Delphi Goes Bassooning

Delphi Goes Bassooning – a Tiny Musical

Wednesday 19th & Wednesday 26th May at 6:30pm

At age 14, Janet Swain is in love with the brilliant and tragic young cellist Jacqueline du Pré but one day her mother arrived home with a….bassoon!
So begins a story that explores mother daughters, a woman’s struggle for a creative life, expectations, disappointments and the relentless wheel of generational patterns.
This is Janet’s very first solo show and it features 8 original songs, 5 characters and one bassoon. It had its first performance to a sold-out house at Brunswick Picture House in March 2021, and Janet is looking forward to bringing the performance to the Drill Hall on May 19 and 26.
Directed by Philippa Williams.
Tiny reviews so far
I loved it! Beautiful songs and very poignant and comic story. 
This show has great appeal across generations…..entirely original!
Wonderful show – evocative, funny and powerfully held together – highly recommended! 
Duration: Approximately 55 minutes.
Tickets: $25/$20


A Local Man: A play about Ben Chifley

with Tony Barry

Friday 30th April at 7 pm

A screening of the film of the 2004 Sydney performance.

Tickets at the door $25/$20

Byron Shire Echo, Wednesday 21st April 2021

The play, A Local Man: A play about Ben Chifley, was written for Tony by the late Bob Ellis and Professor Robin McLachlan.

It opened in Bathurst, Ben’s home town, in 2004, and then toured the east coast after a successful six week season at the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney.

Tony says the experience of playing arguably the greatest Australian Prime Minister, is one he will never forget.

The screening to be shown is of the 2004 Sydney Performance and is a fundraiser for a one-man show that Tony is developing.  That show, A Good Look Around, is planned for later this year/early next year and will explore Tony’s life and times in film, TV, activism, alcoholism, cancer recovery, and his traumatic experiences at the hands of the Catholic Church when he was a child.

Come and share the night with Tony.  The film will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

Tickets available at the door: $25/$20


by Joanna Murray-Smith
18 June – 4 July

Joanna Murray-Smith’s brilliant play Switzerland is the second production in the Drill Hall Theatre Company’s all-Australian 2021 season. Arguably the nation’s most successful playwright, Murray-Smith has written a play about the grande dame of best-selling crime literature, Patricia Highsmith.  

Highsmith lives with an impressive collection of books and a somewhat sinister collection of guns and knives. The novelist finds solace in her seclusion, her whisky and cigarettes until the hapless Mr Edward Ridgeway appears sent as an emissary by her publishing company in New York.

Murray-Smith makes no bones about Highsmith’s tendency to abuse. She is seen, towards the end of her life, as a rancorous loner railing at the New York literary establishment.  She is prone to racist rants and has a vicious smackdown for every occasion which challenges her visitor who has come to beg her to write one more book in The Ripley Series.

The director, Toni Scanlan says that “this Drill Hall production is a perfect platform for Liz Chance’s amazing skill as an actor while we will witness the rise of an emerging talent in Charlie Burton.”

A noted actor herself, the director informs us that “Liz plays the famous writer, Highsmith as an eccentric lesbian, homophobic, racist, hard-drinking, a brilliant would-be psychopath with excellent taste in soft furnishings. While Charlie who shows enormous promise, plays the mysterious and ambiguous intruder Edward Ridgeway”.

Switzerland opens at the Drill Hall Theatre Mullumbimby, 18 June and plays until 4 July.


Please be early as seating is not allocated
Bar (Beer/Wine) and Kitchen (Tea/Coffee/Cakes) opens 30 minutes before each show.
Please note that online bookings close 2 hours before each performance.
There is a 50c booking fee for online bookings.
Duration approx 1hr 30 minutes.


Strong Language



Joanna Murray-Smith is one of our outstanding Australian playwrights and has had her plays and novels translated and performed widely around the world. According to the Australia Council, Joanna Murray-Smith, along with Daniel Keene, account for half of all foreign productions of Australian plays.

Switzerland was first performed by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2014 and in its review, the Sydney Morning Herald, had this to say about the play:

Switzerland is arguably Murray-Smith’s best play yet, and certainly one of her most entertaining. The playwright’s familiar strong suits – her barbed wit and effortless gift for verbal sparring, her feminist lens (which in this production burns a hole into sexism in literary publishing) – are totally in service to the dramatic whole in Switzerland, and they combine to form an unbeatable hand.

Whether you’re a mad Highsmith fan, or you’ve never heard of her, you’ll be chilled and gripped, amused and seduced by this pitch-perfect psychological thriller.”


Angry Young Penguins (1987); Atlanta (1990); Love Child (1993); Ridge’s Lovers (1993); Flame (1994); Honour (1995); Redemption (1997); Nightfall (1999); Rapture (2002); Bombshells (2004, written for Caroline O’Connor); The Female of the Species (2006); Ninety (2008), Scenes from a Marriage (2008); Rockabye (2009); Songs for Nobodies (2010); The Gift (2011); Day One, a Hotel, Evening (2011); True Minds (2013), Fury (2013); Switzerland, (2014); Pennsylvania Avenue (2014)


Truce (1994) Judgement Rock (2002) Sunnyside (2005)


The poems of Ern Malley (ed) (1988); Georgia, (film, 1988); Cassidy (1989, for ABC Television); “Mimi Goes to the Analyst” in Six Pack (1992, for SBS TV); “Greed” in Seven Deadly Sins (1993, for ABC Television); Lyrics to a song cycle about Harold Holt, music by Paul Grabowsky; Janus: episodes “Fit to Plead”, “An Unnatural Act”, “A Prima Facie Case” (1995, for ABC Television); Libretto to the opera Love in the Age of Therapy (2002) by Paul Grabowsky for Opera Australia, Melbourne Festival and Sydney Festival; Libretto to The Divorce (2015, for ABC Television)


  • Australian Film Institute Award nomination in 1989 for the screenplay to Georgia (shared with Ben Lewin, Bob Weis).
  • Braille Book of the Year for Judgement Rock
  • Victorian Premier’s Literary Award: Southbank Pacific Prize for Drama for Honour in 1996
  • Victorian Premier’s Literary Award: Louis Esson Prize for Drama for Rapture in 2003
  • Winner 2004 Fringe First Award, Edinburgh Festival Fringe for Bombshells
  • International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award nomination in 2004 for Judgement Rock
  • Winner 2005 London Theatregoers Choice Award for Bombshells
  • Final list of twelve of the Miles Franklin Award in 2006 for Sunnyside
  • Co-winner New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards (Play Award) 2012 for The Gift



Toni trained at the Drama Centre, London. Her theatre credits include:

For Belvoir: Stop Girl & Ruben Guthrie.  Sydney Theatre Company: Blood Wedding, Our Town, Troupers, King Lear, Cuckoo’s Country and  Madras House. For Black Swan Theatre: Hir and Angels in America – Part One For Ensemble: Richard 111, Let the Sun Shine, A View From the Bridge, I’m Not Rappaport, All My Sons, The Price. For Riverside: Hamlet, King Lear. For The Darlinghurst Theatre, Good Works, Eternity Playhouse Grand opening show: All My Sons.. For QTC: Once in Royal David’s City, The Children, The Family, Too Young for Ghosts. For Q Theatre: Daylight Saving, Kid Stakes. For TN Theatre Co: Private Lives, Boy’s Own Macbeth, Cloud 9, The Conquests of Carmen Miranda. For Griffin Theatre: King Tide, Back Beat, White Nancy. For Playhouse Theatre: Fields of Heaven. For Her Majesty’s, Perth: Annie. For Hole in the Wall Theatre: In His Own Right, Under Milkwood. Film: The Forest, Vacant Possession, Loveless, Homebrew, Breakaway, Tenderhooks, Contact, High Tide. 

TV & Film includes Hearts & Bones, The Hiding, Crownies, Answered by Fire, MDA, Backberner, Crash Palace, Water Rats (Series Regular 6 years), Bordertown, Blue Heelers, GP. 

Awards: 2014 Sydney Theatre Awards winner for Best Actress in a Leading Role in an Independent Production, All My Sons.

2008 Sydney Theatre Awards winner for King Tide, by Kath Thomson. 

Toni’s Directing credits include, The Seagull, Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters for QUT.  A Cheery Soul for Waapa.



Liz Chance is a veteran of stage and screen and recalls her first big break into theatre when she was discovered in an acting class with the great Stella Adler. 

With more than 30 years’ experience as an actor, Liz has appeared on just about every Australian stage and in more television than she can remember, including A Country PracticeHome & AwayWater RatsBlue HeelersRafferty’s RulesG.P, and admits her first stage kiss was with Mel Gibson with the Sydney Theatre Company. For more than a decade, Liz also directed and taught at NIDA, teaching Australian luminaries including Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington, Jeremy Simms, and Damon Gameau.

Liz first performed for the Drill Hall Theatre Company in 2015 in the title role of Joanna Murray-Smith’s Honour, and Mark Colvin’s Kidney by Tommy Murphy (2018)In 2020 she was appointed as the theatre’s Artistic Director, and most recently directed the return (sold-out) season of SHIT by Patricia Cornelius, marking the return of live theatre after Covid.

Liz is delighted to play Patricia Highsmith in Joanna Murray-Smith’s Switzerland.


Hello! I’m Charlie Burton and I play the role of Edward Ridgeway. I’ve loved the process of finding and developing this character so far.

I grew up in Mullum but am currently living in Melbourne, having come home at the start of May to begin rehearsal for this play. Acting is something I’m exceptionally passionate about and I am always enthralled at the prospect of getting to engage in theatre or other forms of acting.

I am currently studying at Melbourne Uni though hope to move my studies into the acting sphere next year.

Though difficult at times, working on Switzerland has been a thoroughly rewarding and exciting process and I am excited for everyone to see the finished product!


Photos by Kate Holmes

The Echo

Byron Shire Echo, 4 June 2021

Liz Chance stars in Switzerland at the Drill Hall 18 June–4 July. 

A Chance for Switzerland

The Drill Hall Theatre Company presents Joanna Murray-Smith’s gripping psychological thriller: Switzerland, arguably Murray-Smith’s greatest work to date.

The show stars Liz Chance (Blue HeelersWater RatsTender Hooks) under the direction of multi award-winning actor Toni Scanlan (Stop GirlDreamlandWater Rats).

The play introduces young actor Charlie Burton (the son of local comedian Mandy Nolan), for whom performing is a passion, and Toni was impressed from the outset. ‘The first time I heard Charlie read I thought – that boy has it going on. His instinct for such a complex psychological drama was beyond his years. Liz and I would not be doing this play without him.’

Switzerland at the Drill Hall

18 June–4 July. (NSW Dine & Discover able to be used until 27 June).

Tix on


Looking for a little background 

Talented mr ripley.jpg The Talented Mr Ripley with Matt Damon, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow is on Netflix.  A fabulous stylish film that will give you some insight into the work of the terrifying  Ms Highsmith!


Producer:               Liz Chance
Stage Manager:    Briony Dalton
Lighting:                Geoffrey Moon
Sound:                  David Steward


After first being involved with the Drill Hall almost 40 years ago as an actor, Geoffrey has worked in a broad range of areas including clowning in Hyde Park for the festival of Sydney, touring schools with Theatre In Education productions for 20 years, NBN’s Big Dog, cabaret and more. “I have always maintained a keen interest in community theatre as an avenue for social benefit. A forum where the community can come together and share, with the community, skills, energy, and time. It is an honour and a joy to play my part ”


David has been a sound technician for ten years. Before joining the Drill Hall Theatre Company this year he worked with the team at Byron Theatre.

Audio production has always been a keen interest of David’s, which began with his father’s role as a radio engineer for the ABC.

Born and raised on a family farm in Bina Burra, David is a true country boy at heart with an undeniable passion for the arts.


Lighting Design:                    Alex Benham
Sound Design:                      Adam Booth
Props and Set Decoration:   Natalie Holt

Front of House Manager:  Michael Borenstein

Set Design:                         Toni Appleton
Set Construction:                Toni Appleton, Alex Benham, Geoffrey Moon
Publicity, Promotion & Marketing: Chris Benaud, Michael Borenstein,Mandy Nolan, Alex Benham
Poster:                                Toni Scanlan, Syd Geary


Hot Shorts 2022

Attention Would-Be HOT SHORTS 2022 Playwrights

With our 2021 season underway, Drill Hall Theatre Company (DHTC) is looking forward to 2022 and hopes to reconnect with previous HOT SHORTS writers and meet many new writers.

DHTC has set November 30th 2021 as the closing date for submissions to HOT SHORTS, the 10-minute play competition that has run bi-annually for the past 20 years. However, if you haven’t completed writing by the end of November DHTC will accept, as a minimum, an outline of your play and its intended themes.

Throughout the first half of 2022, we will help further develop your plays with readings, reviews and feedback ultimately selecting those plays to be included in HOT SHORTS 2022 to be staged in November next year.

Shortly before the closing date, DHTC plans to hold a one-day play-writing workshop on Saturday, October 9 in order to help you complete your writing. The workshop, to be held at the Drill Hall will be hosted by Russell Eldridge, a very experienced theatre practitioner, writer and editor.

Russell held a similar workshop after HOT SHORTS 2019 and left those who attended excited with his ideas about how to make their writing punchier and more engaging. Russell has been on the HOT SHORTS selection panel for a number of years and feels that many of the plays that failed to make it onto stage could have benefited from re-writing.

Please email us at letting us know if you plan to enter HOT SHORTS 2022 and also if you interested in participating in the workshop.


Have you ever thought about becoming a member of the Drill Hall Theatre Company?

The Drill Hall Theatre Company is a not-for-profit association run by its members to support and promote the performing arts in Byron Shire.

The Drill Hall Theatre Company is a constituent group of the Mullumbimby District Cultural Centre (MDCC) which also includes the Mullumbimby Adult Learning and Potters Association.  The MDCC manages the Drill Hall site and as a member of the DHTC you are also a member of MDCC.

The Theatre Company has been entertaining local audiences since the 1950’s and prides itself on being a Community Theatre where theatre is made by, with, and for the community it serves.

The uniquely defining aspect of our Community Theatre is that we all participate purely for the love of theatre and no one gets paid. It’s our passion for live theatre and our love of community engagement that drives our work. Members of the community are warmly welcomed to get involved, whether it be as an actor, backstage crew, sound and lighting or front-of-house.

Anyone can become an associate member of the company for an annual membership fee of $15.  Memberships are from January to December.

Associate Membership entitles you to:

  • Free tickets to the Preview of DHTC productions
  • Discount tickets (at the concession rate) to all other DHTC productions
  • Access to DHTC activities and workshops
  • And at the discretion of the Artistic Director and Management Committee the opportunity to be involved in Drill Hall Theatre Productions

If you would like to join please do one of the following:

  • Renewing Members:  Send an email with your name, email address and phone number to and pay your $15 membership as outlined below.
  • New Members:  Fill out PART A of the membership form (at the bottom of the page) and return it to  If you have someone who is a member who can nominate and second your application, have them do that, otherwise the management committee can arrange for that to happen.  A photo of your nomination form taken with your phone is sufficient if you do not have access to a scanner. Please then pay your membership as outlined below.

Membership Payments:  Your $15 membership fee can be made by direct deposit to:

Drill Hall Theatre Company
BSB 722-744
Account# 100003473


Please include ‘Membership and Your Name‘ as a reference.  You will receive a receipt indicating that your membership has been accepted.

Membership Form (Associate) DHTC 2021


Theatre Workshops with Liz Chance


Introductory Course in acting techniques

Saturdays 20th March to 8th May, 9:30-12:30

The Drill Hall Theatre Company’s artistic director, Liz Chance, is teaching a dynamic introductory course in acting techniques, commencing next month.

Liz comes with 30 years of experience as an actor/director, and for 12 years taught at NIDA, teaching stars of stage and screen including Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington, Damon Gameau and Jeremy Simms.

The course runs on Saturday mornings for eight weeks, 20th March to May 8th (including Easter Saturday). There will be a showing for family and friends at the conclusion of the course

Classes start at 9.30 am, on time, and go to 12.30 pm. There will be a break from 10.45 to 11.15.

There will be a maximum of 12 people.

The course costs $320 and places are by audition/interview.

Fees must be paid in full before commencement.

If interested please email  for further details and to see if there are still spaces available.

Byron Shire Echo – February 10 2021

Covid-19 Requirements at the Drill Hall


A condition on entering the Drill Hall is the willingness of participants to register attendance.  The preferred option is using the Drill Hall QR Code.  If participants do not have a smartphone, a friend may register their attendance.  If this is not practical then the organiser should be asked about an alternative method of registration.


All venues may move to the one person per 2sqm rule meaning classes of up to 51 participants (plus any instructors/assistants) may operate at the Drill Hall as long as the procedures in the COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN are followed.


All events to revert to the 4 square metre rule (25 persons)

For Ticketed Theatre Events, where ticketholders are assigned to seating, tickets can be sold to 100% capacity of the theatre.  For the Drill Hall, this means an audience of 103 in the auditorium.  Physical distancing is still required and the COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN must be followed.

Non-ticketed events may operate if they can adhere to the one person per 2 square metre rule and the 1.5-metre physical distancing rule.  For the Drill Hall, this means a restriction of no more than 51 persons in the auditorium.  Procedures in the COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN must be followed.

What’s in the Covid-19 Safety Plan?

Byron Shire Council managed halls have reopened post based on the NSW Government’s Covid-19 Safety Plan for Community Centres and Halls.  The safety plan includes the following:


  • The exclusion of staff, volunteers and visitors who are unwell or who have been in identified Covid-19 hotspots in the last 14 days.
  • Ensuring conditions of entry of the Drill Hall are on display.
  • All participants register their attendance. The preferred option is the use of the Drill Hall QR code but where this is not practical, alternative registration is provided.
  • Ensuring all touched surfaces are cleaned first with detergent and water, then with disinfectant, at the conclusion of any activity.
  • Ensuring capacity does not exceed the number allowed for the activity.
  • Ensuring that participants are aware of the 1.5 metres physical distancing rule and apply this where practical.
  • Ensuring there are no deliberate body contact activities.
  • Having strategies in place to manage gatherings that may occur immediately outside the premises.
  • Ensuring toilets have strategies in place to reduce crowding and promote social distancing.
  • The adoption of good hand hygiene practices. Ensuring hand sanitiser is accessible at the venue entry and elsewhere in the facility.
  • Ensuring bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels.
  • Ensuring that where food is provided that one person be allocated to serve and this person should practise hand hygiene before and after service.
  • Reducing sharing of equipment where practical and ensuring equipment is cleaned with detergent and disinfectant between use.
  • The regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for longer activities).
  • Making your staff aware of the COVIDSafe app and its benefits to support contact tracing, if required.
  • Ensuring cooperation with NSW Health if contacted in relation to a positive case of COVID-19 and notify SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.


Classes of up to 51 participants can resume at the Drill Hall as long as the following procedures are followed.

  • If you are sick or feeling even slightly unwell please go home immediately and do not enter the Drill Hall.
  • Use hand sanitiser on entry and practise hand hygiene at all times.
  • All participants register their attendance. The preferred option is the use of the Drill Hall QR code but where this is not practical, alternative registration is provided.
  • The number of persons allowed in the Drill Hall at any one time is 25 class participants plus up to 5 instructors/helpers.
  • You still need to keep a social distance of 1.5 metres at all times.
  • Bring your own water bottle. In the interest of public health, the kitchen will usually be closed.
  • if you are involved in aerobic activities bring your own towel.
  • Bring your own equipment (where practical).
  • If equipment is shared it must be disinfected between users.
  • Any equipment kept at the Drill Hall must be disinfected before being stored.
  • Remember that the Covid-19 app, COVISSafe has been designed to speed up contacting people exposed to the coronavirus. It can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

The latest Covid-19 regulations as they apply to the Drill Hall can be found here

The following links also provide information on COVID-Safe Plans required, although venue capacity numbers quoted are no longer relevant.