The Radio Riel Players — A Tribute

The major­i­ty of the Radio Riel Play­ers are shown in this shot for A Cale­don Christ­mas Car­ol. From L to R: Fuschia Bego­nia, Mavromichali Szon­di, Alas­tair Why­brow, Soliel Snook, Podru­ly Pec­ca­ble, Saf­fia Wid­der­shins, Elrik Mer­lin, Emi­ly Lady­bird, Ter­ry Light­foot and (in the win­dow), Morde­cai Scaggs. The per­form­ers for A Cale­don Christ­mas Car­ol also includ­ed Cor­nelia Roth­schild.

Today, Gabrielle Riel presents a spe­cial pro­gramme in the form of a trib­ute to the Radio Riel Play­ers. Dur­ing the course of the day, you’ll be able to hear the com­plete set of Play­ers record­ings to date — includ­ing the lat­est, the acclaimed A Cale­don Christ­mas Car­ol, the most com­plex pro­duc­tion to date, pre­sent­ed in three half-hour instal­ments.

Hear A Cale­don Christ­mas Car­ol in its entire­ty at 12 noon and 6pm SLT. You can lis­ten at the Radio Riel HQ in Edi­son Hypa­tia ( or on the Main Stream (

The con­cept of the Play­ers dates back to April 2008, when Gabrielle Riel invit­ed Cale­don res­i­dents to con­tribute record­ings of poems about cats for the Jel­li­cle Ball, a col­lab­o­ra­tion between the sta­tion and the Cale­don Library. The read­ings were fea­tured at the Ball and in the week lead­ing up to the event. Then Radio Riel, again with the Cale­don Library, was award­ed a grant to pro­mote Shake­speare in the form of three events under the head­ing SL Shake­speare Sum­mer, each cen­tred around one of the plays: A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juli­et, and The Tem­pest.

Again, Gabi encour­aged lis­ten­ers to con­tribute with indi­vid­ual or group read­ings, and Saf­fia Wid­der­shins brought a group togeth­er along with Morde­cai Scaggs, Fuschia Bego­nia and Podru­ly Pec­ca­ble, all UK-based, to do a scene from A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream. The group, with a slight­ly dif­fer­ent line-up (includ­ing Soliel Snook and Elrik Mer­lin, who also gen­er­al­ly records and pro­duces the group), then per­formed an excerpt from Romeo & Juli­et.

In Octo­ber, Saf­fia drama­tised an E F Ben­son’s ghost sto­ry, How Fear Depart­ed from the Long Gallery, which was record­ed for Hal­lowe’en by the group, which now added Kiralette Kel­ly.

A Cale­don Christ­mas Car­ol, drama­tised by Saf­fia and Emi­ly Lady­bird, is the Play­ers’ most ambi­tious and most recent project, and again expands the group to include Alas­tair Why­brow, Mavromichali Szon­di, Emi­ly Lady­bird, Ter­ry Light­foot and Cor­nelia Roth­schild. It’s also the first seri­al­i­sa­tion, the play occu­py­ing three half-hour slots. Full cred­its may be found here.

The group is already plan­ning fur­ther pro­duc­tions for 2009.

* For more on the Radio Riel Play­ers, please see the arti­cle begin­ning on p.50 of the Decem­ber 2008 edi­tion of Prim Per­fect mag­a­zine, avail­able here.

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