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John Lazar John Lazar i(A79594 works by) (a.k.a. Lazarus; J. Lazar)
Born: Established: 1801 Edinburgh,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 1879
New Zealand,
Pacific Region,

Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1837 Departed from Australia: 1863
Heritage: Jewish
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Jewish actor and theatre manager John Lazar arrived in Sydney in 1837 from London. He claimed to be from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden. However, the Concise Companion to Theatre in Australia says he was probably a tailor and supernumerary in London. Soon after arriving in the colony he managed the Theatre Royal and later the Royal Victoria Theatre, acting in many performances.

In 1840, Lazar moved to Adelaide, opening and managing the Queen's Theatre in 1841. From 1843 to 1847, he was again working in Sydney. Among the works attributed to him from this period are the pantomimes St George and the Dragon; Or, Harlequin and the Seven Champions of Christendom (1846) and Zazezizozu; Or, Dominoes and Chess and the King of the Card Island (1846), which he possibly localised and adapted from a similarly titled two act extravaganza written by English dramatist Edward Fitzball (1792-1873). He was also possibly responsible for writing or adapting another pantomime, Old King Cole (1846).

Lazar returned to Adelaide in 1848 but by the early 1850s had left the theatre industry to become a jeweller. He also entered local politics, becoming the Mayor of Adelaide from 1855-1858. He left Australia for New Zealand in 1863. His son Samuel Lazar was also associated with the theatre as a manager and dramatist.

Most Referenced Works


  • Fitzball's pantomime, Zazezizozu; or, Dominoes, Chess, and Cards. A Musical Extravaganza in Two Acts was published in London by Duncombe in 1836.

  • Further Reference:

Last amended 11 Mar 2014 11:56:18
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