y Enter Napoleon single work   drama   sketch (theatrical)   humour  
Alternative title: Napoleon
Issue Details: First known date: 1923... 1923 Enter Napoleon
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In a trench in France in 1917, during a heavy artillery bombardment, two diggers are about to go over the top when a shell lands nearby. They are joined by another soldier, just returned from leave, who conjures a genie from a whiskey bottle and asks him to bring them Napoleon Bonaparte. The diggers discuss the war with Napoleon before another shell explodes nearby, and they are buried under a pile of dirt. When a sergeant major pulls the men free, they continue their discussion with the French emperor. The first two diggers are subsequently sent to a clearing station as shellshock cases, while the third is sent on fatigues.


  • Although there are some differences between the alternatively titled sketches (see below), they are essentially the same work. The Pat Hanna Collection manuscript for Enter Napoleon, for example, indicates that the first two diggers are called 'O.S.' and 'Mick' and the third soldier 'Bill.' Chic and Joe and Napoleon, which concerns Chic Williams and his mate Joe Mulga, has Napoleon appear as a ghost.

Production Details

  • 1923: Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane, 22-28 November.

    • Director G. P. Hanna; Producer John N. McCallum (in association with G. P. Hanna); Music Director Mena Raymond.
    • Troupe The Famous Diggers.
    • Cast G. P. Hanna, Clement May, Jock Thomson, Clyde Fields, Joe Valli, Jessie Meadows.

    1926: Theatre Royal, Brisbane, 27 May - 2 June.

    • Director/Producer Pat Hanna.
    • Troupe Pat Hanna's Famous Diggers.
    • Cast incl. Pat Hanna (Chic), Joe Valli (Joe).

    1928: Gardens Theatre, Adelaide, ca. January.

    • Producer J. C. Williamsons Ltd (in association with G. P. Hanna); Director Pat Hanna.
    • Troupe Pat Hanna's Famous Diggers.
    • Cast incl. Pat Hanna.

    - The program held in the Pat Hanna Collection (VPACRS) indicates that this sketch was produced during the thirteenth week of the Adelaide season.

  • This entry has been sourced from on-going historical research into Australian popular theatre being conducted by Dr Clay Djubal.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1923
      Extent: 6p.
      Description: Typescript
      (Manuscript) assertion


      Held at: Performing Arts Museum Research Library
      Local Id: 2001.025
      Pat Hanna Collection
Last amended 15 Oct 2013 10:07:43