Roy Rene i(2 works by) (birth name: Harry van der Sluys) (a.k.a. Mo; Harry Sluice; Mo Macachie)
Born: Established: 15 Feb 1891 ; Died: Ceased: 22 Nov 1954
Gender: Male
Heritage: Jewish
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BiographyHistory

OVERVIEW

Comedian, singer, and revusical, pantomime, film, and radio actor.

Roy Rene made his professional debut on the Melbourne variety stage at age thirteen, billed as 'Boy Roy the Singing Soprano'. He later worked briefly for Frank M. Clark, James Brennan, and J. C. Williamson's, J. C. Bain the Fullers', and Harry Clay. In 1915 he became a member of Bletsoes' Revue Company which in 1916 became the basis of Nat Phillips Stiffy and Mo Revue Company. With this troupe Phillips and Rene became arguably Australia's most popular and iconic comedy duo of the 1910s and 1920s. They remained together until 1925 performing in Phillips' original revusicals and appearing in several Fullers pantomimes, starting with the The Bunyip (1916), and followed by Babes in the Woods (1918), Cinderella (1919), Dick Whittington and his Cat (1921), and Mother Goose (1922).

When Rene and Phillips decided to give Stiffy and Mo a break in 1925, Rene left the Fullers and established his credentials as an actor in the comedy Give and Take (1926) and the George Marlowe pantomime Aladdin (Sydney), before teaming up briefly on the Tivoli circuit with comedian Fred Bluett. After Phillips and Rene reunited in Brisbane in early 1927, they went on to play box-office-breaking engagements around Australia and in New Zealand before disbanding the troupe permanently at the end of 1928. Rene briefly formed his own troupe, The Merry Monarchs before appearing in two Frank Neil shows, Clowns and Clover and Mother Goose. In 1931, he and ex-Stiffy and Mo troupe members Mike Connors and Queenie Paul staged their own revues together, and he also later appeared regularly with Jim Gerald, one of his arch rivals for 'the mob'.

In 1933, Rene starred in his only film, Strike Me Lucky. He continued to perform on stage past World War II, and in 1946 signed a contract with Colgate-Palmolive to appear on radio. He soon afterwards began presenting his much acclaimed MaCackie Mansion series. By 1950, Rene had begun to suffer poor health. He nevertheless managed to present a new radio show in 1952, called The New Atlantic Show. Within two years, however, Roy Rene, 'Monarch of the Mob', was dead.


DETAILED BIOGRAPHY


[The following biography engages primarily with Roy Rene's career between 1910 and 1916 and 1929 up until the mid-1930s]

1891-1912: The son of cigar manufacturer Hyam (or Henry) van der Sluice and Amelia (nee Barnett), Roy Rene was only ten years old when he won a singing competition in his home town of Adelaide. Three years later, shortly before his family moved to Melbourne, he made his appearance on the professional stage as a juvenile in Sinbad the Sailor (Theatre Royal). In later years, Rene said that it was after he arrived in Melbourne that he began to seriously study vaudeville performers on the Rickards circuit in the hope of making it big in that business himself (Mo's Memoirs, p.31). Over the next few years, he found occasional work on suburban vaudeville programmes as 'Boy Roy the Singing Soprano' and, after his voice broke, as 'Boy Roy.' Although he secured an engagement with Frank M. Clark in Melbourne at age sixteen, Rene's career during his teens was largely unremarkable. In 1910, after having changed his stage name from Boy Roy to Roy Rene (after the famous French clown), he was noticed by entrepreneur James Brennan who subsequently gave him an opportunity to appear at National Amphitheatre in Sydney. He appeared frequently on the entrepreneur's circuit through until late 1911, playing seasons in Melbourne (Gaiety Theatre, beginning 15 May), Adelaide and Brisbane (with Brennan's Vaudeville Entertainers Company; Theatre Royal, beginning 18 Sept.). During this period Rene also played brief seasons with other variety firms, notably Ted Holland (Brisbane). In December 1910 he also took on a minor role as a stable hand and jockey in J. C. Williamson's Sydney production of The Whip.

In 1912 Rene played a brief but pivotal season at Sydney's Princess Theatre under the management of J.C. Bain. The engagement was significant in that not only did he come to the personal attention of Benjamin and John Fuller but it was the first time that he had attempted to do a Hebrew comedy turn. His imitation of US comedian Julian Rose went over so well that he was subsequently invited by the Fullers to play a season in new Zealand at Wellington's Theatre Royal. Rene's reception there was such that he went on to play the other major cities - Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin for almost a year.


  • NB: While Rene has recalled touring New Zealand for some 18 months (Mo's Memoirs p. 47), research into his movements indicates that this was far shorter - no sooner than late February and no later than early November 1912 [see Historical Notes and Corrections section for further details].

1913-1916: In mid-1913, after several months of trying, Rene finally met variety entrepreneur Harry Clay by chance in the Sydney street. The timing was fortuitous because one of Clay's cornermen had just pulled out of the Balmain show and he was offered a trial that same night. Rene's performance went over so well that Clay immediately offered him regular work on his suburban circuit (Mo's Memoirs, pp. 41-42) and within a month he also joined Clay's touring Queensland company on its return leg south from Charters Towers. Billed as a comedian and impersonator, Rene continued to appear on Clay's circuit fairly regularly until around October 1914, learning from experience performers like Ted Tutty and Frank Yorke. That he built a popular reputation with Clay's audiences is evidenced by reviews such as those below:


  • 'Roy Rene has established himself as a firm favourite [at the Bridge Theatre], and does much to make the first part go; his songs are sure winners, and he has such a way with him on stage one has to look and laugh at him, which is a valuable asset to such a comedian' (8 July 1914, p.13)
  • 'Roy Rene does not get off under four songs nightly, which says well for this performer' (15 July 1914, n. pag.)

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'Roy Rene and Ted Tutty share the applause for the first part - neither can be separated' (22 July 1914, p.6)


While Rene was mostly associated with Harry Clay during the years 1913 and 1914, he is known to have accepted other casual engagements whenever they became available. These included, for example, seasons at Melbourne's Gaiety Theatre in November 1913 and at the Lyric Theatre (Fitzroy) in January 1914.

It has not been established when Rene ended his association with Harry Clay in 1914, but it appears that sometime between August and December, he undertook a brief engagement with J. C. Bain at the Princess Theatre in Sydney. An Australian Variety review from around this period reports on one of his performances with Bain: 'Roy Rene, the well-known akim-foo comedian and the originator of that beautiful phrase, "I haven't got a feather to fly with," left his end coat at home the other night. Being stuck up somewhat for the most desired article, he espied an old dummy used in farces hanging up on one of the flies. Promptly letting it down, he seized the bob-tail coat of the scarecrow and emerged triumphant, just as the rag went up. It fits him good so he's hanging on to it' (14 October 1914, p.7).

In late 1914 Rene accepted a number of engagements in Victoria (including Bendigo), which were followed by a season in Adelaide for the Fullers that lasted until 5 February. The following month the Fullers assigned him to a troupe being put together by Albert Bletsoe and Maud Bletsoe. After debuting in Newcastle (Victoria Theatre), Bletsoes' Tabloid Musical Comedy Co (aka Bletsoes' Musical Revue Co.) presented its small repertoire of revusicals during seasons in Melbourne, Adelaide, Wellington (NZ) and regional Queensland. Among the company's revusicals were Fun in a Sanatorium and In Vacation Time. Rene remained with the troupe up until mid-to-late June, at which time the Bletsoes retired from live performance in order to pursue other career directions. When the troupe returned to Sydney from Brisbane, it was placed under the leadership of Nat Phillips, who promptly reorganised the membership, retaining the services of Rene and Rosie Bowie and bringing in a number of high-profile performers from the Fullers' stable of artists. Renamed Nat Phillips' Tabloid Musical Comedy Company, the troupe later became better known as Nat Phillips' Stiffy and Mo Revue Company or simply as Stiffy and Mo.

1916-1925: For details of Roy Rene's career during this period, see AustLit entries for Stiffy and Mo and Nat Phillips' Stiffy and Mo Revue Company.

1925-1926: Following the disbandment of the Stiffy and Mo troupe, Rene initially moved away from vaudeville, accepting an engagement to play the role of Albert Kruger in the play Give and Take (opposite American Hebrew comedian Harry Green). The comedy premiered in Melbourne on 17 October 1925 and later played several other capital cities. The Sydney season began on 16 January 1926 at the Criterion, before transferring to the Palace Theatre on 3 April. It was also given a revival season in Melbourne, beginning 31 July 1926. Of Rene's performance, one Melbourne critic wrote, 'Mr Roy Rene was ludicrously clever from beginning to end' (Age 19 October 1925, p.14), while another similarly reports that his delineation was extremely funny and that his 'remarkable gyrations caused endless amusement' (Argus 2 August 1925, p.14). Even the Bulletin found much to applaud in his performance. Noting that Rene had never before had a set part, the magazine's 'Sundry Shows' editor wrote, 'There is no doubt about his rank as a natural comedian' (22 October 1925, p.34). Further insight into Rene's presence in the play can be gleaned from the Argus's review of the initial Melbourne production:


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While Mr Green deftly provided light character comedy, Mr Rene offered the contrast of broad burlesque, much in the manner in which he has been appearing as 'Mo' in revue for a good many years. This variety of humorous absurdity with its oily smiles, its poses and writhings, its quaint misunderstandings and mispronunciations, and its comic falls has a skill of its own, and it pleases the fancy of many theatregoers. Mr Rene had a full share of applause and laughter. He was allowed plenty of scope throughout the play, and Mr Green brought him forward to share the curtain honours (19 October 1925, p.14).


Sometime around May the following year, Rene decided to return to vaudeville, joining forces with comedian Fred Bluett on the Tivoli circuit in an act billed simply as Bluett and Mo. They initially played seasons in Sydney and Melbourne, before undertaking a national tour, which included Brisbane (in late June/early July) and Adelaide (beginning 16 October). Their act comprised at least two sketches: The Admiral and the Sailor (aka Fun on the High Sea), with Mo as the admiral and Bluett as a 'jolly tar' who resents the commands of his superior, and Oxford Bags. The Brisbane Courier, in reporting that their engagement had been extended to a second week due to popular demand, indicates that the latter piece burlesqued 'the latest mode which has created so much discussion' (5 July 1926, p.17).


1927-1928: [For details of Roy Rene's career during this period, see the AustLit records for Stiffy and Mo and Nat Phillips' Stiffy and Mo Revue Company]

1929-1939: A little more than a month after the Stiffy and Mo company disbanded in December 1928, Rene put together The Merrymakers. The troupe toured for several months on the Fullers' circuit, presenting a first-part vaudeville and second-part revue. The company initially included Mayo Hunter, the Hawaiian jazz band leader and multi instrumentalist. Also in the company was Rene's fiancée Sadie Gale. In April 1929, Rene accepted an engagement from Clay's Bridge Theatre Company to tour its Sydney circuit (Everyone's 8 May 1929, p.37). Later that year, he also went through a much-publicised divorce from his first wife, Dorothy Claire Davis, whom he had married in 1917. Dot Davis (her stage name) had been a member of the Stiffy and Mo Revue Company between 1917 and 1925. According to an Everyone's article that highlights the divorce proceedings, Rene and Gale were then receiving £70 per week on their contract with Clay's. Referred to as Harry Vander Sluice, Rene is said to have told the registrar (in opposing an alimony increase from £10 to £15) that he held the fear 'that when his Clay contract finished there would be difficulty in him securing remunerative employment because of the talkies' (31 July 1929, p.39).

Almost immediately after his divorce was granted, Rene and Gale married, spending their honeymoon on a north Queensland tour underwritten by Clay's Bridge Theatre Ltd. (The troupe was advertised as Mo's Merrymakers). Reviews published in the various regional newspapers indicate that the troupe attracted large audiences, no doubt due to Rene's well-established (almost iconic) status and the fact that he and Phillips had rarely played outside the major Australian metropolitan centres during their career together. '"Mo" will make his first appearance in Rockhampton,' wrote one the Morning Bulletin theatre critic. '[He] has been credited with all kinds of gags, the same as car gags are hung on to Henry Ford and economic gags on to Harry Lauder. But "Mo" first and last, is a true humorist, and too clever to stoop to the vulgar gag. The fact of his starring for 15 years in all the principal theatres of Australia should be sufficient guarantee of Mo's entertaining abilities' (17 September 1929, p.3). A few nights later, the same paper noted that 'the humour, though undeniably broad, was of the type on which these artists' reputations were gained, and was apparently expected by the crowd' (23 September 1929, p.3).

Despite being deemed a success by the critics, Rene's biographer Fred Parsons claims that, overall, the tour was disappointing for its star performer. According to Parsons, Mo had been 'unfavourably compared with George Wallace, who had [once] cut cane up there for a living' and that 'this rankled with [him] especially as George had been Sadie's first boy-friend' (A Man Called Mo, p.27). Towards the end of the tour, too, Rene began to showing signs of suffering from peritonitis. After the conclusion of the Queensland tour, he and Gale travelled to Melbourne to appear in Frank Neil's production of Clowns in Clover (King's Theatre). As with Give and Take, Rene again worked a straight comedy role and garnered a good deal of positive criticism. Although describing him as 'grotesquely amusing,' the Argus theatre critic nevertheless suggested that not all theatre-goers would find his comedy inviting given too much quantity, and that he should therefore 'not be expected to carry so large a portion of the show.' The same critic similarly proposed that despite being a clever Australian comedian, 'Gale also appeared in the entertainment too often' (2 December 1929, p.18). Three weeks after the start of the King's Theatre season, the couple joined a number of the other cast members in presenting matinee productions of Mother Goose, while also appearing in Clowns and Clover at night. While on stage in early January 1930, Rene collapsed from the peritonitis and was taken to hospital, where he almost died. Within six months, however, he had recovered enough to again return to the stage. During the interim, Gale accepted an engagement with Jim Gerald's Revue Company, which started a five-month season at the Melbourne Tivoli, beginning in March.

In 1931, Rene joined ex-Stiffy and Mo members Mike Connors and Queenie Paul at the Haymarket Theatre in Sydney. Connors and Paul later converted the old Sydney Opera House into a new Tivoli Theatre, and it was here that Rene and Jim Gerald, one of his arch rivals for the attentions of 'the mob,' appeared over the next decade or so. In 1932, Rene starred in his first and only film. Directed by Ken G. Hall, Strike Me Lucky was a somewhat disappointing venture for him, as it failed to compare favourably with the cinematic efforts of his other main rival, George Wallace. Rene continued to perform on stage past World War II, including headline appearances with the Ernest C. Rolls Revue Company. One of his earliest associations with Rolls was in 1935, through the revue extravaganza Rhapsodies of 1935 (2 Feb.), which also featured ex-Stiffy and Mo members Alec Kellaway and Keith Connolly, along with rising stars such George Moon Jnr and Will Perryman. Much of the music for that production was composed by Jack O'Hagan).

1940-1954: In 1943, with editorial assistance from Max Harris and Elisabeth Lambert, Rene released his autobiography, Mo's Memoirs. Two years later, he made his last appearance at the Tivoli Theatre (Sydney), effectively marking the end of an era in Australian popular theatre. In 1946, he signed with Colgate-Palmolive to appear live on 2GB's Calling the Stars broadcast. It was as part of this programme that he soon afterwards began presenting his much-acclaimed McCackie Mansion series of sketches (1947-49). Jacqueline Kent writes that as Mo McCackie, Rene played 'a devious, ingratiating character who was inclined to be obsequious to people's faces but who would mutter things about them behind their backs' (Out of the Bakelite Box, p.14). Originally slated for a six-week season, it eventually ran for two-and-a-half years. Part of the success of McCackie Mansions was its reliance on many of the ingredients of vaudeville. Many of the show's stock phrases, notably Rene's 'you filthy beast' and Hal Lashwood's 'aaah McCackie, you've done it again', became part of the Australian vocabulary for years to come. The show also created classic Australian characters such as Spencer the Garbage Man (played by Harry Avondale); McCackie's young son, Harry (Harry Griffiths); and Mo's next-door neighbour, Horrible Herbie (Jack Burgess). A revue, McCackie Moments, was staged in 1949 at the King's Theatre, Melbourne, marking Rene's final appearance on stage.

The 1950s saw him appear in multiple productions: Cavalcade, opposite Jack Davey; It Pays to be Ignorant (as Professor McCackie); McCackie Manor (1951); and finally The New Atlantic Show (1952), which again captured a nationwide audience. The late 1940s and early 1950s were not good ones for Rene in terms of his health, however, as he battled against a gradually worsening heart problem. While in The New Atlantic Show, he suffered a heart attack. Although he recovered, he never worked in radio again. He eventually died on 22 November 1954 at his home in the Sydney suburb of Kensington, and was survived by his wife and two children, Sam and Milo.

In her entry on Rene in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Celestine McDermott writes of Rene's ability as a comedian:


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'Mo's greatest asset was his superb timing, which enabled him to get away with the suggestive double entendre - he never did say anything technically obscene. Able to make his audience laugh or cry, he was the master of the physical nuance; his facial expression, gesture, stance and movement were welded within the black and white caricature of a Jewish comedian, with Australian mannerisms, delivering local vernacular with Semitic lisp' (p.361).

Notes

  • HISTORICAL NOTES AND CORRECTIONS:

    1. In his chapters "Boy Roy" and "A Hebrew Comedian" (Mo's Memoirs pp.45-48) Rene indicates that until the time he was with Bain in Sydney he'd never done a Jewish act at all: "I'd never thought of being a Hebrew comic," he writes. "It just simply had never occurred to me. After Clay, I was working with Jim Bain at the Princess Theatre, the Sydney one, when the cast kidded me into doing some imitations of Jordan and Harvey, and the famous Julian Rose.... I was working as a cornerman, still black-face, but I had learnt one of their numbers, 'Yiddle on your Fiddle, Play Some Ragtime,' and did it. Then I did an imitation of Julian Rose in his act 'Levinsky at the Wedding.' It was supposed to be an imitation of Rose, but I was no more like him than a fly in the air, though somehow with a black-face the act was a riot. What started out as a joke in the first place turned out to be the most important thing that ever happened to me in my career. That piece of black-face fooling led to my eventually developing into a real comic.

    Rene's recall here is problematic because he infers that it was this act, under the management of Bain, that caught the attention of the Fullers and led to him being booked to play Wellington's Theatre Royal. A discrepancy arises because it has now been established that he was in New Zealand between at March and November 1912, the year before he first started with Harry Clay. The issue is further clouded because Rene insists that he began with Clay following the closure of The Whip (which ran between 17 December 1910 and 2 March 1911). However, research into his movements from early 1911 indicates that he must have ended his engagement with The Whip before it closed in order to appear in Brisbane under Ted Holland's management on 28 January. By 12 April he was at Hobart's Theatre Royal once again under the management of James Brennan. He also appears to have been working for Brennan for most of the year, with his later engagements being the Gaiety Theatre, Melbourne (15 May -), National Amphitheatre, Sydney (29 July- 15 September), the New Theatre Royal, Brisbane (18 September -) and a return season at the National Amphitheatre (from 20 November onwards). No record of him being with Clay's during the interim periods has yet been located. The aforementioned engagements also indicate that Rene could not possibly have been in Sydney "for months" attempting to see Harry Clay, as he records in his autobiography (p. 42), at any stage during the year.

    Interestingly, while Rene also recalls having been in New Zealand for some 18 months (p.47), the evidence (as indicated above) shows that he could not have been in the country any longer than 10 months. In this respect it can be established that he was at the Princess Theatre with J. C. Bain as late as 17 February 1912 and back in Sydney by 7 November the same year, appearing at the national Amphitheatre under James Brennan's management.

  • 2. A number of historians and commentators have claimed that Rene's tendency towards telling 'blue' or offensive jokes was a key factor in the Stiffy and Mo partnership splitting in 1925 and again in 1928. [See, for example, the Companion to Theatre in Australia (p.561), John West's Theatre in Australia (p.125), and Kathy Leahy's 'Roy Rene "Mo." (p.95)]. Regarding the 1925 incident, for example, Phillips is said to have been forced into firing Rene in Adelaide after he uttered a piece of vulgarity relating to one of the city's nude statues (a topic that was decreed taboo by Sir Benjamin Fuller). Evidence from a variety of sources indicates, however, that this issue has been exaggerated.

    • According to Billy Moloney in Memoirs of an Abominable Showman, Rene's humour has been remembered as being much worse than ever presented: 'I was able to see a lot of Mo [and] while there was a certain amount of double entendre, there never was a tithe of the smut that unreliable memories and distorted hearsay have attributed... actually one needed a dirty mind to know what was going on.' As Moloney recalls Mo saying once, 'Thometimeth my gath have a double meaning. I object to a thow vere ther ith no get-out. I leave it to the audienth to take thingth dirty if they vant to.' Moloney further notes that 'Mo's expressive leer was no sure sign of lechery,' and indeed the problem wasn't due so much due to Rene but with the audience, which could easily find dirt where none was intended. 'For all his reputation,' writes Moloney, 'Roy Rene was most critical of other comedians' "blueness"' (pp.23-24). A comprehensive analysis of reviews published throughout Rene's and Phillips's time on stage together also supports Moloney's claim, with mention of Rene's blue humour being found in only a couple of isolated instances, and then only towards the end of their 1927-1928 reunion period (see Djubal, 'What Oh Tonight, chapter 6).

    • An examination of the reviews published in the major metropolitan newspapers between 1916 and 1928 also indicates that the issue of risqué or offensive humour was raised only in a few instances, and then mostly during the final twelve to eighteen months of their partnership. Furthermore, whenever the 'doubtful nature of the humour' is raised, neither comedian is singled out, suggesting that Nat Phillips was equally to blame in pushing the boundaries of acceptable humour. An item from the Bulletin's 'Sundry Shows' page in 1927 explains one reason for the occasional lowering of the comedy tone: 'On Saturday Stiffy and Mo kept the crowded audience at Fullers' Theatre in a roar of hilarity with matter which had few objectionable features; the stuff that calls for managerial interference appears to creep in on some of the week nights, in an endeavour to play up to a section of the audience that least deserves consideration. The pair are good enough comedians to do without stuff of this sort; and the management should insist that they shall do without it' (7 April 1927, p.52).

    • Interestingly, during the 1924/1925 period, no reference to 'blue' or morally contentious humour can be found in any reviews published in either the Sydney Morning Herald or the Argus. It is only the Age that appears at this time to have questioned the comedians' delivery, and then only on a couple of occasions during the company's four-month season at the Bijou. In one review, for example, the paper's theatre critic writes, 'Their work is as fresh as ever but there is still a tendency to create a doubtful type of humour' (23 February 1925, p.11).

  • PHOTOGRAPHS:

    The following list comprises bibliographic details of published and unpublished photographs, caricatures, and drawings of Roy Rene (and as Mo), Dorothy (Dot) Davis and Sadie Gale. See also Nat Phillips's Stiffy and Mo Revue Company record in AustLit.

    • Australian National Journal: December 1941, p.60 [Mo as Elizabeth of England]

    • Australian Variety: 25 October 1916, n. pag. [Mo - caricature] ; 17 January 1917, n. pag.

    • Brisbane, Katherine, ed. Entertaining Australia, p.214 [Mo].

    • Bulletin: 29 October 1925, p.34 [Rene and Harry Green caricature]

    • Carroll, Brian. Australian Stage Album, p.83 [Mo].

    • Crocker, Patti. Radio Days (1989), p.56 [Rene].

    • Everyone's: 21 January 1925, p.33 [Gale]

    • Fuller News: December/January 1921/1922, pp.7, 24 [Davis in Cinderella ; Rene] ; 21 January 1922, pp.4, 16 [Mo - caricature ; Davis] ; 11 March 1922, p.1 [Rene] ; 22 April 1922, front cover [Rene caricature by Brodie Mack] ; 24 June 1922, p.2 [Rene].

    • Greats, The: p.261.

    • Green Room: November 1922, p.8 [Gale].

    • Harris, Max. 'The Secret Life of Mo', Bulletin 15 July 1980, p.40 [Mo - caricature].

    • Just It: 18 November 1926, front cover [Sadie Gale] ; 8 September 1927, p.28 [Sadie Gale].

    • Kent, Jacqueline. Out of the Bakelite Box, pp.10, 15, 17, 19 [Colgate-Palmolive Radio Unit Co ; Cast of McCackie Mansion ; Cast of McCackie Mansion ; Rene and Hal Lashwood]

    • Let's Look at Radio: pp.40, 46 [Cast of Calling the Stars - Rene, Hal Lashwood, Jack Burgess, Harry Avondale, Harry Griffith ; Mo]

    • Mendelsohn, Oscar. 'Salute to Mo', Overland 69 (1978): pp.51-54. [Mo - caricature by Noel Counihas].

    • National Archives of Australia: Series No - A1861, 6443 [Mo].

    • National Library of Australia: See Music Collection ('Rachel Cohen', by Nat Phillips), Pictures Collection (Kerry Norton Photographs) and Ephemera Collection. See also National Library of Australia News, September 2006, pp.7-10.

    • Nat Phillips Collection: Fryer Library, University of Qld. UQFL9; Box 11 - Folder 1.

    • New Theatre Australia: March/April (1988), n. pag. [Rene pre-Stiffy and Mo].

    • Parsons, Fred. A Man Called Mo, v. pags.

    • Rene, Roy. Mo's Memoirs, v. pags.

    • Screen News: 29 September 1934, n. pag. [two scenes from Strike Me Lucky].

    • Tait, Viola. Dames, Principal Boys... and All That, p.228.

    • Theatre Magazine: April 1915, n. pag. [Rene with Albert Bletsoe Co].

    • Thompson, John. Five to Remember, p.1. [Mo - caricature].

    • Van Straten, Frank. Tivoli, v. pags.

  • Other related photographs include:

    • Albert Sluice: Australian Variety 4 Oct. 1916, n. pag. [reproduced 25 March 1920, p.6].

  • RECORDINGS:

    The following recordings are available commercially and/or through various Australian libraries. See also the Stiffy and Mo agent record in AustLit.

    Compilations (compact disks):

    • Australian Memories: Recordings from 1926-1943. Crystal Stream Audio, CD, IDCD10, 1998. ('Mr McCackie').

    • Christmas with Mrs 'Obbs, Dad and Dave and Friends. National Film and Sound Archive, CD 9710558, 1997 [Series: Australia's Radio Favourites from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.] ('McCackie Mansion 1947 Christmas Edition').

    • Our Century. Columbia, CD, 492991.6, 1999 (radio excerpts).

    • Stars of the Australian Stage and Radio: Volume 1. Larrikin, CD, LRH 429. [Series: Warren Faye Presents Yesterday's Australia] ('McCackie Madhouse' - with Sadie Gale and Harry Griffiths')

    • This is Mo. Festival, FL30767, 196- (Incl. 'Underneath the Arches,' 'Mo Writes to Hollywood,' 'The Rose of No-Man's Land,' 'The Difference,' 'The Barmaid and the Butcher,' 'Dreaming,' 'Two Very Ordinary People,' 'Mo's Cow,' 'My Night Out,' 'Mo's Anniversary Party', and 'Tribute to Mo').

  • Entries connected with this record have been sourced from historical research into Australian-written music theatre conducted by Dr Clay Djubal. For further details regarding the partnership between Roy Rene and Nat Phillips see 'What Oh Tonight' : The Methodology Factor and Pre-1930s Australian Variety Theatre', Ph.D. dissertation, 2005.

Other mentions of in AustLit:
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