Two Wells Melodrama Group

21st June 2017

Matters of Interest 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (15:40): I rise today to speak about the most recent Two Wells Melodrama Group production. The most amusing and entertaining world premiere of A Sweet Tale took place on 12 May at Two Wells. While I missed the world premiere, I was privileged to see the performance the following night. 

The evil Salty Sisters, brilliantly and amusingly portrayed by a mother and daughter, Anne and Eleisha Arbon, did their utmost to derail King Willy Winka from saving his factory and the people of Lollipop Land from global thawing. However, good prevailed in the end in the town and the audience rejoiced. 

The Two Wells Melodrama Group was started by Les and Bet Williams, and first performed in the local institute in 1982. I know there is a very good list of all the performances on display in the town’s community centre. The group moved to the then new Two Wells Community Centre in 1986, with the stage erected just inside the front glass doors, and the change room a shipping container outside the storeroom door. In subsequent years a shed was built that became the change rooms for these performances for a long period. 

The building was extended in 1998 to include a new stage, a meeting room and an enlarged kitchen, which is the current layout of the facility. The group dreams of a larger backstage area, better changing rooms and a bigger kitchen. Meanwhile, it continues to present top-class, locally written and produced shows, which have been attended and enjoyed by so many people over 35 years. 

In that period the shows have raised more than half a million dollars, all ploughed back into the local community, including helping pay for the community centre and making numerous improvements to that facility. Local organisations provide volunteers to help with catering and front-of-house duties, and in turn the Two Wells Melodrama Group shares proceeds from ticket sales with these groups. 

This year, the following community groups provided many volunteers in the various roles that are required to put on an event, which includes a sumptuous three-course meal, along with tea and coffee, etc.—a very enjoyable night. Those groups were: the Adelaide Plains Equestrian Club; Lower North Gun Club; St Paul’s Anglican Church; Two Wells and District Landcare Group; Two Wells Catholic Church; the CWA Two Wells Girls; Two Wells Golf Club; Two Wells Lutheran Church; the Two Wells Melodrama Group of course; Two Wells Red Cross; Two Wells Scout Group; Two Wells Uniting Church; and, also, the Two Wells Football & Netball Sporting Club. 

I have many great memories of the productions of the melodrama group over many years. It is always presented in the last three weeks of May, and usually involves a number of Friday and Saturday performances, as well as a Sunday afternoon matinee. In fact, I remember in the mid 1990s being one of the lead characters in the Two Wells Melodrama production of that year, in which I played an amorous Anglican priest, which some people at Two Wells seem to remember quite well. It is a great example of a group of local community people who enjoy their theatrical productions and it raises a great deal of money and spirit for the local community.