The play's original title, The Barlow Family, was preferred for it's debut performances so as to distinguish it from the songs. Dibdin wrote the play especially for George Coppin after the actor/manager first performed the song in Australia at the Royal Victoria on 13 April 1843 (ctd. Maryanne Dever. 'Notes on the Play.' Australasian Drama Studies April 1989, pp. 89-90).
Billy Barlow is one of two plays by Charles Alexander Dibdin which are held in the New South Wales State Records. The other play is The Queer Client.
Further Reference :
First produced as The Barlow Family at the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, on 12 October 1843 as a benefit for Mrs Coppin.