Riot! — on tour from 14th to 22nd July 2017

The poster
See cast details

See photos at Rural Life Centre
See photos of Last Night performance at Headley Village Hall

See photos of performances in 2002

Programme below

Pre-production photos:

Some of the cast outside Headley Workhouse gates

The cast at the first Dress Rehearsal, taken outside Headley Village Hall on Sunday 9th July 2017

Robbie Miller is The Trumpeter of Selborne

Photos taken at the Rural Life Centre, Tilford on Sunday 16th July

Janet & Neil practicing their welcoming skills!

Another line-up at the welcome desk: L to R - Allison, Janet, Sorrel & Abby

The 'stage' is set …

… with our usual equine onlookers present …

… and a monkey looking after things at the other end!

We taught Zak to write, using proper ink and nib …

… so that Robert Holdaway (Rod Sharp) could have 'lots of signatures'.

The band assembled … and started to play.

Wot, no beer? Chris wants to know.

The rioters waiting for their entrance, I think.

Something obviously amused the author …

… but he was soon heading for the floor with the others.

Not a happy tune, but it was Sam's song, heralding …

… the rioters to be transported.

And yet … We cheer things up at the end, inviting the audience to join us for a Grand Circle Dance.

Then it was time to pack up, and go home.

It had been a hot day, and another good performance. Four shows down and three to go!

Photos taken during the Last Night performance at Headley Village Hall by Angus McKay

The band playing an introduction set before the show starts: (L to R) David Burnham (banjo), Zak White (percussion), Sam Owens (bodhrán), Bob Pickens (mandolin), Steve White (penny whistle), Allison Sutcliffe (violin)

The cast enters and tours the set singing "Gentlemen of Leisure"

"Three bells on the York" — the Narrators start the show
L to R: Mel White, Allison Sutcliffe, Abby Hibberd.

There were three other Narrators at the other end of the set.

"Home Lads, Home"

William Cobbet (R: John McGregor) meets an unhappy Selborne labourer (L: Sorrel Wood)

Charles Fitt (Steve Baker) farmer of Selborne, and Timothy Loe (Neil Hardinge) clerk to Selborne vestry, meet with Robert Holdaway (R, Rod Sharp) in The Compasses to discuss the current problems

Rev William Rust Cobbold (David Burnham) vicar of Selborne, is one of their problems.
"Consider the lilies of the field? I think not. Consider the Gadarene Swine!"

The labourers of Selborne queue up for their weekly dole from the workhouse master's wife (Mel White).
First in line is Aaron Harding (Zak White), given licence in this production to shout at his mother !

Mrs Newland (Dil Williamson-Smith), the Trumpeter's wife, sits at home discussing the situation …

… as do Robert Holdaway (Rod Sharp) and his wife Sarah (Sorrel Wood).

Meanwhile Aaron Harding (Zak White) and his brother Thomas (Nigel Owens) start stirring up trouble in the village: "Today's the day lads!"

The labourers of the village turn out, with sticks in their hands …

… and attack the Selborne workhouse.

The workhouse master is not at home, but his wife Mrs Harrison (Mel White) is there
— and in this performance Janet Hardinge (props, and rarely seen on stage!) plays her maid (left)
[in other performances Sid Levin played her son at this point]

The mob rushes into the workhouse and begin to sack it, bringing out some of the contents.

The 'Trumpeter' (Robbie Miller) tries in vain to stop them.

Meanwhile, eight miles from Selborne, in Liphook at the Anchor Inn, the landlady Mrs Dowling (Mary Coyte) is having a problem with the soldiers billeted there; they have drunk thirty bottles of her best gin. She accosts the Dragoon Captain (Nigel Owens) as only a pub landlady can.

And soon after that Mrs Harrison arrives from Selborne seeking refuge.

The mob, meanwhile, have gathered numbers and marched towards Headley. At Standford Green they meet with Henry James (Neil Hardinge) whose followers swell their number. Then, as Robert Holdaway loudly declares, it's "To Headley, and an end to this matter!"

For the audience, it's the interval, and a chance to grab a coffee!

In Headley, Matthew Triggs (Jo Smith) tries to get his uncle Tuckey out of the workhouse before there's trouble.
He argues his case with Mr Shoesmith (John McGregor) the Headley workhouse master.

Mrs Lickfold (Abby Hibberd), a shopkeeper's wife in Headley, keeps the audience informed as to what's going on.

Rev Robert Dickinson (Johnnie Preskett) Rector of Headley, arrives on the scene. He agrees to reduce his tithes by half.

The Selborne mob arrives at Headley workhouse.
Robert Holdaway negotiates with Mr Shoesmith, who shows him in which rooms the 'old people and children sick with fever' are.

Eli Smith (Sorrel Wood), farmer of Headley, marches to the workhouse hoping for the help of bystanders (picked from the audience), but they just want to 'join in the fun'.

The mob has found the workhouse master's home-made wine, and they come out of the house somewhat the worse for wear.

Mrs Budd (Mary Coyte), the wife of a Liphook magistrate, reads a letter in which he records the arrest of the rioters.

They appear in chains at a special court in Winchester.

The judge (Louis Clist) dons his black cap — not a good sign!

However, the Narrators inform us that they were reprieved from the death sentence, and 'only' transported to Australia for life.
Here they trudge off to the hulks at Portsmouth.

Robert Holdaway (Rod Sharp) sums up the situation for the audience: "Everyone remembers the Tolpuddle Martyrs, but nobody now remembers us."

One last song "Australia" from the transported men, led by Nigel Owens …

… and the cast lines up to take their bow, and their applause.

But to raise the spirits of the audience before they go, we involve them with the cast in a final 'Grand Circle Dance'.
Thank you, and Good Night!

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