Nimbus News


 2016 Café Concert in the Scarecrow Patch Studio As Time Goes By with Jocelyn Mackay, Joni Gardner, Nadine Joy, Ben Mitchell, Ellie Gardner and carol Fogg with  John Shawcross on the piano.

Ellie and Ben


In the last four years the company has been very busy with classic productions. 2016 saw two wonderfully creative productions with stellar casts in A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare

and Three Sisters by Anton Chekov 2016

The Mask and the Music Café concert in memory of Dennis Mitchell April 3 2015

In October 2015 Elaine and Amelia took on the massive task of adapting the classic gothic novel by Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, which performed to packed houses at Ceres.   In 2015 Ben Mitchell took on the Shakespearean  comedy Two Gentlemen of Vernona, acting directing and designing it.

2014 A Spiders Web by Agatha Christie ( set in the Ceres Hall)   and Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White. Both thrilling and entertaining and  were performed at Ceres and at Barwon Park Mansion.

Jane Austen’s EMMA 2013

Our first production for the year is the well loved Jane Austen classic Emma. Adapted and directed by Amelia McBride Baker, this production is to be presented at the Barwon Park Mansion for the Heritage Festival as well as Ceres in May. Work on this production began last year with much research, dedication and recruitment. It is with great pleasure that we see Amelia at the helm. Several years ago she adapted and directed some of the short stories of Katherine Mansfield in a performance called “Something Childish But Very Natural”. It was with great pride that this performance was also presented at the Katherine Mansfield Society’s annual gathering at Menton in France. Amelia has spent twelve years working with Theatre of the Winged Unicorn in all different roles and it is her passion for fine literature and her company loyalty that sees her in this current role. So with excitement and enthusiasm and Jane Austen we move into 2013.

Cast includes: Miriam Wood, Ben Mitchell, Alard Pett, Stacey Carmichael, Hannah Verspaandonk, Tony Wasley, Josh Fraser, Tanya Vick, Julie Fryman, Bruce Woodley and Maddie Field.

Assistant director Heather Dempsey and Producer Elaine Mitchell

Theatre of the Winged Unicorn has also presented Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen .


Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband

The second performance of the year will be the classic comedy by Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband.

Directed by Elaine Mitchell. Bookings will open in August 2013.


News for 2012

To our all our audience members, thank you for your continued patronage over the years we look forward to sharing more entertaining times with you. To our company of loyal and talented actors/singers/musicians/and mentors our thanks for sharing your time and talent.

To all we wish you a healthy and happy 2012. 

Dickens Celebrations – Toorak Melbourne

In order to celebrate Charles Dickens’ 200th Birthday, the TWU cast is performing What the Dickens! at the Dickens Fellowship Toorak Rd in Melbourne on February 12th  at 2.00pm.

This is a special weekend where members of various fellowships from around Australia and New Zealand come together to acknowledge and celebrate the work of this great writer. We are performing in the ballroom and have adapted our production to suit.

May 2012  – Production in the Ceres Hall.

Murder On the Nile – Agatha Christie – Directed by Ben Mitchell

Something to really enjoy with this whodunit murder mystery.

Dressed elegantly in 1930’s costume (audience members are encouraged again to enter the spirit of the evening by adorning themselves in dress of the era) this is an evening to be thoroughly enjoyed. A whodunit survey will be conducted at the door during interval with the usual fundraising raffle as well.

We will be using the tiny stage to build a lovely box set complete with the plush red velvet theatre curtain.

Cast of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile May 2012

Cast of Murder on the Nile includes: Ferri Bond, Miriam Wood, Declan Robinson, Hannah Verspaandonk, Simon Thorne, Kimberlee Bone, Georgia Thorne, Ray Ferguson, Peter Wills, David Mackay and Jamie McGuane

October Production 2012 – Ceres Hall

Hayfever by Noel Coward

Season runs throughout October.

Cast includes:  Elaine Mitchell, Jocelyn Mackay, Ben Mitchell, Karen Boer, David Mackay, Ed Dolista, Ross Pearce, Heather Dempsey, Alard Pett, Miriam Wood, Maddie Field.

A fantastic set has been built by Stuart Pett and dressed by Alard Pett.

Jointly directed by Elaine Mitchell and Heather Dempsey.

Have a look at the photo page for a selection of pictures.. the icing on the cake – the beautiful 1939 silver Jaguar!!! Didn’t we love being in that!!!


News for 2011

Ben Mitchell completed his Acting  Course at the Drama Studio London in 2010. A tough year but so much was learned. After performing in What the Dickens! in May this year Ben went back to England to work with a company in Gloucestershire, Jenny Wren Productions on a summer performance of Around the World in Eighty Days. It was a wonderful season of working in many beautiful venues around this glorious county. He is busy piano tuning as well as being involved in the Court House Project and is part of the ensemble there. He is to direct the Agatha Christie play in May at Ceres.

Amelia McBride who so successfully created  her performance of Something Childish But Very Natural (the work of Katherine Mansfield) for the studio at Ceres took it to Menton in France and  performed for the Katherine Mansfield Society’s annual gathering there with Julie Fryman. Amelia came back to Australia in July to be married to Andy Baker at Ceres. There was a most magical wedding breakfast in the Scarecrow Patch studio. Amelia is now working for Back To Back Theatre.

Meg Mitchell is busy studying at Victoria University  and took herself to Africa with a Vets In The Wild Project through Pretoria University. An amazing animal experience. The year before it was Alaska to see huskies and bears. The year before off to England to travel and work in the Lake District. Meg has been studying, working at Safeway, picking protea, minding houses and dogs and is now also working for Weight Watchers, she is also playing oboe in Geelong Community Orchestra and Geelong Concert Band. Not a spare minute in the day.

Anne Peterson- Commons  continues to be our choreographer meeting every challenge put in her way and with Pam Quickmire, our literary advisor and mentor and hostess we all share fantastic animal tales and experiences.

Dr Malcolm John seems to be always there to come to the rescue with patience and understanding when prevailed upon for another arrangement or a bit of musical tuition.

The families of the Company continue to thrive and perform despite the busyness of work and  family life, Heather Dempsey and Colin with the 3 boys Liam (last seen as Pip) starting secondary school this year; Kath O’Neill and Paul Burns busy with little Ruby; Jocelyn and David Mackay, (both in the musical Cats) have Flynn and Genevieve; Rochelle Smith and Shaun Dallman have a new arrival in little Sadie a sister for Hamish and Oscar; Andrew and Trina Weinnmann have little Edie; Ross Pearce continues his work at Wesley and his study for the ministry, William is at Melbourne Uni and Andrew has been teaching for several years. Then there’s Miriam and the girls and Manfred with work and teaching and singing. There’s Colleen and Aileen and their involvement with music across the community, Marylin always so thoughtful, Bruce who continues to ply us with roses and fruits of his wonderful country garden at Maude, and Richard who is always there ! …

We are so fortunate to have these wonderful friends and families a part of our existence.

Golf!  Dennis continues to play golf! Play the piano and sing loudly round the house most of the time.

Cats –I have been extremely fortunate to be asked by Peter Wills of Footlight Productions to direct his production of Cats – The Musical, opening on 27th January. I am working alongside creative artist, Ferri Bond on Costumes and a host of talented Geelong people. This is a group of young energetic talented singers and dancers working very hard to create a spectacular performance. Together with a creative and also hard working production team this will be a great way to start the year.

Nadine, Phil and Dennis are working on the Gershwin Program for July 2011 called George and Ira. John Shawcross is to be on the piano.. some fabulous arrangements by Nadine. This is a cafe concert in the Nimbus Room.

Bookings have gone extremely well for What The Dickens! We have dress rehearsal tonight and open tomorrow on the 13th May. The only places left are for May the 27th. Next year is his 200 year celebration so perhaps we shall do something more.

It has been a pleasure to welcome two newcomers to the cast in Andrew Weinmann and Liam Dempsey. Also guest appearances by Peninsula Players creators Rhena and Dennis King and also to welcome Ben Mitchell back from London where he has finished his graduate year at the Drama Studio London. He is currently in Fiddler on The Roof and looking to return to England in July.

The excellent cast of What the Dickens! is very versatile  and very committed and includes Jocelyn Mackay, Colleen O’Toole, Miriam Wood, Bruce Woodley, Marylin Nash, Heather Dempsey,  Melissa Musselwhite, Allister Cox, Meg Mitchell (on flute), Dennis Mitchell, Dennis and Rhena King, Liam Dempsey and Andrew Weinmann.

2011 May : Currently we are in rehearsal for What The Dickens!, a collage performance involving 16 actor/singers in multiple roles.This is a challenging piece for every one having to develop character and remember movements, positions, entrances and of course word. All done in Victorian costume. It is a pleasure to work with this team of actors who are so supportive of each other, co-operative in every way and willing to have a go at something different.

Working on a performance like What The Dickens! takes many hours of reading and research. I have been working on this idea since last year when it was suggested by Heather that we get back to the classics after several of the Agatha Christies and Ayckbournes. First of all and most importantly you must have a group of actors ready to be involved and prepared to work in a flexible setting. This performance is worked in the round. This is quite a challenging  format and one that needs actors with skill and self confidence.

We are to congratulate Ben on completing his post graduate year at the Drama Studio London, where  he majored in acting. It was a difficult course in many ways but there was much to learn and a depth of understanding of theatre technique and skills. In the last three years he has done a Summer School at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London (RADA) and finished his post-graduate course at Drama Studio London. At the moment he is involved in What the Dickens! and Fiddler On The Roof, and will return to England in July to work on Round The World In Eighty Days,  touring throughout the summer in Gloucestershire.


News for 2010

New Years Eve is coming up quickly.  As Time Goes By – Cafe Concert style with much loved songs from the 30′ and 40’s with Davina Smith, Dennis Mitchell and Bradley Treloar at the piano. Bookings open now quick.. limited places.

Latest Gig at the Scarecrow Patch, Delovely, was great. Pre-paid and sold out, cafe concert style with John Shawcross, Dave Gardiner, Dennis Mitchell and Shandelle Cook…everyone was buzzing and talking about such musicianship… so cool… for days .

The Unexpected Guest was such a fun production with the Whodunnit survey at the door during the interval.. a great success and a great idea.. thanks Ross!

Confusions has been very well received. A versatile and lovely cast who rose to the challenge of multiple roles. See Colin’s review.

After the Katherine Mansfield performance in Menton, France, Julie went to Austria to the ski fields, Amelia went to The Hebrides, The Isle of Mull to work for several months. See Amelia’s report on Menton here.

Ben Mitchell has completed his Post-Graduate Year at Drama Studio London and learnt heaps.

Meg arrived back from her third world adventure up through Canada to Alaska. Over to England, London then Wales and Cornwall.

Meg finished her Cert 4 in Small Business, runs her own pet minding business and is doing a Diploma of Animal Technology at Vic Uni, Animal Studies at the Gordon and working in between at Safeway.

Ben went up to have Christmas 2009 with Amelia on the Isle of Mull and enjoyed a visit to Iona. After returning to London he found out that Macbeth was buried there.

Kathryn O’Neill and Paul Burns were married at The Scarecrow Patch on the 12th December. It was a lovely lovely wedding and some beautiful photos were taken by Amber Birkin.

After her trip to Peru where she did some community work in one of the villages, Heather Dempsey is now planning to take her family to Vietnam. See A Bridge in Peru.

 Theatre Round-About
  •   The Nutcracker – Theatre Royal, Glasgow. Review by Amelia.
  •    Productions at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, EnglandReview by Amelia.
 What we  have read lately:
  • Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson
  • Child of Light by Muriel Spark a biography of Mary Shelley
  • Mary Shelley by Emily Sunstein
  • Blood and Ice by Liz Lochead- play  about Shelley and Byron and Mary Shelley on the shores of Lake Geneva. Loved this play. It was done at the Edinburgh Festival.
  • Various Agatha Christie adaptations – The Unexpected Guest and Murder on the Nile – and a Conan DoyleThe Hound of the Baskervilles. All great fun.
  • London – the biography by Peter Ackroyd – certainly a fantastic read but then so is his Life of Shakespeareand his one on Charles Dickens!!!
  • Saddlebags for Suitcases – recommended by my brother, the story of Mary Bosenquat’s ride across Canada in 1939 at the age of 19. What an adventurer, what fantastic horses, an amazing account.
  • Wesley – the beautiful account of the upbringing and life of a barn owl – heart warming and enlightening.
  • Forty-two Tales – the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Among the more scary ones are some delightfully  amusing… a quirky sense of humour.
  • We also delight in opening up Thackery’s Vanity Fair and Dickens’ Dombey and Son and The Old Curiosity Shop, also looking at Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour Lost .
Articles from Abroad

Studying at Drama Studio London – Ben Mitchell – April 10th 2010

Drama Studio London (DSL) is set in the heart of leafy Ealing in West London opposite the famous Ealing Studios.  DSL chiefly resides in a large Georgian house on the corner of St. Mary’s and Grange Roads and comprises four smaller studios, a large studio, a performance space called The Grange Court Theatre, a radio studio, a library, student kitchen and changing rooms, several small offices and staff living quarters. With sixty students on the One Year Acting Course and numerous staff members on any given day DSL is an industrious, boisterous and dynamic environment in which to learn.  Students selected for the One Year Course require maturity and competence to cope with intensive one year training as well as life after school, this mix provides a diverse range of age, experience and skills amongst students enhancing and extending the education.

The One Year Acting Course has been forged by principle Peter Craze and has a reputation for excellence and relevance to the current and changing nature of the industry whilst maintaining a classical technical basis for approaching acting and text.  DSL training focuses on the diversity and practicality of the day to day life of a jobbing actor and as part of this ideology a majority of staff balance teaching with professional industry work.  This novel approach provides training across many varied aspects of the industry from professionals working within them. The subjects covered in the One Year course extend from movement, Laban, yoga, contemporary and period dance, stage combat, devised theatre, improvisation, ventriloquism, voice, accents, solo and ensemble singing, to acting verse, text analysis, stage craft, theatre history, interview technique, auditioning, role play, television and radio.

Accompanying these subjects are scene study blocks in which a style of theatre performance is explored and rehearsed over a three week period ending in a performance to fellow students, staff and external critics.   The scene study blocks begin with contemporary writers such as Mark Ravenhill and David Hare, then expand to the classics focussing first on the plays of Anton Checkov, then a Shakespeare tragedy and comedy, then Restoration (Jacobean) comedy from the likes of William Congreve and William Wycherley and finally 19th and early 20th century playwrights such as Oscar Wilde and Eugene Labiche.  As well as working with quality dramatists from across the ages there is also a Pantomime block leading up to Christmas in which five groups of twelve students tour different Pantomimes to local primary schools performing every day across a week, which is probably the toughest of all the scene study blocks!

Training at DSL provides the technical and theoretical skills that the industry demands and the friendly professional staff become the basis of a most important network from which students can begin a career in the industry.