Roughshod On The Road: Maidenhead

Last Sunday we set off for our second stop of the tour – Maidenhead, where we’d be for 10 days!

Here’s a Roughshod selfie with Jeremy, Joan and Sally – the brilliant vicars from the 3 churches we were working with.


For the first week we were linked with 3 local churches and worked in 6 schools delivering in total 4 assemblies, 1 performance and 7 workshops. As well as the schools work, we performed/ worked with a group for adults with additional needs, a messy church event, a church breakfast event and performed our show ‘Deliver’ on the Saturday night.

It was a very busy week but filled with lots of new experiences for both the churches/schools and the roughshod team. A highlight for me (as well as being back near my home turf down south) was being able to make hundreds of children (plus their teachers) laugh and smile at the start of each day and having such a positive response from all the schools. It’s the first time that Roughshod has visited Maidenhead and it’s amazing to see the great impact that it’s made on all parts of the community!

Martha 🙂

Roughshod On The Road: Newcastle

Newcastle – our first stop as the Roughshod Deliver company. And what a week we had! By numbers: 1 church service, 1 ex-offenders meeting, 1 full show, 2 school assemblies (covering tiny tots to sixth-formers) and 9 hours of workshops, reaching over 700 people.

A highlight: We performed at a Junction 42 meeting for ex-offenders. We spent some time singing with everyone there – seriously, like nothing else! – and then we performed about 40 minutes of our sketches. During our finale of Amazing Grace the whole audience joined in – eclipsing us quite spectacularly. The sense of freedom in that room was almost tangible. One man had decided to follow Christ at last year’s Roughshod performance. It was humbling and edifying to find out what had happened in his life since then and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

It has been a great start to the tour, and hopefully the first of many action packed weeks. If you want to keep up with where we are and what we’re doing, why not give us a follow. We’re on facebook, twitter and instagram. We’ll have plenty more to shout about…

Cheers, Jared

Introducing Roughshod 2018

Andrew, Beth, Esther, Jared and Martha, our new Roughshod Company are in rehearsal right now, preparing to deliver a fast paced mix of theatre, comedy and insight to the world.

Specifically they’ll be delivering in the following places…

Roughshod Bases 2018

11 March – 17 March Newcastle
18 March – 28 March Maidenhead

(Easter break)

15 April – 21 April Loreto College, Manchester
22 April – 29 April Scotland
29 April – 8 May N Ireland
9 May – 19 May York
23 May – 28 May Aylesbury
29 May – 3 June week tbc

3 June – 23 June Mini Tour (Dates still available)

24 June – 30 June Reigate
1 July – 7 July Saddleworth (tbc)
8 July – 14 July Sheffield
15 July – 21 July Newcastle

29 July – 6 August Summer Theatre School

In each of these communities Roughshod will be performing their new revue show ‘Deliver’ as well as taking workshops into schools, churches, community centres, prisons and more. If you’d like a peek into the rehearsal room and to keep up with everything Roughshod are doing we’d suggest liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter or Instagram.

Is your area missing out?

We still have spaces on the mini-tour for one night Roughshod performances. Get in touch with Bethan on 01904 655317 and you could bring Roughshod to your community.

Applications Open: Roughshod 2018

Applications are now open for volunteers for our 2018 Roughshod company.

Here’s a bit more about what we’re looking for…

Actors wanted (M/F) for a seven month community tour in 2018.

Actors-Wanted-600pxRiding Lights Roughshod is our dynamic young theatre company – taking faith inspired theatre into the heart of local communities all around the UK. Each year Roughshod creates and tours dynamic, challenging, spiritually centred performance to the places that need it most, performing everywhere from churches to care homes, primary schools to prisons.

We are looking for bold actor/facilitators with a range of skills who are interested in performing and running workshops in a wide variety of settings. All successful applicants will be supported in the rehearsal period with a training programme that equips our actors with top voice coaching, prison and schools work as well as workshop leading.

Please consider the company’s christian ethos before applying

Closing date for applications: Thursday 15 June 2017.

Auditions: will take place in York on 21 & 22 June 2017.
Second round audition dates: 10 July 2017
(Please Note: there has been a change to the first round audition dates)

Applications are now closed.

For more info call: 01904 655317 or email:


Roughshod: Bases for 2017

Our 2017 Roughshod company will be on the road from the 19th March, touring to communities across the UK for 6 months. Below is a list of the places they will be working in.

 Roughshod: Reactive is a transformative tour-de-force, shaking things up with an explosive mix of comedy, drama and powerful storytelling. Whether they’re running workshops in schools, youth groups or prisons, or perhaps performing in churches or out on the streets, they reach some 25,000 adults and young people each year.

In 2017 Roughshod will be based in…

NEWCASTLE Mar 26 – Apr 02
NEWBURY Apr 02 – Apr 09
Mini-Tour Apr 09 – Apr 16
Easter Break Apr 16 – Apr 30
SWINDON Apr 30 – May 07
SHEFFIELD May 07 – May 14
GILLINGHAM May 14 – May 21
HULL Jun 11 – Jun 18
BRISTOL Jun 18 – Jun 25
TEIGNMOUTH Jun 25 – Jul 02
MAIDSTONE Jul 09 – Jul 16
NEWCASTLE Jul 16– Jul 23


You can find a full list of public performances of Roughshod: Reactive here.

Roughshod: Reactive

Explosive Stories, Unexpected Results…

Roughshod: Reactive

What happens when worlds’ collide?
when heaven meets earth?
if small encounters cause a big reaction?

A passenger on a train gets help unexpectedly from a stranger, a courageous nun surprises everyone by going nuclear and a religious terrorist is disarmed by a man from the wrong side of town.

Mixing powerful performance (and a little comic chaos) Riding Lights Roughshod use true stories, satirical sketches and the experiences of the actors themselves to work out what happens when God decides to disturb the peace… in person.

Join us for a transformative tour-de-force as Roughshod shake things up in this explosive new sketch show for 2017.

Touring 18th March – 29th July 2017
To churches, schools, arts centres, prisons and other communities round the UK.

Designed to perform just about anywhere, annually Roughshod reaches a live audience of around 20,000 adults and children. It has been acclaimed from Belfast to Brixton for creating powerful new pieces of theatre. Could Roughshod be perfect for your community in 2017?

The last few spaces in their schedule are still available.  Give us a call on 01904 655317 or email to find out more.


Public Performances


[gigpress_shows tour = 26]

Roughshod Blog: Rehearsal Room Wizardry

Emily gives us a glimpse inside the first few weeks of Roughshod rehearsal…

I’m convinced that time passes more quickly in York than anywhere else. I can’t believe we’re halfway through our fourth week; I feel like I’ve been here for five minutes – but that I’ve known everyone forever!

What wizardry is this? I’ve wanted to work for Riding Lights for as long as I can remember, so every day is still a total reality check of ‘how is this actually my life?!’ In four weeks we’ve learnt what feels like a million scripts (but have somehow barely touched upon our main show?) played a lot of drama games, pretended to be reluctant teenagers and uncooperative prisoners, and then delivered workshops to the real thing (thankfully they turned out to be a million times nicer and more insightful than our portrayals!).

Going into the prison has been a highlight for me so far – I’d never been in one before and at first the high fences and heavy doors seemed pretty intimidating. But the men inside them were, of course, just ordinary people who had had some difficulties in their lives. They were friendly, welcoming and really appreciative, participating fully and sharing honestly and openly. It felt like an honour to be trusted with some of their stories.

The thing I was most dreading was the infamous Roughshod personality exercise, through which all our flaws would be laid bare and our darkest secrets exposed (or so I thought). Thankfully it was a far more pleasant experience: we chose two personality archetypes (such as Mother, Child, Hero, Jester, Explorer, Artist, Actress etc.) which we represented though clothes and then had to guess what each other had chosen, and how accurate we thought they were. it was actually really interesting to hear how other people see you, and the success of this was entirely down to the grace, compassion and sensitivity of the other Shoddies (and Paul & Paul, I suppose!). I already feel like these people are going to be friends for life – we haven’t stopped laughing since day one, but have also forged depth and honesty in our team. I’m so excited about the next few months!


Roughshod Blog: Back To School

After spending most of last autumn touring Baked Alaska, Katie Brier is back in the Friargate rehearsal room, now with Roughshod 2016…outside manor School - Feb 2016

Well, I’m back in York with the lovely people at Riding Lights and we are two weeks into our rehearsals for Roughshod 2016. All I can say is… So far so good! Me and the rest of the Roughshod gang are getting along like a house on fire and we seem to be spending a large portion of our time together in absolute fits of laughter (often at very inappropriate moments, much to the dismay of our director…) So much so, I nearly named this blog “MY BELLY HURTS”. I had a good feeling about this company when my rehearsal brief consisted of:

  1. Read the Sermon on the Mount
  2. Watch loads of comedy. And
  3. Bring tap shoes

You can’t really go wrong with criteria like that.

Before I go on, I should probably explain to those of you who are undoubtedly asking “what on earth is Roughshod…?” exactly what it is that I’m getting myself into. Basically, Roughshod is Riding Lights’ community touring company, designed to take theatre to places that might not otherwise get it. As well performing our show Let Loose, we’ll be visiting churches, colleges, community spaces, prisons, universities, schools, running workshops, taking classes, performing in assemblies and church services – basically, anywhere that will have us!

Which leads me on to the first milestone that we overcame last week – our first schools’ workshops. Following a couple of days of VERY comical rehearsals in which we all took it in turns to play the role of school kids whilst other members of the company road tested the games and activities from the workshops, we packed up a random assortment of props and headed to Manor CE Academy in York.

Now, despite being a “grown up” and having had a bit of experience working with “youths”, going into a high school still terrifies me for two reasons:

  1. By Year 8, most high school students are already taller than me.
  2. I haven’t had the slightest idea about what is “cool” since around 1998.

Meaning that I think I hold very little authority within this particular context!

However, myself and the rest of the Roughshod crew put aside any of our pre-existing fears and delivered two workshops to students in Year 8 and 9, the first on the issues surrounding Social Justice and the second on what it means to have a Christian faith. Neither particularly simple topics to tackle at 9am on a Tuesday!

However, having broken the ice with a few old faithful wacky drama games, both classes did an excellent job of engaging with the activities, sketches and questions that were presented to them. All of the Shoddies are extremely grateful for not only the amount of fun, but also the level of thought-provoking conversation that we had that morning. The students approached the workshops with honesty and good humour in equal measure and the experience was a real reminder of how God is able to multiply what we offer, even when we feel ill-equipped in what we are offering!

The final part of either workshop is a Q&A, in which the students can grill the Shoddies on anything covered in the workshop, their faith or any questions they have about the random life of an actor! Our final question of the day was “so, why did you become a Christian?” I know for those of us that were able to, it was a real privilege share part of our story and talk about something that has provided so much joy and encouragement in our own lives (although we had to be brief as we were dangerously close to cutting into break time!)

So, despite a few jitters and nerve-induced imperfections in our delivery, team Roughshod left our first morning at a school with our dignity still intact and feeling really rather encouraged! Though I think one of the young people summed up the morning far better than I ever could: ‘That was quality. It was good that.’

Introducing our 2016 Roughshod

It’s been a while since we updated the Roughshod blog, but never fear, an absence of updates does not mean an absence of news!

Our lovely Shoddies for 2016 are on board and getting ready for rehearsals in January, the tour is gradually getting booked, and the sketches are making their way onto paper from the over-active mind of Paul Birch.

Over the next few weeks you’ll read much more about the actors that are taking the Roughshod plunge in 2016, but for now say hello to Mili, Jake, Katie, Charles and Emily. Look at them, don’t they look excited…


We’re delighted to have them join (and some return to) the Riding Lights family, and we hope you’ll join us in praying for and supporting these young actors as they gear up for the Roughshod adventure!

Roughshod Administrator

Introducing… Roughshod 2015

We’ve now said goodbye to our 2015 Roughshod company after an amazing tour, but we thought you might like to see how we introduced them…

Erin Burbridge

Erin-Headshot-WEBI spent a year and a half at the London School of Economics before deciding that the world of theatre looks far more exciting and appealing. Last year I also interned at HTB Church in London, which I loved. I am a big Liverpool FC fan and I really love glitter.

Roughshod is such an exciting challenge and I can’t wait to take powerful theatre into unusual places and seeing God impact hearts through the stories we tell. It’s a huge task but I can’t wait to take it on!

Mark Fromings

Mark-Headshot-WEBHello, Mark here! I’m 21 years old and live in Dartford (Northwest Kent), and studied Economics at the University of Warwick. Although my degree is in something seemingly scary and dull, my passion in life is definitely theatre. I’ve been acting since I was 8 and I am very excited to combine this creativity with the gospel as a part of Roughshod!

The thing I’m most looking forward to in the coming months is meeting a bunch of great people and learning more about God. When I’m not in the theatre (not often), I love a relaxed round of golf, a kick about in the park or a good board game (challenge me to a game of Boggle if you dare…)

Naomi Gale

Naomi-Headshot-WEBBeing born and bred near the south coast in Dorset, it feels pretty surreal to now be joining Roughshod all the way up in York! However, I can’t wait to begin the next phase God has called me into, and I am so excited that he has called me to Roughshod, where I can exercise my love of performing in a way that’ll glorify God, and spread His love!

I have just graduated with a BA (Hons) in Education with English and Drama from the University of Cambridge, (and no, I didn’t learn how to be a teacher!), and I’m looking forward to utilizing what I’ve learnt these past three years in the tour.

I strongly feel that the arts have a powerful part to play in ministry, and I love that I’ll be doing drama with a purpose! I’m particularly excited to make new friendships, tackle new challenges, develop my skills, and to perform and work with such a variety of people! What a blessing!

Charles Merritt

Charles-Headshot-WEBAt 18 I’m the youngest member of this year’s Roughshod company. I’m currently applying to a number of drama schools hoping to continue my training. I’m sure my time with Roughshod (though just until Easter – after which Daniel will be joining the company) will be very useful in developing my abilities. I am very much looking forward to touring around the country and challenging our audiences with exciting and thought provoking performances. After years of struggling with education, myself and my confidence, I am finally doing what I love full-time and I can’t get enough of it.

Jenni Street

Jenni-Headshot-WEBAnswering the question of where I’m from is always a little difficult for me – I was born in Chile in South America where my parents were missionaries, but grew up in Halifax in West Yorkshire, and now live in Long Eaton near Derby!

As a regular attendee of the Riding Lights Summer Theatre School it has long been my ambition to become a Shoddy myself. Imagine my delight when I was told that I would be joining this amazing team, spreading the Word of God through drama and storytelling, my two passions! I cannot wait to get started!

I’ve recently graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in English and Theatre Studies. Mark was at Warwick in the same year as I was and we were probably frequently in the same room, but we only met when we came to the Roughshod audition!

I’m really looking forward to growing in my faith and confidence as I take the gospel through drama to those who are thirsty and hungry to hear it. Bring on Roughshod 2015!

Roughshod will be touring their new show, Irresistible, from the 7th March 2015.