As Officer Dreadnaught, 'the worst policeman in the world' (Argus 15 June 1925, p.14), George Wallace is assigned to patrol Harmony Row, the roughest and most notorious district in the city. He soon makes friends with many of the locals (including Molly, a pretty street musician, and Leonard, the precocious boy soprano who accompanies her), but runs up against the notorious Slogger Lee. Dreadnaught is eventually forced into fighting Lee in an arranged boxing match. Although almost beaten into submission, he is given the strength to beat the villain by Molly, who declares her affection for him. One of the other principal characters is said to have been the 'stately' Inspector Brown (played by Marshall Crosby).
The Theatre magazine writes of Harmony Row's Sydney debut in 1915 that 'This Newtown favourite put over one of the best comedy performances Fullers' Theatre has ever seen. And this includes the ever-green favourites Stiffy and Mo, who may well look to their laurels now that George has come to town... The final scene... in which Slogger Lee (Tom Lincoln) fights Dreadnaught (alias George Wallace), is the scream of the night - not one moment drags, and the final curtain is brought down to yells of hysterical laughter' (April 1925, p.15).
Charles Norman, who appeared in at least one Sydney season of Harmony Row with partner Chick Arnold, indicates that among the feature songs performed by Wallace were 'I'm Off to Philadelphia in the Morning' and his 'famous show-stopping' Irish numbers. The comedian also wrote 'I'm Only a Policeman' especially for the production. According to Norman, the chorus went 'I'm only a copper, a poor harmless copper / Trying to earn my daily bread / Trying so hard to do what's right / Watching the houses day and night / Some day I may be a sergeant / Or this place I may never roam / Or one of these days you never can tell.... / I might have a gaol of my own' (When Vaudeville was King, p.107).
After joining the police force, Tommy Wallace (aka Officer Dreadnought) is assigned to patrol Harmony Row, the roughest and most notorious district in the city. He soon makes friends with many of the locals, including Molly, a pretty street musician, and Leonard, a precocious boy soprano who accompanies her. Dreadnought runs into trouble, however, when he comes up against the notorious thug Slogger Lee. After many incidents he is forced into fighting Lee at a boxing tournament. Although almost beaten into submission, the policeman is given the strength to beat the villain by Molly, who declares her affection for him.
Charles Norman refers to a song called 'Clothes Prop' as being sung by Wallace. Research into Wallace's career indicates, however, that the song was linked to Marshall Crosby, who is first known to have sung it during the 1925 Brisbane season of At the Crossroads. It is unclear, therefore, whether Norman's recall is erroneous or Wallace and Crosby both performed the song during their careers (p.107).
Norman also recalls that Wallace's character was known as Constable Hector Killfrozenburg (p.107-8), an name that has not appeared in any reviews or critiques of Harmony Row identified to date.
1924: Majestic Theatre, Newtown, Sydney, 23-29 August.
1925: Fullers' Theatre, Sydney, 7-13 March.
1925: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 13-19 June.
1925: Empire Theatre, Brisbane, 26 September - 2 October (return season: 19-24 December).
1928: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne, 10-16 November.