“It Felt Like She Was Still There”

Helen hugging her 'grandmother'

A Warm Embrace For Mabel And Helen

It was a heart-warming moment at Tamborine Mountain’s Zamia Theatre recently, when Mountain resident Helen Wyatt was warmly hugged by her grandmother, Mabel – eerily, 85 years after her grandmother died.

Helen hugging her 'grandmother'
Helen ‘Meets Her Grandmother’ Once Again

The occasion was a ‘show and tell’ about a new play, M  for Mabel, written by local Janis Bailey. Mabel Forrest was a celebrity journalist, novelist and poet back in the day (the 20s and 30s). Brisbane-based, she sought refuge on the Mountain when she could, and built a little cottage which still stands. Her fascinating story is brought to life in the play, which features well-known historical figures like film-maker Charles Chauvel, and Queensland Governor Sir Matthew Nathan, who were friends of Mabel’s.

Helen Wyatt's Family
Daniel Duncan (Mabel’s great-great-grandson), Narelle Duncan, Ken Duncan (Mabel’s great-grandson), Helen Wyatt (Mabel’s grand-daughter), Peter Wyatt (Mabel’s great-grandson) & Roslyn Wyatt.

The magic of theatre – allowing time travel at will – meant that it was actress Danee Lindsay, playing Mabel, who embraced Helen. Danee was also able to sashay around in an exquisite, hundred-year-old embroidered velvet opera cloak which the Wyatt family is lending to the production. In addition to her talent, Mabel cut a stylish figure on the Brisbane social scene, although she opted for cotton dresses and sensible shoes when she visited the Mountain.

Helen with the cast of 'Mabel'
Warrick Bailey (Assistant Director), Janis Bailey (Playwright), Helen Wyatt, Danee Lindsay, Lesley Sawyer (Director), Monica O’Brien (Costume Designer) with Mabel’s costume & opera cloak and David Jayne (plays Sir Matthew Nathan)

The TM Progress Association sponsored the talk, which was part of its series dedicated to issues pertinent to the Mountain. Tamborine Mountain Little Theatre’s production opens on 17th April.

Cabaret seating, BYO everything, it’s a great night out for friends and clubs, as well as individuals. Bookings will open on the theatre’s website in a week or so. Enquiries Janis Bailey on 0418 122 295.