Village panto group secures prestigious national award

Three people dressed for theatre production

The Three Little Pigs - Credit: Riverside Players

Newton Poppleford-based Riverside Players have seen success again in the recent National Operatic & Dramatic Association (NODA) South West Awards for 2019.

Due to the pandemic there were no Awards for 2020 but The Players were delighted to learn earlier this year that they had been awarded the June Barker Memorial Cup for the Best Pantomime “Runner – Up” 2019, for their production of RED – the story of Little Red Riding Hood & the Three Little Pigs. This pantomime was written and directed by Gill Coley and Julie Salmon, who recently accepted the Award on behalf of The Riverside Players from NODA SW Councillor Graham Liverton. The music for RED was arranged and recorded by talented local musician John Griswold who has been Musical Director for The Riverside Players from the start.

Two people on a stage dressed as Little Red Riding Hood & the Woodcutter

Little Red Riding Hood & the Woodcutter - Credit: Riverside Players

The Players came together in 2006 and over the years have produced variety evenings, play- readings and one act plays, involving both adults and youngsters from the village and surrounding area. Several productions have been joint fundraising events with local clubs, and The Players have also been delighted to be able to support The Royal British Legion, Children’s Hospice SW and Force. A production of a Dad’s Army episode led to a variety evening Home Front in 2012, raising funds for the village Jubilee celebrations, highlights being the Dad’s Army episodes Mum’s Army and The Floral Dance – with a dream cast! The panto tradition was started in 2009 and The Players have presented a pantomime every February in the Village Hall – except in 2021 of course.

In 2010 NODA SW awarded the drama group the June Barker Memorial Cup for the Best Pantomime Production for their Dick Whittington production. In 2012 Robinson Crusoe & the Pirates received a NODA SW District Nomination, and in 2016 their production of Aladdin received a District Achievement Award and a nomination for the Peter Wheeldon Memorial Trophy for Homemade Productions, all pantomimes by Alan P Frayn.

NODA SW covers a large area stretching from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon and Dorset, Somerset, Bath and South Wiltshire up to Gloucestershire and Swindon. 

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