News Archive

December 2015

Members Debi & Graham enjoying our Christmas party!

November 2015

California Suite proved a huge success for the company – an excellent way of celebrating our 40th anniversary. Here are extracts from what the critics said:-
The set which certainly had the ‘Wow’ factor was superb...A thoroughly enjoyable evening, which was appreciated by all, as Bartholomew Players have gone from strength to strength in their 40th year...
Nigel James, Oxfordshire Drama Network

...the beautifully designed and constructed set... Caroline Knight as Hannah Warren and Nick Smith as her ex-husband William got the evening off to a lively start....The second of the quartet of plays...was brought hilariously to life by the excellent Gareth Hammond as Marvin Michaels and the equally talented Claire Johnson as his wife Millie...The third drama.., was probably the most poignant of the four mini-plays. ...There was very good chemistry between these actors.  Denise perfectly captured the vulnerable and sad fading actress with probably a life time of disappointments, in her personal and professional life, to look forward to. There was a wonderful pathos as she resigned herself to life with Sidney.  Steve was excellent as the slightly camp, though nonetheless warm and caring, Sidney.  Both gave moving and also at times amusing portrayals of these rather sad characters. [In]The fourth and final chapter...all four actors gave us excellent and believable characterisations and provided a most entertaining conclusion to the whole play.
Rob Bertwistle, National Operatic & Dramatic Association

...there’s plenty of dry wit to savour – especially in scene one, in which Hannah (Caroline Knight) and Bill (Nick Smith) exchange withering putdowns...[In the second playlet] a bouffant, dishevelled Gareth Hammond pleads forgiveness from wife Millie (a feisty Claire Johnson) for his drunken fling with a comatose hooker (Ellina Mikhailova), prompting a Fawlty-esque encounter...In the third playlet, Denise Santilli and Steve Ashcroft are in top form, conveying vulnerability and tenderness as troubled couple Diana and Sidney...The arrivals from Chicago are Jewish stereotypes. Rory Phillips chews the scenery (designed by Steve Ashcroft) as the irascible Mort while Bea New is his kvetching drama queen of a wife, Beth. The strain of a long holiday with their more demure friends Stu and Gert (Joe O’Connor and Laurence Goodwin) is clearly telling – with painfully amusing results. This results in a crescendo of silliness...
Paul Stammers, Eynsham On Line

Our Publicity Officer, Denise Santilli, gave a publicity talk to Eynsham Film Night - you can see a PowerPoint Presentation of her talk by clicking here

Our forthcoming production of Neil Simon's California Suite received full-page coverage in the Witney Gazette.

June 2015

Congratulations to four members of the Bartholomew Players who were nominated for London NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) Awards on 28th June 2015. The nominees were:
Sean Moore – nominated for the Louise English Trophy for the Under 30’s outstanding contribution to a drama group
Juliet New – nominated for the Shelly Lemesh award for the Unsung Hero
Joe O’Connor – The Charles Sumner Award for the Best Male Character in a Play for his part as Fauvinard in One Bitten
Steve Ashcroft – The Sylvia Rawlings Lifetime Achievement Award
The competition was intense with 168 nominees from more than 250 Amateur Dramatic Groups in the NODA London Region, and although we had no winners on this occasion, to be nominated for an award is an outstanding achievement which reflects the huge talent we have within our group.



Eynsham Guide Unit received a cheque for £300 from the Bartholomew Players in return for their collaboration

over the Friday Supper Evening during The Bartholomew Players' recent production of Night Must Fall in May 2015. The money will be used to purchase two banners displaying the Eynsham Guides and Brownies logos which can be used for events such as the Eynsham Carnival, and will also be used to take the Brownies and Guides to an overnight camp in the autumn.

Pictured are: Sinead Andrews, Guide Leader, receiving the cheque from Gareth Hammond, Chairman of The Bartholomew Players. The Guides who helped out on the evening are (from left to right): Cordelia, Lorna, Libby and Emily

May 2015

Our latest production - Night Must Fall, a psychological thriller by Emlyn Williams - was a huge success. Here

are extracts from what the critics said:


This was a well-staged production for which it was clear high production values had been established. The set was particularly striking....this super production...a talented group of actors to bring this drama to life.

...a very convincing portrayal...a difficult role... achieved very well...a well-judged performance...a stalwart performance...played effectively...good comic timing and facial expressions made this a memorable performance...captured the character perfectly...a very convincing interpretation...a master class portrayal.. a very well judged and impressive performance

Rob Bertwistle, National Operatic & Dramatic Association


Tension and suspense were maintained throughout, with tangible changes of mood. The whole cast were very well cast and gave a brilliant performance.

Nigel James, Oxfordshire Drama Network


Likely to be regarded as one of the strongest by the Players in recent years.

Paul Stammers, Eynsham Online

January 2015

Bartholomew Players Chairman Gareth Hammond handed over a cheque for £350 to Sue Greenwood, leader of First Eynsham Scout Group, as a result of the successful Friday charity night supper in the last production. Sue said the money would help them purchase a new flag pole. The sharp-eyed among you will have spotted the authentic left handshake.


We have started meeting on Wednesdays after the Christmas break and are already confident we will have chosen a play to put on in May before too long. This year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bartholomew Players. We plan to make it a bumper year!

December 2014

Once Bitten our latest production was another huge success, as shown by the reviews:-

This drama group is on a roll. This production is another which is likely to prove a crowd-pleaser. Paul Stammers - Eynsham Online

Overall the result was fast-paced and enjoyable. The whole production was most enjoyable and Bartholomew Players have come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years. Nigel James - Oxford Drama Network

A lively evening’s entertainment. The whole production was tight and well paced. Here was a group of talented comic actors who kept the first night audience hugely entertained. RobBertwistle – National Operatic and Dramatic Association

Members enjoyed a lovely Xmas meal at the Talbot.

Now we start planning for our next show in May. All are welcome to get involved!

July 2014

The Importance of Being Earnest –our first Oscar Wilde production proved a great success. As the ODN critic said “Bartholomew Players are going from strength to strength; the quality of their productions has significantly improved.” 

Bartholomew Players Chairman Gareth Hammond presented a cheque for £400 to members of Eynsham Day Centre as a result of the successful charity show supper on the Friday night of the production.

This photograph shows members enjoying a sunny BBQ in Gareth & Tessa’s garden. This was the final get-together of the season, before breaking up for the summer. See you all at the end of August!

May 2014

Bartholomew Players Chairman, Gareth Hammond, handed over a cheque for £3100 to representatives from Helen & Douglas House Hospice on the last night
of our latest production The Importance of Being Earnest. The money was raised through sales of our Calendar Girls nude calendar which we produced last November

April 2014 

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Bartholomew Players now has a Facebook page. Click on the logo above go to the page

March 2014

Charity update. We are delighted to report that the Friday night performance of our latest production generated a donation of over £700 to Eynsham Rotary Club’s local charity. In addition sales of the Calendar Girls calendar will result in a donation of over £3000 going to Helen & Douglas House, which offers hospice care to young people in our area with terminal illnesses.

February 2014

Rehearsals are underway for our next production which will be Oscar Wilde's witty comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Performance dates will be 14-17 May 2014

January 2014

Calendar Girls was probably our most successful production yet, with universal acclaim & over 400 people coming to see the show over 4 nights. Now the challenge is to “follow that”! We will be considering plays for our May production during January. All are welcome to get involved – including any prospective new members, especially the extremely elusive young men out there.

Last chance to buy Calendar Girls 2014 calendars – now available at just £5 each. All proceeds go to charity. See details below.