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Silver Lining is a hilarious comedy by Sandi Toksvig. It tells the tale of a group of extraordinary yet forgotten women, who come together one treacherous night to recreate The Great Escape – senior-citizen style.

"How unbelievably dull my life was. I did everything I was supposed to. I was such a good girl.

I lived in the house he chose and cleaned a dead woman's furniture. I bought hats,

who the hell wears a hat? And all the time I wanted to scream because I was so bored."

On one dark and stormy night in the upper day room of the Silver Retirement Home,

five elderly women are trading stories of their remarkable (or, in some cases, unremarkable) lives.


With the storm floods rising and no rescue team in sight, the ladies are faced with

the sudden realisation that in order to survive they are going to have to do what they have

done for their entire lives – do it themselves!


It’s official – with 4 sold-out performances, Silver Lining boasted our biggest audience ever – eclipsing Calendar Girls ten years ago! Our first reviews are in – and we are delighted with the feedback we have received.


As usual, the show lived up to the very high standards we have come to expect from Bartholomew Players, not least in terms of the legendary production values. Denise Santilli (producer) deserves high credit for her expert, slick, professional organisation and attention to detail: no effort spared to secure the perfect props; the quality of the sturdily fabricated set; everything in its proper place at the proper time even at the dress rehearsal! One can imagine the immense amount of work which must have gone into creating the production, but Bartholomew Players make it look like second nature.

Read the full review from Heather Kay (Daily Info) here.


The soliloquies of the individual ladies were very well performed. The finale of all - boarding the home-built boat, made with tables and large water flagons as flotation devices, was a masterpiece. The play was very well directed by Denise Santilli and Gareth Hammond, with very good light and sound and was enjoyed by all.

Read the full review from Nigel James (Oxford Drama Network) here.


This was an ambitious undertaking for The Bartholomew Players, not so much because of the challenges of staging it, but because there isn’t much action to drive the narrative.  Congratulations to The Bartholomew Players for having the courage to stage this work, and for doing such a good job in bringing it to a West Oxfordshire audience.
Read the full review from Andrew Walter (NODA – National Operatic and Dramatic Association – Representative) here.


Audience feedback…..


“I cannot remember when I last laughed so much or enjoyed anything so much. Thank you all for a marvellous evening.”

“Super play, v.good acting, great set, effective sound & lighting, lovely FOH.”

“Really excellent & topical. Good humour and pathos.”


Venue: Eynsham Village Hall, Back Lane, Eynsham, OX29 4QW

Dates: Wed 29th and Thurs 30th Nov, Fri 1st and Sat 2nd Dec 2023

Doors open: 7.00pm, Performance: 7.30pm Price: £12.00 (no concessions)


We have now sold out of tickets


Tickets are now on sale and are available on the door or in advance from:

Denise: 07721 744020

Evenlode DIY


Gloria Bernhadt – Babs Denton
Maureen Cookson – Elaine Leggett
May Trickett – Debi Lisburne Diacon
June Partridge – Ann Francis
Hope Daley – Grace Olusola

St Michael – Liz Hutchinson
Jed – Luke Frewin

Gareth Hammond and Denise Santilli are co-directing


We are particularly pleased to welcome some new actors to Bartholomew Players, all of whom have shown real talent in reading/auditioning.


We are in the process of assembling a crack backstage team too and will confirm details soon.
If you would like to be involved, but have not put yourselves forward yet, please let us know.

We are all looking forward immensely to getting started with this show. With a brilliant team of actors and support crew, we are confident this is going to be a lot of fun and a big success!

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Meet the cast – from left to right:
Luke Frewin (Jed), Debi Lisburne Diacon (May), Elaine Leggett (Maureen), Babs Denton (Gloria), 
Grace Olusola (Hope), Ann Francis (June), Liz Hutchinson (St Michael)



Bartholomew Players “sail out to triumph” with their record-breaking production of “Silver Lining” by Sandi Toksvig


The Bartholomew Players broke the audience record previously held by Calendar Girls in 2013 with their recent sell-out production of “Silver Lining” by Sandi Toksvig, welcoming a staggering 444 people over four nights. The witty story of five old women trapped in a retirement home by rising flood waters and their ingenious, if not a little wacky, solution to build a raft using tables and water bottles to sail to safety raised huge peals of laughter from the audience. The witty one-liners from these octogenarians certainly resonated with the crowd who recognised many of the tribulations of dealing with old age!


The entire proceeds from the raffle at this production went to the Motor Neurone Disease Association Oxfordshire Branch in memory of our own very talented actor Gillian Somerscales who died this year from this awful disease at the age of just 64.


Encouraged by the very generous raffle prizes on offer, including a family day-pass to Blenheim Palace, and a silent auction of an original oil painting by local artist (and Gillian’s husband) John Somerscales, our generous audience were able to help us beat yet another record; we are delighted to be able to donate £1000 to the MNDA Oxfordshire branch and hope that this money will help local families affected by this debilitating disease.


A BIG thank you to our audience and sponsors for supporting the Bartholomew Players – without you, we would not be able to contribute so much to our local community. We look forward to seeing you at future productions.

SL reviews
MNDA Raffle
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