The Artful Dodger — October 2022


We hope you’ve seen one or two posters and one or two emails about the EXPO coming up on the weekend of November 4, 5 & 6.

This is funded in part by another generous grant from Manningham Council. Originally given in 2020 to have a whirl as soon as we came out of the pandemic (scheduled by us in September that year!!). Postponed and adjusted, we are finally going to have a bit of fun …

Friday, November 4 at 7:30 PM

A reception for members will be held, with sponsors, donors and local VIP’s. 

Food from John Milburn-Clarke and drinks from us.
Music by jazz trio — The Sauce.
Free entry — bookings are essential

Saturday, November 5 from 7:30 PM. 

Music from Bluegrass band The Scrims
and spinning vinyl is DJ Drooee, aka our soundman.
$25 per ticket — bookings are essential

Sunday, November 6 from 10.30 AM till 12.30 PM

  • Repair Café.
  • Pottery will be open for the public to try their hand.

There will be activities with the Neighbourhood House relating to repurposing, recycling, reusing …
And … Theatre Sports and music from Latino band Transatlantico.
No bookings required

Sunday evening at 7.30pm

On stage in the hall – Danika along with Ella Thompson and band.
$25 per ticket — bookings are essential

A Life Drawing session is also happening on the EXPO WEEKEND
Saturday, November 5 from 10am till 12.30pm

So if Life Drawing is something you've wanted to try, or if you are interested in broadening your creativity, please come and join us.

Bookings required: please call Marion on 0408 395 299

From the Chair


A phrase on the back of the Calendar Girls post card caught my eye … paraphrasing … “they wanted to buy a new sofa, much to the chagrin of the WI Chair.”

Well here, for one, is a Chair who would prefer a sofa … so if anyone’s buying …

Although happy in my work - most of the time, and surrounded by helpful people - always, I have to move on and travel and behave like a granny while knees allow and thus must resign as Chair/Sofa of Warrandyte Arts/Theatre Co.

Luckily (for me) Hazel, Keeper of the Front of House Keys will be joining me on this grey escapade and thus the “Procurator Fiscal of the House of Warrandyte” is seeking a new “Monarch of the Door.”

Hazel and I will be off on our travels next year and it is not feasible we remain in our exalted positions.

We have factored in a ceremonial handover of the keys with fanfares and a sailor or two with ropes.

I will write more in due course.

Save the Date: End of Year BBQ and Finska

Sunday, December 11
Stiggants’ Reserve

Invitations will be sent out soon

Thank You

To everyone involved in getting Calendar Girls off the ground. It turned out to be an immense undertaking and now joins Brief Encounter and The 39 Steps as one of our three bestsellers.

To Susan, Director and Grant, Producer of the show, thank you for the hard work in getting this show to stage. And thank goodness we can now finally remove the set.

To Marion and June for the painting of the said set.

To the 23 people who made up the growing Front of House team during Calendar Girls. That represents a lot of coordination – thanks Hazel.

The seating arrangement does require a bit of extra work, but it receives overwhelmingly positive feedback. (As do the lights.)

To David for his Trybooking work and juggling … and standing in on the door for me.

To Secretary Grant, for his work in obtaining significant grant money from a variety of sources.

The Follies (Goes off the Rails)

Rehearsals have begun and would be in full swing were Matt our MD not so positive. Nevertheless he and Lawrence have been pushing us hard to produce material and we have a crack team of Warrandyte’s finest … and our first booking.

Returning to traditional use of the trestle tables, we will accommodate nine tables of eight people, down on the pre-COVID capacity of circa 120, but considerably more comfortable and safer. Join us for the fun … Online Bookings can be made here.

A snippet of news from old Britain

Alastair and I visited old haunts recently, meeting with mum’s friends from her theatre days. We spoke of community theatre and I discovered how much more we are doing here in comparison. One item of interest – they (both companies represented) carefully edit scripts to remove any offending vocabulary – and I don’t mean pronouns. So it’s no “effing and blinding” in that particular neck of the theatre woods.

Weirdly old fashioned, but then they do use old Methodist territory to perform – not an old pub/hotel.

That’s it from me for this edition,


Grants and Donations

Warrandyte Arts have been busy applying for grants over the last 12 months and so far, have been quite successful.

Manningham Arts Grant

We applied to Manningham Council for a grant to enable us to attract more members to our groups – and were successful. This will:

  • Provide extra materials and some expert tuition for the Life Drawing Group
  • Enable the Pottery Group to develop and equip an attractive and practical outdoor work area with permanent outdoor furniture, creating birdbaths and art pieces and planting native plants.
  • Enable the Theatre Company to run a series of professionally-led workshops on acting, directing, play writing and lighting design.

These will mainly be completed next year now.

Manningham Small Grant

We also applied for a small grant this year to enable us to build some essential safety-related skills within the community that will benefit us and the people being trained. So far, a First Aid Course has been run and participants learnt resuscitation techniques, emergency life support and basic first aid. A further course on emergency response and fire extinguisher operation is being held in November.

We are also providing 10 people with financial support to obtain their Responsible Service of Alcohol certificates.

Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Charitable Fund

This year we also applied to the Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Charitable Fund for funds to pay for critical safety and useability enhancements. We were successful and are now installing blackout blinds for the hall, electrical surge protection for the bio box and have obtained a tower scaffold to enable safe access to the lighting rig.

We also applied for, and were successful in obtaining an automated defibrillator set that will be installed on the outside wall of the hall.

Safety related renovations of the hall

The present hall has been in use for 94 years — but the basic structure of the wooden building is now showing its age. Modern day safety requirements mean that some expensive refurbishment is now becoming urgent, if this vital asset is to continue to be available to the Warrandyte and Manningham communities.

We therefore developed a detailed proposal as a basis to seek funding, considerably more than WMIAA can generate as profit.

Three major, interlinked projects are now required to extend the life of our hall.

Project A

To support timber trusses and replace the existing tie bars, that are not preventing the wooden truss system in the roof, failing and pushing out the walls of the hall.

Project B

To install a new lighting bar system, with audio and data capability, to be hung from the new support beams.

Project C

To enlarge and fireproof the Bio Box to ensure the safety of the operators in the room and to improve the functionality of the sound and lighting control systems.

Last year we approached Bendigo Bank for support, and we have just been given an initial significant contribution to the renovation projects.

We have also received generous support from Rotary, the Lions, Ruby Tuesday and the Warrandyte Riverside Market.

However, while these generous contributions are most welcome, there is still a considerable deficit between what we have achieved so far and the total cost of the projects. We are therefore currently awaiting the outcome of two large grant applications to Creative Victoria and the North East Community.

Pottery News

Spring is here and we are loving the brighter days whilst we create in the studio. As the season has changed so have our pottery projects, thoughts and discussions. We enjoy garden talk, sharing pottery tips, tricks, recipes, and discussing family – children/grandchildren, weddings, births and health issues. The therapeutic action of working with clay breaks down barriers. 

The Studio is our safe place to support each other as we navigate the loss of dear friends and health complaints. What would we do without pottery in our life? Marjorie always instilled in us the adventure and magic of clay. She often told us to not think too much, just let the clay project evolve. How wonderful that her spirit still flows amongst us.

The Follies Statue work repair continues in the Studio, and members have begun to make Christmas gifts.

Warrandyte Theatre Company Update

Calendar Girls has closed following a sell-out season of 11 performances. We thank every single person who assisted in putting this production together and who came and supported us as part of the audience. It was exactly three years ago (October 2019) when auditions were first held. Fast forward through a slow and murky pandemic, we finally staged the production. This was very much a team effort.

Audience feedback was very positive, as were the three independent reviews, together with a fabulous write up on their personal experience of being part of the cast and getting outside ‘their comfort zone’, featured in the Warrandyte Diary by Sandi Miller and James Poyner, who were part of the cast.

Importantly, we got through without a single case of COVID! (Well, apart from the Warrandyte Arts President…but we blame his overseas trip).

Next up is the return of The Follies. Warrandyte Locals will know what a hilarious evening out The Follies is – full of satire, comic skits, dancing, music and mayhem, while the audience are sitting at long tables with BYO nibbles and drinks!

To those who haven’t experienced The Follies yet, it’s not Shakespeare, Chekov or Jane Austen, but it’s a fun laugh-out-loud evening of clever writing, musical numbers and hilarity. Basically, a great evening out to celebrate the end of the year with friends and family. Isn’t that what theatre is all about?

This year The Follies Goes Off the Rails is being created and directed by two of Warrandyte Theatre Company’s previous youth theatre members – both now grown up and running their own film company – Lawrence Phelan and Matt Wallace. 

Tickets will be available soon, so keep an eye out. 

WMIAA Membership 

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. 

Membership fees can be paid via Trybooking

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