4633674943200060337.jpg
Source: Sun [Sydney] 25 March 1917, p.22.
y Jinker, the Grafter's Mate single work   drama  
Adaptation of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate Con Drew 1916 single work novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1917 1917
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Based on Con Drew's story published as The Grafter (1915, with I. B. Evans) and his solo effort, Jinker, the Grafter's Mate (1916), this dramatic adaptation follows the escapades of Grafter and Jinker, two shady bookmakers on the outer, where the Turf operator needs to be a super-sharp if he wishes to make a living out of his wily clients, at the same lime keeping within the law (or not getting caught).

Notes

  • Bert Bailey reportedly came up with the idea of putting The Grafter and Jinker on the stage, and while Drew began the process it was not until he began to collaborate with the much more experienced theatre practitioner, Oswald Andeson, that the stories began to take shape as a piece of drama ('A New Australian Play,' p.17). Scottish tragedian, and by then Sydney-based theatre and elocution-teacher Walter Bentley was subsequently brought in to direct the eventual production.
  • According to Table Talk (Melbourne), Con Drew was already attempting to turn Jinker into a play 'for the management of the Bert Bailey Co' by September 1916. However, owing to the briefness of the company's Melbourne season and the 'possibility of On Our Selection running the whole of it,' the play would not be staged until early the following year ('On and Off the Stage,' 28 September 1916, p.19).

    After Oswald Anderson was brought in to help with the dramatisation, both authors were determined to have the play produced in time for the Easter racing carnival season. It was eventually staged in Sydney because the only suitable venue available at that time was that city's Repertory Theatre ('A New Australian Play,' p.17)

  • The novel's popularity, and even the engagement of some well-known actors, did not result in a successful stage adaptation. Indeed, according to evidence given by Anderson during his application for bankruptcy in 1919 the Repertory Theatre season was an absolute disaster. The Sun newspaper further records:

    Then it was transferred to the Theatre Royal for two weeks. The first week it paid its way, but the second week it was a failure. It was then taken to tho country. The author and witness [Drew] dramatised the story. His partner was not able to find his share, and he had to find the lot, which necessitated his borrowing £450 ('Musical Venture : Anderson's Limited.' 29 May 1919, 27).

  • During the Theatre Royal season of Jinker the Grafter's Mate, Oswald Anderson announced that the play would later undertake a country and Australian tour. In his 1919 bankruptcy application he also stated that the country tour had taken place. However no details relating to either tour have yet been located using the National Library of Australia's digitised newspaper service, Trove. Given the losses sustained during the Sydney seasons it is unlikely that Anderson could have financed a country tour, and his 1919 statement must be treated with caution.

Production Details

  • 1917: Repertory Theatre, Grovenor Street, Sydney; 31 March - 14 April, 28 April - 12 May.

    • Director Walter Bentley; Producer/Business Manager Oswald Anderson.
    • Cast incl. Fred Macdonald (Grafter), Harry McDonna (Jinker), Elsie Prince (Molly), Gilbert Emery (Big Dave), Barnett Green (Hungry Joe), John Bruce (Red Dennis, the publican), Tal Ordell (Radford, the artist).

    1917: Theatre Royal, Sydney; 28 April - 12 May

    • Director Walter Bentley; Producer/Business Manager Oswald Anderson, Lessee J. C. Williamson' Ltd.
    • Cast incl. Fred Macdonald (Grafter), Harry McDonna (Jinker), Janie King (Molly), Gilbert Emery (Big Dave), Barnett Green (Hungry Joe), John Bruce (Red Dennis, the publican), Tal Ordell (Radford, the artist).
    • The Theatre Royal season was advertised as having been strengthened, although all the major roles appear to have remained stable, apart from Elsie Prince being replaced by Janie King. The changes may have been in support ensemble
    • Although the season was was initially advertised as being limited to seven nights it ran for two weeks.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      1917 .
      Extent: 1v.p.
      (Manuscript) assertion

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library
      Location: The Hanger Collection of Australian Playscripts
      Local Id: H1917

Works about this Work

'Jinker' 1917 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 2 April 1917; (p. 4)

— Review of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate Oswald Anderson Con Drew 1917 single work drama

Review of the opening performance of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate (Repertory Theatre, Sydney; 31 March, 1917).

'Jinker' 1917 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Times [Sydney] , 1 April 1917; (p. 2)

— Review of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate Oswald Anderson Con Drew 1917 single work drama

Review of the opening performance of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate (Repertory Theatre, Sydney; 31 March, 1917).

A New Australian Play 1917 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Times [Sydney] , 25 February 1917; (p. 17)

— Review of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate Oswald Anderson Con Drew 1917 single work drama

A preview of the forthcoming Sydney season of Jinker, The Grafter's Mate (Repertory Theatre, Sydney; beginning 31 March).

A New Australian Play 1917 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Times [Sydney] , 25 February 1917; (p. 17)

— Review of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate Oswald Anderson Con Drew 1917 single work drama

A preview of the forthcoming Sydney season of Jinker, The Grafter's Mate (Repertory Theatre, Sydney; beginning 31 March).

'Jinker' 1917 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Times [Sydney] , 1 April 1917; (p. 2)

— Review of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate Oswald Anderson Con Drew 1917 single work drama

Review of the opening performance of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate (Repertory Theatre, Sydney; 31 March, 1917).

'Jinker' 1917 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 2 April 1917; (p. 4)

— Review of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate Oswald Anderson Con Drew 1917 single work drama

Review of the opening performance of Jinker, the Grafter's Mate (Repertory Theatre, Sydney; 31 March, 1917).

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

Note:
This entry has been contributed by Dr Clay Djubal as part of a digital archive and educational program research grant (2015-2016) awarded to Kerry Kilner (UQ Research Fellow, School of Communication and Arts, The University of Queensland). Funding for this grant was made available by The Ian Potter Foundation.
Last amended 9 Dec 2016 12:48:48
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