Millstream joins WCT for Museum project

Millstream joins WCT for Museum project

Millstream actors recording with Adrian Newton

Millstream Theatre, based at Priest’s House Museum, has joined WCT for its forthcoming site-specific promenade theatre event, ‘Echoes of the Past’.

Members of Millstream are busy rehearsing for their roles as servants and shop-keepers in a scene staged in the Victorian Kitchen which will feature 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.


Animating ‘Echoes of the Past'

Animating ‘Echoes of the Past'

John Low in front of the Priest’s House Museum, drawn by student from St Michael’s School (Photo credit: Alastair Nisbet)

A Wimborne Stationers shop, boarded up for 30 years, has been brought to life in animated form by a group of students at St Michael’s Middle School, Wimborne, as part of Wimborne Community Theatre’s Echoes of the Past project commissioned by the Priest’s House Museum.

Pupils made both screen-based and Victorian zoetrope animations to tell the story of John Low’s shop and how it went on to become an award-winning museum.

Working with artists Nic Rawling, Alastair Nisbet and Hannah Small, the 12 and 13 year old students recreated the story of John Low whose boarded-up shop became a time capsule – and its contents a nationally important collection.

They drew and voiced the main characters, John Low and museum founder Hilda Coles, brought the museum’s mummified cat to life and animated a Victorian lady writing “to my love” on an 1860s Valentine.

Alastair Nisbet, animator and producer from arts organisation ScreenPLAY explained:
Nic who performs internationally with the Paper Cinema makes a unique type of live animation so as well as drawing and voicing the characters in traditional film sequences, the group have worked with him to make four Victorian style zoetrope animations.
The zoetropes and films will form an installation for the promenade theatre event Echoes of the Past which takes place in June.

Read more about the project.

Ron Jenkinson, Headteacher at St Michael’s said the artists’ mini residency had given students a taste of life in the creative industries.

They have drawn, storyboarded, voice recorded, filmed and above all worked together as a team to make some beautiful work for a real world project and that’s been a great experience for them.


Tickets on Sale for 'Echoes of the Past'

Tickets on Sale for 'Echoes of the Past'

Image: Hilda Coles, drawn by student at St Michael’s School

A limited number of tickets on sale NOW for 2 public performances of Echoes of the Past, WCT’s next production at the Priest’s House Museum.

Wednesday, June 5.  Time:  6 pm & 8 pm.  £7, £6 (concessions).
Reserve your tickets now from Wimborne TIC:  01202 886116  BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Recording Noises Off at the Museum

Recording Noises Off 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…


Echoes of the Past: Theatre Event in Empty Museum

Echoes of the Past: Theatre Event in Empty Museum

Emma Ayling, Director of Priest’s House Museum, commissioned Wimborne Community Theatre to devise a theatrical event to take place in the empty museum, to commemorate the closing of the building prior to commencement of building developments and refurbishment, and its reopening in 2020.

Members of WCT have researched the history of the building in its various previous incarnations, as home and shop, and will convey aspects of the building’s past and its place in the history of the town as an educational resource and cultural centre.

Wimborne Community Theatre is working in partnership with professional artists to develop the production: sound artist, Adrian Newton, to develop soundscapes capturing the atmosphere of the building; and artists, Alastair Nisbet and Nic Rawling from ScreenPlay, who will work with students from St Michael’s Middle Schoolto create drawings and animations which will be presented as video installations during the performances and feature in four large zoetropes, presenting modern animation in a contemporary but essentially Victorian style.

WCT members, Clare Small and Hannah Small, have designed installations which will form an integral part of the performance.  They are leading sessions with the group to help make them.

Public performances will be on Wednesday, June 5.  Time: 6 pm and 8 pm  Tickets available from Wimborne TIC  01202 886116

Emma Ayling, Museum Director, says

Our Revival Project will transform the access and facilities of the museum, provide some fantastic opportunities for volunteers in the coming months, and ensure the area’s heritage is shared more widely than ever before.”

The £1.6 million Revival Project starts this autumn and will be completed by spring 2020. It is supported by £982,200 of National Lottery funding awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund; charitable foundations including the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Talbot Village Trust, the Valentine Charitable Trust and the Pilgrim Trust; local councils East Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council; the local community; and local businesses Bloor Homes, Teacher’s Building Society and Renaissance Homes.

For further information on the project, contact Emma Ayling or Mark Neathey on 01202 882533 or email


WCT Fundraising: Annual Town Trail on July 12th  

WCT Fundraising: Annual Town Trail on July 12th  

Friday July 12th –  Annual Town Trail

WCT’s Annual Town Trail will take place on Friday July 12.  Each year, a different quiz  round the streets of Wimborne based on local history and cryptic clues, and ending convivially in a local hostelry.

Allenview West Car Park, Allenview Road
Wimborne BH21 1PL  (behind Allenbourn Middle School)

Pick up the Trail any time time between 6.30 – 7.30 pm

  • Come on your own or in a team
  • Cost:  £6.00 per adult
  • Accompanied children free
  • Ticket includes a free raffle ticket for a hamper of goodies

For more information/bookings:  Telephone 01202 884201

Next Fundraising Events

Wednesday November 6th – Quiz Evening  – more details coming

Winter Skittles Evening – more details coming