Chris Dowdle

Chris Dowdle

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


Millstream Theatre

Millstream Theatre

Millstream actors recording with Adrian Newton

Millstream Theatre, based at Priest’s House Museum, will take part in the 2020 Revival theatre project commemorating the opening of the refurbished museum.

Millstream performed in ‘Echoes of the Past’ in a scene staged in the Victorian Kitchen featuring a mysterious encounter between two people who worked in the building while it was still a residence –  Hannah Bartlett, servant to the Low Family in the 19th century, and Ralph Lowles, shop assistant at the Ironmongery run by the Coles family for much of the 20th century.

Millstream meet regularly at PHM, and the group is facilitated by Tam Gilbert, of Persuasion Arts, and Tony HoritzState of Play Arts.


Recording Noises at the Museum

Recording Noises at the Museum

Sound artist, Adrian Newton, worked with WCT recording banging doors, squeaking floorboards, pacing footsteps and generally improvising sounds and voices around the Priest’s House Museum. From this, Adrian will create a soundscape to form one of the elements of the theatrical collage ‘Echoes of the Past’ to be performed on June 5th – 7th at the museum.

Adrian has worked with WCT on many  site-specific productions and helped us experiment with and develop our use of sound considerably.  Read more about Adrian’s work with WCT.

See photos of the session here…


WCT's Giant Puppet at Wimborne War on Waste Street Party

WCT's Giant Puppet at Wimborne War on Waste Street Party

WCT’s giant-puppet, now renamed Iris Willow-Walker, took to the streets of a very wet town at Wimborne War on Waste’s Street Party on Saturday 22 September 2018.

WWOW organizers invited WCT to provide a short dramatic provocation, flagging up the key issue of the global environmental threat caused by single use plastics. So we revived the Naiad, the giant puppet first seen last summer emerging from the ancient pond in Leigh Common in our production ‘By The Way’.

The Naiad’s new role was as another Giant, based on the popular storybook of the same name by Charles and Julia Snape. The giant who has lived for many years as a hill above a fictional town in the countryside near the sea, offering people shade, shelter, fruit and flowers, as well as a special place to play safely. But she grows fed up of them taking her for granted, digging holes in her and dumping their rubbish on her, and, one night, gets up and walks away into the nearby sea. The people are horrified and try to persuade her to come back but she won’t until they make it clear how they will change their ways.

Iris made her way down Mill Lane into the Square  accompanied by live music and performed to the words of a poem based on the book, The Giant. We then made our way in procession to the Minster Green, where members of the public were invited to stop by our craft stall (staffed mainly by Clare and Hannah) and make their own mini puppets to fly around the giant.

The puppet was designed and made from recycled materials by WCT members Clare and Hannah Small, assisted by others.

See more photos here

See the outline for the performance and the words of the poem The Giant


Exploring Ourselves in the Wood • January 2018

Exploring Ourselves in the Wood • January 2018

The workshop on Saturday January 13th was a great preparation for our outdoor production at BytheWay Field.  Held on a cold afternoon on site, John Billington led us in exploring Voice and Character in the Open Air.

In spite of a few quizzical looks from dog-walkers, he kept us moving briskly through a series of enjoyable games and exercises and we hardly noticed the cold!

There were lots of useful tips on how to project your voice and convey character and meaning in open spaces as well as an opportunity to experiment with text.  Good fun and informative – thank you, John!

The workshop on Saturday was a chance to play imaginative games in the wood,  just like we once did as kids!  We should do it more!

More photos…