Roughshod 2015: Applications Open

recruitment-web-imageApplications are now open for our 2015 Roughshod company.

The first round of auditions will be held here in York on the 8 & 9 July 2014(Second round audition dates: 17th & 18th July 2014)

You can find out more, and apply online here.

Riding Lights Roughshod companies are well known from their touring work throughout the UK since 1992, visiting local communities (schools, churches, prisons, colleges, arts centres etc) with a dynamic repertoire of story-telling/revue performances, education projects, theatre workshops and plays. It could be described as ‘theatre with a spiritual heart’ which reflects the christian ethos of the company.

Roughshod bases for 2014

Our Roughshod company for 2014 will be on the road from the 23rd February, touring to communities across the UK for 6 months. Below is a list of the places they will be working in.

 Roughshod is designed to transport audiences with its Incredible blend 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 an of some 25,000 adults and young people each year.

In 2014 Roughshod will be based in…

Roughshod Incredible

POOLE Feb 23 – Mar 8
MANSFIELD Mar 9 – Mar 16
LEICESTER Mar 16 – Mar 23
MACCLESFIELD Mar 23 – Mar 30
LOUGHBOROUGH Mar 31 – April 4
SOUTH WALES April 5 – April 10
LOUGHTON May 4 – May 18
CLIFF COLLEGE May 23- May 26
LEIGH Jun 1 – Jun 14
ASHBOURNE Jun 15 – Jun 29
NORWICH Jun 29 – Jul 13
YORK Jul 14 – Jul 20

You can find a full list of public performances of Incredible here.

Roughshod: Incredible

Ready for the journey of a lifetime…?

Roughshod Incredible

‘Buckle up’ and join Roughshod Theatre Company on the strangest road trip ever.

Four travellers tear through the bends and breaks of modern life, heading for a horizon of chaos and credibility. Unexpected detours into the past and unhelpful directions from unusual characters all collide on this ‘journey of a lifetime’.

Take in the surprising view as questions of faith, forgiveness and hope are taken out for a spectacular spin! 

But when the road gets bumpy, what’s holding these passengers together?


A New Show For 2014

Touring to communities across the UK from 23rd Feb to 20th July, Roughshod is designed to transport audiences with its Incredible blend of comedy, drama and powerful storytelling.

For more information about the work of Roughshod, check the Roughshod section of this website.

So, step off the beaten track and join us for a theatrical ‘road’ show that takes you for an incredible evening full of credible questions.

[gigpress_shows tour=11]

New year, new Roughshod

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2014.

As is a customary part of Riding Light’s January, we have a new Roughshod Company about to start devising, preparing and rehearsing a new show for 2014. They’ll be on tour for 6 months from the end of February to August 2014, so Roughshod are always our longest running, widest reaching project each year, taking theatre to places where it’s rarely seen but often loved.

There will be more info about the show soon, but first we’ll let them introduce themselves…


Daniel Falber

 “I plan to have the time of my life with Roughshod! For almost a year I’ve felt God pulling me towards the company. I’m fresh out of Sixth-Form, full of energy, and ready for what will undoubtedly be a poignant and life-changing experience. I’ve dedicated a big chunk of my life to charity work, including trips to Africa and the regular raising of funds for organisations close to my heart.

I am excited about the friendships I’m going to make, the challenges I’m going to face and the people I’m going to share God’s love with.”



Hannah Blofield

“I am feeling unbelievably blessed at being given this opportunity to be part of Roughshod as it means that I get the chance to join together my passion for Christ and love of acting.

I have just graduated with a BA (Hons) in Acting from the University of Northampton, School of the Arts and I am looking forward to putting what I have learnt over the last three years into practice. I am especially excited by all the new things I will discover and experience throughout my time with Roughshod from everyone that we meet along the way.”



Chris Thacker

“I’ve had an amazing couple of years and am very grateful to God for what He has given me.  After training for a Masters in Acting and working for 18 months as an Actor in Residence for a school in Cambridgeshire, I now look forward to spending time with Riding Lights and Roughshod.  I’m looking forward to using the gifts that God has given me, in a way that I love.

I’m particularly excited about bringing theatre to people who many not normally get a chance to experience it, and sharing my faith with people in a way that they may not normally expect.  I’m keen to meet and work with new people, make new friends and learn new skills.”


Hannah Johnson

“God is good! Don’t think it has sunk in yet that I will be touring the UK with God’s message and his people! I now have a degree in Performing Arts and am excited to be using my skills for such a project. It’s going to be a great year and I believe God has great things in store for the team. God’s plans exceed our own and I have been so blessed to have this opportunity given to me. I am certain God will use my love of performing.

In fact, if you’ve caught either of our Christmas shows you’ll have met at least one of them as Hannah J has been touring with Only 80 Miles to Christmas! and both Chris and Hannah B have been on the road with Goose Chase.”

Wrapping up Roughshod 2013

Goodbyeeee!It’s been two weeks since Roughshod came to an end after an amazing week at the Riding Lights Summer School and a performance at New Wine. Since then I’ve between catching up with sleep and choosing what to wear that isn’t my costume, plus I have had time to process just what Roughshod has meant for me.

Since going on tour in February we performed in 18 bases in 13 areas of the country to 22,377 people; we workshopped with 4,543 people and met 338 prisoners. We performed 29 public performances and 242 performances in schools, community centres, care homes, youth groups, prisons, YOIs, homeless shelters, churches, on streets and at festivals.

We met Gav the Chav a whopping 133 times alone and performed our sketches a total of 1197 times (an average of 1 sketch a day for over 3 years!) lasting 138 hours. Not too shabby for a group of five previously-stranger-now-good-friends actors and an occasionally-ailing van.

It is hard to fully express what being a Shoddie is actually like and after hoping and praying of doing this for nine years, it is so much more than I ever thought it would be. It’s exhausting, it’s challenging, it’s moving, it’s intense, it’s ridiculous, it’s incredible, it’s amazing, it’s bonkers, it’s emotional, it’s surreal, it’s inspiring and it’s life-changing.

So, as I finish, I would like to say, on behalf of all us 2013 Shoddies; for all the love, support, prayers, friendship and laughter that saw us through the Roughshod rollercoaster, we wish you a massive thank you and may God bless you all.

Roughshod on the Road: Leigh

Pippa GibbLeigh, Greater Manchester – the last base of tour, including our last prison, schools, public shows & our first show outside of England!

Our last prison was Lancaster Farms Young Offenders Institute. It was also our earliest get-up that week: around 6am. Our show was concluded with a complimentary voice from the back row of the audience: ‘That was some show, that were’. The comment came from a guy who insisted we call him Margaret – he had a sense of humour! During the workshop a prisoner was so impressed that Rob was willing to share his personal story, that he in turn opened up about his life and his family situation, something he never really did. Rob then got the opportunity to pray with him.

We visited two schools in Leigh, running a workshop & shows. The questions from pupils following our show at St Mary’s Catholic College included asking why we share our personal stories (testimonies). Good opportunities at our last school appointment. Though given it was the middle July’s heat wave, it was very, very hot!

Ruth East was our last base organizer. She was a star – promoting our two Leigh shows throughout the town. We had fab audiences at the shows, as well as a fab workshop with her church’s drama group – Spotlight, and plenty of sweets and lovely meals provided in between!

Our first, and unfortunately our last, cross-border show was in Wales… (though the locals of Bodmin had previously protested that Cornwall is a land of its own.) We were welcomed by a purpose-made banner for the show in Towyn, and we had a fab time with the full house of warm people (in reception as well as temperature!), and we were sent off with a beer / drink from the bar in the church!

Our final tour show was at Rob’s home church, Garstang Free Methodist. It was a fitting end to tour, what with the standing ovation…and the lovely community. Our final church service was there the following morning, too. Paddy, Rob’s mum, then treated us to a ride on a canal boat (another unexpected Roughshod adventure). A few of us steered and live to tell the tale!

And although Rob was the only one at home, Mike properly felt like he was at a home away from home. He had an ensuite bedroom, a Playstation 3 in his room, and a trampoline in the garden. He got along with his host family so well that he got invited to live there as an honorary member of the family! The son, Ewan, became a Riding Lights Member during the week, and that’s exactly what RL Membership is made for – helping mutual friendships to be long-lasting.

Us girls didn’t hold back from having a good time either: we had a girly day at Frankie and Benny’s (I confess, my favourite restaurant) and shopping for much-needed clothes. As a team we were also blessed with a visit from Andrew from the office, for a photography trip & of course for fun with friends!

York is our next location, back to the theatre & office for prep for Summer School…watch this space for the excitement to follow! We can’t wait!


Roughshod on the road: Trowbridge

Stefi Drayson Le TissierI can’t believe that’s our penultimate base done now! We may be nearly finished but God certainly isn’t! People always ask us to tell them about things we’ve seen happen whilst being on tour and of course we have some great stories, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t see the half of it. We hit a town like a whirl wind and then leave, hoping that we’ve planted some seeds; but we don’t need to know what is going on to know that God is working, he just is. We just hope to have made a bit of a splash to get people sitting up and listening.

This time that splash has most defiantly been with the youth of Trowbridge. We have had a brilliant two weeks doing workshops and shows in some of the main secondary schools in Trowbridge – John of Gaunt, Clarendon and St Augustine’s along with some amazing youth groups – IMPAX, Ignite and Southwick Baptist Church. Overall we ran workshops with round 800 young people, so a splash is certainly what we made!

We were very well received everywhere we went too. Even in the few places where we have been warned of difficult classes, the teacher has come up to us slightly gob smacked after wards, saying that “the class is usually a nightmare, but was brilliant with us and totally engaged with what we were saying and doing.” I felt really encouraged seeing some of the pupils that initially refused to join in, start talking and appear to get something from the session. It has also been wonderful for us to work with youth groups and see young people that are already on fire for God. As well as having fun with them, there’s a chance of going a little more in depth, sharing testimonies and really encourage them (throwing more timber on the fire so to speak).

We finished off our week with a very well attended show, that we really enjoyed thanks to the brilliant audience who left saying it was ‘inspiring’, ‘hilarious’, ‘terrific’ etc.

Mike, putting his degree in Ancient History to good use

It has been a privilege to be staying in such a beautiful part of the country, which we took advantage of in the glorious weather, going out walking with our hosts or just relaxing in the garden after a full day of workshops. On our days off we also managed to sneak in a visit to Stonehenge, Bath and a few other lovely things including seeing some old hosts that lived nearby.

All in all a really wonderful two weeks in Trowbridge, seeing over 1100 people and knowing that God is really working…


Roughshod on the Road: Variety is the spice of life

Michael PerkinsAsk anyone who has done Roughshod and they will tell you “no matter how much you love the material, love the workshops or love the youth groups the chance to change things up  is always a bonus!” especially after seven months of tour.

We had the privilege of being the third Roughshod company in a row to visit Upminster and so by now our organiser Kevin had a pretty good idea of how Roughshod was supposed to work and also how flexible we could be. Apparently Kevin took this flexibility as a challenge and decided that for 2013 he would really try to push us!

During our two weeks we were able to work with the YMCA Romford youth department, perform at a church BBQ, do a workshop with 120 children in Sacred Heart School (our usual maximum is 30!), perform to around 800 people in the evangelistic ‘One Day’ event and the best of all was getting to perform outside Westminster Cathedral to a group of homeless guys in a weekly service known as ‘Church Without Walls’. All this was in addition to our usual selection of schools, youth groups and prison work!

Church Without Walls was particularly special for me to be involved with, as it is a ministry that many people from my home church have been involved with for a while. It was truly a blessing to have been able to be involved. Despite having to get up at 5:20 am on a Saturday morning and perform sketches to a group of guys with a road (and quite a few passing vehicles) in between us and them. Some of these guys are among some of the most vulnerable in London, so it was great to be able to get to perform to them and to speak to a few; really fulfilling Roughshod’s remit of taking theatre to places it doesn’t normally get.

Another reason Upminster had a bit more variety (for me at least) was that it’s my home town! It was fantastic to be able to go home, see my family, sample my Dad’s amazing roast dinner and BBQ skills, meet up with friends, visit Thorpe Park on our day off and also celebrate my birthday! All in all a fantastic two weeks I’d say!

Mike Perkins

Roughshod on the Road: new friends in Newark

Pippa GibbAs shoddies we meet new people wherever we go on tour, and sometimes these become new friends, but Newark seems to be a place where loads of people became friends to us!

We were the Theatre Company in Residence at Newark Academy for our 2nd week in Newark, how exciting! Our friendly face here was Ally Sadler, the Head of Drama, who had organised everything for our school visit. Our workshops with the Year 7 & 8 were made all the easier thanks to Ally’s excellent introductions between us & the pupils. She looked after us wonderfully, and it made it so much easier to develop a quick rapport with the student, which really got them thinking about global responsibility, positive action & christian faith.

Some Year 10 GCSE drama students also sat in on our sessions there, and so Chris & Georgia became fun & friendly faces to us too. Thomas was a pupil we met at the start of our stay, through the Salvation Army, and he kept appearing to say hello & how much he loved our sketches! Then there was Ollie – a youth worker at a youth club we visited, and he came to a few Salvation Army events we did & turned out to be a teaching assistant at the school too, so he kept popping in and showing his friendship & support that way.

After a show at YOI Swinfen Hall, we found ourselves singing along with a couple of inmates – one on guitar. As well as classics such as Oasis’s Wonderwall, they also sang us a worship song they’d written together.

And of course our base organiser, Major Tim Justice, looked after us so well throughout the fortnight. He kept appearing with little treats for us… so, after watching Mike’s personal story he appeared with a David Seaman ‘Jeepers Keepers’ DVD for him (this went down with him a storm, unsurprisingly), not to mention chocolate cake & an Eddie Stobard ‘Trucking Songs’ CD collection (well you need good road music for those long stints in the van!) Tim really went above and beyond, opening up the Salvation Army Church Centre for us to use after our days’ work, for relaxing, bible study and…

…A visit from old friends too: director Paul Birch & Bernadette Burbridge! They brought endless delight to us in the form of 5 bubble machines! We’re still (forever) blowing bubbles & confusing innocent passers-by of the bubbly van. Shame to leave the Midlands, but onto Upminster next which is Mike’s hometown, with many new friends & old friends to meet.

Pippa Gibb

Roughshod on the Road: Bodmin

Rob HolmanWe spent a week winning at life in Bodmin which was absolutely great. For the start of the week Mike and I had our own bachelor pad / luxury chalet, before we moved were over to a ‘cosier’ cabin. But with the generous hosts and amazing meals that came along with it, we were more than happy to be downsized.

Of everything we did in Bodmin, the highlight of the week had to be the Bush Conference over the weekend. We were the resident theatre company for this Cornish Christian Camp, or CCC for short. (Though this does make us CCCP – that’s Cornish Christian Camp Performers… though it was too warm to get the big soviet hats out.)

It. was. brilliant.

At the Bush Conference we discovered Great people, amazing worship, good teaching and all the usual campfire shenanigans a good christian camp should have. I found it was a really a great time with God as well. While we’re tour with Roughshod it can be difficult being in a new church every Sunday. Often hard to really respond to anything in a service, especially considering we’re usually there to do a sketch half way through. As such it was great to be properly part of the community at the conference and get the most out of the worship and talks.

A particular highlight for me was the privilege to pray with a girl who’d been moved by my personal story. This was made especially poignant by the fact she was still testing the waters and exploring her faith. I later found out she has decided to become a christian, and said that the sketch and me praying for her really helped. This is all the more awesome because she knows how to spin fire too! And I feel it’s something sorely lacking in the church… flippin’ health and safety, “but the pews and curtains and children are flammable” pah!

Roughshod in the paper - malvernAfter we said our goodbyes to Bodmin (and our host Mary’s awesome cooking *sigh*), we had a couple of days off, a rarely given luxury, and we all went our separate ways for a day or two. I went on to Malvern, to the bible college I graduated from last year, where I visited my fiancée. After a couple of lovely days hanging out with the bible college crowd and the wife to be, Roughshod came to join me!

In fact, Regents Theological College was the next stop on our tour. I hope the visit was a nice reminder to the students that there is life outside of the bible college bubble. I’m allowed to say that, I spent three years there. Considering I’m a graduate of the first year of their new(ish) Performing Arts and Theology Course, I felt something of a responsibility to give them a glimpse of the brighter and better things after graduation…no pressure or anything. Fortunately our iWitness show went really well, we had a great crowd (about 90, thanks to my fiancée’s star organisational skills (she even got us in the newspaper (shown in the attached photo (hang on, how many brackets is that? erm… ))) and one more) and they loved it.