Category Archives: Uncategorized

Giuseppe Verdi. Master of the Human Voice

Georg Briner has kindly written us an absolutely cracking piece on Verdi. Did you know that Verdi was THE superstar composer of his day? Here’s a taster from Georg’s piece: “In the world of opera, Giuseppe Verdi stands as a giant. His works are known and loved all over the world. They were HUGE hits in his own lifetime, as they still are today: Wikipedia counted 2,586 performances of 28 different Verdi operas worldwide in the last 5 years alone, putting him comfortably at the head of the ‘most performed’ league table.”

To read more about the life of this fascinating artist, please access Georg’s full write-up. A translation of the famous Quartet scene is conveniently included.

Summer Sensation

Thanks again to Darrel and Suri Poulos and their family for making us all so welcome at their wonderful home, for The Henley Players Annual Summer Picnic on 30th June. The weather was perfect, and several brave souls took a dip in the lake whilst the less adventurous of us played lawn tennis, croquet or just lolled around under the pagoda making witty observations. Those of you who didn’t make it, you really missed out! Hope to see you at next year’s Summer Picnic.


For his performance in the Henley Players’ production of “Say Something Happened”, Frank Augur won the Diamond Shield award for ‘Magic Moment’. This is a discretionary prize given by the adjudicator for something he considers rather special. It could be for anything – lighting, sound, music, a particular effect, etc. David Henson. the adjudicator this year, gave this unique award to Frank for stepping into the role of Dad in ‘Say Something Happened’ when Geoff Atkinson, due to ill health, regretfully had to pull out of the play at the last moment. Frank had just five days notice and effectively two full rehearsals before giving a first class performance on Friday. In the adjudicator’s own words, “he acted his socks off”. So many congratulations, Frank, and to Sally, Wendy, Kate, Ann and the team for a charming play, well-performed and directed.

The support from a good number of Players was much appreciated by the cast…nice to see so many friendly faces! Many congratulations to HAODS, who won two prestigious acting awards, Richard Evans as Best Actor and Angharad Jones as Best Actress, for their performances in “World without Memory”… another tear-jerking performance from Richard. HAODS also picked up the Best Runner-up award, so well done to director Samantha Fields.The overall runaway winners of the festival were the Oxford Theatre Guild (B) with their entry ‘Moving Scenes’. This won 4 prestigious awards, Best Play, Best Original Play, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor…tour de force for them!

FESTIVALS for 2013

We are now considering possible festival entries. We’ve already read one of Mike Rowbottom’s plays, the very intriguing The Zombies and the Morseline and are happy to look at any other suggestions before we make a final decision…..anyone itching to direct, please let the committee know!!

Cast Announced for Communicating Doors

SPRING 2013 PRODUCTION: COMMUNICATING DOORS by Alan Ayckbourn (March 5th-9th., 2013), directed by our very own Pantomime Dame, Darrel Poulos, fresh from his triumph for the Remenham Thespians! Casting Communicating Doors has taken some time: there were several strong contenders for the various roles, some of which require actors to portray the same character at several different ages, and it has taken time to sort it out.

The cast is as follows:
Reece….Mike Rowbottom
Julian…..James Gwynne
Poopay….Sally Rowlands
Ruella….Grainne Harling
Harold….Michael Mungarvan
Jessica….Claire Taylor

We are very pleased to welcome newcomer Sally Rowlands, fresh from her triumph as ‘Adelaide’ in HAODS’ production of Guys and Dolls, and to welcome back Claire and Mike M, both of whom have only done one show with us before. And of course we are delighted to have the roles of Julian, Reece and Ruella in the experienced hands of James, Mike R, and Grainne. Rehearsals will begin this week. This is a very challenging play, with some gloriously funny scenes, so we wish Darrel and his cast and crew every success!

Club Night News – Change of Venue

We have decided to hold club nights at a new venue: the back bar (The Stable Bar) of The Three Tuns, in Market Place, Henley. This space is better lit and more comfortable for our needs. Please also note that we will now hold our monthly club nights on the first Tuesday of each month. This is to allow more folk to participate. Feedback always welcome. Get in touch with any of the committee members.

Remember, Club Nights take place every month throughout the year, except August and December. All suggestions welcome, and please do consider hosting one yourself – just get in touch with Kate Lindsey. Friends who want to learn more about The Henley Players will be warmly welcomed.

Fanfare and Farewell to Roger Redfern

Roger Redfern very much enjoyed his leaving party on 11 June at Zizzis, and also the phone calls and messages from those who were not able to attend…..he has asked for the following message to be circulated…. “Thank you for the splendid party last night and the wonderful picture of the “dead King”…almost appropriate! Please… all those who came to thank them from me. It made my day! Good luck in all future ventures, and much love, Roger”.

Calendar Girls Casting News

News from Director David Parsonson: Thank you to everybody for the hard work put into the auditions. It has been a very time consuming and difficult task to complete casting, taking in to account vocal colour, clarity, visual depth, colouring, height variation, commanding security and visual group eccentricities, that would play with the audiences emotions and ensure their acceptance. I look forward to seeing the “sunflowers grow”.

Chris – Margie Barrass; Annie – Jan Corby; Jessie – Julie Huntington; Celia – Claire Hewitt; Ruth – Karen du Plessis; Marie – Jan Beyts; Brenda Hulse – Carol Lynch; John – Richard Evans; Rod – Gareth Saunders; Lady Cravenshire – Caroline Hopkins; Lawrence – to be confirmed; Elaine – Claire Taylor; Liam – to be confirmed

With the Voices of:
WI Conference Chairperson – Kate Lindsey; American Radio Commentary – Darrel Poulos; English Television Commentary – Tim Green; French Radio Commentary – Christine Naughton

Stage and Technical Personnel:
Stage Manager – Jerry Anderson; Lighting Designer – Kim Hollamby; Sound Designer – Bruce Smith; Costume Supervisor – to be confirmed; Costume Assistant – Angie Green; Scenic Artists – to be confirmed; Properties – Kim Agostino; Dialogue Coach – Jeni Wood; Prompt – Jill Richardson; Hair – Hayley Wilkinson; Make-Up – to be confirmed; Stage Crew – to be confirmed; Dressers – to be confirmed