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George Darrell (a.k.a. George Frederick Price Darrell; Edward Price George Darrell; Gentleman George; Georgius Darrell) b. 11 Dec 1841 d. 27 Jan 1921 (38 works by fr. 1855, 1 works taught in 1 units)

The son of a prominent Bath (England) brewer, George Darrell first arrived in Australia around 1865 after having run away from home whilst in his teens. After a brief period of time in Melbourne he spent the next few years fossicking for gold in New Zealand before returning to Australia. It was during this time that he learned the art of engraving and performed in local amateur theatrical productions. Darrell's first theatrical success came through Mde. Fanny Simonsen who engaged him to sing secondary roles in grand opera. One such part was Prince Paul in The Grand Duchess. In 1869 he took on the juvenile lead opposite Walter Montgomery during the famous actor's Melbourne season. Around this time Darrell married Fanny Cathcart, the widow of actor Robert Heir, who had come to Australia in 1863 with Charles Kean. The union was to prove a successful one, both personally and professionally, and Darrell soon rose to prominence as a lead actor in his own right, and as a principal cast member for several overseas companies touring the country.

George Darrell's career as a dramatist began around the late 1860s/early 1870s. One of his earliest works was an adaptation of the drama Man and Wife (1871). In 1872 he became lessee and director of the old Victoria Theatre, and engaged a company of actors, among them George P. Carey and Maggie Oliver. He also toured throughout Australia presenting combinations of plays and musical entertainments, several of which were his own creations. Among these early works are the musical sketch The Darrell's at Home and a play with music Matrimonial Manoeuvres. Between 1872 and his retirement some thirty-five years later, George Darrell wrote and produced no less than 23 original plays and ten dramatisations of already existing stories. Interestingly, his early works (at least up to 1876) seldom attempted to tackle Australian subjects. Thus it was not until Transported for Life (1876), first staged in New Zealand some two years after Darrell had returned to the Antipodes from an American tour, that local characters and situations become pivotal to his narratives. His first season in Australia in 1877 (which followed the tour of New Zealand) also saw him present a revival of an earlier work, The Trump Card (1874). Darrell simply changed the narrative from America to Sydney (for the Sydney season) and to Melbourne (when he played there in 1880).

In 1878 Darrell produced Back from the Grave, a melodrama which had its plot based on spiritualism and was set almost entirely in England. This was followed in 1879 by the war melodrama The Forlorn Hope; Or, A Tale of Tomorrow. Margaret Williams suggests that this last work finally saw Darrell come into his own as an Australian playwright (Australia on the Popular Stage, p120). The Naked Truth, an emotional drama staged in 1883 with a small amount of musical performance, was followed that same year with his most acclaimed work The Sunny South. Regarded as one of the most important Australian plays of the late nineteenth century, it had long seasons in Melbourne and Sydney before touring throughout most of Australia. It was also produced in London in 1884 and later in America. Darrell is said to have played the role of Mat Morley at least 940 times. Among his more successful dramas were: The Squatter, which included the George Darrell/David Cope composition "The Passion Song Waltz" (1885); The Soggarth, a play with incidental music composed by Walter J. Rice (1886); another play The New Rush (1886); a dramatisation of Nat Gould's novel The Double Event (1893); and one of his final productions The Land of Gold (1907).

George Darrell's last appearance in public was in 1916 when, at age seventy-five, he 'declaimed with surprising spirit his own well-turned lyrics "Around the Dardanelles," and Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade,"' at the George Marlow-run Shakespeare Tercentenary Festival (Green Room Feb. 1921, 12). His last few years were spent at Roslyn Gardens (Sydney). On Thursday 27 January 1921 Darrell left a note in his room telling his friends he was going on a long voyage. The following day his body was washed up on Dee Why Beach on Sydney's north shore.

1 George Darrell, an Ambitious Dramatist Eric Irvin , 1976 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , May vol. 20 no. 5 1976; (p. 39-45)
1 7 y Gentleman George - King of Melodrama : The Theatrical Life and Times of George Darrell 1841-1921 Eric Irvin , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1980 Z21546 1980 single work biography
1 George Darrell : Death Severs Old-Time Link 1921 single work obituary (for George Darrell )
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21 January 1921; (p. 8)
1 15 y The Sunny South George Darrell , 1884 (Manuscript version)x400854 Z21647 1884 single work drama humour (taught in 1 units)
Eric Irvin (a.k.a. Eric Robert Irvin) b. 30 Nov 1908 d. 1 Jul 1993 (168 works by fr. 1939)

Eric Irvin left school at the age of 15. After working in a succession of casual jobs, he became a journalist. He served with the AIF in the Middle East and Borneo during World War II. In the 1950s he became chief sub-editor of a country newspaper, and from 1962-1973 he was a sub-editor with the Sydney Morning Herald. He retired in 1973 and died in 1993.

Irvin published widely in academic journals on the subject of nineteenth and twentieth century Australian theatre, edited plays and wrote a biography of the actor George Darrell. His Dictionary of the Australian Theatre 1788-1914 has become an essential reference work and a basis for further work in cultural history. Irvin also wrote two books of poetry and works of local history.

The University of Queensland presented him with an honorary Doctor of Letters for his contirubtion to theatrical writing.

Garnet Walch b. 1 Oct 1843 d. 3 Jan 1913 (65 works by fr. 1869, 1 works taught in 3 units)

Dramatist, librettist, journalist.


The most popular, and arguably the most successful, writer for the Australian stage during the 1870s and 1880s, Garnet Walch's career emerged in the wake of the country's previous leading dramatist, W. M. Akhurst (1850s-1860s). While many of his works were localised and updated adaptations (notably his pantomimes), it was his ability to tap into the public's mood and desires by expressing sentiments and making satirical allusions that made his works so popular. Walch wrote a wide array of genres and forms, including 'serious' dramatic works, comedies, pantomimes, melodrama, and vaudeville sketches. His career appears to have undergone two significant peaks, the first during the mid-late 1870s and the second, through his collaboration with Alfred Dampier, during the early 1890s.

Walch's career is tied in with many other leading theatre practitioners of the period, including Harry Rickards, George Darrell, Richard Stewart, W. S. Lyster, and R. P. Whitworth. A number of his works were also adapted by other writers and producers in later years, notably Archibald Murray and Samuel Lazar. Among the works Walch is most remembered for today are Australia Felix (1873), Marvellous Melbourne (1889), Robbery Under Arms (1890). He was the brother of Charles Edward Walch.


1843-1871: Garnet Walch was born in Hobart the year after his father arrived in the colony of Tasmania in 1842 as a major in the 54th Regiment. Some three years later, his father opened the Hobart branch of publishers Samuel Tegg. Under the stewardship of his eldest boys James and Charles, the business later become the successful publishing house J. Walch and Sons. In 1852, following the death of his father, Garnet returned to Europe, where he completed his education first at London's Denmark Hill Grammar and later at a private college in the German township of Hamelin. He moved back to Australia in his late teens and, after spending a brief period in Hobart making a poor attempt at a career as a clerk, he moved to Sydney. It was there that his writing ability came to the attention of George Ross Morton, editor of the Sydney Punch and himself an occasional dramatist. Over the next few years, Walch contributed regularly to several Sydney papers, and in 1867 took over the editorship of the Cumberland Mercury. Within the same year, he started his own paper, the Cumberland Times and published his first short novel, The Fireflash.

A marked increase in theatrical productions in Sydney during the late 1860s, largely a result of the flow-on from the huge number of gold-seekers arriving in the colony, began providing opportunities for anyone with a theatrically inclined imagination and a talent for writing. As with a number of his journalist peers, Walch began accepting commissions to adapt, localise, and update material for local theatrical managements. The availability of sources, notably English burlesques, pantomimes, and novels, provided these authors with creative frames into which they could inject topicality and local references for the popular culture audiences that attended them. The first production that can be attributed to Walch is the burlesque Love's Silver Dream, first staged in 1869. After it was well received by both critics and public, Walch was inspired to adapt several more works in quick succession, including Conrad the Corsair and Prometheus (both 1870) and Trookulentos the Tempter (1871) for George Darrell. Walch's immediate success at this new craft is not surprising, given that, as theatre historian Veronica Kelly points out in her preface to Australia Felix, he was 'ideally suited to write for the popular stage...[taking] his task lightly enough to contribute [a] genial irony and sense of the fantastic, and seriously enough never to patronise popular taste or feel the work beneath him' (p.27).

1872-1879: In 1872, Walch moved to Melbourne where he soon established himself as the successor to W. M. Akhurst in terms of being both Melbourne's and Australia's leading dramatist and music theatre writer. Indeed, by the end of that same year, he had the distinction of having two productions of True-Blue Beard (his own version and an adaptation by Archibald Murray) running simultaneously in Sydney and Melbourne. The following year, he was engaged as the secretary of the Melbourne Athenaeum on a stipend of £300. This position, which he held until 1879, provided him with an income that allowed ample opportunity to write for the theatre while enjoying financial security.

Thus, Walch wrote or adapted more than twenty music theatre works between 1872 and 1879. These include the pantomimes Australia Felix (1873), Beauty and the Beast (1875) Jack the Giant Killer and His Doughty Deeds (1878), and Babes in the Woods (1879); the sketch Mother Says I Mustn't, written especially for Harry Rickards (1972); the operetta Genevieve de Brabant (1873), which he adapted for W. S. Lyster; and the burlesques Pygmalion and His Gal (A Dear) (1873), written for Harry Rickards, and The White Fawn (1874).

In addition, there were plays with significant musical performances, notably The Great Hibernicon (1874) and 'musical entertainments' such as Rainbow Revels (1877) and If (1878), both written especially for Richard Stewart's family. Referring to the first of these works in her autobiography, Nellie Stewart recalls, 'Mr Walch suggested [to my father] that he should write an entertainment for us on lines broadly similar to that in which the Vokes Family in England had won such success, and that we should tour Australian with it ... I was enabled for once to sing and dance my fill, playing seven parts - school girl, Dutch girl, Irish girl, pantomime boy and so forth ... From its inception Rainbow Revels was so successful that Mr Walch wrote another medley called If' (pp. 39-40).

During the same period, Walch was also responsible for a variety of sketches and comediettas, including, for example, the sketch Shy, Shy, Dreadfully Shy (1872), the dramas A Terribly Strange Bed (1876) and Where Am I? (1876); and the comedies The Haunted Chamber and The Great Wager of £500 (both staged in 1876 by the magician Alfred Sylvester), Humble Pie (1877), and Perfidious Albion (1878). The mid-1870s also saw Walch begin his long-time association with actor/manager Alfred Dampier. Although their most recognisable collaborations, a series of highly popular melodramas, would not eventuate until the early 1890s, Walch initially provided some material for Dampier, beginning with Faust and Marguerite (1876). The following year, he wrote the popular stage production Helen's Babies (adapted from J. Habberton's best-selling novelette) for Dampier and his daughters Lily and Rose.

1880-1888: Despite the economic security of his Athenaeum position, and the frequent, though much lower, income from his theatre writing, Walch's financial situation steadily worsened over the late 1870s. Veronica Kelly indicates that Walch's 'characteristic generosity and optimism' was in evidence right up to the point where his losses could no longer be sustained. In 1880, for example, he sponsored a clandestine performance of Marcus Clarke's banned play A Happy Land (1880), chartering at his own expense a steamboat to carry the company to its destination, the beachside township of Frankston. The excursion was a financial disaster for Walch and he soon afterwards filed for bankruptcy ('Introduction', Australia Felix, p.33). 1881 saw Walch continue writing for the theatre, but at the same time he began collaborating with artist Charles Turner in an ambitious project he hoped would cash in on the Melbourne International Exhibition. The result, Victoria in 1880, which is described by Kelly as a 'triumph of colonial publishing,' failed to realise a financial return. The following year, he wrote the comedy-drama Her Evil Star for Mrs G. B. W. Lewis, along with several sketches for the Sylvester family and two pantomimes, as well as founding the short-lived weekly magazine Town Talk with writer R. P. Whitworth and cricketer John Conway. However, the stress of work and his poor financial situation finally saw Walch suffer a collapse early in 1882. A prestigious benefit was held in his honour, and although he contributed a new comedy, Walch soon afterwards took an extended break by sailing to Madagascar. The venture was paid for in part through the reports Walch sent back to the Argus.

Almost immediately after returning refreshed to Australia in late 1885, Walch supplied Harry Rickards with arguably two of the actor/manager's greatest-ever Australian-written musical entertainments, Bric-a-Brac and Spoons (Rickards staged both works frequently until 1890), along with a burlesque version of his earlier pantomime, Babes in the Woods. He continued to produce new theatre works during the remainder of the 1880s, while also writing various pamphlets, numerous newspaper articles, and (in 1887) a centennial celebration publication, The

Australian Birthday Book. He even produced several biographies, notably A Life of General Gordon and a monograph on J. C. Williamson. 1887 also saw him became editor of the Centennial Printing and Publishing Company. Some three years later, he again teamed up with Alfred Dampier to produce the first of a series of melodramas, the success of which effectively returned his career to the heights of the previous decade.

1889-1897: Walch and Dampier began their creative association in 1889, after the actor/manager moved his operations from Sydney's Royal Standard Theatre to Melbourne's Alexandra Theatre. One of their first collaborations was on Marvellous Melbourne, which they co-wrote with J. H. Wrangham and Thomas Somers in 1889. The first Dampier/Walch melodrama, however, was The Count of Monte Cristo, staged in 1890. The pair then presented arguably their biggest success, an adaptation of Rolf Boldrewood's Robbery Under Arms (1890), followed by such works as For Love and Life (1890), The Miner's Rights (1891), The Scout (1891), The Trapper (1891), This Great City (1891), Wilful Murder (1892), and Help One Another (1892). During the same period, Walch also wrote The Land Lubber (1890) for Katie Rickards, Jack The Giant Killer (1891) for Dampier, and the comedy-drama Silver Chimes, staged in Adelaide in late 1892.

By 1892, however, the combination of long-term drought and economic depression took hold of the Australian economy, forcing Dampier to eventually abandon his once unassailable theatrical fortress at the Alexandra. That year also effectively marked the beginning of the end for Garnet Walch's theatrical career. While it is known that he wrote another version of Sinbad the Sailor for J. C. Williamson (1893) and that he intended to try to promote several of his more recent productions in England and America, the success of this latter venture is unclear. A collaboration with John Grocott resulted in the publication of an opera-bouffe titled Kismet; Or, The Cadi's Daughter in 1894. No production details have yet been located, however. One of Walch's last known works to be produced in Australia was The Prairie King. A revival was staged in Sydney by the MacMahon brothers in 1897. Advertising indicates that it contained 'with startling vividness and romantic flavour, the life and customs of WILD AMERICA, with its Red Indians, Scouts, Cowboys, Mexicans, Chiefs, Half-breeds, Guides [and] Frontiersmen' (Sydney Morning Herald 6 Nov. 1897, p.2). From 1897 onwards, little else about Garnet Walch is known other than he retired from the theatre.

1 2 y Weird Tales Chicago : Rural Publishing Corporation , 1923-1924 Z990661 1923-1924 periodical adventure fantasy horror science fiction (23 issues)

A popular American pulp-fiction magazine, Weird Tales published the work of many important science-fiction, fantasy, and horror writers, among them a number of Australians. It's history is a convoluted one, however, being published by a number of different companies and in a variety of different forms. Founded in 1923 by J. C. Henneberger and J. M. Lansinger (Rural Publishing) ran into financial problems after only thirteen issues and closed down for several months before being revived by Henneberger under the auspices of a new company - the Popular Fiction Publishing Co. Under the editorship of Farnsworth Wright the magazine survived the great depression, flourishing under the same company until being sold to William J. Delaney in 1938.

Between 1938 and its second closure in September 1954 the magazine was published by Weird Tales Inc, a subsidiary of Short Stories Inc. During those 16 years, however, it managed only marginal success. Although the only regular magazine outlet for supernatural fiction its publisher pulled out of the business. The rights to the magazine were eventually acquired by Leo Margulies (Renown Publishing) who revived it in 1973.Only four pulp-sized issues were published by Margulies and editor Sam Mosowitz prior to the death of the Margulies in 1975. The rights to Weird Tales were bought by Robert E. Weinberg from Margulies's widow, and he eventually formed Weird Tales Limited to protect and license the name.

The fifth Weird Tales incarnation was published as paperback quarterly by Kensington Publishing (possibly though its Zebra imprint). Under editor by Lin Carter, who leased the rights from Weinberg, four issues were published (1981-1984) before it too was closed down. Weinberg then licensed the Weird Tales name to the Bellerophon Network, a publishing company owned by Brian Forbes. The magazine was poorly funded and distributed, however, and failed after only 2 issues.

The next company to publish Weird Tales was the Terminus Publishing Co of Pennsylvania, which acquired the rights in 1985. The initial editors were George H. Scithers, Darrell Schweitzer and John Gregory Betancourt. In 1994, four years after Betancourt left to focus on his newly established company Wildside Press, Weinberg refused to renew the licence with Terminus. This forced the company to published a retitled magazine, Worlds of Fantasy and Horror (with the numbering reverting back to Volume 1, No 1). After four issues the magazine lapsed, and it was not until 1998 that Scithers (by then the sole publisher) merged the magazine with publisher Warren Lapine (DNA Publications). Through Lapine's influence the licence was renewed and Weird Tales was revived in the summer of 1998 with issue #313. The new numbering system incorporated the four Worlds of Fantasy and Horror issues.

With Lapine as publisher and Scithers and Schweitzer as editors the magazine continued through until acquired by John Betancourt's Wildside Press in 2005. Bettancourt on-sold the magazine in 2012 to Nth Dimension Media, a New York City-based company owned by Marvin Kaye and John Harlacher.

1 y The Soggarth George Darrell , 1886 (Manuscript version)x400243 Z850880 1886 single work drama
1 y The Queen of Coolgardie The Road to Ruin George Darrell , 1897 Z850877 1897 single work drama
1 Sappho George Darrell , 1902 single work drama
1 Solange George Darrell , 1882 single work drama
1 1 y The Belle of the Bush George Darrell , Sydney : N.S.W. Bookstall Company , 1916 Z102560 1916 single work novel
1 Mr Potter of Texas George Darrell , 1890 single work drama
1 The Pakeha Life for Life George Darrell , 1890 single work drama
1 The Punter George Darrell , 1902 single work drama
1 The Battle and the Breeze George Darrell , 1905 single work drama
1 Paris and Pleasure George Darrell , 1904 single work drama
1 Justice or Murder George Darrell , 1902 single work drama
1 The Trump Card George Darrell , 1874 single work drama
1 The Four Fetes George Darrell , 1875 single work drama
1 Man and Wife George Darrell , 1871 single work drama
1 Matrimonial Manoeuvres Matrimony George Darrell , 1872 single work drama
1 Dark Deeds George Darrell , 1873 single work drama
1 The Queen of Bohemia George Darrell , 1888 single work drama
1 Back from the Grave George Darrell , 1878 single work drama
1 Transported for Life George Darrell , 1876 single work drama
1 The Squatter The Sundowner George Darrell , 1855 single work drama
1 The Naked Truth George Darrell , 1883 single work drama
1 The Lucky Lot George Darrell , 1890 single work drama
1 Her Face, Her Fortune Under the Ban George Darrell , 1874 single work drama
1 8 y Sport in Australian Drama Richard Fotheringham , Oakleigh : Cambridge University Press , 1992 Z270458 1992 single work criticism
1 3 The Sorrows of Satan George Darrell , 1897 single work drama

Adapted for the stage by George Darrell from Marie Corelli's novel of the same name (1895), the story concerns Geoffrey Tempest, a penniless author who one day receives three letters. The first is from a friend in Australia who has made his fortune and offers to introduce him to a good friend who might be able to lift him from poverty. The second is a note from a solicitor detailing that he has inherited a fortune from a deceased relative, the third is a letter of introduction from a foreign aristocrat called Lucio, who befriends him and proceeds to be his guide in how to best use his new found wealth. Unaware that Lucio is the Earthly incarnation of the devil his life descends into misery depsite his new-found wealth. He eventually realises that he has been tricked by the devil and in renouncing evil he returns to society penniless but content with the chance to purify his soul.

2 1 y Looking Back, Or, Pique, Repique and Capot George A. Walstab , Calcutta : Wyman , 1864 Z1344123 1864 single work novel

'Tale of a man's life recalled in later years - and principally of his friend Harcourt Darrell, the scion of an old Roman Catholic family in England. The narrator and Darrell were school friends and spent several months in Devonshire studying with a Protestant clergyman before they were to enter the army. While there, Darell fell in love with the gentle clergyman's daughter but his strict Roman Catholic mother opposed the match unrelentingly. The effect of her refusal on the lives of all the protagonists, especially Darrell in his rapid decline into a true "Wild Darell" comprises the major thread of the tale whose main events take place around 1850. The narrator, George Wainwright's efforts to restore his father's lost fortunes through entering military school in France and his grand passion for a married Frenchwoman bring adventures to him too. Walstab also takes the chance to involve Wainwright in French politics and [the life of] Louis Napoleon (1848-1851). Wainwright eventually emigrates to Australia and joins the Victorian mounted police. Among the other duties, [he guards] a quarantined ship.' (PB)

1 Hue and Cry George Darrell , 1888 single work drama A variation on the 'transported for life' theme.
Walter H. Cooper (a.k.a. Walter Hampson Cooper; W. H. Cooper) b. 6 Jul 1842 d. 26 Jul 1880 (11 works by fr. 1866)

The first Australian writer of sensation drama, ahead of George Darrell and Alfred Dampier, Walter H. Cooper worked at a variety of occupations in his short life. He also attempted on several occasions to enter the world of politics, but was unable to gain office. Cooper's early career included a period as journalist with the Queensland Guardian, followed by a position as parliamentary reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald (1866). He joined the Argus for a short period, but returned to the Herald in 1871. During the late 1860s, he also turned his hand to writing for the stage. Arguably his most successful play, the melodrama Colonial Experience, was produced in 1868. Some of the other theatre works Cooper wrote and which were staged during the 1860s and early 1870s include two pantomimes, The History of Kodadad and His Brothers (1866) and Harlequin Little Jack Horner (1868); a farce titled The New Crime; Or, 'Andsome 'Enery's Mare's Nest (1868); the sensation dramas Sun and Shadow (1870), Foiled (1871), and Hazard; Or, Pearce Dyceton's Crime (1872); and the tragedy Rugantino the Ruthless (1872).

Cooper's interest in politics led to his acquaintance with Henry Parkes, and in 1872, he found himself acting as the politician's agent in both the Tamworth and Liverpool Plains electorates. The following year, he was appointed secretary to the Public Charities Commission. Cooper's desire to enter politics was thwarted soon afterwards, however, when his exuberance and forthright opinions put him offside with a number of sitting members. Although dissuaded by Parkes from contesting a seat in East Sydney during the 1874 elections, he nevertheless made a failed attempt in the Lower Hunter region. Despite this setback, Cooper continued to make important contributions to political debates over the next few years through his insightful analyses, published in both newspapers and private pamphlets. In 1874, he travelled to America, hoping to have his plays produced. When this did not eventuate, he returned to Australia and set his sights on entering the legal profession. Supported financially by Parkes, he was admitted to the bar in 1875 but found himself in dire financial straits for sometime afterwards, unable even to repay his benefactor. Not surprisingly, his relationship with Parkes deteriorated as a result. He managed to maintain his political momentum by becoming vice-president of the protectionist Political Reform League and a leading activist in the anti-Chinese agitation movemen. But within a few years, his tangled domestic affairs had begun to impose a strain on both his career and personal judgment.

By 1877, Cooper had managed to pay some of his debts off, but his decision two years later to leave his wife led to a bitter family dispute. At one point, a fight ensued between Cooper and his brother-in-law. The Evening News (15 February 1879, n. pag.) described the scuffle that eventuated, reporting that a gun had been fired. Although Cooper was not injured, the woman with whom he was having an affair was apparently grazed in the arm. Cooper shortly afterwards assaulted John Henniker Heaton, which led to his own arrest and a £10 fine and bond. With his personal situation on a downward spiral, Cooper found himself destitute within a year, and was forced to sell his possessions, including all his books. Writing to Parkes for help, he indicated that his life had been a bitter struggle against adversity, all the more potent 'because my own hand guided its weapons and Poverty, Humiliation and Friendlessness were my companions' (qtd Bede Nairn, Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1969, p.455).

Walter Cooper died shortly afterwards on 26 July 1880 from a combination of heart disease, haemorrhage, and exhaustion. An obituary published in the Sydney Morning Herald two days later suggested that he lacked the personal qualities that would have enabled his undoubted brilliance to shine consistently. Cooper left behind his wife, Ellen, and his six children (five sons and one daughter). One of the last plays to be staged during his life, Fuss; Or, A Tale of the Exhibition, is believed to have been written a year or two previously. Staged at the Victoria Theatre (Sydney) in April 1880, this three-act comedy shows Cooper's insight into human psychology at its best, as he delineates the characteristics of the various nationalities represented at the International Exhibition.

Entries connected with this record have been sourced from historical research into Australian-written music theatre conducted by Dr Clay Djubal.
1 George Darrel; : Veteran Actor Passes 1921 single work obituary (for George Darrell )
— Appears in: Green Room , February 1921; (p. 12)
Provides an overview of George Darrell's career and last days.
1 7 y Paris the Prince and Helen the Fair ; Or, The Giant Horse and the Siege of Troy The Siege of Troy W. M. Akhurst , 1868 Melbourne : R. Bell , 1869 Z814484 1868 single work musical theatre burlesque fantasy humour

Described as a 'classical burlesque extravaganza on the theme of the Trojan War', the story begins with Cupid and Hymen arranging the fate of Helen amidst the splendour of the Spartan King's palace. Helen then appears with Paris and they decide to elope, making their way to a Phrygian galley moored off the Eurotas, with the 'traviata-singing Cassandra's prophecies of doom [going] unheeded'. The voyage scene that follows, staged in representation of 'the Duke of Edinburgh's outward voyage' (including comments by several characters), allowed John Hennings, the original scenic artist, the opportunity to create a number of exquisite panoramic views. Notable were the Rock of Gibraltar, the peak of Teneriffe, Rio De Janeiro, Tristan da Achuna, and the Cape of Good Hope, the last of which gave way to a scenic representation of Helen and Paris being welcomed into Troy by Priam and the Trojans. A later scene played out the well-known story of the Trojan horse, from which the Greek soldiers emerge to open the gates of the city. This was followed by the triumphant entry of the army and the capture of Ilium, followed by the finale, a grand tableau set amidst the ruins of the burning city (details from Argus 13 April 1868, p.5).

The music was of both of an operatic and popular nature, and included accompaniment for the ballet scenes. The overture was composed by Julius Siede. Nellie Stewart, in her autobiography My Life's Story, records that 'Akhurst was responsible for the introduction of all the latest comic opera successes from Paris and London in The Siege of Troy long before the operas were staged in Australia' (p.22).

1 3 y King Arthur ; Or, Launcelot the Loose, Gin-Ever the Square, the Knights of the Round Table, and Other Furniture W. M. Akhurst , Melbourne : R. Bell , 1868 Z814478 1868 single work musical theatre burlesque fantasy humour

A burlesque on the Arthurian theme, Akhurst's version is partly based on both Tennyson's Idylls of the King and Sir Thomas Mallory's collection of ancient metrical romances. The production typically featured local allusions and topical issues throughout, including Collins Street, the Jones vs Randell case (which saw the Commissioner of Railways triumph over Constitutional Association, led by Mr Jones), and personalities such as the Fenians and Otto von Bismarck. The Age theatre critic writes of Akhurst's treatment that 'The dialogue is smartly written, and abounds (as all burlesques must necessarily do) in puns, good, bad and indifferent... It is not on his puns alone, however, that Mr Akhurst depends for the success of his pieces. He is exceedingly happy in his selection of music and King Arthur is replete with melodic gems of great beauty' (2 November 1868, p.3). The critic also notes that the production contained a number of amusing comic songs, several of which were written (or re-written) to satirise well-known personalities. Notable here were 'The Late Lamented Jones' (sung by Henry R. Harwood), 'Beautiful Nell' (duet between Marian Dunn and Docy Stewart), and 'The Cantering Cad of Collins Street (sung by Richard Stewart).

The musical element included ballets and songs of both operatic style and popular styles. 'Popular London airs of the day' were 'Pull, Pull Together Boys', 'Riding on the Donkey', 'Bold Burgendy Ben', 'The Five O'clock Bus', 'Smart Isobella', 'Pretty Polly, Do Say Yes', 'Tootal, Tootal on the Cornet', and 'The Galloping Snob'. Other songs included 'La Polka Des Sabots' (Varney), 'Couplets of the King (from La Belle Helene), 'Valse Song, Joyous Life', 'Voici le Sabre' (from the Grand Duchess of Gerolstein), 'Volta la Terres (from Un Ballo in Maschere), 'Valse Song' (from Gounod's Romeo and Juliet), 'Come Home, Father', and a Grand Plantation Walk-around (Age 6 November 1868, p.4). Advertising in the South Australian Register in March 1870 indicates that a new 'local' song, 'That's What They Say About It,' had been introduced into the production (8 Mar. 1870, p.1).

Nellie Stewart, in her autobiography My Life's Story, writes that 'the music of The Grand Duchess was used almost in its entirety in [the] burlesque of King Arthur' (p.22).

1 The Land of Dawning George Darrell , 1896 single work drama
1 The Light That Failed George Darrell , 1899 single work drama Based on Rudyard Kipling's novel The Light That Failed, it tells the story of a painter who is going blind and who is spurned by the woman he loves.
1 The Double Event The Double Event: A Tale of the Melbourne Cup George Darrell , 1893 single work drama A dramatisation of Nat Gould's novel The Double Event: A Tale of the Melbourne Cup (1891), the debut production included a staged running of the Melbourne Cup, with 20 thoroughbred horses ridden by professional jockeys.
1 The Crimson Thread The Crimes of Chicago; From Scotland Yard George Darrell , 1894 single work drama detective
1 1 Convict Once George Darrell , 1896 single work drama


The story concerns a beautiful young woman who suffers so that her loved but unworthy father may be saved from a just retribution.

1 Great White Queen i "Lower the banners half-mast high--"The Great White Queen" is dead.", George Darrell , 1901 single work poetry
— Appears in: School Paper for Classes V and VI , March no. 28 1901; (p. [81])