Australian Variety Theatre Archive – Seventh Year Highlights (2017-2018)

The Australian Variety Theatre Archive (AVTA) is a research website devoted to popular culture entertainment in the Australasian region between circa 1850 and the mid-1930s. This year, 2018, marks its seventh year of publication.

The website went online on 10 May 2011, the 146th anniversary of the birth of Australian vaudeville entrepreneur Harry Clay. Since then the archive has published more than 3,000 new records. Many entries have also been updated.

Two projects initiated in 2016-17 were continued during past twelve months. These were:

  1. Replacing all abbreviations in PDF biographies with full citation details; and
  2. Updating and reformatting all Biograhies (PDFs) and Research Notes (PDFs), while also adding new ones. The rapidly increasing availability of digitised resources – especially the Australian National Library’s digitised newspaper service, Trove – means that the traditional researched biography can now be out of date almost as soon as it is published. The Research Notes alternative therefore provides interim historical insights.

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In addition to the above projects, 122 new entries were also added. This involved 60 new agent entries, 62 new works entries, and  2 new sections. All previously published research notes pdfs (55) were updated and/or reformatted. 8 new Research Notes PDFs were also published. Several biographies were updated and expanded, too, – notably Fred Bluett and Ella Airlie.

On 10 May 2017 the Australian Variety Theatre Archive comprised 1,426 agent entries (people, organisations, and miscellaneous industry activity); and 1,654 individual works entries (not counting revivals). To put this in perspective, that’s more than double the number of entries (up to and including 1935) currently recorded in AustLit: The Resource for Australian Literature, and at least five times as many Australian-written works identified by AusStage for the same period.* Both AustLit and AusStage are university-operated, multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded databases. The AVTA is a privately-operated resource that hasn’t cost Australian tax-payers a single cent.

* NB: AusStage also records non-Australian-written productions (or events) produced in this country, which makes it very difficult to isolate locally-written works. AustLit, on the other hand, focuses on Australian works  only – albeit with some basic records identifying any international sources for Australian adaptations (these are not included in the comparison count as they can be easily identified in the database).

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Dr Clay Djubal would like to thank all those people who have contributed to the archive during the past 12 months. Without their help the AVTA would be much less enlightened.

He would also like to thank the 22,606 people who visited the site between 10 May 2016 and 10 May 2017 (another new record). Of these 7,917 people investigated the Archive further, at an average of 2.62 pages per person. The busiest month was July 2017 with 2,271 visitors.

The AVTA was accessed by people from almost every country on the planet (notably absent were China, and some countries from the African and the Middle-Eastern regions). While Australia was naturally the dominant place of origin for these visitors, significant numbers of people also looked at the site from the USA, UK, New Zealand, France, Canada, Indonesia and Germany.

 

Radio & Variety • World War I

Film and Vaudeville

British Biograph Co [1] • Williamson’s Bio-Tableau

Industry

Charlie Vaude’s Sporting Globe Series • Laurence Halbert • Tom Liddiard

International Tourists

Mel B. Spurr

Organisations and Partnerships

Birch, Carroll & Coyle • Brooks Amusement Co

Practitioners:

Bluett & Mo • Louis Braham • Peter Brooks • Maggie Buckley • Tommy Clyde • Dinks & Trixie • Rus Garling • Reg Harrison • Minnie Hope • Josie Johnson • Ada Juneen • Claire Lloyd • Fred Monument • Cyril Northcote • Seyffer Twins • Elvie Stagpoole • The Sundowners • Will Watkins

 Practitioners: Other

Len Budrick

Radio & Variety

Four Bright Spirits • The Futurists • Harry Graham’s Snapshots • Radio Revellers •  Wal Rockley’s Old Time Minstrels

Revusical Ballets and Chorus’

Paul Stanhope Revue Co

Stage Characters

Billo and His Little Bit of Fluff

Theatres/Venues

Astley’s Amphitheatre (Melb) • Empire Theatre (Brunswick, Melb) • Opera House [2] (Melb) • Princess Theatre [1] (Melb) • Tivoli Theatre [2] (Sydney)

Troupes:

Ada Juneen’s English Burlesque & Comedy Co • Brooklyn Entertainers • Dandies of 1923 • The Follies [Hobart, 1920-1921] • Futurists [1] • Futurists [2] • Harry Ross Revue Co • Josie Johnson’s Pantomime Co • Josie Johnson Wonder Kids • Kelly and Leon’s Comedy Opera Co • Leon & Cushman’s Minstrels • Liddiard’s Lilliputians • Luxor Smilers • Merry Mascottes • Punchinellos [1] • Punchinellos [2] • The Radios • So and So’s [2] • Tait’s Variety Entertainers • Vaudeville Specialty Union

Works

Variety: The Bag (1926) • Bric-a-Brac (1919) • Count Ivanitch (1926) • Dixie Maid (1927) • The Doll-Makers (1923) • Explosions (1928)  • Here and Hereafter (1923) • Hoity Toity (1928) • In or Out (1920) • Mixed Bathers (1928) • Pot Pourri (1928) • Revueland (1923) • School Days (1919) • The Silver Slipper (1920) • Snip Snaps (1928) • Special Mixtures (1928) • The Spring of Gladness (1923) • Star Shells (1927) • Tip Top (1920) • Tumble Inn (1919) • 25 Whizz-Bangs (1927) • Vanity Fair (1919) • Yes and No (1920)

Film & Vaudeville: The Adventures of Algy (1925) • [Alfred Cunningham] • [Australian Talkie Shorts] • [The Dartos] (1901) • Getting Through (1929) • [Honi Soit – Five Minute Movie] • Hullo Marmaduke (1924) • [Jack Cannot] • Lindsay Kemble (1915) • Nice Goings on at Henley Beach (1914) • Percy Gets a Job (1912) • Percy’s First Holiday (1914) • Show Girl’s Luck (1931)

Radio & Variety: At the Farmer’s Ball (1927) • At the Old Bush Camp (1929) • Billy Maloney & His Scandals (1924) • Four Bright SpiritsThe Futurists (1927) • Harry Graham’s Snapshots (1928) • [Humphrey Bishop Revue] (1929) • Midnight at Maxim’s (1930) • [Mirth Quakers Revue] (1929) • Modern Costume Comedy (1930) • Now and Then: Sidelights on Old Sydney (1930) • Radio Revellers (1927) • Sundowners Radio Revue (1927) • [Sunshine Comedy Co Revue] (1930) • [Sydney Operatic Society Revue] (1929) • [untitled revue] 1930 • Wal Rockley’s Old-Time Minstrels (1930)

 Published and Unpublished Texts: “Forgiveness” (n/e) • “Miss Nellie Stewart…” (Finn, 1908) • “Mr Bill Noble…” (anon, 1913) • “Mr Harold Ashton (anon, 1912) • “Mr Tom Liddiard…” (anon, 1911) • “Pretty Pictures: Jack Campbell. (Of the Newtown Hippodrome)” (anon, 1912) • “Soldier Boy” (Phillips, 1918″) • “Sydney — Ninety-Nine” (Farrelly, 1940) • “Twenty Years Ago” (Bluett, 1920)

New Biographies (PDFs)

[Australian Talkie Shorts] (1929) • Getting Through (1929) • [Honi Soit Five Minute Movie] (1918) • Lindsay Kemp (1915) • So and So’s [1]

Updated Bios, Film Production Notes and Research Lists [rl] (PDFs)

A.R. Abbott • Adventures of Algy (1925) • An Interrupted Divorce (1917) • Ella Airlie • Fred Bluett • Jimmy Boyle • Jack Campbell • Charlie at the Sydney Show (1916) • Charlie Vaude Sporting Globe Series (1939-1940) • Cinesound Varieties (1934) • Diggers (1931) • Diggers in Blighty (1933) • Efftee Entertainers (1931-33) • Films Featuring Variety Practitioners [rl] • Alexander Habbe • Harmony Row (1934) • Hello Marmaduke (1924) • His Royal Highness (1934) • William Kinchela • Dot Mendoza • Oh What a Night (1932) • Show Business (1938) • Strike Me Lucky (1934) • Tivoli Celebrity Vaudeville • Variety Practitioners in Film [rl] • Fred C. Whaite • Who’s Who Costume Revue Entertainers

New Research Notes (PDFs)

A.E. Balnaves • Bluett & Mo • Len Budrick • Fred Monument • Nightingale Serenaders [1] • Punchinellos [1] • Punchinellos [2] • So and So’s [2] • So and So’s [3] • Reg Stoneham

Updated Research Notes

W.G. Alma • Alma’s All-Star Co • Apollo Hall (Melb) • Australasian Publicity Bureau • Mona Barlee • Bert Ralton & His Havana Band • George H. Birch • Oswald Bishop • Blondonette Lady Minstrels • British Bioscope Company • May Brooke • Frank Cane • Myra Carden • Billie Carlyle • Gilbert Emery • H. Florack • George Gibbons • Golden Gate Gardens (Syd) • Ben Goodson • Goodson Brothers • Nat Hanley • Charlie Horton • Frank Hussey • Joe Slater Publishing • Richard Kenna • Stanley A. Kilminster • Marie La Varre • Hal Lashwood • Tom Liddiard • Vaibin Louis • Robert McLeish • Lottie’s Royal Magnet Troupe • Lyceum Pictures • Eric Masters • Dot Mendoza • Fred Monument • Nightingale Serenaders • Cyril Northcote • Northcote Theatre (Melb) • North’s Concerts (Melb) • Lang Page •  “Banjo” Patterson • Prince of Wales Theatre [1] (Melb) • Punchinellos [1] • Punchinellos [2] • The Racoons • Joe Slater • Stampini • State Entertainers • Swastika Players • J. Harding Tucker • Frank Weston • Weston & Hussey’s Minstrels

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The AVTA is another publication from

Published in: on May 27, 2018 at 12:35 am  Comments Off on Australian Variety Theatre Archive – Seventh Year Highlights (2017-2018)