The Artful Dodger — June 2022

From the Editor

Apologies for missing a few things in last months Dodger, so here’s a mid-cycle update.
We will back in your inbox in August, so until then stay warm.

— Jo

From the Chair

Postcard from Britain

The Royals are basking in the syrupy warm glow of adoration – well, one is. The rest fawn and hang on even though the majority are not adored. The stand-in Duke (Gloucester I think), stood (I think), on the balcony looking appropriately stiff, the very image of his ‘spitting image’ puppet. A raised arm in salute could be evidence he was the real thing, though that could also have been achieved by puppetry.

There are only a few things Brits agree on. Lilibet is ok for a bit longer, Camila and Chuck wont last long, Kate’s quite fit and there's bugger all need to abide by mask wearing requests and rules. Consequently, public transport and public houses are collectively the largest petri dish in the world. Fuelled by a packet of crisps and a couple of pints, every geezer has a loud opinion, which brings to mind Ian Dury (yes him) and his canny knack for observation ...

“You must have seen parties of Blockheads
With blotched and lagered skin
Blockheads with food particles in their teeth
What a horrible state they're in

They've got womanly breasts under pale mauve vests 
Shoes like dead pigs' noses
Cornflake packet jacket, catalogue trousers
A mouth what never closes” 

Dury, I ; (1976)

Meanwhile the numb-nut in No. 10 continues playing the entire kingdom for fools. We, of course, saw through him straight away but there's nothing more annoying than when a non-Dom returns after abandoning the country to point out the emperor's parading in the altogether.

A news flash ... England is 2-0 up against NZ at cricket and never mind that this was masterminded by two men actually born in NZ, it serves to unite about 70% of the populace and forget the Royals.

It was on the day before the first test, I bumped into Paul Reifel getting a round in at The Duke of York, a sort of gastro pub* near Lords. I said hello and complained about the beer which was chilled – for Pete’s sake. He said, wryly “they're making progress over here.” We agreed to disagree, send it for review and I wished him good luck and a satisfactory per diem to enable him to afford more beer. Rumour has it Nottingham had beer at the correct temperature and price.

I made a note for the next trip to remember to factor in more time to go to theatre in London – the fringe and theatre pubs especially, the West End is now ridiculously expensive. And also, spend more time up north where the Peak District provided blustery walks, fab scenery and dry stone walls to bring back memories of Follies sketches.

And now it’s to España. See you soon.

* And if you didn’t know the difference between a “sort of gastro pub and a real pub ... it's about three quid a pint.

Postcard from Spain

Sun - caliente
Sangria - fria
Coffee €1.50
Vino €1.50
Iceberg lettuce €1.20

Wish you were here xx
All the best,


Theatre News

Season Three - July 29 to August 14

A classic play about toxic masculinity. Set in New York (Brooklyn) circa 1950s. A traditional Italian migrant family is headed by Eddie who tries to protect his niece from the attention of a young immigrant dock worker.

Directed by Grant Purdy, the cast and crew are in rehearsal and this play brings back Tony Clayton, Simone Kiefer and Don Nicholson to the stage, and introduces audiences to Kiera Edelstein, James Banger and Paul Wanis.

Pottery News

Congratulations to Corrie on an outstanding exhibition of her beautiful paintings at the Olivia Newton-John Centre at the Austin Hospital. The exhibition, titled Finding Me, is a collection of paintings that encapsulate Corrie’s “deep connection with the natural environment” and tells a story of “reconnecting and healing through art”. Corrie’s story of using creativity in a journey of healing in a physical and emotional sense is equally as inspiring as the beauty of her paintings.

Congratulations also to Melissa who organised a beautiful morning tea at her workplace in recognition of International Nurses and Midwives Day. The tea room table was decorated with beautiful floral arrangements and a delicious selection of food and refreshments that would have made the day very special.

There have been some quiet days in the Marjorie Beecham Pottery Studio this year while potters have been away catching up on holidays, work and all the things that everyone has missed in the last couple of years. Our last session, however was not one of those days. Melissa was back and everyone was working together upstairs catching up and chatting about Masterchef, pets, gardening and pottery. 

Quiet days are great for our productivity, but noisy days make us smile even more.

Membership Renewal Reminder 

Have you paid yours?

Annual membership fees for WMIAA are well and truly due!

There has been no increase to fees for 2022 and they can be paid via Trybooking

The primary aim of membership is building and engaging an ongoing community of people interested in the arts and importantly it enables all those who enter the premises to be insured. 

If you are an actor or director planning to be involved this year – at any time, we would like to encourage you to join up now. It helps us enormously to have funds in advance. 

It has been challenging to maintain the hall during the past two years and we are aiming to raise funds this year to complete important renovation of the hall roof, the bio box and lighting rig. With funds in the bank early in the year we have greater chance of meeting our targets.

If anyone has queries or difficulty renewing their membership please don’t hesitate to contact Noelene on 0400 861 133 or email 

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