Early history from historical documents and the minute books:

Walch’s Almanac for 1891 records the existence of an Ulverstone dramatic club and a Mr C Dawson as the Secretary.
In the 1920’s the Crystal Theatre was built in King Edward Street. After the Second World War the building was purchased by the RSL. However it continued as a performance venue.

In 1949 a group of interested people including Dorothy Wilkinson, Helen Andrews, Lola Hazzlewood and William Oughton decided there was a need to form a formal theatre group. Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society was born and Mr William Oughton took on the role of President and Miss Helen Andrews became the Secretary.

The first production was in 1949, this was A A Milne’s ‘Dover Road’, which was produced by Dorothy Wilkinson. The play centred around the Dover Road that leads to the boats leaving for the continent. A popular road for run away couples. A millionaire decides to put a ‘spoke in the wheel’ and enforce a sojourn in his home to examine the motives for leaving the country.

The Society’s second production of three one-act plays in March 1950 was staged at the Ulvertstone RSL. Allan Monkhouse’s comedy, ‘The Grand Cham’s Diamond’ with a cast of five. Ada Snare, Stella Chillcott, W.D. Oughton, Edward Benham, and Albert Grylls, the play was produced by Miss Helen Andrews. ‘The Twelve Pound Look’ by E.M. Barry was produced by Dorothy Wilkinson with Jean Mason, Graham Smith, Lola Hazzlewood and Max Tate. The third play was ‘The Master Key’ by Wilfred Massey and performed by Burnie Little Theatre. The Advocate reported that there was a large appreciative audience and that Lola Hazzlewood’s performance was the highlight of the evening and she was ‘good to watch’.

In September 1950 a cast of eight performed ‘Fly Away Peter’ produced by Dorothy Wilkinson. The cast included Jean Skipworth, Valda Wright, Edward Banham, Bert Hazzlewood, Ian Hardy, William Oughton and Mr Goddard.

1951 The Inconstant Moon Helen Andrews
The Phantom Ship Pat Beckett
The Rising of the Moon Lola Hazzlewood
That’s Murder Helga walker
This was followed by the a world premiership of ‘Crisis for the Chrysalis’ A play written by Miss Phyllis Brooks and performed in the RSL in April 1952. The Play was performed for Back to Ulverstone Week and was a typical centenary play. It was Produced by Helga Walker with Lola Hazzlewood, Mary Churcher-Wells, Helga Walker, Jean Stephens, Helen Andrews, William Oughton, Mary Lee, Max Tate and Merv Walker in the cast. Following the premiership the play was performed by the Muswell Hill Dramatic Club of London.

NORTH WEST TASMANIA’S
ULVERSTONE REPERTORY THEATRE SOCIETY

In the 1940’s a few theatrically minded residents of Ulverstone, north west Tasmania, met together and rehearsed a couple of one act plays and performed them at the Leven Theatre in Ulverstone. This group continued to meet for play reading evenings. The earliest records show that The Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society staged their first full play “Dover Road” in 1949. The Society continued to stage productions throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. However, in the late 1960s the Leven Theatre was pulled down to make way for a “New Coles” store with a promise of a “new theatre” to be built as part of a new Civic Centre complex . Without a stage to perform on the society struggled with a few stalwarts running play readings, poetry evenings and performing in other towns. As the society membership grew the group began performing plays on the Ulverstone High School stage. The last play for this era was ‘Brush With a Body’ performed in 1976. The society disbanded when the current director went to England and for a couple of years the only productions were staged by a youth group.

Thanks to the efforts of a few past members, 21 people turned out for the Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society’s Annual General Meeting in January 1979 and the Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society reformed with some past members such as Pat and Ted Talbot, Edna Wilcox, Alan Stott, Trevor Frampton and Pene Day, joining them was Pauline Hockley who brought along a youth group interested in theatre.

The society began to perform again and staged ten productions in the Ulverstone High School hall between 1979 and 1983. These included such classics as “Summer of the Seventeenth Doll” and Toad of Toad Hall”. In 1983 the new Civic Centre was completed and included the long awaited new Theatre. Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society’s first production in the Leven Theatre was “Tom Jones”. Since that first production the society has produced pantomimes, children’s stories, theatre restaurants, comedies and straight plays, a total of 69 productions have been performed over the last 26 years since the society reformed.

The Society y members have had great fun and success with their productions, they have a large following of patrons and often full houses

Len Boulton Memorial For Set Building

In creating this award Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society honour the memory of Life Member Len Boulton, set builder and benefactor to our society.

Congratulations Joy Wools-Cobb.

This is a well-earned award that recognises your talent and commitment to our society and set construction in particular over the last 4 years.

Len Boulton had an interesting history and these are some of the highlights. He was born in Staffordshire England in 1909 and trained as a carpenter, initially building houses. In 1946 he worked for J. Arthur Rank Productions at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire building sets for the film industry. In 1949 Len decided to migrate to Australia at the age of 40. Throughout the previous 24 years Len had earned the most excellent references and when applying for migration those references stated that he was a first class craftsman, honest, straightforward, very industrious and highly trusted.

By 1951 Len was working for Ken Fielding Contactors in Ulverstone. Len was in charge of work at the Latrobe Hospital, Smithton, Wynyard and Devonport High Schools and the Devonport Marine Board. Len remained with Fielding’s for twelve years until they closed in 1963. During this time Len volunteered his time to Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society and while he did not officially join the Society for a few more years, he was a very active and reliable set builder. In 1957, almost 50 years ago, the society wrote to Len and thanked him for his assistance.

Len first attended an Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society meeting in August 1967, by 1971 he was awarded life membership for the substantial amount of work he had put in organising lighting and building sets during the previous 14 years. Len loved the arts and was instrumental in developing an arts workshop in Ulverstone in the 1960s. Len also joined the Burnie Little Theatre Society in 1969. He was a life member of the Ulverstone Senior Citizens Club, assisted the Agricultural Society from 1974-1983 and assisted Nina Coates at the World Championship Chopping Carnival.

In 1975 Len started painting beginning with a self-portrait. He gave away his pictures to those he painted. In 1980 we staged “Toad Of Toad Hall and Len painted a scene from the story and presented it to the Rep. As the West Ulverstone Primary School children were in the chorus of this play the picture was hung in their School. After this Len began to lose his sight and his painting stopped.

Pene Day, while delivering meals on wheels and driving for Red Cross, had seen Len on numerous occasions, and in 1989 she was summonsed to Len’s home for a secret rendezvous. However, she was stunned when Len opened a secret drawer and gave her a cash donation for the Society. Len insisted the gift should be kept anonymous. Pene kept her secret and a few years later there followed a further donation. The interest from these donations has been used for the drama awards at Ulverstone High School.

Len had no siblings , spouse or children, he was not a religious man but he had a very giving nature, he wanted to share his possessions with as many people as possible and with those who would appreciate them. To this end he donated his books, tools and other possessions to libraries and museums.

On Saturday 6th January 2001 Len died at the age of 92. Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society members organised his funeral as he left everything else he possessed to the society. Len’s last request was ‘A tearless goodbye, applause please’. Len certainly deserved applause for his years of dedicated work and now every performance Len’s ashes are on stage with the performers for his round of applause.

Naarah Sheehan Memorial Prize

Congratulations to Troy Mainwaring on being awarded the Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society’s Naarah Sheehan Memorial Prize in Speech and Drama for 2017.

Naarah Sheehan was a former pupil at this school and was an outstanding drama student. Not only was she talented but she was held in the highest esteem by her peers and teachers. Naarah was bright, bubbly and full of hope. She seized the opportunities life presented her with. Naarah didn’t smile she shone.

Naarah joined the Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society to further develop her love of drama. She performed in three Rep. Productions. Naarah also attended the Don College where she furthered her singing and acting talents both on and off stage. She was popular with everyone. In all that she did, Naarah demonstrated extraordinary potential.

In 1996 we, the members of the Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society, were stunned when at the age of 18 years Naarah was suddenly and tragically killed in a vehicle accident while training with the army reserves in the south of the state.

With this award, we will honour and respect the memory of a beautiful young life.

By receiving it, you have the opportunity to realize the sort of potential that Naarah demonstrated.

This is your chance to shine

YEAR PLAY DIRECTOR
1949 DOVER ROAD DOROTHY WILKINSON
1950 FLY AWAY PETER DOROTHY WILKINSON
1950 THE GRAND CHAM’S DIAMOND HELEN ANDREWS
1950 TWELVE POUND LOOK DOROTHY WILKINSON
1951 THE INCONSTANT MOON HELEN ANDREWS
1951 THE PHANTOM SHIP PAT BECKETT
1951 THE RISING OF THE MOON LOLA HAZZLEWOOD
1951 THAT’S MURDER HELGA WALKER
1952 CRISIS FOR THE CHRYSALIS HELGA WALKER
1952 LABURNUM GROVE HELEN ANDREWS
1952 THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST PAT BECKETT
1952 THE LATE MISS CORDELL HELEN ANDREWS
1952 FUMED OAK JESSICA STOWE
1952 MOONSHINE JESSICA STOWE
1953 BLYTHE SPIRIT HELGA WALKER
1953 THE SHINING HOUR HELGA WALKER
1953 THE ROSE AND CROWN HELEN ANDREWS
1954 THE HOLLY AND THE IVY DOROTHY WILKINSON
1954 WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS PHYLLIS BROOKS
1954 DECLINING GLORY HELEN ANDREWS
1955 FIT FOR HEROES HELGA WALKER
1955 MURDER HAPPENS LOLA HAZZLEWOOD
1955 HAY FEVER HELGA WALKER
1956 LADY BE CAREFUL REX FABIAN
1956 A LADY MISLAID LOLA HAZZLEWOOD
1957 AN INSPECTOR CALLS RON DENSON
1957 GRAND NATIONAL NIGHT LOLA HAZZLEWOOD
1957 HOBSON’S CHOICE REV H D IKIN
1958 GEORGE AND MARGARET KAY KROLL
1958 TO DOROTHY A SON PHYLLIS BROOKS
1958 TO KILL A CAT REX FABIAN
1958 TELL IT NOT IN GATH REX FABIAN
1959 SINBAD THE SAILOR PHYLLIS BROOKS
1959 THE LATE CHRISTOPHER BEAN LOLA HAZZLEWOOD
? SAILOR BEWARE ?
1960 THE DEEP BLUE SEA COLLIN ROBERTS
1960 THE BRIDE AND THE BACHELOR PHYLLIS BROOKS
1961 CANARIES SOMETIMES SING REX FABIAN
1961 THE TRIAL OF MARY DUGAN PAUL BESSELL
1962 MR LUCIFER AND THE SPINSTER L A DEACON
1962 LITTLE LAMBS EAT IVY PETER ROSEVEAR & LOLA HAZZLEWOOD
1962 FIVE MINUTES L A DEACON
1963 FRUIT OF THE TREE BARBARA LAMBERTON
1963 THE SETTING SUN EDNA WILLCOX
1963 THE LATE EDWINA BLACK REX FABIAN
1966 WHILE THE SUNSHINES DON COLGRAVE
1966 QUIET WEEKEND DON COLGRAVE
1967 AND THE BIG MEN FLY DON GAY
1967 DEAR DELINQUENT MERV WALKER
1968 TRAP FOR A LONELY MAN HELGA WALKER
1968 THE CLAW HELGA WALKER
1969 THE HAMLET OF STEPNEY GREEN LEN BOULTON
1971 FIVE FINGER EXERCISE JULIE WADE
1972 LOOK BACK IN ANGER JO DOWSE
1972 BUS STOP JULIE WADE
1973 GAS LIGHT DOUG WILLIAMS
1974 HALLOWE’EN NIGHT ?
1975 THE RAPE OF THE BELT MURIEL BROWNING
1975 NO TIME FOR FIG LEAVES MURIEL BROWNING
1976 BRUSH WITH A BODY SYD BROWNING
1976 THE DRUNKARD SYD BROWNING
UNKNOWN DATES RING FOR CATTY .
. THE BROWNING VERSION .
. MARCH 1977 SYD AND MURIEL .
. BROWNING WENT BACK TO .
. ENGLAND. SOCIETY LAPSED. .
1977 SLEEPING BEAUTY VIVIAN BURNUP & PAULINE HOCKLEY
1977 THE TRAGEDY OF MR PUNCH VIVIAN BURNUP& PAULINE HOCKLEY
1977 BOY WITH A KNIFE VIVIAN BURNUP& PAULINE HOCKLEY
1978 THE SIXTH HOUR VIVIAN BURNUP & PAULINE HOCKLEY
1979 EGAD THE WOMAN IN WHITE ALISTAIR MCDADE
1980 DEAR DELINQUENT PAULINE HOCKLEY
1980 SUMMER OF THE SEVENTEENTH DOLL GEOFF DAW
1980 TOAD OF TOAD HALL BARBARA TIMMINS
1981 ON MONDAY NEXT ROSEANNE MCDADE
1981 DIRTY WORK AT THE CROSSROADS GEOFF DAW
1981 THE PIED PIPER GEOFF DAW
1982 PICKLE IN PARADISE PAULINE HOCKLEY
1982 DEADWOOD DICK PAULINE HOCKLEY
1982 OLD MOTHER HUBBARD CARL LAWTON
1983 TOM JONES NOEL BROWN
1983 BOEING BOEING DON NADEN & PAULINE HOCKLEY
1983 GOODY TWO SHOES KIM LEGG
1984 THERE’S A GIRL IN MY SOUP JOHN PLUMPTON
1984 DEADWOOD DICK RIDES AGAIN PETER SIDEBOTTOM
1984 ALICE IN WONDERLAND MICHELLE BEST
1985 SWEENY TODD JOHN PLUMPTON
1985 DIMBOOLA PETER SIDEBOTTOM
1985 ALADDIN BRIAN COLE
1986 ROBIN THE HOOD ROD VINEY
1986 LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD LARRY MONK
1986 MAN OF STEEL ROD VINEY
1987 ARTS AND FARCES ROD VINEY
1987 GANGSTERS GALORE KIM LEGG
1987 RAGGEDY ANN ROD VINEY
1988 BEST LITTLE WHORE HOUSE IN TEXAS PETER SIDEBOTTOM
1988 FRIGHTFULLY FRACTURED FAIRYTALES KIM LEGG
1988 THE BUSH RANGER WHO SNEEZED CLIFFORD PLUMPTON
1989 THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST DAVID BERKER
1989 ROME SWEET ROME ROD VINEY
1989 MOTHER GOOSE DON BOULTON
1990 AFTER DINNER MICHELLE BEST
1990 THE MAN FROM LEVEN CANYON CHRIS LYNCH
1990 DIMBOOLA DEBBIE STANLEY
1990 PIPIN PETER SIDEBOTTOM
1991 A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER DEBBIE STANLEY
1991 GARBAGE DEBBIE STANLEY
1992 CARAVAN DEBBIE STANLEY
1992 DIRTY WORK AT THE CROSSROADS PENE DAY
1992 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS BERYL MARSHALL
1993 MURDER AT THE MUSIC HALL DAVID LAING
1993 PETER PAN PAULINE HOCKLEY
1994 DAYLIGHT SAVING MICHELLE BEST
1994 MA BAKERS TONIC DAVID & WENDY LAING
1995 PLAY ON ROD VINEY
1995 ALICE IN WONDERLAND MICHELLE BEST
1996 BAIL ’EM UP COBBER DEBBIE STANLEY
1996 THE SCATTERBRAINED SCARECROW OF OZ DON BOULTON
1996 KEY FOR TWO ROD VINEY
1997 HAREM SCAREM CHRIS PIDD
1998 THE HOUSE OF DRACULA MICHELLE BEST
1998 TOAD OF TOAD HALL DENISE SAM & ANDREW CARPENTER
1999 HEAVEN AND EARTH DON GAY
1999 WINNIE THE POOH MICHELLE BEST
1999 A BED FULL OF FOREIGNERS ANDREW CARPENTER
2000 THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE ANDREW CARPENTER
2000 SHIRLEY VALENTINE ANDREW CARPENTER
2000 DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER ANDREW CARPENTER
2001 SHIRLEY VALENTINE ANDREW CARPENTER
2001 THE REAL STORY OF LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD ROBERT POLLOCK
2001 SECRET BRIDESMAID’S BUSINESS MICHAEL ALLEN
2002 POOH BEAR & FRIENDS MICHELLE BEST
2002 DEADWOOD DICK PAULINE HOCKLEY
2002 ‘ALLO ‘ALLO PAULINE HOCKLEY & TRISH DONAGHUE
2003 FAWLTY TOWERS ANDREW CARPENTER
2004 UNCLE JACK ANDREA HARDING & KERRY GILLARD
2004 WANTED-ONE BODY! PAULINE HOCKLEY
2004 LONE STAR MICHELLE BEST
2005 OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS! KERRY GILLARD
2005 ARE YOU BEING SERVED PAULINE HOCKLEY
2006 BAIL ’EM UP COBBER ANDREA HARDING
2006 NOISES OFF SIMON BALDOCK
2007 DIMBOOLA SIMON BALDOCK
2007 RUN FOR YOUR WIFE SIMON BALDOCK
2008 I LOVE YOU, YOUR PERFECT NOW CHANGE GEOFF HOCKLEY
2008 A BIT OF AUSSIE BULL KERRY GILLARD
2008 DAD’S ARMY TIM MCLAREN
2009 FARMER WILL SWAP COMBINE HARVESTER FOR WIFE EMIL DJAKIC
2009 NOT NOW DARLING SIMON BALDOCK
2010 LAST TANGO IN LITTLE GRIMLEY & SIMON BALDOCK
. LAST PANTO IN LITTLE GRIMLEY .
2010 CARAVAN TIM MCLAREN
2011 CHASE ME COMRADE SIMON BALDOCK
2011 BLOOD BROTHERS EMIL DJAKIC
2012 THE BRIDESMAIDS MUST DIE GEOFF DOBSON
2012 A FARNDALE CHRISTMAS SIMON BALDOCK
2013 ALICE IN WONDERLAND FIONA PATERSON
2013 I LOVE YOU, YOUR PERFECT, NOW CHANGE EMIL DJAKIC
2014 THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL SID SIDEBOTTOM
2014 THE LAST RESORT KERRY GILLARD
2015 ALADDIN FIONA PATERSON
2015 THE VICAR OF DIBLEY EMIL DJAKIC
2016 FAME FIONA PATERSON
2016 DYING TO MEET YOU EDDIE ROBERTS
2017 DEATH & TAXES EDDIE ROBERTS
2017 SLEEPING BEAUTY FIONA PATTERSON