His Royal Highness single work   musical theatre   revue/revusical   humour  
First known date: ca. 1926 Issue Details: First known date: 1926 1926
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Revusical.

George Wallace played Tommy Dodds, a down-and-out, accident-prone pie-stall vendor, who is converted at a moment's notice into the reigning sovereign of Betonia, and subsequently scandalises the court with his larrikin Australian manner. When the rightful heir to the throne is discovered, Tommy is forcibly removed from the palace, at which time he wakes up from his dream.

A 1930 Argus review indicates that although the story 'opens on the New York waterfront, [with] the hero of the piece [being] a New York youth who nurses an ambition to become the proprietor of a pie-stall [this] does not prevent Mr Wallace from giving another of his amusing portraits of an Australian hobbledehoy, or from entertaining his audience with the incongruous use of Australian slang.' Concerning the story, the review records that 'It follows that Tommy Dodds (Mr Wallace) was hailed by the ambassador, who happened to be strolling along the waterfront in full uniform, as the long lost Prince of Petonia. In the Petonian palace the new king proves himself a good-hearted ruler, despite his disturbing habit of hurling the lady-in-waiting halfway across the stage.'

Adaptations

form y His Royal Highness George Wallace , C. J. Dennis , Z1924473 1932 single work film/TV humour

Tommy Dodds is an accident-prone stage manager who overnight becomes the King of Betonia. However, his uncouth Australian larrikin attitude, which sees him gambling with the footmen and decreeing that his courtiers wear roller skates, scandalises the court. When the rightful heir to the throne is discovered, Tommy is forcibly removed from the palace, at which point he wakes up from what has all been a dream.

Notes

  • His Royal Highness is believed to have been first staged at the Fullers' Majestic Theatre in early July 1926. Although no reviews or even advertisements detailing specific shows for that season have been located within newspapers digitised by Trove, Brisbane's Telegraph appears to imply in its 17 January 1927 issue that the show, Wallace's "only all-night entertainment," was first presented at the Majestic (p.14). In the lead-up to its Adelaide premiere the previous September, the Advertiser further records that Wallace 'had a rousing send-off at the [Majestic] when he left there.' The show being presented at that time was His Royal Highness (4 Sept. 1926, p.16).
  • The 1929/1930 Tivoli season saw at least one critic (from the Argus) criticise George Wallace's knockabout performance style on several occasions. In reviewing His Royal Highness, for example, the critic suggested that the comedian's style would be improved 'if he relied less on knocking people about and more upon his gift for less noisy humour' (17 February 1930, p.11).

  • His Royal Highness later became the first of three George Wallace revusicals to be adapted into film by F. W. Thring Frank Thring's Efftee Film Productions (the others being What a Night (short, 1932) and Harmony Row (1933).

Production Details

  • 1926: Majestic Theatre, Newtown (Sydney); 3-9 July

    • Director George Wallace; Producer Fullers' Theatres Ltd.
    • Troupe: George Wallace Revue Company.
    • Cast incl. George Wallace, Marshall Crosby, Marie Nyman, Nellie Dean, Lulla Fanning, Ada Scaddan, Tom White Frank Haining, Frederick "Check" Hayes, Tom Lincoln; and the Six Rascals (Alma Stewart, Eileen Smith, Hilary Salmon, Phyllis Lough, Doris Whimp, Isobel Broadfoot).
    • This was the last production of the season. According to Adelaide's Advertiser (4 September 1926, p.16), the first part of the farewell night show was interrupted by the arrival in the audience of a man in a red wig, shouting "I must say goodbye to George." Then he turned around to the audience and said, "Wow," and the 3,000 people recognised the interrupter as none other than Mr Jim Gerald and the applause was deafening." Gerald was starring ion his own show that same night at Fullers' Theatre. At the conclusion of the Wallace show Gerald reportedly journeyed to Newtown from the city again to crown Wallace "king of comedians."

    1926: Majestic Theatre, Adelaide; 4-10 September

    • Cast and production as for previous Sydney season.

    1927: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 26 February - 4 March.

    • Director George Wallace; Producer Fullers' Theatres Ltd.
    • Troupe George Wallace Revue Company.
    • Cast incl. George Wallace, Marshall Crosby, Marie Nyman, Ada Scaddan, Frank Haining, Tom Lincoln, and the Six Rascals.
    • Last week of Melbourne season.

    1928: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 22-28 September.

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

    1930: Tivoli Theatre, Melbourne, 15-21 February.

    • Director George Wallace; Producer Tivoli Celebrity Vaudeville Pty Ltd; Chorus Maurice Diamond.
    • Troupe George Wallace Revue Company.
    • Cast incl. George Wallace, Marshall Crosby, Keith Connelly, Bert Dudley, Tup Dudley, Jim Romaine, Irene Shamrock, Bebe Scott, Leonard Rich, John V. Dobbie, Jack Grant, and the Eight Rascals.
    • Musicians Five Flaming Youths Jazz Band.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

At the Tivoli - George Wallace in Musical Farce 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The Argus , 17 February 1930; (p. 11)

— Review of His Royal Highness George Wallace 1926 single work musical theatre
Bijou Theatre 1928 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 24 September 1928; (p. 12)

— Review of His Royal Highness George Wallace 1926 single work musical theatre
Bijou Theatre 1928 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 24 September 1928; (p. 12)

— Review of His Royal Highness George Wallace 1926 single work musical theatre
At the Tivoli - George Wallace in Musical Farce 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The Argus , 17 February 1930; (p. 11)

— Review of His Royal Highness George Wallace 1926 single work musical theatre

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 7 Oct 2015 08:29:42
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