Chris Dowdle

Chris Dowdle

Chris 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


WCT Activities

WCT Activities

During lockdown, WCT members have been working collaboratively online.

On Sunday, 24 May, members will take 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 is 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 have gathered together 10 people who were in the orignial production (some who were then children), who will join more recent members for the reading on Zoom.

We are 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.


Revival Project at Priest's House Museum

Revival Project at Priest's House Museum

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.



Exploring the Rivers

Exploring the Rivers

As part of the research and development phase of our new project about the role and associations of rivers in Wimborne, members visited the flooded River Allen last week,  walking from Walford Mill to the town centre on the look out for suitable locations.

On  Saturday 8th February (1.30 – 4 pm) we will meet to consolidate our thoughts on sites and themes and clarify an outline for the river project.

Venue:  Wimborne Methodist Church Hall, 4A King St, Wimborne BH21 1DY


Creative Mapping

Creative Mapping

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.


Fundraising Skittles on 12th February

Fundraising  Skittles on 12th February

WCT held a successful Skittles Evening on Wednesday 12 February at  a new venue – Colehill Sports & Social Club.  We raised about £130 for WCT funds.

A fun time was had by all and the winning team was Italy – well, Adrian has always wanted to play for Italy!  Lynn Davey was the highest individual scorer. Thanks to John Billington for running the event and to Clare Small for raising lots of money in the raffle.

The next fundraising event is the Summer Fundraiser on Friday 26 June.
More details soon ….


Quiz Evening 

Around 50 people attended the Quiz Evening at Colehill Sports and Social Club on November 6th and over £300 was raised for WCT funds. Thanks to everybody who came along to support us and, particularly, to Jeff and Tony for acting as quizmasters, Stewart for raising lots of money in the raffle and Clare for co-ordinating the food and producing a delicious buffet.

Our next fundraising events will be …

WCT Summer Fundraiser on Friday June 26, 2020
Annual Quiz Evening on Wednesday 11th November 2020

More details to follow – save the dates!