The Middling Cove Players’ Program: MIDNIGHT MURDER AT HAMLINGTON HALL

3 Jan 2024

Take a look behind the scenes of the amateur theatre world with the program for The Middling Cove Players’ latest production…

By Shane Tweed
Adapted from the novel by Mabel Shtint


About The Middling Cove Players

Founded in 1982 the Middling Cove Players, or ‘the Mids’, was formed by Vivian Lealand and Peter Dixon, two amateur dramatic legends and chemists. Vivian directed, Peter produced, and because of their association with the Middling Cove community, it meant they were not at a loss for performers. Indeed, at one point we had over 200 members on our books! As well as performing at our resident theatre/community hall, in Middling Cove, the TMCP have produced mini tours as well as residences, including Stanmore Church Hall, North’s, Annandale Town Hall, and over the years extended weekly seasons at the local Rotary Clubs in Dee Why, Mosman and Lane Cove. Vivian passed the artistic duties to Doreen Greenhagh in the late 1990’s who ran the players successfully along with her husband Bob, finally handing over to her nephew Shane Tweed. Shane is excited to launch into a new and even brighter chapter of the Players history with this pivotal work.


Word from the Director

Fake Book Cover

When Mabel Shtints novel found me, I was in a secondhand bookstore, in a small village, in a remote part of Scotland. At the time I was experiencing a period of personal challenge, and it is no exaggeration to say Shtint saved me from myself. The immediacy of Shtints words and the drama she wove with her language pulled me out of my dark fog. I was left with a vision of this piece on a stage. I got to work, determined to do her novel justice and to provide our community with a bold, daring premiere adaption of this singular story.

Shane Tweed
Artistic Director



A Remote House in Norwich 1951

After the untimely death of Parson Charles Hamlington of Hamlington Hall, a group of seemingly random strangers have been called to his estate for the reading of his will. Among them is the famous Detective Black, who has solved numerous murders throughout the county. When the guests start dying one by one, it is up to Black to solve this mystery…. before his own time is up.



Writer/Adapter/Director/Set, Costume, Lighting, Sound Design/Producer: Shane Tweed
Fight and Intimacy Director: Helen Faadeema
Voice and Moment Captain: Phillipa Chidley
Tech support/Light Plotting:  Percy Begg
Stage Manager: Karen Sharp
Set Construction: Gerry Allen
Set Construction Support and Painting: Leo Allen
Costume Construction: Juliet Brown
Sewing support: Zoe Brown, Helen Faadeema
Properties: Pat Hannity, Victoria Schneider
Hall Set Up: Doug Hancock, Joseph Joyce, Bev Robinson, Joan Smith, Maria Angelino



Shane Tweed

Detective Ernest Black – The Detective

Parson Charles Hamlington – The Wealthy Parson

Shane TweedWriter/actor/director Shane Tweed is very proud to be leading this fearless band of thespians through this performance tonight. Shane has been involved with the Middling Cove Players for many years in various positions, bringing in his experience from the corporate banking world to develop the Players to the place it is today. Midnight Murder at Hamlington Hall is the culmination of Shane’s years of work and represents a new era for the company. Thank you for joining us on this journey.


Barney Simpson
Colonel Munster – The Colonel

Barney SimpsonBarney is a proud founding member of the Middling Cove Players. Numerous roles throughout his illustrious career are too onerous to mention, but a personal favourite is working with Googie Withers in ‘Murder at The Cathedral’ at Marion St. Much love, thanks and generous hugs to Doreen, Shane, and the entire Players team. Barney was a proud member of Equity, until asked to leave. For work enquires please contact via email at Yes, he does do children’s parties.


Phillipa Chidley
Ingrid – The Seafarer

Phillipa ChidleyPhillipa is beyond thrilled to be returning to the boards in Midnight Murder at Hamlington Hall! Previous roles with the Players include Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Esmerelda in Hunchback at Notre Dame, Sally Bowles and Nazi Number 3 in Cabaret, Roxanne in Cyrano De Bergerac, Ophelia in Hamlet, Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde, Blanche De Boyce in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Abigail the witch in The Crucible. Grateful to have found this amazing group, to have found herself, and to be able to share her amazing talents with this wonderful audience.


Marcia Cadell

Madame Esmerelda – The Clairvoyant, Maid- The Maid

Marcia CadellMarcia is a very proud grandmother of five and so happy to show them that this old girl can still remember her lines! After being involved backstage at the Players helping with props, sewing, and heading up our famous Sizzling Sausage fundraiser events, she is excited to be making her stage debut in the two roles of Madame Esmerelda and The Maid. Lives at home with her darling husband Harry and their Maltese puppies, Clove and Lily.


Pam and Percy Begg

Mrs. Gloira Whittington – The Actress

Dr. Freddie Pennington-Ermington III- The Doctor

Pam BeggPercy BeggPam and Percy Begg joined the Middling Cove Players community after enjoying several years with the Leura Footlights. Together they have starred in 15 productions ranging from musicals, comedies, and dramatic plays. Their most memorable turn was as the raucous French couple of Monsieur and Madame Thenardier in Les Mis, The Musical – which they performed IN FRENCH! Outside of the theatre they have owned several highly successful nurseries and are looking forward to providing the greater North Shore area with quality greenery for many years to come.


Helen Faadeema
Lady Smythe – The Society Matron

Helen FaadeemaStarting in the world of dance, Helen trained as a semi-professional Ballroom dancer, that saw her travel to Bournemouth to compete in the UK Open Championships of 1985. After hanging up her dancing shoes, she dipped her toes into the world of acting, winning walk on roles in The Bill, East Enders and Minder! A move to Australia in the mid 90’s introduced her to the wonderful group that is the Middling Cove Players and she soon found herself on stage, upfront and centre. With too many shows to list, having starred in over 30 productions so far, she is entering a new phase of life playing mature, sassy women, who feel comfortable breaking wind in public.


Heinrich Becker
Benson – The Butler

Heinrich BeckerHeinrich is a construction worker by day. This is Heinrich’s debut for the Middling Cove Players. Past roles he has performed in his native Croatia for the Upper Split Drama Society include – Sven in The Magnificent Sven, Mule 3 in A Wonderful Barn, and Beef Man in Potatoes Potatoes Potatoes.




Konstantinos Solakis

Taffy Hemmingway – The Playboy

Edward Barton – The Solicitor

Constantinos SolakisKon’s fundraising efforts through trivia nights, lamington drives and his Find Your Inner Caveman workshops have kept the company afloat for many years. Past roles for the Players include Logger John in Lumberjacks, Spartacus in Shane Tweed’s acclaimed adaptation of Spartacus, Biff AND Happy Loman in Death of a Salesman (abbreviated), and Frankenstein in Frankenstein Goes To Hollywood.


Thank you to our sponsors

Pat and Darrel Hannity of Hannity Meats
Pink Flower Funerals
North Shore Council and
Community Arts Outreach Program

MIDNIGHT MURDER AT HAMLINGTON HALL is playing  until 14 Jan 2024, don’t miss this hilarious comedy set in the wild world of amateur theatre.