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Source: Australian Variety Theatre Archive
Issue Details: First known date: 1895... 1895 Djin-Djin, the Japanese Bogie Man ; Or, The Great Shogun Who Lost his Son and the Little Princess Who Found Him : A Fairy Tale of Old Japan
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Described by its creators as a 'Fairy Tale of Old Japan', and with echoes of The Mikado throughout, the story concerns Djin Djin, an evil demon who holds the talisman that can save the life of Princess Iris. She will die unless someone defeats Djin Djin and liberates the talisman. To do this, they must risk entering the ruined temple where the demon and his horde of followers are based.

The pantomime was advertised as a 'grand spectacular extravaganza,' and indeed it had no fewer than thirty-eight named performers, with a host of other actors and dancers playing roles such as Mousinées, Flower Fairies, Snow Elves, Japanese Ladies, Samurai, Councillors, Officials, Courtiers, Coolies, Guards, Jinrikishamen, Spirits, Demons and Monkeys etc. The principal characters were Prince Omi (a Japanese feudal prince), Prince Eucalyptus (a suitor from the sunny south whose yacht is wrecked on the shores of Japan), Hojo-no-Kami (Diamio, a feudal prince), Princess Iris (a daughter of the Diamio), Cheekee (the Diamio's other daughter), Okiama (the Diamio's maiden sister of uncertain age), Djin Djin (the Bogie-man), Oda Nobunga (the Great Shogun), Prince Omi (the Shogun's son turned into a baboon by Djin Djin), Chrysantheme (the Fairy Queen), Dede, Maid to Princess Iris), Gay-Jay (the Grand Vizier), Fli-qui-Sami (Japan's astrologer), and Tom Wallaby (Prince Eucalyptus' faithful valet and friend).

The scene breakdown for the 1895 Melbourne premiere production was:

Act 1: Scene 1. The Shrine of the Soothsayer;

Scene 2. A Street in Nagasaki;

Scene 3. Palace Gardens of Hojo No Kami. Grand Procession and Fan ballet, Brilliant Illumination of Nagasaki.

Act 2: Scene1 Courtyard of Damio's Palace;

Scene 2. Enchanted Bamboo Grove;

Scene 3. The Frozen Forest. A Novel and Beautiful Transformation. Dance of Snow Elves and Chrysanthemum Ballet;

Scene 4. Exterior of the Haunted Temple;

Scene 5. Interior of the Temple. Grand Demon Trap Scene. The Earthquake. The Eruption of Fuji San.

Act 3: Scene 1. The Shogun's Court; Grand Specialty Entertainment by John Coleman, the Banvards, the Ridgeways, Ivy Scott and Carrie Moore. Off to Fairy Land;

Scene 2. The Golden City; Grand Ballet - Dazzling Scene of Electric Splendour. Grand Harlequinade and old English Comic Scenes by the Ridgeway Family.

[Source: Australian Variety Theatre Archive]

Notes

  • Djin Djin was produced by Williamson and Musgrove at a period when their company was faced with a serious financial crisis. This was due to a large extent by the world economic depression, and which in Australia had been exacerbated by a devastating drought. From its opening performance, however, the show became a resounding success. The drama critics were especially impressed by originality, well-defined plot and spectacle, and crowds flocked to see it every night. In reporting on the 1895 Melbourne production the Sydney Morning Herald told its readers about the 'orgy of splendor,' and the 'surfeit of rich colour, of Oriental pageantry, rapid and dazzling movements, ballets that are all sparkle and glitter, and stage groupings that fascinate the attention by their rapid and kaleidoscopic changes' ("Musical and Dramatic Notes" p.4). When it opened in Sydney the following year the production was also a resounding success. The pantomime went on to play to large houses in both Australia and New Zealand though until the early 1900s.
  • The 1896 Melbourne revival saw Williamson and Musgrove introduce the Lumiere's Cinematographe as an incidental feature of the third act.
  • Although a tour of New Zealand in early 1897 was flagged, with mention made of a season in Dunedin in early March, Djin Djin did not make its debut in that country until December that year. The producers had by then re-focused their attention on their next blockbuster, Matsa, Queen of Fire, and hence handed over the rights to Djin Djin to Tom Pollard. The New Zealand productions were subsequently staged by his adult opera company (and not the Lilliputian Opera Company for his which was arguably best known for). Pollard later toured the show through parts of Australia well into the 1900s.
  • The National Library of Australia (NLA) catalogue confusingly records the name A. Jerome in its description field, inviting the suggestion that Jerome published the work. His name has also been erroneouly linked as publisher of the 1895 Robinson Crusoe pantomime by both the NLA and the State Library of NSW. Both institutions (as with most libraries) have mistakenly classified this publication as a libretto, when in fact it is a production program (bibliographically classified as ephemera). As such its publishing would have been overseen not by a printery but by the producers - in this instance Williamson and Musgrove. Why Jerome's name appears in both catalogues is unclear. As his AustLit entry records, Jerome's brief period of activity in Sydney in the mid-1890s saw him engaged in writing and editing. He never set up a printery business, and by late 1896 had been convicted of forgery and sent to prison for three years.

Production Details

  • 1895: Princess Theatre, Melbourne; 26 December 1895 - 14 February1896

    • Director John Wallace; Producer Williamson and Musgrove; Conductor/Music Director Leon Caron; Scenic Art George Gordon, Phil Goatcher and W. R. Spong.
    • Cast incl. Mortals - Carrie Moore (Prince Omi), Oliver "Olly" Deering (Oda Nobunga), Arthur Lissant (Hojo-no-Kami) , Edward Farley (Djin Djin), Florence Young (Prince Eucalyptus), Flora Graupner (Princess Iris), John Coleman (Okiama), Marietta Nash (Dede), William Elton (Tom Wallaby), C. W. Berkeley (Gay-Jay), A. J. Boyd (Fli-qui-Sami), F. England (Komo), H. Smith (Nawa), F. Gates (Bungo), S. Grainger (Oyes), F. Lear (Bambou), Stannis Leslie (Hiti), Sydney Bracey (Titi), J. R. Johnstone (Yudo), J. W. Campbell (So-So), H. Williams (Gloto), J. Costello (Ifri), W. Brewer (Gori), Alma Vaughan (St George), Lisa Clifton (St Andrew), Beatrice Place (Prince O'Toole), Stella Esdaile (Count Bonivant), Millie Young (Prince Polenta), Little Rosie Morgan (Little Jack), Little Celia Morgan (Wee Wullie), Little Isabel Hendley (Patrick Small), Little May Oakley (Petit Pierre), Little Dora Taylor (Diminuendo), Connie Solomon (Lambswool), Gus Gregory (Pongo); Immortals - Edward Farley (Djin Djin), Leonore Oselli (Chrysantheme, the Fairy Queen), Maie Saqui (Jonquille), Florrie McRae (Lotus).
    • Other characters include: Flower Fairies, Snow Elves, Japanese Ladies, Samouris, Councillors, Officials, Courtiers, Coolies, Guards, Jinrikishamen, Spirits, Demons, Monkeys.

    1896: Lyceum Theatre, Sydney; 28 March - 15 May

    • Production team mostly as for previous Melbourne season.
    • Cast incl. Mortals - Carrie Moore (Prince Omi), Florence Young (Prince Eucalyptus), Frank Sceats (Hojo-no-Kami), Flora Graupner (Princess Iris), Ivy Scott (Cheekee), John Coleman (Okiama), Mary Weir (Dede), C. M. Berkeley (Gay-Jay), A. J. Boyd (Fli-qui-Sami), F. England (Komo), W. Jones (Nawa), F. Gates (Bungo), S. Grainger (Oyes), F. Lear (Bambou), W. Ball (Oda Nobunga, the Shogun), H. Smith (Hiti), Sydney Bracey (Titi), J. R. Johnstone (Yudo), J. W. Campbell (So-So), H. Williams (Gloto), J. Costello (Ifri), W. Brewer (Gori), William Elton (Tom Wallaby), Alma Vaughan (St George), Josie Kelso (St Andrew), Beatrice Place (Prince O'Toole), Stella Esdaile (Count Bonivant), Millie Young (Prince Polenta), Little Ida Ingersole (Little Jack), Little Ruby Williams (Wee Wullie), Little Isabel Hendley (Patrick Small), Little Marie Williams (Petit Pierre), Little Daisy Mowbray Diminuendo), Master Sydney Banvard (Lambswool), Gus Gregory (Pongo); Immortals - Edward Farley (Djin Djin), Leonore Oselli (Chrysantheme, the Fairy Queen), Lila Clifton (Jonquille), Florrie McRae (Lotus).

    .

  • 1896: Princess Theatre, Melbourne [return season]; 31 October - 20 November

    • Production team mostly as for previous seasons.
    • Cast incl. Mortals - Miss Banvard (Prince Omi), Florence Young (Prince Eucalyptus), Howard Vernon (Hojo-no- Kami), Juliet Wray (Princess Iris), Carrie Moore (Cheekee), Will Crackles (Okiama), Mary Weir (Dede), Gus Gregory (Gay-Jay), P. B. Bathurst (Fli-qui-Sami), Arthur Lissant (Oda Nobunga), George Lauri (Tom Wallaby), Alma Vaughan (St George), Lila Clifton (St Andrew), Lucy Cobb (Prince O'Toole), Stella Esdaile (Count Bonivant), Millie Young (Prince Polenta), Little Rosie Morgan (Little Jack), Little Celia Williams (Wee Wullie), Little Isabel Hendley (Patrick Small), Little Mary Oakley (Petit Pierre), Little Dora Taylor (Diminuendo), Connie Solomon (Lambswool). Immortals - Ernest Fitts (Djin Djin), Hetty Holroyd (Chrysantheme, the Fairy Queen), Maie Saqui (Jonquille), Florrie McRae (Lotus).

    1896: Theatre Royal, Adelaide; 24 November - 5 December

    • Cast and production mostly as for previous Melbourne season.

    1897: Opera House, Wellington (New Zealand); 27-31 December

    • Producer Tom Pollard (in association with Williamson and Musgrove); Director John Wallace; Music Director H. T. Harrison.
    • Troupe: Pollard's Opera Company.
    • Cast incl. Ernest Fitts (Djin Djin), Maud Beatty (Prince Ecalyptus), Harry Quealy (Okiama), Marion Mitchell (Princess Iris), Miss Metcalf (Chysantheme), W. Percy (Tom Wallaby), May Beatty, Eily O'Sullivan, Alf Stephens, G. Young, F. Nable.
    • Pollard's company by this stage was an all adult troupe, with the juvenile troupe having been dropped the previous year.

    1898: New Zealand Dominion tour; January - ca. May

    • Troupe. Pollard's Opera Company
    • Cast and production mostly as for 1897 tour.
    • Itinerary included: Wellington (Opera House; ca. January); Christchurch (Th Royal; 10 February - ); Dunedian (ca. February); Wanganui (2 March ); Auckland (Opera House; ca. 10 April - )

    .

  • 1899: New Zealand Dominion tour; January - ca. April

    Troupe. Pollard's Opera Company

    • Itinerary included: Christchurch (Theatre Royal, 18 August -)
    • NB: Pollard's company reportedly toured New Zealand regularly for three years (1898-1900). Djin Djin was one of several feature productions (ctd. Morning Bulletin 14 June 1901, p.4). Most details regarding these tours, and the actual Djin Djin seasons, are yet to be located.

    1901: Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney; 9 February - 2 March

    • Producer J. C. Williamson; Director Tom Pollard; Music Director/Conductor George Hall; Choreography Minnie Everett; Scenic Art John Gordon, George Dixon and E. L. Williams; Costumes Emily Nathan.
    • Troupe: Pollard's Opera Company
    • Cast incl. E. Nable (Hojo-no-Kami), Gertie Campion (Princess Irene), Edy O'Sullivan (Cheekee), Harry Quealy (Okoma), May Beattie (Dede), Alfred Stephens (Gay-Jay), Maud Beatty (Prince Euclayptus), W. S. Percy (Tom Wallaby), Agnes Smith (Chrysantheme), Ernest Fitts (Djin Djin), Dave O'Connor (Fli-qui-Sami), Clyde Cook (Lambs'vool), C. Alberts (Pongo), Mr Middleton (Komo), Mr Spence (Nawa), Mr Albert (Bungo), Mr Stone (Oyes), C. Carter (Oda), Mr Beaumont (Bambou), Miss L. Mownray (Prince Omi), Mr Carden (Hiti), Mr Sweeney (Titi), Mr Robinson (Yude), Mr Davis (So-So), Mr Walker (Gloto), Mr Stone (Ifri), Mr Henry (Gori), Irene Franklin, Blanche Wallace, Elsie Moore, Marie Metcalf, Ada Page, Lena Erickson. Prof. Godfrey's Dogs.
    • The original 'Birth of Australia' scene, painted by John Gordon, had by 1901 been omitted from the production due to time contratints (Sydney Morning Herald 9 February 1901, p.7).
    • The Herald also records in the 9 February edition that Agnes Smith played the Fairy Queen. It's 11 February review indicates, on the other hand, that the role was played by Ruby Bowring.

    1901: His Majesty's Theatre, Brisbane; 6 April -

    • Troupe: Pollard's Opera Company
    • Cast and production mostly as for previous Sydney season. The music director for Brisbane was, however, Arthur King.

    1901: Queensland tour; ca. May - July

    • Troupe: Pollard's Opera Company.
    • Cast and production mostly as for previous Brisbane season.
    • Itineray included: Townsville (12 June - ); Rockhampton (18-20 June)

    1901: Tasmanian tour; ca. July-August

    • Troupe: Pollard's Opera Company.
    • Cast and production mostly as for previous Brisbane season.
    • Itinerary incl. Launceston (Academy of Music; 16 July -); Hobart (Theatre Royal; 22-23 July)

    1903: South African tour; ca. May-July

    • Troupe: Pollard's Opera Company (aka Royal Australian Opera Company).
    • Itinerary included: Cape Town (ca. May); Johannesburg (His Majesty's Theatre; 11 July - ca. October)
    • Djin Djin was the opening production for the newly built His Majesty's, Johannesburg. The producers were Messrs. B. and F. Wheeler (AA: 8 Aug. 1903, 3).
    • The dates given here are for the company's seasons, as no particulars regarding the various Djin Djin performances have yet been located. Among the other productions staged by Pollard in 1903 were The Gay Parisienne and The Casino Girl.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      1895 .
      Extent: 1 ms. score ; 31 cm.+ 14 ms. parts ; 31 cm.+ 1 directors book (various pagings)p.
      Description: illus., ports
      (Manuscript) assertion
      Note/s:
      • For solo voices, chorus, and chamber orchestra. Instrument parts are:

        Strings: violin (leader), 1st violin, 2nd violin, viola, cello, bass.
        Winds: flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinets (1st, 2nd).
        Brass: horns (in F, D), cornets (B), trombone.
        Percussion (incomplete): drums, bells, gong.

      • Collection contains numbers cut from or added to score. Book contains director's notes, blocking, libretto (shortened), parts of principals, composers, etc. In MS and print.

Works about this Work

In the Spotlight Catherine Aldersey , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The National Library of Australia Magazine , December vol. 4 no. 4 2012; (p. 15-17)
Catherine Aldersey and Margot Stuart-Smith delve into the Library’s Tivoli Theatre and J.C. Williamson collections
y separately published work icon Dames, Principal Boys... And All That : A History of Pantomime Viola Tait , South Melbourne : Macmillan , 2001 Z942008 2001 single work criticism
y separately published work icon J.C.W. : A Short Biography of James Cassius Williamson Ian Gordon Dicker , Rose Bay : Elizabeth Tudor Press , 1974 Z1522617 1974 single work biography

A publication based on the author's thesis.

y separately published work icon The Making of Australian Drama : A Historical and Critical Survey from the 1830s to the 1970s Leslie Rees , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1973 Z498506 1973 single work criticism
y separately published work icon An Historical-Critical Study of the Career of James Cassius Williamson and his Contribution to Theatre in Australia Ian Gordon Dicker , Ann Arbor : 1972 Z1522626 1972 single work thesis
Boxing Day - The New Pantomime 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 27 December 1895; (p. 6)

— Review of Djin-Djin, the Japanese Bogie Man ; Or, The Great Shogun Who Lost his Son and the Little Princess Who Found Him : A Fairy Tale of Old Japan Bert Royle , J. C. Williamson , 1895 single work musical theatre
Musical and Dramatic Notes 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 4 January 1896; (p. 4)

— Review of Djin-Djin, the Japanese Bogie Man ; Or, The Great Shogun Who Lost his Son and the Little Princess Who Found Him : A Fairy Tale of Old Japan Bert Royle , J. C. Williamson , 1895 single work musical theatre
Amusements : 'Djin Djin' - Second Edition 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 27 April 1896; (p. 7)

— Review of Djin-Djin, the Japanese Bogie Man ; Or, The Great Shogun Who Lost his Son and the Little Princess Who Found Him : A Fairy Tale of Old Japan Bert Royle , J. C. Williamson , 1895 single work musical theatre
Amusements : Her Majesty's Theatre 1901 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 9 February 1901; (p. 7)

— Review of Djin-Djin, the Japanese Bogie Man ; Or, The Great Shogun Who Lost his Son and the Little Princess Who Found Him : A Fairy Tale of Old Japan Bert Royle , J. C. Williamson , 1895 single work musical theatre
Amusements : Her Majesty's - 'Djin Djin' 1901 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 11 February 1901; (p. 4)

— Review of Djin-Djin, the Japanese Bogie Man ; Or, The Great Shogun Who Lost his Son and the Little Princess Who Found Him : A Fairy Tale of Old Japan Bert Royle , J. C. Williamson , 1895 single work musical theatre
y separately published work icon J.C.W. : A Short Biography of James Cassius Williamson Ian Gordon Dicker , Rose Bay : Elizabeth Tudor Press , 1974 Z1522617 1974 single work biography

A publication based on the author's thesis.

y separately published work icon An Historical-Critical Study of the Career of James Cassius Williamson and his Contribution to Theatre in Australia Ian Gordon Dicker , Ann Arbor : 1972 Z1522626 1972 single work thesis
Miss Florence Young Annie Bright , 1896 single work biography
— Appears in: Cosmos Magazine , 31 March vol. 2 no. 7 1896; (p. 299-300)
Theatres and Theatrical : A Leading Entrepreneur - Interview with Mr J. C. Williamson 1896 single work interview
— Appears in: The South Australian Register , 12 August 1896; (p. 6)
In the Spotlight Catherine Aldersey , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The National Library of Australia Magazine , December vol. 4 no. 4 2012; (p. 15-17)
Catherine Aldersey and Margot Stuart-Smith delve into the Library’s Tivoli Theatre and J.C. Williamson collections

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 4 Apr 2014 11:56:08
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