Possibly adapted from W. M. Akhurst's pantomime The House that Jack Built, or, Harlequin Progress and the Loves, Laughs, Laments and Labors of Jack Melbourne and Little Victoria (Melb, 1869), itself later adapted as The House that Jack Built, or, Harlequin Jack Sydney (1871). Australian theatre historian Richard Fotheringham suggests one clue when he refers to the fact that Edward McLean, the director of 'Dances, Marches and Evolutions' for this production, had also undertaken the choreography duties for the Sydney production (Australian Plays for the Colonial Stage, p.230).
Containing a variety of songs including operatic, popular, and original numbers, the production was 'localised and expressly re-arranged' for the Queensland Theatre (Brisbane Courier 27 December 1878, p.1). The local scenes included the Post Office, Brisbane Houses of Parliament, the Brewery, and well-known shops in the city. The Brisbane Courier's editor, in commenting on his reporter's critique of the Boxing Day premiere, indicates that the jokes and harlequinade in particular were of the usual Christmas quality. He called into question the focus of some of the pantomime's topicalities, however, writing that 'We think the most exalted position in the colony should secure a certain immunity from stage jokes, and were [sic] glad to find from the silence of the audience that they were not in accord with the doubtful taste that prompted these sallies' (27 December 1878, p.2).
1878: Queensland Theatre, Brisbane, 26 December 1878 - 22 January 1879
Details have also been derived in part from the Annotated Calendar of Plays Premiered in Australia: 1870-1890.