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


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.

Origins and Lemons on the road…..

Origins and Lemons cast member Rachel Wilcock reports another great but busy week on tour. The highlights of the week include the trip to Kingsdown Theatre which in itself was a fantastic venue made even better by the large audience of around 300. The magnificiently beautiful church of St Mary’s Cogges was cosy but the audience once again meant a fantastic night was had by all.

Rachel sends get well wishes to team member Olly who has been under the weather and would like to thank everyone for being such fantastic hosts.

Former Riding Lights actor performs a classic sketch in Trafalgar Square!

Luke Walton, former Roughshod actor, Arts Development Officer for the Bible Society and co-producer of the recent Bible Society/Riding Lights film ‘Unscripted’, will be taking over an 8m high plinth in Trafalgar Square tomorrow afternoon for one hour as part of the Fourth Plinth Project.

You can read more about the project here

Among other things, he will be performing the classic Riding Lights sketch “Life: wotsitallabout?” Given that the sketch is written for rather more than one actor to perform, we’re intrigued how he’s going to do this…

Go to on Tuesday 6th October between 2pm and 3pm to see streaming video of Luke performing – LIVE!

Luke would be really pleased if you felt an urge to make a small donation to the Sky’s the Limit to encourage him as he performs an old sketch in a new and high up place, you can do so by going to and donating there.

PS – bidding on the handwritten copy of ‘Bugs’ by Antony Dunn is going well. Take a look at:

Win the only complete, hand-written copy of ‘Bugs’, Antony Dunn’s third collection of poems

Win the only complete, hand-written copy of ‘Bugs’, Antony Dunn’s third collection of poems 



Antony has written, in his own fair hand, a complete and unique copy of his third collection of poems, Bugs, in a classic black Moleskine sketchbook, using a series of .38mm black Muji gel-pens. It will also contain one or two new poems, which are not included in the printed version of Bugs


The hand-written copy of Bugs will be auctioned both online and ‘live’ on Fri 9 Oct at Friargate Theatre, York. It will be signed, dated and dedicated to the winning bidder. 


The auction is being held to raise funds for Riding Lights Theatre Company, where Antony worked as Marketing Manager from 1997 – 2007, and which will receive every penny of the winner’s payment. 


The money will contribute to Riding Lights’ The Sky’s The Limit fundraising campaign, designed to establish a production fund over and above the regular income which it needs to keep its doors open. More details can be found at 

We know that many people will want to bid on this item, even if they can’t attend the book launch in person. We have therefore put the book onto eBay so that it is possible to enter your bid whether you’re in York or Yemen. To make things even more exciting, the eBay auction will close during the book launch at Friargate and all live bids will be put onto eBay so that as the closing time approaches you can still have a chance of winning. Just follow this link to the eBay page: 



The ‘live’ auctioneer here at Friargate will be poet and founder member of Riding Lights, Nigel Forde.

Please note: the reserve price is £100. 


You are also very welcome to come along to the launch at which Antony will read from Bugs for around half an hour, and will be available to sign ordinary copies of the book, which will be on sale for £9.00. The bar will be open throughout, and you’re warmly invited to stay around for as long as you like. 


Fri 9 Oct, 7.30pm
Friargate Theatre, York
Lower Friargate, YO1 9SL
Box Office 01904 613000
Admission is FREE, but please ring to reserve your seats 


The event at Friargate Theatre is one of four readings to mark the publication of Bugs (Carcanet OxfordPoets):
Mon 5 Oct – London, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Fri 9 Oct – York, Friargate Theatre
Fri 16 Oct – Leeds, Yorkshire Dance
Wed 21 Oct – Oxford, Blackwells Bookshop 


Full tour details are available at

Oxford Skydive


Almost immediately after the end of the Improthon, our first The Sky’s the Limit Sky Divers were in the air. Heather Rushforth, Darcy Ball and Richard Allsopp took off over Oxford and gracefully descended as the sun began to set – and all to raise money for Riding Lights. Many thanks to the three of you.

There’s more sky diving today as RL Stage Manager Rob Gooch and loyal member, Angela Smith, make their way into the Oxfordshire skies…..and then down again!

They did it!!

Our last team of improvisers – some of whom had been here for the full 24 hours, some of whom had been here for many, many of the 24 hours brought the Improthon to a triumphant conclusion at 5pm today.

Somewhat crazed by the experience, a few of them couldn’t quite grasp the fact that they could re-enter the real world again and didn’t have to keep making things up.

They’ll be ready for a rest now and our thanks go out to them for entertaining themselves (and us) for this marathon of improvisation which kept us laughing right up to the end, helping to raise even more money for The Sky’s the Limit.

As we sign off from the Improthon, our first sky jumpers are about to take off over Oxford…