Baked Alaska Filming: 80% and rising…

Baked-Alaska-8019---WEBHave you checked the fundraising page for Filming Baked Alaska recently?
We’ve currently raised 82% of the target…. that’s an amazing £33,000!

This means we’re confident that filming can go ahead, it’s in the diary for this summer.

The recent boost in funding has come from a number of larger donors and organisations keen to make the film happen. In total we’ve had about £30,000 donated by trusts and organisations, but equally important are the donations from individuals, however small, so thank you to all of you who have given or told others about the campaign.

We’re not quite there, and that last £7,000 we still have to raise can help us do even more – film more of the show, create a better resource, and get them out to more people.

Can you help?

By donating (if you haven’t already) and telling others. It’s as easy as going to the justgiving page and clicking the share on Facebook button (or Twitter or email if you’d prefer).

Theatres Trust Grant For Friargate Flood Protection

2016_TheatresTrust_logoWe are very pleased to announce that Friargate Theatre has been awarded £5000 by the Theatres Trust.

The grant has been made in response to the flood damage which took place during the Boxing Day flooding in York this winter. It will enable us to begin the essential work to flood-proof Friargate. This is a significant addition to money raised from our ongoing programme of fundraising events.

Friargate Theatre At NightWe are immensely grateful to the Theatres Trust for their award are delighted to be one of the five theatres awarded grants  in current round of funding from the Theatres Protection Small Grants Scheme.
Friargate Theatre was one of the casualties of the flooding in York in December 2015, with the lower end of the building flooded, immersing the lower ground floor. The planned flood prevention work involves the creation of two access traps in the office floor, installation of smart air bricks so the building can be fully dried out, as well as the purchase and installation of a permanent sump and pump, which will help protect the interior of the building against future flooding..

You can find out more about the Theatres Trust and the current round of grants on their website.



Filming Baked Alaska

Last year we had an extraordinary response tour our national tour, Baked Alaska. Having reviewed the project with our commissioning partners, we agreed the show’s message should go much further…

So we plan to put highlights from BAKED ALASKA ON FILM to reach an even wider audience.

Baked-Alaska-7662-WEBWe would like to raise sufficient funds to make a series of short films available, at least for an initial period, as a free download to schools and other groups where teaching and discussion about climate change can take place.

By illustrating 6 key issues, accompanied by teaching materials, Baked Alaska could be a great resource. Translating highlights onto film seems the best way to be good stewards of the creativity we have already invested.

Can you help?

There are various ways you might like to help us to make this important thing happen!

1. Giving personally, or encouraging others to give at

2. Pass on a Baked Alaska fundraising brochure to a church/green organisation. You can download a copy here or call 01904 655317 and we’ll post you some.

3. Putting us in touch with funding organisations who may want to support the Baked Alaska film.

Acting Up! awarded £40,507 by Children In Need

We are delighted to announce that BBC Children in Need has awarded Riding Lights a grant of £40,507 over three years. This grant will fund our Acting Up! Youth Theatre which works with young people with special education needs and disabilities here in York.

Acting Up! works specifically with young people with special education needs and disabilities. This means that to run Acting Up! youth theatre sessions it requires youth theatre practitioners who are uniquely skilled at working with these young people, as well as a much larger number of staff per participant. The BBC Children in Need funding makes it possible to run the Acting Up! classes with the high level of specialist teaching support needed for these pupils.

The security of funding over three years gives a continuity within which the students can gradually grow in confidence and build close friendships. Kelvin Goodspeed, Acting Up!’s director, and our other youth theatre practitioners find that the social aspect of Acting Up! is extremely important in the lives of our young people who often find it very difficult to form friendships. With three secure years ahead of us we can plan bigger and better productions and really begin enable our students to achieve their ambitions.

The youth theatre had previously been funded by Children in Need, but this funding ended in 2014. We’re also incredible grateful for the support of the Ed de Nunzio Charitable Trust, a local charity that has supported Acting Up! in the interim.

Raising A Production Fund

Acting Up! Logo

The one thing which the Children In Need grant doesn’t cover is a production budget for Acting Up! Therefore at Members Day we announced a campaign to raise a production fund for the company. This will allow Acting Up! to add set design and a greater range of props, costumes and technical equipment to their performances. These additional elements will greatly enrich the young people’s experience of creating theatre in a professional environment.

We’ve already raised £431 of our £2000 target at Members’ Day (Once again, a huge thank you!).

Could you help us raise the rest, either by donating or telling others? Anyone can donate to the production fund on our just giving page at


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

The Ten Commandments remake is finally here!


Desmond the Camel, Snowy the Black Sheep, Paul, Kelvin, Ian and a couple of goats have all safely returned from their sponsored Lake District remake of the 1956 epic movie The Ten Commandments. Thanks to all who sponsored so generously in aid of The Sky’s the Limit.

The final movie is still being edited, but early footage shows some rather diva-like behaviour and a few questionable budget cutting special effects. Here’s a taster…

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