December 2016
November 2016
Summer 2016
July 2016
July 2016


Our latest production - Relative Values by Noel Coward -

was a great success. Here  are extracts from what the critics said:-


This was a first class production with a wonderful set - designed by Steve Ashcroft - which was completely in keeping with the period and setting of the play. .. Felicity, Countess of Marshwood...wonderfully characterised by Deborah Lisburne Diacon.  This was a very demanding and wordy role and Deborah’s diction and projection were very good...Mrs. Dora Moxton (Moxie) the Countess’s personal maid and confidante was played very convincingly by Mary Brennan ... wonderful comic timing and facial expressions made this a standout performance...Felicity’s friends and neighbours Lady Cynthia and Admiral Sir John Hayling were played deliciously by Lesley Robinson...and the ever dependable and talented Gareth Hammond... Steve Ashcroft was perfectly cast as the all-seeing and dependable butler Crestwell... The housemaid, Alice, was played beautifully by new-comer to the group Eloise Sheffield... The Earl of Marshwood - Nigel - Felicity’s son was played very well by the ever dependable Joe O’Connor...Laurence Tuck gave a good performance as The Honourable Peter Ingleton - Felicity’s nephew...Claire Johnson was a joy to watch as the over-the-top and flamboyant Hollywood actress, Miranda Frayle... Don Lucas, Hollywood movie star and long standing love interest of Miranda, was played by Ed Miller who gave us a convincing portrayal of this laid-back and self-assured character... The production was well staged and .. very polished... 

Rob Bertwistle, National Operatic & Dramatic Association


Deborah Lisburne Diacon gets to dispense some choice lines...and dominates several scenes...Laurence Tuck... is composed and debonair as Felicity’s nephew Peter, while Ed Miller makes an impressive debut as the boozy movie idol Don Lucas - his sparky scenes with flamboyant actress Miranda (Claire Johnson) are arguably the highlight of this comedy... Eloise Sheffield as maidservant Alice has an all-too-brief chance to flirt breathlessly with the rangy Hollywood star... if one face stands out, it is perhaps that of Felicity’s put-upon maid Moxie (Mary Brennan)...Her scenes with sardonic butler Crestwell (Steve Ashcroft) are a treat... Joe O’Connor keeps a stiff upper lip as the countess’ decent, if slightly dim, son Nigel; Gareth Hammond is gruff as an admiral... Lesley Robinson is amusing as snobbish Lady Cynthia...Co-directors Laurence Goodwin and Denise Santilli have assembled a cast with energy and strong comic timing.

Paul Stammers, Eynsham Online


What a set! The curtains opened to reveal the Library of a country house, with everything in keeping with the style and period.

The Butler, Crestwell, (Steve Ashcroft) was delightfully crusty and formal, which was maintained throughout. He was particularly officious to the long-suffering Parlour-maid Alice (Eloise Sheffield), who gave a steady performance....Moxie (Mary Drennan) the Lady’s-maid was delightfully, simply played and a good foil to Crestwell... Felicity, Countess of Marshwood (Deborah Lisburn Diacon) was a tour-de-force, having the lion’s share of the dialogue and on stage for what seemed 90% of the time...She had good comedy timing and looked right for the part...Sir John and Lady Hayling (Gareth Hammond and Lesley Robinson) were both stately in their support roles of neighbouring aristocracy. Peter Ingleton, Felicity’s nephew (Laurence Tuck) was solid and dependable in his role of peace-keeper in the madness of the household. Nigel Marshwood (Joe O’Connor) was the testy one, being very defensive of his new American, film star fiancée, Miranda, in the face of opposition from his mother... Miranda (Claire Johnson) maintained her American accent well and gave a very believable performance, looking stunning in her costumes. ... Don Lucas (Ed Miller)...played Miranda’s happy-go-lucky, lovelorn, ex-boyfriend with gentle charm and maintained his character well.

Nigel James, Oxfordshire Drama Network

April 2016
March 2016
February 2016

The Bartholomew Players, Eynsham’s Amateur Dramatic Group, presented the English students of Bartholomew School, Eynsham with a cheque for £341 as a share of the profits from the Supper night of their performance of California Suite by Neil Simon in November 2015. 

Debi Lisburne-Diacon of Bartholomew Players said, “We always aim to collaborate with local groups for the Supper night performance of our plays. We were particularly pleased to work with the students from Bartholomew School since they were a great credit to the school with their helpful and professional manner.”

Catherine Hartley (Acting Deputy Head of English at Bartholomew School) said, “The money will enable us to take members of the school to the Globe Theatre to see Macbeth, a set text that is in this year’s GCSE exam syllabus.”


Receiving the cheque in the photo are (from L to R):

Beatrice Holt, Debi Lisburne-Diacon, Fern Hinton (Head Girl), Imogen Parker, Denise Santilli (Bartholomew Players)

December 2015
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

November 2015
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.

May 2015

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

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

December 2014
July 2014
July 2014
May 2014