Fresh upon our successes at the Henley Drama Festival at the Kenton Theatre…..the award for the Best Original Play (thanks, Ronnie!) and two nominations for Charlie…Best Supporting Actor and Magic Moment, we now have received two nominations for the main NODA awards for our production of The Accrington Pals.

One is for the Pat Redhead Drama Award for the best play (whole NODA London and South area), for which we won the runner-up prize last year for Quartet, and the other is for the Sybil Conway award for Best Actress for Hannah Roberts for her performance as May Hassal.

Andy Marlow and Jenny Haywood had the equivalent for their performances in Quartet last year, and it is lovely to see Hannah and the Pals carrying on the tradition. Long may it continue!

Cast announced for ‘The LadyKillers’

The Henley Players’ spring (11-14 March 2015) production will be The LadyKillers, adapted from the film version, by Graham Lineham and directed by Jill Richardson.

The casting was very difficult, but we are thrilled to have the winning combination of:
Mrs Wilberforce – Margie Barrass
Constable Macdonald – Ian Beyts
Professor Marcus – Frank Augur
Major Courtney…….Tim Green
Harry Robinson – Jude Mawbey
One-Round – Darrel Poulos
Louis Harvey – Bruce Smith
Mrs Tromleyton – Liz Mcewen
Mrs Wilberforce’s guests – Wendy Huntley, Marilyn Shah and Nansi Diamond

Do come along to this cracking production and bring your friends! Buy ten tickets and get one free!

Cast announced for ‘Accrington Pals’

The Henley Players’ autumn (15-18 October 2014) production will be The Accrington Pals, by Peter Whelan and directed by Jan Corby.

Director Jan Corby describes this play as follows: The play is set in Accrington, Lancashire. The play’s main focus is on the lives of those who were left behind, especially the women, but also the brave male volunteers, which led to the creation of ‘Pals’ regiments from towns and regions in the U.K. In this particular play The Accrington Pals, the men that faced the horror that was the Battle of the Somme (whose battalion’s formal name was The 11th Battalion and whose names are commemorated on the cenotaph which stands in Oak Hill Park, Accrington). The play is poignant and harrowing but often has comic vignettes which portray the everyday life of a town bereft of men.

‘Eva’ – Sabrina Fawcett
‘Sarah’ – Janice Selkirk
‘Bertha’ – Aimee McGoldrick
‘Annie’ – Pam Pitts
‘May’ – Hannah Roberts
‘Tom’ – Harry Petrie
‘Ralph’ – Charlie McMann
‘Reggie’ – Jude Mawbey
‘Company Sergeant Major Rivers’ – Steve Baxter
‘Arthur’ – Andy Marlow

Jan says: “If you would like to help out with this show, please get in touch with me” Jan Corby. We would love to have you involved!”

Quartet Cast & Crew Announced

We are thrilled to have on board for our Spring 2014 production of Ronald Harwood’s Quartet, the following cast and crew (full crew TBC):

Cecily Robson (Cissy) – Jenny Haywood
Reginald Paget – Frank Augur
Wilfred Bond – Andy Marlow
Jean Horton – Caroline Bowder
(Voice of) Bobby Swanson – Geoffrey Atkinson

Director – Bill Bowder
Director’s Assistant/Prompt – Angela Pengilley
Stage Manager – Jerry Anderson
Lighting – Derek Gilbert
Sound – Bruce Smith
Set Design – Bill Bowder/Jerry Anderson/Bruce Smith
Set Painting – Steve Allender
Props – Kate Lindsey, Jo Hunt
Costume – Hannah Roberts
Make-up – Lucia Ercolani
Photography – Ioan Havard
Publicity – Rowena McMenamin, Bill Bowder, Grainne Harling, Kate Lindsey, Jenny Haywood

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.

Great Cast, Great Expectations!

Our Autumn production Great Expectations, is now completely cast and rehearsals are well underway. The cast is as follows:

Herbert Pocket……Harry Petrie
Adult Pip…………..Toby Marlow
Young Pip…………Guillaume Gougeon and Seamus Bringmann
Adult Estella…….Sally Rowlandson
Young Estella…..Olivia Dunning and Annabel Marlow
Jo Gargery………Peter O’Sullivan
Magwitch………..Frank Augur
Mrs Joe………….Liz McEwen
Biddy…………….Jenny Haywood
Mr. Pumblechook…Ian Beyts
Miss Havisham…..Janice Selkirk
Jaggers……………Tim Green
Wemmick…………Andy Marlow
Molly……………….Nansi Diamond
Aged Parent………Bill Port
Young Herbert….Charles Washbourn
Miss Skiffins (non-speaking walk-on)…Ann Jenkins

There was a good turnout for the auditions, and supplementary auditions and the panel had some very difficult choices to make. The directors are Kate Lindsey and Jill Richardson: Jill is working on set design with Bruce Smith. The Stage Manager will be Jerry Anderson, with Liz Cope and Jo Hunt covering props: Jenny Haywood will be dealing with costume, assisted by Angie Green: Hayley Williams will be attending to the hairstyles and Lucia Ercolani to the make-up (to be confirmed). Other details to follow…it should be a great show.


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!