p8px1a.jpg whether or not facilities would be adequate for theatrical productions, but more particularly what was to be the fate of the old Roleystone Hall in which the Society had now made its home. Members expressed their opinion that the existing hall would make a suitable building as a permanent theatre for the Society and a letter was forwarded to Council enquiring about the possibility of a future lease.

At about the same time the question of the Society's name was brought up. In a letter to the Secretary, Margaret Bettenay believed the existing name was 'rather long and pretentious' and suggested a number of alternatives including 'Roleystone Theatre Group'. After general discussion among members at the meeting, it was decided that the existing title was to be retained. However by 1974, the use of the long title on programmes ceased, the programme of the 1973 production if Calamity Jane' being the last to feature 'The Roleystone Choral and Dramatic Society presents. After that it was to be 'The Roleystone Theatre presents The production of 'Pirates of Penzance' in 1972 was an important breakthrough. The Society now felt it had the capacity and expertise to mount a full length, large scale production which would be successful both artistically and financially.
If the Society had any doubts, these were dispelled by the enthusiastic way in which the large audiences responded on each night of its 3 night season.

PATRICIA PRITCHARD
has had a long and memorable association with Roleystone Theatre She joined in 1967, became president in 1970 for 2 years and sang in most of the musicals that were presented in the '70s and '80s, charming audiences time and time again with her vivacious vitality and splendid soprano voice She is pictured with Angelo Bona. A strong singing partnership developed between them. They are seen costumed for their appearance in the 1989 Old Time Music Hall
In 1972, the theatre welcomed 2 more people who were to become invaluable, committed members, Ella Napier and Mike Butler.
Near the end of 1972 an important institution of the Society was established. for twenty years of dedicated service in the interests of the theatre, Mavis Hart was given the honour of receiving the first life membership to be awarded. Not one to rest on past achievements, Mavis continued to contribute unreservedly to the theatre life she loved so much. By 1974 at least one full length musical was being presented each year, together with less time consuming and money demanding variety concerts and shows written by members with a creative flair. This trend for 'home grown shows' was to become well established later in the decade when two full length pantomimes
p8px2.jpg and a musical specially written to celebrate W.A.Y. '79 were successfully produced and thoroughly enjoyed by appreciative audiences. However, before the pattern emerging could be consolidated, the Theatre's activities came to a sudden halt.

The Society's executive committee was able to convince the Council authorities that the if Old Roleystone Hall', (this title came into general use since the new hall in Jarrah Road had been opened by this time), should be developed into a proper theatre whereby it could become the permanent home for the Society's activities. With the influx of funds under the Commonwealth Government's RED scheme in 1975, the Council embarked on an ambitious and extensive programme to upgrade the hall. This meant that all productions and in fact any use of the hall generally, came to a halt.

The last show presented prior to the alterations getting under way was a variety concert curiously named 'Fantasti-Cantics' in which was included a production of 'Beneath the Southern Cross', another example of 'inhouse' scripting.

BOBBIE AND GERRY CHAPMAN
appropriately attired for their roles in the l989 'Old Time Music Hall' which they directed.
Nevertheless, despite the inconvenience the extension work created, in particular keeping the membership occupied and satisfied, and finding alternative venues for meeting, play readings and work shopping, it was all worthwhile. In mid 1976 the larger remodelled and restyled 'Roleystone Theatre' was opened with a splendid
p8px3.jpg
The stage in the hall as it was for the production of 'The Pirates of Penzance'. Low, sloping, but with the thrust section in place and with makeshift curtains.
The stage was originally the supper room.

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