Riverside Drive

by Woody Allen

Riverside Drive had 8 performances almost 4 years ago (between the 9th of October 2013 and the 24th of July 2014) at Gaiety Theatre, The Riverhouse Barn, Riverside Arts Centre and Rhoda McGaw Theatre

This award-winning production will be performed as part of a Comedy Double Bill together with Alarms in July 2014.

The play is set on a grey foggy day in New York in a secluded spot on the embankment of the Hudson river. The sound of rippling water foreshadows the dark thoughts rippling beneath the surface of the tranquil park. The sound of honking geese symbolises the urge to mate but also to be free.

A well-dressed middle-aged man Jim is sitting alone on a bench, clearly waiting for someone, when he is discomfortingly interrupted. The intruder is an unkempt and unsavoury looking bag man Fred, a surprisingly articulate and persuasive talker who also has a perturbing insight into Jim’s life.

Jim is a successful screen-writer with a troubled marriage who is waiting to meet and ditch his young mistress. Fred, who also fancies himself as a writer, is possessed by the illusion that the idea of Jim’s latest screenplay was stolen from him. He has been stalking Jim for weeks and has decided to confront him.

The play has an effective mix of laughter and irony, comedy and menace. The actors play off each other and Woody Allen’s jokes flow quick and fast. It charts Jim’s descent into desperate confusion about what to do about the mess he has made of his life.

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Fred Savage - Graham Collier

Fred is a 40+ vagrant ex copy- writer who is an overly talkative, aggressive invader of the rather proper Jim’s space and psyche. He is a paranoid schizophrenic who emanates nonsequiturs in much the same way as the Empire State building emanates messages which only he can hear, transmitted over his red vintage radio. Fred is egged on by inner voices made even more insistent by overlooking a dose of his medication.

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Jim Swain - Marc Anderson

Jim is a 40+ middle class successful writer in no mood for Fred’s pathological friendliness. Married with twin sons, he is having an affair with a younger sexy blonde. He is powerlessly drawn into Fred’s crazy orbit and ends up confessing his infidelities shortly before the arrival of his illicit lover, Barbara. Relatively affluent he is angst –ridden and grappling with the dilemmas of love or lust, financial or creative achievement and finding the possibilities of happiness.

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Barbara - Nancy Lund

Barbara's arrival marks the end of Fred and Jim’s bizarre conversations and the beginnings of the plot. She is bemused by what is going on between Fred and Jim but quickly grasps that Jim intends to dump her. She angrily threatens to tell his wife Lola what has been going on. She makes it clear she is unlikely to just drop out of his life. After taking a few minutes to clear her head she arrives back and demands half a million with the first payment the next day.

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Director - Judith Dolley

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Stage Manager - Liz Thomas

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Set Design and Construction - John Godliman

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Lighting - Carolyn Menteith

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Sound - Ian Santry

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Continuity - Jill Payne

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Lighting - Nigel Greenaway

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Lighting Operation (Isle of Man) - Simon Waller

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Sound Operation (Isle of Man) - Ian Thomas

The Bruzaud Challenge Cup for Festival Winning Play Woking Drama Festival - 2013
The Godalming Theatre Group Celebration 85 Salver for Best Director Judith Dolley Woking Drama Festival - 2013
Spelthorne Cup for Festival Winners Spelthorne & Runnymede Drama Festival - 2013
Actor's Award Graham Collier Spelthorne & Runnymede Drama Festival - 2013
Jane Walters Award for Best Director Judith Dolley Spelthorne & Runnymede Drama Festival - 2013
Runners Up Shield British All-Winners Festival (BAWF) - 2014