janice Redway (Assistant NODA Representative)
The Village Hall provides a well-appointed venue for Riverside Players and albeit tucked away, is by no means discreet in respect of performance. An almost full house was testament to the popularity of both pantomime as a tradition and Riverside Players themselves. A warm welcome was had from front of house but the foyer would have been `hotted` up by some representation of what we were about to see. Posters; photos; pull-up banner; cardboard cut-out or any other type of decoration would have set the scene as soon as you walked in. The programmes were very lively with action photos and way-out centre pages; great inclusion of the puzzles and colourful images. NODA also had a mention but always good for readers to have a little information on what NODA is about (extra marks if you want to enter the programme competition!)
Ferne Haxby [Grandma] who directed last years’ very successful pantomime, gave a sterling and natural performance throughout and looked just the part in her costumes – great wig! A professional performance and one, which was consistent, came from Jason Down [The Big Bad Wolf]. He was fascinating to watch, using subtle mannerisms and excellent clarity of speech. He offered good comic timing and his make-upwas excellent. Tony Fish [The Evil Wizard] epitomised evil with his attire and `sweeping` movements, striking a balance between really evil and not quite so evil. Neve Prior [Little Red Riding Hood] and Fred McGahan [Little Boy Blue] added the youth element and both played their parts well. Neve sung sweetly and Fred had good stage presence. Both principal girl and boy offered good diction but needed to slow their dialogue. They were suitably absorbed by their parts especially Fred, and pace will come with experience. Neve looked stunning in her red cloak but Fred needed more blue. Lorraine Slipper; Kirstie McMillan and Finn Prior [Pigs Ant, And, Dec] added the slap-stick dimension and they warmed in the second half, going from appearing a little awkward to settling into their roles with more purpose. They were the fun ingredients and Finn especially gave this physical comedy his all by offering style and bold gestures. The noses were very effective and the costumes visually stimulating. Jack Barker [Queen Finger] and Harry Lee [King Thumb] were true to their names and well-cast, as were all the performers. Jack did well to try and maintain a high-pitched voice, which did at times, lapse into baritone. More exaggerated make-up, a pristine wig and a full skirt would have enhanced his untidy look. James Lee [The Woodcutter] played a convincing role with clarity of speech. A great voice, rich and clear. His solo in the second half showcased his versatility with some emotional moments coupled with humour. He used the `negative` space well. Heidi Phillpott [choreographer] did a good job moving the cast and the Dancers especially, were in sync. with their routines which blended with the story-line but their moves needed more feeling and positivity.
Amongst the `Oh yes he is` and `Booing` moments which suitably `peppered` the show, there were gems, like `Who Will Buy`; `Sisters Are Doing It By Themselves`; the ball and chain, which surprised; the turtle which amused; the bucket over the head; the clever play on words and the alternative Jenga which delighted the audience, especially when the boxes were miss aimed.
The musicians were in harmony with the actors and produced some good incidental music, which also helped those struggling with ad-libbing during some of the scene changes. They all managed to `pull-it-off` however and some of the audience vocalised their appreciation.
It was obvious that all involved had really worked hard and the camaraderie on stage showed. It was a lovely touch to address the audience with poetry at the end, against the backdrop of a moving windmill sail. It is always good to have the opportunity to speak to the Director and being introduced to the Musical Director and Choreographer was appreciated. Congratulations go to Matt for his debut in both the writing and directing and to all involved who gave everyone a fun and pleasant evening.