Stiffy and Mo (the plumbers) are called in to make repairs at a wedding breakfast being held in the reception room of Captain Senate's house. They are first mistaken for burglars and then find themselves tangled up in schemes by various characters to fool other members of the family. This includes Stiffy being asked to cure Mrs Senate's jealous husband by 'making love' to her, while Mo finds himself in the same situation with Mrs Pinetree. Stiffy is later induced to impersonate the Senate's mad and violent son, who just happens to be coming to the house that evening. After the pair manage to scam £250 out of Mr Senate they are are forced to flee at the point of a gun.
The chief characters, as listed in the manuscript version are: Colonel Pinetree (a jealous husband), Mrs Pinetree (his mean old wife), Captain Senate (also jealous), Mrs Senate (with a way of her own), Frank Denvers (just married), Mrs Denvers (nee Senate), Stiffy and Mo, and the bridesmaids - Dot, Clarice, Lilian, Lorrimar, Daphne and Gorgia [sic].
Songs incorporated into the 1922 production included : 'The Party' (bridesmaids and friends), 'A Toast to the Bride' (company), 'Grieving for You' (Paul and girls), 'Scotch Highball' (Paul, Rene and Phillips), 'You Never Can Tell' (Davis and girls), 'Blue Diamonds' (Conners), 'Lucky' (Davis), 'The Older We Get' (Connolly), 'Tuck Me to Sleep in My 'Tucky Home' (Connors and Paul), 'Good-Bye Girls' (Connolly and girls) and the finale 'The Plumbers' (company).
A review of the the October 1916 production indicates that that production differed somewhat to the Nat Phillips Collection manuscript. One of the characters mentioned in the review, Mr Quimbell (played by Horace Mann) is not included in the manuscript version (see Theatre November 1916, p50). It is possible that Quimbell and Frank Denvers (one of the manuscipt characters) are one and the same.
An advertisement for the Plumbers, published in the 8 September 1917 edition of the Argus included the following limerick : 'Stiffy and Mo are distinctly benighted / They never know when they are slighted / When out at a party / They eat just as hearty / As if they'd been really invited' (p24).
1916: Princess Theatre, Sydney; 13-19 October.
1917: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne ; 8-14 September (return season: 24-30 November).
1918: Empire Theatre, Brisbane; 23 February - 1 March (return season: 1-7 June).
1919: Fullers' Theatre, Sydney; 24-30 May (return season: 6-12 September).
1920: Bijou Theatre, Melbourne; 20-26 April (return season: 26 June - 2 July).
1921: Empire Theatre, Brisbane; 30 July - 5 August.
1922: Fullers Theatre, Sydney ; 10-16 June.
1924: Fullers' Theatre, Sydney; 11-17 October.
1925 : Bijou Theatre, Melbourne; 25 April - 1 May.
1925: Majestic Theatre, Adelaide; 16-24 July.