When the Nuriootpa Gloomchasers boom,

To the tomb with a zoom goes the gloom!

If these happy hours are when

We help our needy fellow men

Then the boom drives the gloom to its doom![1]

Gloomchasers Nov 8 1928 2During the 1920s and 30s, the Gloomchasers, an amateur comedy company was formed in Nuriootpa. Based at the Nuriootpa Institute, singing and dancing acts along with plays and sketches filled each performance. Led by William Dempster as producer and stage manager, a cast of performers, young and old, gave their talents to entertainments that delighted the local community.

Performances were given to raise funds for a variety of causes.Gloomchaser program from 8 November 1928 A 1928 article in The Leader indicates money being raise for the Institute Scenery Fund and similar projects that enabled the company to stage quality performances. A later article, in 1930, shows funds raised by productions being directed towards unemployment relief and those adversely affected by the depression.

The company also travelled about the region, invited to hold shows in places like Angaston and Kapunda and even as far afield as Mannum.

Gloomchaser program from 13 December

As an advertisement in the Leader expresses,

One dose of “the Gloomchasers” and you will be happy for life.”[2]

Do you know anyone who was involved with the Gloomchasers or have any memorabilia? We’d love to hear from you.


[1] “Attack on Depression: Big show for Saturday,” The Leader, 27 November 1930, p. 4

[2] Advertisement, The Leader, 4 November 1926, p.1

Chasing away the gloom

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