Before the curtain rises

An article by 'Icarus' published in The Australasian, dated July 10, 1937, makes mention of the JCW scene books, and in particular a Mr W. White, who was charged with maintaining them. The article demonstrates the mammoth task of co-ordinating the technical elements of a touring JCW production, and the great lengths the company went to document their works.

 

before the curtain rises

HEREABOUTS I met Mr. W. White, who, among other things, has to know all about all the scenery used by J. C. Williamson Ltd. since time began. He has a book and index, in which there is a photograph of every scene painted by the company. He knows how to lay his hand on any one of them in five minutes. Besides the vast stores attached to His Majesty's Theatre in Exhibition street, "J.C.W." own an even larger block in Richmond, which contains an enormous amount of scenery and properties—all catalogued and instantly accessible. All their hundreds of back-cloths are also available. Any show they have ever staged could be dug out at an hour's notice.

Excerpt from "Before the curtain rises" (The Australasian, 1937)

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