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Source: Worker (Wagga Wagga, New South Wales 17 November 1910, p.21.
J. Harding Tucker J. Harding Tucker i(A9694 works by)
Also writes as: Nulla
Born: Established: 1863 London,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
Gender: Male
Heritage: English
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English-born actor, librettist, poet, writer, entrepreneur, business manager, advance rep, journalist, ad-writer.

John Harding Tucker emigrated to Australia in 1884, having previously worked at the London Stock Exchange. His initial occupations in Australia including rolling fleeces on a sheep property in Burrabogle, New South Wales, working in a coal mine (the Co-operative Colliery at Plattsburg) and tallying timber on the Newcastle wharf.

Tucker's earliest known association with the Australia theatrical world was as the newly-elected business manager for Sydney's Creswick Amateur Musical and Dramatic Society in 1889. The following year George Rignold employed him to provide localisations and topicalities to the Dick Whittington and his Cat libretto prepared by recently-arrived English actor Frank Ayrton. While details regarding his movements during the 1890s are scarce, a 1910 overview of his career published in The Worker indicates that he had run variety shows, been a theatrical advance and a song and sketch writer ('Verses by J. Harding Tucker', p.21). His occupation as an advance rep included the 1893 tour by the Alfred Woods dramatic company. He was well-enough entrenched in the Sydney theatrical world in 1894 to also organised a benefit concert for the family of vaudeville comedian Harry Cremar, who died mid-year.

Tucker's first known involvement with variety entertainment was in 1898 when he acted as business manager for Harry Chapman's Mammoth Minstrels at the Opera House, Sydney. The following year he was commissioned by the theatre's owner, Jacob Josephson, to adapt the 1856 German comedy, Robert und Bertram into a musical comedy. Tucker subsequently collaborated with H. Florack, who had previously been music director for Chapman's minstrel company. Renamed The Two Scamps, the musical was well-received by the critics and went on to play a more than respectable two week season.

Few details regarding Tucker's life or career after 1899 have been established, apart from his career as a journalist, ad-writer, poet and short story writer. A prolific writer, much of his work was published in newspapers and periodicals such as the Bulletin, Lilley's Magazine, The Australian Town and Country Journal, The Sydney Mail, Steele Rudd's Magazine, the Wagga Worker, Sydney Worker [Sydney] and Brisbane Worker [Brisbane], up until at least the early 1920s. Some were published under the pseudonym, 'Nulla.' In relation to his copy-writing, the 1910 Worker article 'Verses by J. Harding Tucker,' records:

He has a knack of writing attractively humorous advertisements in prose and verse, and has been ad-writer for various Sydney firms. He has written jingle from boyhood, and if we had an Australian theatre would be writing it now for comic and humorous productions (p.21).

In a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald~ in 1935 Tucker also recalls writing a 'music hall' sketch for Martyn Hagan and Lucy Fraser in 1891 called 'The Waratah.' In the sketch Hagan played an Irish lad and Fraser an Australian girl.

Most Referenced Works


Last amended 16 May 2018 11:55:07
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