The online magazine of Theatre Heritage Australia

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Only Make Believe

Robert Ray
In February 2023 Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Victoria (GSOV) will be staging a garden concert of highlights from Broadway Operetta, entitled ‘Only Make Believe’. ROBERT RAY, who will be directing the show, provides a short history of…

The Phantom Figures Project, 1989

Robert Taylor
In the early 1990s, as part of the redevelopment of the CUB Malthouse into the new home of the Playbox Theatre, twenty-four wall panels adorned the walls of the theatres and foyers. Known as the Phantom Figures, they were subsequently…

Margaret Henry and the Actors Theatre

Peter Stephenson Jones
In the 1970s Margaret Henry (1938–2014) founded the Actors Theatre in Richmond. With husband Ray O’Donnell, she produced plays that had been neglected by the bigger companies. PETER STEPHENSON JONES recalls those early years. One of many…

William Beckwith McInnes: An artist's life

Margot Tasca
Theatre Heritage Australia is thrilled to be able to publish an extract from a new book by MARGOT TASCA, published by Thames & Hudson, celebrating the achievements of Australian artist W.B. McInnes (1889–1939). Among his many commissions…

Daphne Pollard: From Fitzroy to Hollywood

Nick Murphy
NICK MURPHY takes a look at Melbourne-born Daphne Pollard (1891–1978), a diminutive comedienne, who having conquered the stage in London and New York became a character actress in Hollywood during the 1920s and 1930s.

Marcus Clarke and the Theatre (Part 1)

Mimi Colligan
Much has been written about Marcus Clarke, journalist, playwright and author, best remembered from his novel His Natural Life. Most biographers focus on his literary pursuits and his bohemianism. But as MIMI COLLIGAN points out, the…

Plaque to Nellie Stewart Unveiled at Former Den-o-Gwynne

Woollahra Libraries Staff
Nellie Stewart was born and bred in Sydney. In 1913 George Musgrove built her a house at 23 Wunulla Road in Point Piper, which they called ‘Den-o-Gwynne’. The house still stands, and as part of an ongoing project by the Woollahra Municipal…

Encounters with Stars of the Theatrical Kind (Part 2)

Raymond Stanley
In the 1990s, RAYMOND STANLEY prepared a manuscript recalling the many stars of the stage and screen that he interviewed during his fifty year career in Australia. Published for the first time by Theatre Heritage Australia, in Part 2, he…

Walter Kirby: Australia’s forgotten Caruso (Part 5)

Frank Van Straten
By 1931 Walter Kirby had settled in England, but as FRANK VAN STRATEN discovers in the final instalment of his biography of the NZ-born Australian tenor, he did not forget Australia, leaving numerous significant endowments in his will.…

C.H. Workman in Australia (Part 7)

Robert Morrison
(left) Theatre Royal, Adelaide, 1881. Photo by Samuel Wright Sweet. State Library of South Australia, Adelaide. (right) C.H. Workman. Photo by Dover Street Studios. Author’s collection. Built in Hindley Street in 1878 on the site of an…

Glimpses of Graeme: Book Review

Judy Leech
BOOK REVIEW: Glimpses of Graeme—Reflections on the work of Graeme Murphy by Michelle Potter, FortySouth Publishing, 2022 Glimpses of Graeme by Michelle Potter From the very first paragraph I am so tempted to raid my treasured stock of…

Obituary: Sue Nattrass

Vicki Fairfax
Sue Nattrass AO, 1941–2022 Sue Nattrass holding a Victorian Arts Centre magazine c.1990s. Australian Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne.As the news of Sue Nattrass’s death reached the theatre community the response was…

Obituary: Sue Nattrass

Matthew Peckham
Sue Nattrass AO, 1941–2022 Sue Nattrass in the 1980s. Photo by Rennie Ellis. State Library Victoria, Melbourne.Excellent eulogies, by people more distinguished than I, are already published and I intend neither to emulate nor embellish…

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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

William Beckwith McInnes: An artist's life

Theatre Heritage Australia is thrilled to be able to publish an extract from a new book by MARGOT TASCA, published by Thames & Hudson, celebrating the achievements of Australian artist W.B. McInnes…