Harmony Row single work   musical theatre   revue/revusical   humour  
Issue Details: First known date: 1924 1924
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Revusical.

As Officer Dreadnaught, 'the worst policeman in the world' (Argus 15 June 1925, p.14), George Wallace is assigned to patrol Harmony Row, the roughest and most notorious district in the city. He soon makes friends with many of the locals (including Molly, a pretty street musician, and Leonard, the precocious boy soprano who accompanies her), but runs up against the notorious Slogger Lee. Dreadnaught is eventually forced into fighting Lee in an arranged boxing match. Although almost beaten into submission, he is given the strength to beat the villain by Molly, who declares her affection for him. One of the other principal characters is said to have been the 'stately' Inspector Brown (played by Marshall Crosby).

The Theatre magazine writes of Harmony Row's Sydney debut in 1915 that 'This Newtown favourite put over one of the best comedy performances Fullers' Theatre has ever seen. And this includes the ever-green favourites Stiffy and Mo, who may well look to their laurels now that George has come to town... The final scene... in which Slogger Lee (Tom Lincoln) fights Dreadnaught (alias George Wallace), is the scream of the night - not one moment drags, and the final curtain is brought down to yells of hysterical laughter' (April 1925, p.15).

Charles Norman, who appeared in at least one Sydney season of Harmony Row with partner Chick Arnold, indicates that among the feature songs performed by Wallace were 'I'm Off to Philadelphia in the Morning' and his 'famous show-stopping' Irish numbers. The comedian also wrote 'I'm Only a Policeman' especially for the production. According to Norman, the chorus went 'I'm only a copper, a poor harmless copper / Trying to earn my daily bread / Trying so hard to do what's right / Watching the houses day and night / Some day I may be a sergeant / Or this place I may never roam / Or one of these days you never can tell.... / I might have a gaol of my own' (When Vaudeville was King, p.107).

Adaptations

form y Harmony Row George Wallace , Melbourne : Efftee Film Productions , 1933 Z1347938 1933 single work film/TV humour

After joining the police force, Tommy Wallace (aka Officer Dreadnought) is assigned to patrol Harmony Row, the roughest and most notorious district in the city. He soon makes friends with many of the locals, including Molly, a pretty street musician, and Leonard, a precocious boy soprano who accompanies her. Dreadnought runs into trouble, however, when he comes up against the notorious thug Slogger Lee. After many incidents he is forced into fighting Lee at a boxing tournament. Although almost beaten into submission, the policeman is given the strength to beat the villain by Molly, who declares her affection for him.

Notes

  • Charles Norman refers to a song called 'Clothes Prop' as being sung by Wallace. Research into Wallace's career indicates, however, that the song was linked to Marshall Crosby, who is first known to have sung it during the 1925 Brisbane season of At the Crossroads. It is unclear, therefore, whether Norman's recall is erroneous or Wallace and Crosby both performed the song during their careers (p.107).

    Norman also recalls that Wallace's character was known as Constable Hector Killfrozenburg (p.107-8), an name that has not appeared in any reviews or critiques of Harmony Row identified to date.

  • Harmony Row was one of three George Wallace revusicals to be adapted into a successful motion picture by Frank Thring's Efftee Film Productions. The others were His Royal Highness (1932) and A Ticket in Tatts (1934).

Production Details

  • 1924: Majestic Theatre, Newtown, Sydney, 23-29 August.

    • Director George Wallace; Producer Fullers' Theatres Ltd.
    • Troupe George Wallace Revue Company.
    • Cast incl. George Wallace, Marshall Crosby, Tom Lincoln, Jack White, George Lloyd, Harry Burgess, Marie Nyman, Nellie Dean, Pat Reid, and the Six Rascals.

    1925: Fullers' Theatre, Sydney, 7-13 March.

    • Director George Wallace; Producer Fullers' Theatres Ltd.
    • Troupe George Wallace Revue Company.
    • Cast incl. George Wallace, Marshall Crosby, Jack White, Tom Lincoln, Marie Nyman, Ivy Moore, Sadie Gale, Nellie Dean, George Lloyd, and the Six Rascals.

    1925: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 13-19 June.

    • Director George Wallace; Producer Fullers' Theatres Ltd.
    • Troupe George Wallace Revue Company.
    • Cast incl. George Wallace, Marshall Crosby, Sadie Gale, Olga Muir, Tom Lincoln, Jack White, Nellie Dean, sisters Lulu Fanning and Mercia Elliott, George Lloyd, Fred 'Check' Hayes, Ada Scaddan, and the Six Rascals (incl. Alma Stewart).

    1925: Empire Theatre, Brisbane, 26 September - 2 October (return season: 19-24 December).

    • Director George Wallace; Producer Fullers' Theatres Ltd.
    • Troupe George Wallace Revue Company.
    • Cast incl. George Wallace, Marshall Crosby, Sadie Gale, Nellie Dean, Lulla Fanning, Ada Scaddan, Jack White, Frank Haining, Frederick Hayes, Tom Lincoln, and the Six Rascals (Alma Stewart, Eileen Smith, Hilary Salmon, Phyllis Lough, Doris Whimp, Isobel Broadfoot).
    • Sadie Gale left the company in late October 1925.

    1928: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 10-16 November.

    • Director George Wallace; Producer Fullers' Theatres Ltd.
    • Troupe George Wallace Revue Company.
    • Cast incl. George Wallace, Marshall Crosby, Marie Nyman, Maida Jones, Ada Scaddan, Frank Haining, Tom Lincoln, Jack Scott, Tom Foggitt, and the Six Rascals
    • Musicians Five Flaming Youths.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

Note:
This entry has been sourced from research undertaken by Dr Clay Djubal into Australian-written popular music theatre (ca. 1850-1930). See also the Australian Variety Theatre Archive
Last amended 25 Oct 2016 13:42:17
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X