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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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Red Riding Hood 2019 Reviews


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.

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Want to join the Committee?


Love being a Riverside Player? Interested in getting involved in making decisions on what shows we do?

If so please contact committee for an nomination form to join us! We have an 8 person committee at present and will be looking for someone to make the magic number of 9. Monthly meetings are your only specific commitment. (but don’t worry we organise these to suit as many of us as possible) No previous experience required, just a love for the group and an interest in taking change of an aspect of the group, behind the scenes.

We look forward to hearing from you.


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AGM Notice 2019


AGM date has been announced! Sunday 9th June at 7.00pm

Come along and bring other members for your annual award show and updates on the group!

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Alice In Wonderland 2019


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

When in fact she should have said I want to get to Eynsford Village Hall in July 2019 to watch Riverside Youth Group perform Alice in Wonderland. Rehearsals are well on the way, with the children singing and dancing their way through the script, in preparation for the show on 12th, 13th & 14th July 2019.

We will also be doing things slightly different this year, as for the two matinee performances, you can purchase afternoon tea along with your ticket for the show.  Afternoon tea will be served in the fields behind the village hall, where you will enjoy the Mad Hatters tea party, and some wonderful street theatre performed by the children before, following the white rabbit down the rabbit hall into Wonderland.

Tickets will be going on sale, next month, keep a look out for more information and when in the village, keep a look out for the White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter or even Alice popping up here and there.


Naomi Morgan

Leader of Riverside Youth Group

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Thoroughly Modern Musicals – Auditions


Welcome to Thoroughly Modern Musicals. We are holding auditions on Tuesday 5th Feb at 7.30pm and Sunday 10th Feb from 5pm. There are songs for all voice styles from the Book of Mormon to Bat out of Hell to Little shop of Horrors. Pick any of the audition songs below and come and see us!

Audition songs:

Pure Imagination (Kids choice)
Somewhere That’s Green
Radio GAGA
Time Warp (Character focus)

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Red Riding Hood – Rehearsal Update


It’s December. Officially Advent. And what are we all getting ready for? Why, it’s the Riverside Panto of course!

This year, we return to the land of fairy-tale with Little Red Riding Hood. It’s the traditional story of Little Red, her Grandma and the Big Bad Wolf, but in a brand new script, exclusive to the Riverside Players. Be prepared for more than a fair share of silliness… and getting sillier with every rehearsal!

Heidi’s brilliant choreography has really come alive with the last few rehearsals. In particular, the closing number (Shut Up and Dance) and theWoodcutter’s solo (a secret… for now) are sure to bring the house down. It’s some of the most energetic, joyful, and funniest dancing ever to happen on the Village Hall stage.

The Chorus are working on wowing you all with a rendition of Who Will Buy (last seen at Riverside in 2006’s outdoor Oliver!) with a panto twist. And of course we can’t have a Big Bad Wolf without some Duran Duran – expertly performed by Jason who makes his triumphant return to the Riverside Stage this year, flanked by his three piggies – Lorraine, Kirstie and Finn – who are getting more ridiculous by the day. Our MD James’ score and arrangements are already sounding very tight with hi s band, and they’ll be joining the actors at rehearsals soon.

Acting-wise, the grown ups are being put in their place by three of leads fresh from the Riverside Youth – Neve is delighting as Red; Fred is flexing his comic muscles as Little Boy Blue; and James is being the manliest he’s ever been as the Woodcutter. Our (only slightly…) older hats – Ferne (as Grandma) and Guppy (as REDACTED) – have got some stiff competition from the upcoming generation of Riversiders!

There are many more people I could rave about… I could tell you about the Queen and her (his?) silly heralds. I could tell you about the various puppets. I could tell you about the sneaky Lawyer. But too much would be spoiling it. Rest assured, this is a pantomime you will not want to miss!

– Matt (Director)

P.S. If anyone has any large cardboard boxes going spare, please send them our way!

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Leave It To Psmith Review


What ho!

Never one to shy away from a challenge, new director Shari Newton brings us this delightful piece of PG Wodehouse, adapted from the last of his Psmith stories, which was also the second of his stories concerning BlandingsCastle.

Not wanting to be the least experienced member of the production team, she also recruited a crew who, in the main, had never tried a hand at their particular task before! Fortunately, experienced mentors were on hand to lendtheir experience, calm fears, soothe fevered bows and (hopefully) spend more time than usual in the Five Bells.I would like to point out that even given my lack of recent experience as an audience member, I was not provided with a suitable mentor – however, this proved to be no handicap in the enjoyment of the play.

On being shown to my table by the impeccably dressed staff, I was presented with a bar price list in the form of a contemporary magazine, in addition to my programme. To those carpers who bemoaned the lack of detail in the programme as to the plot – had they read beyond the price of a glass of rose, they would have noted the relevant society news items in the magazine, especially concerning the bequest of certain diamonds. Still, the play’s the thing, as someone or other may have already written…

The story is a wonderfully silly blend of crusty old duffers, plucky young things, upper class twits, lower class crooks, get – rich quick scheming and mistaken identities, all centred around the efforts of the eponymous Psmith to assist Freddie, the feckless scion of the Emsworth family of Blandings Castle, in finding the wherewithal to marry his girlfriend Phyllis. A convoluted plot to steal and then return a set of priceless diamonds belonging to Freddies great-aunt is further complicated by the arrival of a pair of crooks, also intent on purloining the aforementioned sparklers.

From a technical perspective, all the wonderful dialogue of Wodehouse was crisply (and audibly) delivered, lighting was uniformly good and the costumes, set and props worked seamlessly. The cast played the entire thing straight, which made it even funnier. It would be difficult to pick out a particular highlight in a show filled with laugh-out-loud moments, but the catty verbal sparring between Julia Bull’s Lady Middlewick and Lynda Newton’s Ethelberta Fitzwiggin is a strong contender.

A very enjoyable evening overall, and an excellent training opportunity to expand the available pool of backstage crew talent – jolly well done, chaps.

— Peter Nicholson

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