Photo by Gill Horitz
Members of WCT are busy walking around and looking at our local rivers – the Stour and the Allen. This is part of a creative process to stimulate ideas work for our new river project, which we hope to realise in 2021. You can find their poems and films on a new private Facebook page: WCT Creative Thinking – a place to post ideas, thoughts, reflections, news, photos, relating to the project Get in touch to get linked!
Chris, who died recently, was an invaluable part of Wimborne Community Theatre for 25 years and will be greatly missed by us all. She performed in many of our productions, sometimes with her children, Ben and Ellie, bringing enthusiasm, ideas and creative energy to everything she undertook. She played a variety of roles from an Elizabethan commissioner in By Hook or By Crook, a Wimborne mother welcoming evacuees in Mrs J Puts out her Bunting, to an all-seeing bossy housekeeper in Enquire Within. In the Millennium play The Quarterjack’s Challenge she was the audience’s favourite, voted Wimborne Worthy of Worthies with her portrayal of Alicia Payntere, the wise woman of Cowgrove.
Chris was involved in every aspect of WCT – she was great fun at workshops and rehearsals and a willing volunteer backstage and with fundraising. She and Frank most recently compiled an intriguing town trail for our summer fundraising event and provided vital backstage support in our productions ByTheWay and Echoes of the Past. Always supportive but never afraid to give constructive criticism, her positive attitude and vitality will long be remembered and treasured by her friends at Wimborne Community Theatre.
The Bare Bones, 2003
Grist to the Mill, 2005
Mrs J Puts Out Her Bunting, 1995.
Chris 2nd from left
Enquire Within, 2007
During lockdown, WCT members have been working collaboratively online.
On Sunday, 24 May, members took part in a commemorative reading of the original production Mrs J Puts Out Her Bunting, devised by Wimborne Community Theatre in 1995 as part of Wimborne’s VE Commemorations, and performed in the Cornmarket, Wimborne.
The reading was dedicated to Chris Dowdle, who sadly died recently after a long illness. Chris had been a supportive member of the group for many years, and performed in the original Mrs J Puts Out Her Bunting.
We gathered together 10 people who were in the original production (some who were then children), who joined more recent members for the reading on Zoom.
We were thrilled to welcome back the following who were in the original production: Jessica Billington, Sammy Boyle, Sharon Muiruri, Adrian and Lynnet Williams, Julie Gooder
The play, set in 1945, tells of the stoical heroism of an ordinary woman, Mrs J, who represents the quiet spirit of British resolve and determination during that time. The show was developed by Wimborne Community Theatre members from research using poems, speeches, songs and local stories woven together with a Daily Sketch story from May 1945.
Read more: Mrs J Puts Out Her Bunting
Future Plans: Plans for WCT’s involvement in the re-opening of Priest’s House Museum have been postponed, although we hope to perform at the opening ceremony in the Autumn. Further information will follow.
Work on the second production for the Priest’s House Museum Revival project to celebrate the reopening of the refurbished museum has now been suspended.
The production, scheduled for the end of July, will now be delayed until at least the Autumn. However, we are continuing to plan and share creative ideas and will start rehearsals as soon as we can.
Work has started on our exciting new project on the rivers of Wimborne and we very much hope to be able to produce an outdoor exploration on this theme in 2021.
As part of the research and development phase about the role and associations of rivers in Wimborne, members visited the flooded River Allen in January, walking from Walford Mill to the town centre on the look out for suitable locations.
On Saturday 8th February (1.30 – 4 pm) we met to consolidate our thoughts on sites and themes and clarify an outline for the river project.
Lockdown has provided some challenges but we have continued to meet on-line and to find ways of continuing the creative process through group writing and artistic responses to our town’s rivers.
At the workshop in November 24, WCT members explored ideas about the meaning special places have for us as individuals, globally and locally, and why.
From the wilds of Antarctica to the clear waters of the River Allen, we each revealed a particular memory.
This process of creative mapping is the first stage in planning themes and ideas in the development of the next production for 2021. We will be making a funding application for the new project in 2020.