Origins & Lemons update

Origins & Lemons is no longer confined to the stage!

Right now you can go to our online shop here and purchase the brand new Origins DVD, containing sketches from the show covering several key themes, the DVD is accompanied by discussion notes to help facilitate further exploration of the issues among small groups in churches, in secondary schools or in student study groups.

If you haven’t seen the show yet and want to know what it is all about there is also a brand new trailer, which can be seen here

The tour itself is progressing well and if you haven’t booked your tickets yet, make sure you head over to our Online Booking site without delay!

Want a job?

Ever wanted to work for us? Now is your chance!

RIDING LIGHTS THEATRE COMPANY is seeking a ‘Youth Theatre Director & Education Practitioner’ from December 2010.

Responsibilities include leading our thriving and creative Senior and Junior Youth Theatre groups, assisting with Acting Up! a new Youth Theatre for young people with additional needs and disabilities and delivering the Company’s regular term-time teaching commitments.

For an application pack contact 01904 655317 or email

Closing Date for Applications is 24th October 2010.

Please consider your commitment to the company’s christian ethos before applying.

The Social Theatre Company

If you follow us on Facebook you may have begun to see all kinds of things popping up in your newsfeed of late, as Riding Lights fully embraces social networking! Thats right, Riding Lights is now on Twitter, you can see our feed on the side of this page or follow us directly by clicking on this link and hitting the follow button.

You may have noticed that the blog has been given a bit of an overhaul as well, but it isn’t just a makeover, in considerably more than 140 characters, we will be posting regular updates letting you know what’s going on in the world of Riding Lights. Whether you are looking for news about a show, education work, fundraising, summer school or just want to find out a bit more about the people involved with Riding Lights then this blog is the place to be!

Finally, in it’s current state the blog is a work in progress and we welcome any feedback/suggestions you may have about the blog and what you would like from it!

Barrie’s Coast to Coast Update

Barrie has set off to Whitehaven today ready for the start of his three day cycling challenge in the morning. You can listen to Barrie’s interview on BBC Radio York by clicking here – he appears about 2 hours 33 minutes in!

Each day Barrie will be checking in with the radio show, as well as updating his blog which you can follow at:

Barrie is doing the ride to raise money for two charities, one being Riding Lights, so please do encourage him by sponsoring him on his JustGiving Site here

Barrie Stephenson is fundraising for Riding Lights – JustGiving

Barrie Stephenson will be cycling from Whitehaven to Sunderland across three days between June 23rd and 25th, on a journey which will take him 140 miles, through The Lake District and over the Pennines. Barrie’s target is £1,000 and it would be great if as many RL members as possible can help him to reach it!

You can donate to Barrie on his JustGiving site at

Your money will not only help Riding Lights to create new plays for schools, prisons, churches and theatres, it will encourage Barrie up those steep hills and along the muddy tracks!

You can read Barrie’s updates as he trains and goes on the ride, at his blog

Shoddie Update

A good week in the Peak District for the Shoddies visiting prisons, schools and with a public perfomance in High Peak. Fantastic feedback received. The team stayed with welcoming hosts and even managed to enjoy a game of indoor croquet! Sheffield this week; from green to urban! More great hosts making for a fantastic tour experience.

The Narrow Road – Review from the Church Times 12 March 2010

Liturgical drama takes to the road
Pat Ashworth
attends a Lenten experience from Riding Lights

New commandment: Luke Waldock and Jonathan Race in The Narrow Road
Photo: Andrew Dyer

EMERGING into the night from Riding Lights’ touring production for Lent, I feel a little like T. S Eliot’s Magi, who pondered whether they had witnessed a birth or a death. I can’t decide whether I’ve been to, predominantly, a church service incorporating a Passion drama, or a Passion play punctuated with liturgy. On balance, I think it’s the former.

It’s powerful stuff, though. In the timeless authenticity of travellers on the road to Calvary, and in the Revd Jeremy Fletcher’s clear accompanying liturgy, you can see the influences of its co-commissioners, the Dean and Chapter of York and Lightline Pilgrimages, for whom working with Christian communities in the Holy Land is a priority.

A towering black tent is the backdrop for pilgrims on the hot and dusty journey, retracing the steps of Jesus using a well-thumbed manual that is part book of prophecy, part Bradshaw’s Guide. Tom Peters, Jonathan Race, Luke Waldock, and Rachel Wilcock slip in and out of roles to play out key episodes in the life of Christ, from the child in the Temple to the road to Emmaus.

It is vivid and contemporary, with moments of high drama in the woman possessed by a demon, the Samaritan woman hauling buckets at the well, the brutality of Roman rule, baptism at the Jordan, the sweating agony in Gethsemane. The clamour of Jerusalem, the heat of the desert, and the rich earth of olive groves come to life in the guidebook prose, the sound of cicadas, and the background of traditional Palestinian music.

The crucifixion itself is profoundly shocking. Luke Waldock’s performance knocks the audience for six, accompanied as it is by the detached clinical account of how a man dies in this fashion: the number of breaths per minute, the splitting bones, the dehydration, the tongue stuck to the roof of the mouth.

Between each of six batches of the story comes the opportunity to respond, in a sung form of the ancient Christian prayer, “Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy on us,” and in prayer, confession, and traditional Passion hymns. I appreciated its beauty and intent, but it sometimes felt like an interruption, a break in transmission which lost the momentum of the drama in order to direct a response that will in reality be different for everyone.

The opening night was in the soaring beauty of the Chapter House at Lincoln Cathedral, where the leader of the worship lent his own gravitas to the liturgy. Paul Birch is the writer, and Paul Burbridge directs a moving experience that, I guess, will be different at every venue on the tour, depending on the intimacy of the setting and the style of the leader. Tour details at

Roughshod – on the road!

The 2010 Roughshod company have begun their tour with two great school visits. They would like to thank everyone for their hospitality and making them feel so welcome!


Well things have, as usual, been pretty busy! The building is full to the brim with actors, directors, designers, technicians and wardrobe supervisors. Roughshod are nearing the end of their rehearsal period and have already had various opportunities to hone their workshop skills in schools and prisons. Last night an invited audience saw a full preview of their show, which was a great success, and on Saturday they head off on their tour!


The cast of new Passion Play The Narrow Road arrived on Monday and seem to be doing well. All of them are familiar faces to us so it’s great to have them back. However, we don’t see them much as they appear to be learning lines every minute that they’re not rehearsing…



As well as all of this, on Saturday we had a great Members’ Day, with 40 of our Members here with us. It was a great chance to catch up with what’s going on within the company, what our Members have been doing, and share our hopes for the year ahead. There was some really good food too.

Happy New Year from all at Riding Lights!

Well here we are in a rather snowy 2010! And even just two weeks into the New Year it looks set to be a busy one. Arguably one of the best things about our home at Friargate is all the new and smiling faces that come through our doors throughout the year, and January is certainly a time when we welcome a lot of new people onboard. Sally and Kelvin’s new Education Assistant Rosie seems right at home after just one week, and meeting the youth theatre last night as term started hasn’t seemed to put her off just yet…

In five days we welcome our new Roughshod company, Dipo, Jon, Briony, Edith and Rachel (pictured). They will spend six weeks with us as they rehearse, devise, create workshops and generally prepare to embark on a six month tour of the UK. We’re very excited about working with them, and having met them a few times already and had two of them act in On Christmas Night, we’re sure this is set to be a great tour!