In a Harem sees Stiffy and Mo as porters at a railway station who, along with several other characters, later find themselves in a sultan's harem. M. A. Keup, writing in his Just It 'Vaudeville' column, notes that Phillips based this revusical on 'the same theme that inspired Mozart to compose The Seraglio', presenting an 'old-time impression of a Turkish domestic dovecote' (6 October 1927, p.28). This production differs somewhat from the usual Nat Phillips one-act musical comedy revue, in that it is divided into two distinct scenes and employs a slightly larger cast. Furthermore, several members of the troupe who appear in the first scene ('The Railway') do not appear in the second ('The Sultan's Harem'). The other characters include Will Atkins (a crook) and Mr Burwood (a smartie), a group of passengers, a sultan (alias Will Atkins), and a chorus of Ladies of the Harem. An Argus critic, writing in 1917, suggests that, despite the title In a Harem, 'the best part was at [the] railway station, where the two comedians were on duty. Their ideas on running railways, including the Transcontinental line, would certainly prove original in practice' (3 December 1917, p.5).
The 1922 production incorporated the following songs into the narrative: 'The Trippers' (passengers), 'Goodbye Dixie' (Connelly, O'Brien, Davis, Merton, and girls), 'Whose Heart is Breaking Now' (Paul and girls), 'Any Little Baby' (Merton and girls), 'Peggy O'Neill' (Connors and Paul), 'After You Get' (Connelly and Davis), 'Lo the Dawn is Breaking' (ladies), 'Shindie Arroon' (Paul and ladies), 'The Older They Get' (Connors and ladies), and the finale, 'Back to Sydney' (company).
For his 1926 Stiffy and 'Erb version (as The Porters), Phillips introduced such songs as 'Wake Yourself Up' (opening chorus: the passengers); 'Just Around the Corner' and 'They Call it Dancing' (Queenie Paul); 'Tramp', 'Brown's Funeral', and 'Get One Yourself' (Mike Connors); and 'A Bouquet' (a scena with Connors, Paul, and ballet).
1917: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 29 September - 5 October (return season as Fun in a Harem: 1-7 December).
1918: Empire Theatre, Brisbane, 16-22 March (return season: 20-26 July).
1919: Fullers' Theatre, Sydney, 21-27 June.
1920: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 3-9 April (return season: 24-30 July).
1921: Empire Theatre, Brisbane, 25 June - 2 July.
1922: Fullers' Theatre, Sydney, 6-12 May.
1926: Empire Theatre, Brisbane, 23-29 October (as The Porters).
1927: Fullers' Theatre, Sydney, 21-27 June (return season: 1-7 October).
1928: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 31 December 1928 - 6 January 1929 (as Harem Scarem).