Early history from historical documents and the minute books: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 Freyjah Maddern on being awarded the Ulverstone Repertory Theatre Society’s Naarah Sheehan Memorial Prize in Speech and Drama for 2018.
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
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|1991||A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER||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||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||.|
|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||THE VICAR OF DIBLEY||EMIL DJAKIC|
|2016||DYING TO MEET YOU||EDDIE ROBERTS|
|2017||DEATH & TAXES||EDDIE ROBERTS|
|2017||SLEEPING BEAUTY||FIONA PATTERSON|