The Radio Riel Players — A Tribute

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 30 December, 2008

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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