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Hunters Hill Theatre

Address: 13 Margaret St Woolwich NSW 2110
Phone: 02 9879 7765

Tags: drama

From the first time the Hunters Hill Theatre conducted its first team meeting on September 1930, there was no stopping them. The theatre was first known as the Hunters Hill Play Reading and Dramatic Club when it opened and has always been performing in the district since. Over those times, the theatre’s productions have been presented in different locations like the Town Hall, church halls and at Woolwich Road, at the little Stables Theatre in Clifton. A chance came to transfer into Woolwich’s St John's Church Hall, in the mid 1970's. There, a welcoming and vibrant theatre was constructed and relished by both the theatre’s audiences and members.

The dream of theatre members and audiences however was shattered as vandals set fire to the theatre’s timber hall. The heritage-listed hall was completely destroyed, together with the props, sets and the theatre’s vast number of costumes. The only thing left of Hunters Hill Theatre was a filing cabinet which was made of steel which even if to some extent battle-scarred, is still in use.

The Hunters Hill Theatre however proved that indeed the show must go on, and nothing, not even arson, could stop it and its productions. Theatre neighbors and friends donated more costumes and props and the Uniting Church at Gladesville and the Anglican Parish Church of Hunters Hill gave them a place for them to do productions. The new Hunters Hill Theatre finally found its home at Woolwich’s deconsecrated St John's Church on August 1995. The theatre was opened by Colleen Clifford, together with the help of Hunters Hill Theatre members.

Hunters Hill Theatre held its first committee meeting in September 1930 and has never looked back. Originally called the Hunters Hill Play Reading and Dramatic Club (quite a mouthful), it has been performing continuously in the district ever since. Over the years the productions have been staged in a variety of venues from the Town Hall to church halls and at the little Stables Theatre in Clifton, Woolwich Road. In the mid 1970's, the opportunity came to move into St John's Church Hall, Woolwich, where a vibrant and welcoming theatre was created and relished by theatre members and audiences alike.

The dream was shattered in the early hours of December 2, 1993, when vandals set fire to the heritage-listed timber hall and destroyed it totally, including Hunters Hill Theatre's sets, props and extensive wardrobe of costumes. All that was left was a steel filing cabinet (still in use, if somewhat battle-scarred).

However, the show must go on, and Hunters Hill Theatre saw to it that nothing - even arson - would stop it. Friends and neighbours donated more props and costumes and the Anglican Parish Church of Hunters Hill and the Uniting Church at Gladesville gave us venues for productions until, in August 1995, our new theatre at the now deconsecrated St John's Church, Woolwich, was opened with a flourish by Colleen Clifford, much loved star of both here and in London's West End and a long-time friend of Hunters Hill Theatre.

Much of the work in transforming the old church into an attractive theatre with raked auditorium, comfortable seats and great acoustics was done by many of the members. Air conditioning has subsequently been installed and improved sound and lighting facilities ensure every production can work its magic for the theatre-loving audiences and the dedicated members who make up the cast and crew for each play. 2010 sees us celebrating our 80th birthday - a significant milestone of which we are very proud!

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