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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

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances the David Bowie tribute evening Sound and Vision has been postponed til further notice. Updates will be posted as soon as possible.

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100 club winners

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

Here are the lucky winners!


1st Prize: Shula

2nd Prize: Beryl

3rd Prize: Dick

Congratulations to all who won!


1st Prize: Trish Morris

2nd Prize: Jan and Clive Stanyon

3rd Prize: David Hilling


1st Prize: Geof Hillier

2nd Prize: Peter Nicholson

3rd Prize: Dick Kemp


1st Prize: Ferne Haxby

2nd Prize: Richard Gissing

3rd Prize: Geoff Hillier


1st Prize: Fiona Scott

2nd Prize: Jan and Clive Stanyon

3rd Prize: John Harris


To be drawn at the Christmas party!

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Jen Armstrong

A lovely account of the fantastic evening that was Ianfest by Benjamin Newton

Ian Slipper was a prominent member of Riverside Players for many years: as an actor, musician, director and chairman. So when it came to celebrating his life and work, it was clear we were going to do our utmost to help make it a success.  

Our brief was simple: a memorial to Ian that was filled with live music. I am pleased to report that many Riverside Players members were ready and willing to help make that dream a reality.   

So it was that on September 23rd a large group of volunteers arrived at the Village Hall to setup the venue. From 8 o’clock in the morning until early afternoon, we setup the catering, the sound, lights and the seating. I’d like to thank everyone who came together to help or contributed some food – it’s always gratifying to have such willing assistance.  

 Lorraine kicked the event off with a short speech about Ian, including the first number, Monotony – I believe that was one of Ian’s own creations. We then sat back to watch a film covering Ian’s theatrical career. Special thanks must go to Rob Tizzard who worked hard with Lorraine to edit the various clips of Ian’s performances into a brilliant tour of his performances. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane for our older members, whilst for some people it was their first glimpse into how many shows Ian had actually been in. We finished with a few recordings of Ian, including my personal favourite: his poignant recording of Dark End of the Day. 

Once the memorial was finished, it was onto the live music: an ambitious program of 28 acts spanning 4 sets. We had a diverse range of performances: from operatic singing to show tunes and from folk music to rock and roll. Some were playing standards, whilst some pieces were written especially for Ian. We had piano, brass, and singers. Of course – we also had lots of guitars! 

It wasn’t just music – we had people reminiscing about Ian before their sets. One of the things we learned was Ian’s love of Tolkien as well as his punk roots!  

The fish and chip supper went down a storm and the charity bar made over £700 profit – all of which will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Research on behalf of Ian. It was a great pleasure to see so many old and new friends come along to celebrate Ian in style: some came for a few hours and some for the whole day! 

One of the most touching moments of memorial came towards the end. We finished with the Planet band on stage – the last band that Ian played with in public. A band that Ian shaped and mentored, a band that he had brought together that made a joyful noise together. It’s the first time they had played all together since his passing, with his guitar taking centre stage in the spotlight. It truly encapsulated the bittersweet note of the memorial: not quite sorrow, not quite joy, a little bit of sadness and a lot of happy memories. As Ian would understand, some things are probably expressed in notes than words.  

 I suspect that everyone who attended will cherish the memories for a long time to come. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who helped, but in particular a few people who went above and beyond to make Ian Fest a success.  


Thank you to Geof, Wayne and Sarah for making sure that everyone could be seen and heard – your tireless work is always appreciated.  

 Thank you Dale and Peter for helping so many people with their acts – I’m not sure either of them got much break!  

Thanks to Rob Hobson and Annie for being brilliant show runners.  

Thank you Rob Tizzard for editing the video. 

Thank you Lorraine for bringing everyone together.  


Thank you Ian for inspiring everyone… 


I mentioned Ian was a fan of Tolkien earlier. I’d like to end with a quote from the author that I feel is particularly apt. I make no apologies for the slight twisting of the words to make it even more appropriate. 

 ‘I shan’t ever be able to make music again without thinking of him…’ 

 Make music, then, and think of him! For he was a gentle heart and a great king and kept his oaths; and he rose out of the shadows to a last fair morning. Though your service to him was brief, it should be a memory glad and honourable to the end of your days.’ 


Love Ben 

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Member’s Review

Jen Armstrong

Member’s review of Bugsy Malone

Well first off – I think the only response can be ‘Wow’. I’ve been involved in numerous productions with the Riverside Players Youth Group and am constantly amazed by their ability. Even Thomas (or future Youth Group star, as I call him) at 3 months was enthralled!

To the stars of the show, the cast. I was very impressed with the whole lot of them. The singing was full of energy, the dancing was the same and the acting believable. I was particularly impressed with Blousey’s (Matilda Grimms) singing. A lovely pure voice with lots of potential and her a cappella rendition of Busgy Malone gave me tingles. If you wanna be a boxer was the only song that perhaps could do with more work but a very hard song and our soloist, Cagey Joe (Elizabeth Gough) was fabulous then and in her marvellous ability to sing ‘badly’. It takes a lot of skill to sing badly well and she did that with aplomb.

Comic timing was a big strength in this show with everyone and was particularly present with Fat Sam (William Gough) . Another great strength was the fact that the set was dressed by the cast themselves. It made the show seamless and is a lot more responsibility onto an obviously very able cast.

There was unfortunately a power cut during the performance and the cast carried on with fervour regardless. This is a testament to them and their training of ‘the show must go on’. Although for safety a pause was required, their persistence was admirable. The same must be said for Emilia Pound, one of the Tallulah girls, who obviously had an arm injury and sported a stylish purple sling but still gave a great performance.

Some tips for our budding actors, sometimes we had groups of people with their back to the audience, we’d love to see your faces! Remember that we don’t know the words so annunciation even in your American accents is really important. Lastly – the amount of noise you make being rowdy with your friends is good practise for how much you need to project on stage whether or not you have microphones.

For the audience, the atmosphere that greeted you as you walked in was incredibly authentic. The finishing touches from the front of house team costumes to the table clothes and ‘bar call’ lights on the table made it really seem you were in a speak easy. The format of this production with the smaller tables and bar service is definitely one to repeat.

The production team have obviously been a fabulous asset for the show. The set was designed by Emma Stretton who gave us a wonderful set and theme which carried on throughout the whole auditorium. The lighting was very sympathetic to the set and executed well. Costumes were totally on trend for the era (Shari Newton, Vicki Adams-Salmon, Ferne Haxby) and they all looked brilliant. I particularly liked the Tallulah girl costumes and their variety. The band led by Dale Wills were brilliant and really finished off the show the way a piano or backing tracks wouldn’t be able to. I also know that the SM (Ben Newton) and some of the crew (Lawrence Davey, Andrew McMillan) were roped in at the very last minute and you would not have known. Well done team!

Finally a very big well done to Naomi Morgan for pulling together what is I think the best production I’ve seen from the Youth Group since I can remember and a very worthy piece for the popular summer show slot. I hope to see more from such a talented bunch.


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Welcome to Camelot!

Jen Armstrong

Read on for the full and complete cast list for The Riverside Players’ production of Camelot the Panto!

Directed by Ferne Haxby.

Prince Arthur

 James Lee

Princess Guinevere

Jen Armstrong


Kirstie McMillan


Peter Nicholson


 Jack Barker


Kaz Cockburn


Steve Fenlon


 Vicki Adams-Salmon


Phil Ward


Sharron Burley


Matt Friett


 Lorraine Slipper


 Michael Barker, Andrew McMillan, Finn Prior, Andy Syres, Lynda Newton, Helen Nicolson

Evil Sisterhood

Neve Prior, Emily Weaver, Chloe Lee, Olivia Carter


 Andrew McMillan


 Michael Barker

Talking Clock

Andy Syres


 Eloise Rydell


 Harry Lee


 Eloise Rydell


Someone with a long arm!!!!


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Lets be Social!

Jen Armstrong

Social events are one of the many ways we can keep in touch between and during shows. We are endeavouring to create a more active social calendar for the group.


Saturday 28th – Its all just a lot of Hocus Pocus! Family friendly movie for the first half of the evening with the Sanderson Sisters and Thackeray Binx. Halloween themed party games and food for afters. See you from 7.30pm.

Thank you to everyone who came. It was a scream! any photographs we have will follow shortly.


Sunday 17th – Christmas Social with music, food and maybe a couple of games! It’s Christmas so let’s PARTY!


Post Panto bowling night. Date to be confirmed.


Quiz night Date to be confirmed.

Riverside Players Needs You!


What we’ve done lately


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