The online magazine of Theatre Heritage Australia

Latest articles

Melba and the Rise of La bohème

Roger Neill
Melba aficionado ROGER NEILL takes a close look at La bohème and discovers that Dame Nellie was instrumental in making it one of the most popular and well-loved of Puccini’s operas. How was it that La bohème became one of the world’s…

Grant Dale: Born to Dance—An Australian Gypsy

Peter Stephenson Jones
Dancer and choreographer Grant Dale is a born dancer—and true Australian gypsy. He has the rare honour of being one of few performers to win the coveted Gypsy Cloak twice. PETER STEPHENSON JONES shares Grant’s story. It was a wonderful…

Finding George: A daughter’s search for her father

Antoinette Birkenbeil
Jazz singer SUZI DICKINSON didn’t know her father. But recently, when exploring her family tree with the help of ANTOINETTE BIRKENBEIL, she not only uncovered a whole bevy of theatrical ancestors but discovered that her father had been a…

The View from the Prompt Corner

Matthew Peckham
MATTHEW PECKHAM commences a new series of articles, looking at some of the performers he worked with over the years. He has titled these informal and random memories From the Prompt Side. In the first instalment, he meets the fiery Spanish…

Early Stages: Tony Locantro

Tony Locantro
We are excited to commence a new series titled Early Stages, in which we invite people to share their earliest theatre memories with us. London-based TONY LOCANTRO, who grew up in Sydney in the 1940s, sets the ball rolling with his…

Old Melodrama Made J.C. Williamson’s Fortune

Claude Mckay
J.C. Williamson & Maggie Moore (photos by J. Noble, Melbourne, 1874) (NLA) – Character sketches as John Stofel and his daughter, Lizzie in Struck Oil With a background in journalism, CLAUDE MCKAY was initially appointed as a private…

Frank Neil—‘He Lived Show Business’ (Part 3)

Frank Van Straten
FRANK VAN STRATEN continues his exploration of the life and tumultuous times of one of Australia’s near-forgotten entrepreneurs. Part 3: ‘It is my intention to produce only first-class laughing comedies. as I think the public want to be…

A Child Among You (Part 3)

Charles Heslop; with picture research and endnotes by Rob Morrison
The site of the Australian Federal Parliament from 1901 to 1927 Arriving in Melbourne in late October 1923, English comedian, Charles Heslop gave his impressions of the then temporary Federal capital of Australia, its competing theatrical…

Event: Margaret Leask

Sue-Anne Wallace
Theatre heritage australia held its first Sydney event in July 2023, in partnership with the Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation in Neutral Bay, which has both a performing arts collection and a library housing archives and manuscripts…

Tait Memorial Trust Turns 30

Meredith Daneman
Liane Keegan (mezzo soprano) with Antony Giantomasso (piano), Exhibition Hall, Australia House, 1993. Photo Angus Forbes. On 29 may this year I went to the best birthday party ever. It was an eightieth, and there were eighty-one people…

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Madge Elliot

C.H. Workman

C.H. Workman in Australia (Part 6)

Monte Luke’s promotional photos included scenic artist, Leslie Board and the show’s 28 year-old stage manager, Rege Carey. Punch (Melbourne), 8 April 1915, p.18 Following the conclusion of the Sydney…

Book reviews

The Simonsens of St Kilda: Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: The Simonsens of St. Kilda: A family of singers by Roger Neill, Australian Society of Authors, 2023 The Simonsens of St Kilda. The cover features a portrait of Madame Frances Saville…