Really Old History

In the Nineteen Twenties, a team who called themselves "The Passers-By," led and produced by Doris Moody, played "Ambrose Apple-John's Adventure," "Mr. Pym Passes By," "Bah Bah Black Sheep," and "Murder on the second floor". At that time Frankston only had a Pipe Band and Choral Society.

No organized Dramatic Society existed from then till 1942, when Frankston Theatre Group began to grow in the shape of the "Frankston Players."

During the war years regular Community singing was held in the Plaza Theatre on Sunday nights. This led to a sort of "Talent Quest," and eventually to a revue. A small committee was formed to organize this revue, and Rupert Scott came forward as producer. He co-opted local artists and the "Locker Fund" Ballet. The Revue, staged successfully and timed to the minute, exhibited a masterly assembly of varied acts. Rupert Scott's genius as a comedian was noted publicly for the first time in Frankston, and the stage was set for meatier fare.

In 1943, Rupert Scott, with a handful of friends, rehearsing in private homes, staged "Ten Minute Alibi" for the Red Cross. The cast included Robert Amor, Alex McRae, "Gobbie" Amor, Rupert Scott, "Beau" Guest, Cecil Armstrong, and John Gafney. Scenery was designed by W.L. Bowles.

"Rookery Nook" was next performed, with a cast that included W. Hope Gibson and Ethal Chadwick. Alex McRae and Rupert Scott made an excellent comedy team with Steve Flitton. With "Thark" concluded, the "Frankston Players" now included Maree Tomasetti, Myra Hart, Charles Parnham, and Marjory Pearse.

By this time a numerous following of enthusiasts wished the good work to continue. So, after a couple of preliminary meetings at private houses, the "frankston theatre group" was formed at a meeting held in the Mechanics Hall on December 9th, 1945. An ambitious constitution was adopted, and Rupert Scott became President, Hugh Cameron secretary, and Jerry Morris treasurer.

The first play was directed by Steve Flitton, who was appointed Director of the Group. Before the play was in production, Ethal Chadwick and Ron Potton put on a Revue, which was the initial venture of the Theatre Group. The programmes were multi-graphed sheets.

As the Group had made its home the Mechanics Hall, it lost no time in striking up friendly acquaintance with the Mechanics' Hall Committee of Management. Before long the stage was extended, new lighting installed, and a new set of tabs and a draw curtain put up. The Group backed by W. Hope Gibson ("Gibby"), put up the funds for the first improvements, which subsequently became the property of the Hall. Working Bees, led by Ethal Chadwick, made and stitched all the draping. Steve Flitton designed and executed the footlights and batterns. New tip-up seats were installed in the Hall by the Committee of Management, and a combustion heater later made a welcomed appearance.

After a year's work, the Group held a birthday party in fancy costume ---- a frolic that is still lovingly remembered today by a small few.


Just Old History!

Now under construction!

Before all our thespians go backstage! ............