Tag Archives: Horley Footlights

A Week Today – Who’s Playing Who?

msndAs we count down to our opening night on Friday 25th lets take a peak at who’s playing who ?

From The Court of Athens we have:  Tim Allitt as Theseus; Duke of Athens, engaged to Hippolyta, Sarah Allitt as Hippolyta; Queen of the Amazons, David Foreman as Egeus; Father to Hermia. Chris Howell as Philostrate; Master of Revels. Sue Patching as a servant.

The Lovers are : Carlie Lee as Hermia; in love with Lysander. Tanja Miles as Helena; in love with Demetrius.  Joseph Turner as Lysander; in love with Hermia.  Hal Wallis as Demetrius; Egeus choice of husband to Hermia.

The Mechanicals  are the workers who put on a play: Julian Wright as Nick Bottom; a weaver who plays Pyramus. David Foreman as Peter Quince; a carpenter who directs the play. Jack Curd as Francis Flute; a bellows-mender who plays Thisbe. Sue Keenan as Tom Snout; a tinker who plays Wall. William Hamer as Robin Starveling; a tailor who plays Moonshine. Martin Hamer as Snug; a joiner who plays Lion.

From Fairy land we have: Johnny Lynn as Oberon; king of the fairies. Charlotte Curd as Puck; servant to Oberon. Debra Fox as Titania; queen of the fairies, and the Indian Child, with Millie Gamage and  Lucy Hamer as the gate keepers to fairyland.

Clear? See if this helps……..


“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”   By William Shakespeare.  Music by Felix Mendelssohn with the Fairies’ Lullaby composed by  Jeremy Jackmanfor the Children of Horley

Brought to you by the Horley Footlights Production Team:  

Director – Tessa Howell,  Assistant / Prompt –  Louise Jeffries.  Musical Director/ Pianist  – David KyleCostumes  & Props- Tracey Parsons, Alison Wynn, Alison Carr.  Set /Sound/Lighting  Mike Patching. Make-up  Jane Roberts. PhotographerGary Fox. Programmes- Barry MossBox office- Jenny and Dave Reynolds

This production is dedicated to Brenda Barnwell who would have loved to have been part of it all.     This our first play without her; we have missed her organisational skills, drive and energy.     

See all previous posts about this production and others about Horley Footlights

Salacious Fly Back Stage Gossip….

flySo. I hear Magic Mike has had to reinforce the bower, up in the church. He’s been made to build a ‘love plinth’, by all accounts, where a character called Titania gets intimately acquainted with one of the cricketers. He’s wearing a mask, of course, but the shoulders of Horley’s slog-it star batsman is unmistakeable. One imagines terrifically exciting maiden-overs; I do hope Magic Mike used adequate bracing.

Talking of the barely-dressed (Oh? We weren’t?)…well. Oberon. That polo player, and good golly, can’t we tell those hours in the saddle? He obviously doesn’t feel the cold – one wonders why he bothers with any clothes at all.

There are two dressers, apparently – a brace, already rapidly becoming known as the ‘Un-Dressers’, as costumes become smaller and smaller. There was talk yesterday of frilly knickers and plunging necklines. Really quite inappropriate.

My dear, I must run, but before I do…I hear Mrs Robinson was rather put out last week. She was forced into a clinch with an unlikely stand-in, as her young lover was stuck at school. Shocking! The Nordic Blonde thought it most amusing, but soon shut up when the scrapping started. I hear there was blood spilt during one scene at least. From whom it came, I couldn’t say…

Sources not disclosed, see previous Salacious Gossip and the Latest Backstage Buzz for more insight into the goings on in our church!

The Latest Buzz From Backstage

silly_cute_cartoon_fly_character_Fly on the Wall – Midsummers Night’s Dream

Rehearsals are underway with the whole cast , well mostly. They have run through the play twice now and it’s shaping up nicely. Enough so that soon they will have five days off whilst the Ironstone Chamber Musical Festival is on. This is because A) it’s also being held in our wonderful church, B) Tessa Howell with her ole man Chris (remember he’s the terribly attractive one) are also organising that little event! No mean feat but then Tessa was prepared to wait for her young lovers to do their GCSE’s and you can see why: they were worth the wait.

Here’s the latest fly-on-the-wall titillating notes written as they have unfolded in each rehearsal………..  (with more to follow shortly no doubt from that salacious gossip fly )

Tuesday 1st September – Act 1 notes

  • Stage builder “Magic Mike”  was found building  the Bower with extra reinforcement for the goings on between Titiania and Bottom.
  • Wardrobe wizard “Transformational Tracey” was fitting up that Oberon so you could see his chest amongst other things.
  • 2nd director and prompt “Lucky Louise” was doing her thing very well and even stood in for a young man.
  • The costume duo  “The Alisons” have been cutting off, stitching up and making good the fairy outfits as well enjoying the fittings with other cast members .
  • The Fairies flounced their stuff and made mischief of their Queen’s new love interest
  • Being back stage at the time I didn’t see much of the lovers’ scenes, nor Oberon or Mechanicals but I hear there was a lot of crotch grabbing (and shocked gasps….)

Friday 4th Sept – Act 2 notes

  • Those young males lovers are fizzing with testosterone, and visibly scaring the older ladies.
  • As for those (no so ) young ladies… well they are a sassy pair all sweetness and light, then fur flying cat fighting, all very mesmerising.
  • Talking of cats there were a few being strangled as the Queen of the fairies led the singing unaccompanied.
  • We have a new addition to the cast – a serving wench. She doesn’t have to say a word, her character is perfectly drawn with her very obvious seasoned sashaying and experience showing through.
  • The mechanicals are a triumph in casting, just too funny, especially when they are not supposed to be. That “chink” in the wall has a bit of a attitude; not very courteous. Their dancing is a joy to behold.
  • Thisbe got so carried away with her (his) “a feared” departure that s(he) slid on the mat and practically did a bounce into backstage
  • Oberon, the consummate professional, carried on rehearsing his lines backstage, including all the moves much to the agog giggling fairies.
  • The Fairies think he (Oberon) is quite scary (so does his Queen and Puck) when he gets into full swing, a real force to be reckoned with.
  • Puck was enjoying watching “their fond pageant see” from the pulpit and was laughing at “what fools these mortals be”.

Sunday 6th September – Act 1 & 2 The whole play

  • Well what a 1st full run through! Lots of drama on and off stage with the fairies having to deal with one of their fairy attendants nose bleed.
  • Good to see the whole play in one go as the shape of it appears and the subtleties of plot and the way Tessa has interpreted it unfolds.
  • All of which is very nicely explained in a synopsis that Tessa has written; I saw it in the programme as I buzzed by.
  • The Mechanicals are getting funnier and funnier, just looking at them makes me laugh with some subtle and not-so-subtle performances by both the young and older cast, a real treat to behold.
  • Now those young (mostly) lovers are heating up as they become secure with their lines and start to really through themselves into it.
  • I am getting a bit concerned for Hermia, as she gets violently thrown across the stage, and I wasn’t sure if the limp afterward was meant to carry on.
  • As for those two approaching their nuptial hour (Theseus and Hippolyta) they seem very familiar with each other. You can tell that he in particular has taken very easily to lording it about and making merry, me thinks he may have had prior experience?
  • Young Puck is starting to take more centre stage as she grows in confidence, and as the character requires, is a quick and lively imp.
  • Bottom has a large part (in the play) and is now “off script”, he is the only character that crosses into fairy land, and what a reception he gets!
  • That Queen only has eyes for him and is “much enamoured with his note and enthralled with his shape” as she vamps over him.
  • As for those fairies, they don’t need much encouragement to flounce around and flick their hair. They are quite mesmerising, especially when they sing their Queen to sleep.
  • So it’s shaping up and soon they will have a stage to rehearse on, piano accompaniment, and costumes to get to grips with, to make sure there are no wardrobe malfunctions.

Good news both acts are less than an hour, so with the interval it should be a done and dusted in two hours, leaving you wanting more! It is fast-paced, with speedy entrances and exits making the play fly. It’s such a romp through each scene that you have to be awake to take in what’s going on, not  something that usually “this fly” manages to do with Mr. Shakespeare.

*** Stop Press 123***

  1. The box office has reported high volume of ticket sales for Friday night (Friday 25th 7:00, Saturday 26th 2:00 & Sunday 27th 2:00)  so if you want to go then you had better get in quick…….
  2. Help wanted to transform the cast with make-up, no previous experience required
  3. The stage is struck and so the countdown begins

image1 (1)

What’s New – September 2015

WHAT a September we have in store for our beautiful medieval church with not one but

Two marvellous events:

Ironstone ConcertsNext weekend Friday 11th and Saturday 12th the Ironstone Chamber Music Festival and a Choral Mass at the Sunday Service. Organised by Chris and Tessa Howell, If you haven’t already done so you can still get you tickets 

msndThen on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th a Horley Footlights production of Midsummer Night’s Dream, see the 5 reasons not to miss … once again produced and directed by Tessa Howell – see the “fly on the wall” report (… more to come) with all the  backstage gossip !

Both events as you can see are brought to us by Mr & Mrs Howell, thank you Tessa and Chris for everything you bring to our village.

Other Village News –

Superfast Broadband has arrived in Horley welcome to the 21st Century !

See the Parish Council minutes for the latest developments following the last meeting and remember to check the Notice Board page for general information you maybe interested in.

Also remember you can always see what Lucy submits to the  Banbury Guardian, these pages are updated regularly as are the photo’s and headers. I’ve started to include photo’s of Horley Views from Facebook and if you have any you would like to share you can always email them to horleyviews@outlook.com . We really enjoy feedback and are happy to include your ideas, information or memories that you would like to share.

So let us know…….. Di (Marriot) & Deb (Fox)


Back Stage Buzz – Salacious Fly On Wall

flyWarning: Gossip of the Most Salacious Matter. By Nosing-Round Fly. 

So! I expect you’ve heard the latest? The Foxy liaisons with a handsome polo player? Then there’s been whispers of the goings-on between a certain local Nordic blonde and a Yobo from Banbury – outrageous! And of course I can barely mention Horley’s very own Mrs Robinson. Such bare-faced cradle-snatching! I can’t imagine she’ll be at the coffee morning anytime soon. And if she is those buns of hers will remain untouched.  Then there’s the talk of a certain local landowner, well known to you and I. He was seen roaring with rage and ripping a bridal veil from the head of some poor mop-topped maid. Incroyable! His mother will have something to say about that: he’s not too big for a spanking. The on-dit, of course, suggests that all of this is just make-believe, some sort of mid-summer charm, but I can tell you, my darlings, that it’s all true. Even that nice, normal couple, something to do with Essex? He works in the City. Anyway. Into leather. Black.     

 You know who’s behind the mischief, don’t you? Tessa Howell. Sprite-like and bewitching; inexhaustible and occasionally incorrigible. Husband is terribly attractive. You may know her from before – she’s the director of the Horley Footlights, and one year, one play, of course, she pulled off an extremely risqué scene with one of Horley’s yummiest-mummies…yes, that scene. During rehearsal the assembled were agog; one old boy had to be carried out halfway through – his heart, you know. But Lord! The size of his… smile.

msndSo, anyway, this new play is Shakespeare. Mid Summer Night’s Dream, so allows for lots of gorgeousness with the sets and the costumes. There’s apparently a veritable army of fairies involved – all children filched from the village – and they run about the church – our beautiful St. Ethelreda’s –  bare-foot and bedecked with flowers. They barely seem to be choreographed, and appear quite untamed, like little wild things, brought in from the woods.  

I do rather approve of the music though: the whole thing is set to Mendelssohn. Quite ravishing. And the chap known for his marvellous organ – yes, I know – is to play the piano.  

Of course, Madame Howell has messed considerably with the original script. Pared-down, I believe it’s called, apparently so we all understand it, even if we don’t know the play.  Anyway, later, I shall resume my post back stage (quite out of sight), and let you know the real story behind the scenes. Someone ought to tell her – Tessa Howell and your outrageous cast: beware I shall be making notes……  

5 Reasons Not to Miss …….

msnd….the Horley Footlights production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream….. as it holds promise of a very special version because …

1. it’s staged in our atmospheric medieval church

2. the script is reduced to the core essence of the story

3. the choreography brings it beautifully to life

4. it is set to Mendelssohn’s incidental music

5. of the live piano accompaniment

It has been re-imagined by Tessa Howell, who has recreated, produced and directed this (her last) Horley Footlights production.  Tessa has excelled herself by making Mr Shakespeare accessible and yet keeping the magical qualities of the story. The cast from the village (except for one young male lover) consists of some seasoned old hands, some new faces and fresh young ones taking centre stage.

Come and see how Horley Footlights resolve the vagaries of both human and fairy behaviour in this best-loved Shakespeare play. Don’t delay as tickets are selling fast! To book yours call Jenny Reynolds on 01295 738125 or email her at  daveandjennyreynolds@btopenworld.com.

All performances in St Etheldreda’s Church, Horley on:

  • Friday evening 25th September at 7:00 pm,
  • Saturday matinée 26th September at 2:00pm
  • Sunday matinée 27th September at 2:00pm

£6 Adults, £3 School Children age 7 and over

“If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended: That you have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear; And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding than a dream.”

More like this –  Latest Buzz Backstage, Fly on the Wall,

What’s New – May


And so on to May …………


May Day this Monday 4th in Hornton and VE Day Celebration next Saturday 9th but only if you RSVP now with Jenny 738125, you can find these and more events in our village Calendar.

playgroupPage Updates:

Have you seen the village info? Have you got anything you would like to add to it. Maybe some photos or memories for a bygones page???

Plus the Old School Hall and Horley’s Play Group now have information pages.


msndUpdate on Horley Footlights

A (reduced) Midsummers Night Dream, its fully casted and rehearsals in full swing. It’s going to be a fantastic production staged in our church, with some surprise debut performances as well as our wonderful usual “luvies”.

Note: this is now going to be held late September, details to follow.

Untitled_17221310096_lThe Red Lion

What a month for Dave and Natasha celebrating winning CAMRA Pub of the Year and the St. George Beer Festival where they were sold out!

Well done again and thanks for making our village pub such a special place.


 And finally… Horley’s very own aquatic fashion icon!Untitled_17245623672_l

As promised Judy has done her “Spring 2015 Collection” photo shoot and will be seen sporting the appropriate attire through out the season. Feel free to share your favourite and even a “selfie” as our postman did on St.George’s Day on Facebook. Either share directly on Facebook or Twitter or email us at horleyviews@outlook.com.

Di and Deb

What’s New – April


Yes its April…..

Our small but perfectly formed community can now boast both an award winning pub and cricket club in our village, congratulations to both.

This is our 92nd post, 55 pages, over 6500 views and 211 followers in various forms: email, blog, Facebook and Twitter. So “thehorleyviews” has definitely gone social, with each media having different levels of interaction, and with Facebook being the most active.

So what’s in store now the clocks have gone forward?

The calendar is filling up with lots of events over Easter and beyond, hese are some of them:

MAUNDY THURSDAY (2nd April)– after the success of the Palm Sunday Pilgrimage, there will be another one this Thursday, starting at 1.15 at Hanwell Church, walkingonto Drayton and Wroxton with a traditional Maundy Thursday washing of feet service. There will then be a Passover meal along the lines of the Jewish Seder in Shenington at 6.30 in the Church Hall. Followed by a Eucharist service in the Church at 7.30. If you would like to come to any or all of this, you are very welcome, please let the Reverend Dr. Hugh White know on 01869 347889.

Litter Pick Saturday 11th April

Keep the Horton General – 16th April.

St George’s Beer Festival 23-26th April

Remember to get your name down for this years Progressive Dinner – 27th June

Just in case you missed what Lucy put in the Banbury Guardian:

SEWING CIRCLE – Do you enjoy sewing at home? Soft furnishings or dressmaking? Would you like to extend your skills or share them with like-minded people in Horley? A sewing circle has been suggested which would be held once a month/ fortnight in the Old school. The organisers are looking at numbers and feasibility at the moment. If you would like to express an interest, please let Sue Patching know on 730039.

CRICKET –Thank you to everyone who came along and supported the registration evening at the Old School last week. A great number of juniors have already signed up, please remember that last year the Cricket Club didn’t have enough places so if you haven’t joined but would like to, get your forms back to Judith Beck in Horley as soon as possible. The first cricket practice is on Tuesday April 28.

PALM SUNDAY PILGRIMAGE  was held last Sunday. Despite atrocious weather, a happy band of Pilgrims met in Alkerton for a short service and then made their way over to Hornton where they were served welcome refreshment at the Methodist Chapel. More joined on as the Pilgrimage continued to Horley where an eagerly received lunch was served up by Natasha in The Red Lion. Thoroughly refreshed, the pilgrims continued onto Hanwell with better weather in the afternoon. Many thanks to the Reverend Dr. Hugh White for organising this Pilgrimage. Despite the weather, everyone enjoyed the walk and especially the delicious lunch at the Red Lion.

DOG MESS – Dog mess is again becoming a problem in Horley, particularly on the bridleway off Hornton Lane heading eastwards as you go out of the village. Dog waste bags are available free of charge – please see Maureen Keenan in Lane Close. Everyone should pick up their dog waste – it is your responsibility! Let’s all keep the village clean, thank you.

BROWNIES – Hornton Brownies takes place every Monday evening from 5-6.30 in the Pavilion, Hornton. Liz Hirst needs more adult help, someone who she can call on occasionally and will look after the brownies. If you would be interested in helping please call Liz on 670125. Also if your child is interested in joining brownies, contact Liz because there are still places available.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – In the summer of 2015 A Midsummer Night’s Dream is being performed by children and adults of Horley. If your child would like to be in it please contact Tessa Howell as rehearsals are in full swing. To catch up with the practices going on at the moment, or missed rehearsals, contact Tessa on 738313.

Want to share anything or have any suggestions just email us at horleyviews@outlook.com.

Regards Di and Deb

See What’s New – March

IMG_2894Whaoooooooo #‎Spring  has sprung!!!

The daffs and tulips are budding up nicely, and although it’s still very cold the sun is bursting through so it feels promising. I absolutely love this time of year, you notice everything, each new bud and change. Just like our website which is really starting to bloom with over 50 pages, 75 published posts and all included in the calendar. We’ve included useful links, a photo gallery and now have 181 people following the posts by email, blog, twitter and facebook.

When I started the newsfeed (blog) last August I knew we needed something to include all the village activity in between the quarterly printed editions of Horley Views. Little did I know how it was going to take off, especially when I was joined by Di Marriott. Now with Di running our new village website we have one online place for all our latest news, upcoming events and information.

So What’s New for March……

*New Page*  for the  RED LION  also see the current and upcoming events:

  1. The Six Nations England Rugby matches up to 21st March
  2. Saint George’s Beer Festival from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 April, your chance to sample the 9 X Award Winning Real Ales both via Calendar. and on the Red lion page (scroll down)

*New Page* for the CHURCH with separate sub pages for:

  1. Ironstone Benefice – Lent Films- 2015 – Thursday nights from 26th February to 26th March
  2. Ironstone Chamber Music Festival 2015 – Dates are 11th, 12th and possibly 13th September

*New to * HORLEY GROUPS has new two additions Yoga Fusion  and HHH Gardening Club .

Plus the long awaited 2015 production from Horley Footlights with the latest news and dates (1st to 4th July)  A Midsummers Night Dream

The Latest News from Horley Footlights: msndAlthough we are still short of two men (anyone interested?), rehearsals for the summer production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” have started. So far, the fairies have learnt a dance and know what they are going to wear (!) and are now embarking on getting to grips with the music, under the inspired direction of David Kyle. The “Mechanicals” are practising being sillier than usual, and Oberon, Titania and Puck are already showing promise at being quixotic, feisty, and impish. At the time of writing, the Athenian Nobility have had one very productive rehearsal and I have high hopes for them– that is, if we can find the missing male lovers! Tessa Howell

HORLEY CORRESPONDENT  – remember you can see what Lucy sends into the Banbury Guardian each week by looking here on a Monday, plus activities outside the village that you might be interested in.

CALENDAR –  everything we are informed about (or notice) goes in it, remember to scroll down to find more information on the current and upcoming events like : Chipping Norton Literary Festival  April 23rd-26th being promoted by our very own Jenny Smith.

Want to share anything or have any suggestions just email us at horleyviews@outlook.com.

Regards Di and Deb

On Walking: Tuesday 24th February

The wind is cold, strong. It flips up my dress, pulls my hair from its pins, boxes my face. The dogs and I jump the ditch, cross into Dave’s field. The sun gleams in a line along the beaten mud of the footpath. I eschew its slippery promises of speed, take to the margins.

msnd‘So will I live, so grow, so die,’ I say. I push my way through the secret passage, stumbling, as I’m trying to read……..

On Walking: Tuesday 24th February.

Horley Footlights A Midsummer’s Night Dream