1960 - 1969

Below is a list of the second decade of the Wyong Drama Group's productions from 1960 - 1969.

THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE

By Hugh Mills

Produced by Fred Chapman

Performed April 1960

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Fred Chapman, the FIRST ever person to have his picture in a Wyong Drama Group programme.  (He certainly wasn't the last!) (See full-size image here)

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Wednesday 27 April, 1960 [Interesting that the men were captioned by the paper, but the ladies' names had to be written in in pen later on by Bonnie]

(See full-size image here)

The play was performed for two nights, Thursday 28 April 1960 and Friday 29 April 1960 and was produced by Fred Chapman (A renowned Wyong resident of Chapman's Stores fame).

This is more than a thriller.  It is a play of character and atmosphere.  An atmosphere which builds tensely as the debarred psychiatrist and his sister (Maurice and Stella) first plan the murder of their unpleasant half-brother (Colin), and then put their plan into operation, making their killing seem to be a simple accident.  However the best laid plans are apt to go astray, particularly where murder is concerned, and of course this play is no exception. The other characters in this psycho-thriller include Maurice's wife, Janet, Colin's long-suffering wife, Iris, and Colonel Forbes, a neighbour.

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Wednesday 27 April, 1960 - Article on the show in an unknown newspaper (view full article)

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4  May ,1960 - Article on the show (view full article)

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4th May, 1960 - Another article from the same newspaper. Note that this is on page 1! (view full article)

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4th May, 1960 - The same article continued (view full article)

The show programme (accessible below) was revolutionary in that it was the first to ever publish a picture of one of our members (Fred Chapman himself).  Nowadays not only is the cast and director featured, members of the stage crew are frequently also depicted (which is quite a recent trend).

PRODUCED BY:

Fred Chapman

CAST:

COLONEL FORBES - Arthur Gleed
STELLA - Mildred Ede
JANET - Doris Izzard
BRENDA - Marjorie Gleed
MAURICE - Baden Brown
COLIN - Ted Bryant
IRIS - Bonnie Bryant
MR. HOWARD - Aub Brown
NURSE THOMSON - Rene Levenspiel

MR

 

YES! MY DARLING DAUGHTER

By Mark Reed

Produced by Aubrey Brown

Performed August 1960

The play was produced on Monday 1 August and Tuesday 2 August 1960, and was the group's 1960 entry into the NSW Arts Council's Country Play Competition.  It was produced by Aubrey Brown.  The adjudicator was Bonnie Walker, who saw the second night's production on 2 August.

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Wyong Advocate: probably Wednesday, 20 July, 1960 (Read full article here)

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Review in the Wyong Advocate: Wednesday, 10 August, 1960 (read full article here)

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Review in the Tuggerah Lakes News: Wednesday, 3 August, 1960 (view full article)

This  is a 1937 comedy by Mark Reed.  When young Ellen Murray decides to spend a weekend with her handsome fiancé, Douglas Hall, her mother is outraged.  This comes as a shock to Ellen since her mother was once one of Greenwich Village's most notorious bohemians, an advocate of free thinking and free love.  Ellen spends the weekend with Doug, but she also agrees to marry him, thereby satisfying everyone.  This light, amusing comedy, was what the theatre called a "sleeper" (i.e. a play that does not do well initially, but in time provides solid box-office returns).

PRODUCED BY:

Aubrey Brown

CAST:

ELLEN MURRAY- Leila Wamsley
LEWIS MURRAY - Fred Chapman
CONSTANCE NEVINS - Gwen Clarke
MARTHA - Kay Fernance
ANN WHITMAN MURRAY - June Colquhoun
TITUS JAYWOOD - Arthur Gleed
DOUGLAS HALL - George Glading

MR

 

CORINTH HOUSE

By Pamela Hansford Johnson

Produced by Elsie Brown

Performed  November 1960

Corinth House ran for two performances in 1960, Monday 7 November and Wednesday 9 November.  It was produced by Elsie Brown (who was, incidentally, the second person to ever appear on a WDG programme).

Miss Malleson, a retired school mistress, is visited at Corinth House by Moira Heysham, an ex-pupil.  Moira desires a character reference from Miss Malleson for another ex-pupil, Madge Donnythorpe, whom she wishes to engage as governess to her children while staying in India.

When Miss Malleson, however, meets Madge Donnythorpe she recognises the girl she expelled 16 years before. Miss Malleson declines to give the reference, thus ruining Madge's chance of starting a new life.

Madge is so incensed she becomes a guest at Corinth House and sets about taking her revenge. It is easy for Madge to turn the whole of Corinth House against Miss Malleson and to ingratiate herself into everybody's favour at the expense of her old enemy.

It is left to the play itself to show the ebb and flow of this struggle of wills until the discovery of Madge's deceit by residents of Corinth House and Miss Malleson's final victory.

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Elsie Brown, Producer.  As mentioned, Elsie has the distinction of being only the second-ever person to appear on a Wyong Drama Group programme (the first was, fittingly, Fred Chapman)

View full -size image.

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Article from an unknown newspaper (probably Tuggerah Lakes News) and date uncertain (around October 1960) (view full article)

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Wyong Advocate, probably Wednesday 26 October 1960

(view full article)

Wyong Advocate, Wednesday 9 November 1960

(view full article)

The show programme is accessible below:

PRODUCED BY:

Elsie Brown

CAST:

MRS. BAUCLERC - Doris Izzard
NORA THE MAID - Hazel Ede
MISS MALLESON - Bonnie Bryant
MRS. HEYSHAM - Gladys Goldsworthy
MAJOR SHALES - Ted Bryant
MADGE DONNYTHORPE- Gwen Clarke

 

THEY CAME TO A CITY

By J B Priestley

Produced by Rene Levenspiel

Performed April 1961

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Tuggerah Lakes News, Wednesday, 19 April 1961  (See full-size image here)

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Wyong Advocate, Wednesday 12 April 1961

(See full-size image here)

After a hiatus for well over a year, Rene Levenspiel was back as producer and presented this play on Friday 14 April and Saturday 15 April 1961.  It was the group's entry in the 1961 Country Drama Festival as run by the Arts Council, and the Saturday night's performance was the one which was adjudicated.

Nine people arrive at dawn outside the walls of a city. They have no idea how they got there and find the gate the city barred to them. Later the gate opens and they all enter the city - but what lies in there and why was a random group of people brought there?

When Joe Dinmore finds himself outside of the walls, he is puzzled.  The last thing he remembers is the engine room of a ship at sea.  While he is looking around he meets Ma Batley, a friendly charwoman, and Alice Foster, a barmaid.  Although he and Alice exchange sarcasms, they are attracted to one another.  Then he meets Cudworth, a grasping, self-made businessman.  Next person he meets is Phillipa Loxfield, the charming but suppressed daughter of the snobbish Lady Loxfield who appears with her new acquaintance Sir George Gedney.  They are followed soon by Malcolm Stritton, a self-effacing bank clerk and his petulant wife Dorothy.  The impact that they have on each other, and the impact that the city has upon all of them is the theme of J B Priestley's warm and human play.

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Wyong Advocate, Wednesday, 19 April 1961

(view full article)

The Cast of The Came To A City -1
The Cast of The Came To A City -1

Bonnie Bryant, Doris Izzard, George Glading, Elsie Brown, Ted Bryant, Fred Chapman, Ellaine Mumberson, Arthur Gleed and Marjorie Gleed

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The Cast of The Came To A City -2
The Cast of The Came To A City -2

Bonnie Bryant, Ted Bryant, Arthur Gleed, Ellaine Mumberson, Fred Chapman, Marjorie Gleed, Doris Izzard, Rene Levenspiel (producer, sitting), Elsie Brown and George Glading. Possibly the eleventh figure is Irene Morris (prompt).

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They Came to A City - Rehearsal -12
They Came to A City - Rehearsal -12

George Glading and Fred Chapman

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The Cast of The Came To A City -1
The Cast of The Came To A City -1

Bonnie Bryant, Doris Izzard, George Glading, Elsie Brown, Ted Bryant, Fred Chapman, Ellaine Mumberson, Arthur Gleed and Marjorie Gleed

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Use the arrows to browse through the gallery for They Came To A City. Click the images to view them full-size.

An interesting feature of the play is that it is not clear whether Priestley intended the city to represent a kind of Halfway House between heaven and earth, or whether the whole play revolves around a coma experienced by Joe Dinmore.

PRODUCED BY:

Rene Levenspiel

CAST:

LADY FOXFIELD - Marjorie Gleed
PHILLIPA - Elsie Brown
CUDWORTH - Ted Bryant
MRS. BATELY - Bonnie Bryant
SIR GEORGE GEDNEY - Arthur Gleed
DOROTHY STRITTEN - Doris Izzard
MALCOLM STRITTEN - Fred Chapman
ALICE FOSTER - Ellaine Mumerso
JOE DINMORE - George Glading

MR

MURDER OUT OF TUNE

By Falkland L Cary

Produced by June Colquhoun

Performed October 1961

This play was a mystery-comedy produced by June Colquhoun on Friday 13 October 1961.  At this point we were still operating from the Wyong Youth Hall, but noises were already being made about the impending arrival of the new Memorial Hall.  It's interesting to note that there was only one performance given of this show.  It must have taken mountain-moving for a producer to get his or her show to run for TWO nights!

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Review in Wyong Advocate, Wednesday 18 October, 1961

(view full article)

Wyong Advocate, probably Wednesday 4 October, 1961

(view full article)

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Fragment, possibly part of the review on 18 October above, continuing the middle column (uncertain)

(view full article)

Cast of Murder Out Of Tune -1
Cast of Murder Out Of Tune -1

Edna Bate, Ted Bryant, Mildred Ede, Bonnie Bryant, Aubrey Brown, Leila Walmsley, Marjorie Gleed, Margaret Ashburner and Arthur Gleed

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Cast of Murder Out Of Tune -2
Cast of Murder Out Of Tune -2

George Glading (SFX), Ted Bryant, Mildred Ede, Edna Bate (in chair), Bonnie Bryant, Aubrey Brown, Marjorie Gleed, Leila Walmsley, Arthur Gleed and Margaret Ashburner

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Set of Murder Out Of Tune -2
Set of Murder Out Of Tune -2

Details of the set, Stage Right

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Cast of Murder Out Of Tune -1
Cast of Murder Out Of Tune -1

Edna Bate, Ted Bryant, Mildred Ede, Bonnie Bryant, Aubrey Brown, Leila Walmsley, Marjorie Gleed, Margaret Ashburner and Arthur Gleed

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Photos of the Set and Cast for Murder Out Of Tune. Click the images to view them full-size.

Doctor Waring is concerned about his daughter, Shelia. She is working for a wealthy stamp dealer and has fallen in love with him. The doctor has made enquiries about the dealer, Michael Rentour and now knows that he is a very dubious person. His daughter will not listen to him so Doctor Waring goes to see Rentour to ask him to sever his connections with his daughter.  He refuses and the doctor shoots him.  When the police investigate their suspicions fall on Shelia - she had not been truthful about her alibi.  The doctor confesses to the police that he had committed the crime - but they do not believe him.

PRODUCED BY:

June Colquhoun

CAST:

SHEILA WARING - Margaret Ashburner
MRS. MASON - Bonnie Bryant
LOUIE - Mildred Ede
JACQUELINE CLARKE - Leila Wamsley
MRS. TROCHELL - Edna Bate
MICHAEL RENTOR - Arthur Gleed
DR. WARING - Ted Bryant
SUPERINTENDENT HARDING - Aub Brown
MRS. ARNOLD - Marjorie Gleed

 
 

MERRY MOMENTS

A Revue

Produced by Rene Levenspiel

Performed February 1962

This was quite a happy revue to open the year presented on Monday 12 February 1962.  It was produced by Rene Levenspiel.  It consisted of six segments: "We're off to Battersea Park"; "Bicycle Belles"; a medley of songs given the name "At the Party" which included numbers like I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside and a Charlston dance; "A Husband for Breakfast", a longer dramatic piece; another medley of songs "Back to the Party" and then a final segment, "our president, Ted Bryant introduces us to you".  At this point, perhaps no introductions were necessary!

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Article in the Wyong Advocate by "NWH" on Wednesday 14 February 1962

(view full article)

PRODUCED BY:

Rene Levenspiel

PERFOMANCES:

1.   We're Off To Battersea Park!
2.   Bicycle Belles!
3.   At The Party

  • Ooh, La La! (from the studio of Marjorie Morris)

  • Gwen and Peter Armstrong Singing Some Favourite Songs

  • Let's Skip Forward With Father Time - A Charleston number from the Tandy's

  • JOIN WITH US:  Down At The Old Bull And Bush, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

  • Jan Gascoigne wondering Why Is She Always The Bridesmaid

4.   A Husband For Breakfast With Mildred Ede, Ted Bryant, Gladys Goldsworthy, Bon Bryant, Kevin Brown, Nev Goldsworthy and Fred Chapman

5.   Back To The Party

  • O'h For Opera, O'h O'h O'h, Antonio!

  • Renewing acquaintance with the Armstrongs

  • And our guests from Miss Morris Studio

  • The Romance of Nance - A Story Of Thwarted Passion! Love In A Lantern Lecture

  • Dinah Dances

  • Obadiah and Lucy Lou - Hear All About Them From Jan Cavanagh

 

6.   Our President, Ted Bryant, Introduces Us To You     

 
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With thanks to Peter Deane and other long-time members of the Wyong Drama Group for the collation of this history.

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