Ike Delavale “The Assassin of Sorrow”

The Australian Variety Theatre Archive proudly presents…

a newly revised and updated biography of Australian comedian


Also known as Ernie Vockler, “Australia’s Charlie Chaplin of Vaudeville,” and Charles Delavale (of Delavale Brothers fame)



(1897-1968) Eccentric dancer, comedian, Charlie-Chaplin impersonator, actor, producer, writer, and manager.

Melbourne-born vaudevillian Ernest Charles Vockler carved out an extraordinarily-long career between ca. 1911 (as a juvenile comedian and dancer) and at least the mid-1950s  He found initial success in the 1910s as a Chaplin impersonator before firmly establishing himself as one of the country’s leading entertainers in two popular partnerships – the Delavale Brothers, and Delavale and Stagpoole. Known as “Ike” Delavale from 1923 onwards, he managed his own revue company during the 1920s and 1930s, and had toured for many years with soprano Maggie Buckley (1930-1940s). This later partnership also coincided with his new billing –  the “Assassin of Sorrow.”

Highly regarded as a revusical writer/director, troupe manager/proprietor, and radio celebrity, Delavale worked for most of the big Australian-based firms and had long associations with Harry Clay, Fullers’ Theatres, Les Shipp, Stanley McKay, and Bruce Carroll (Perth). He also toured New Zealand twice with the Delavale Brothers (1917 and 1919) and twice with Stanley McKay’s Gaieties (1935 and 1936).


Click below to go to the AVTA page containing Ike’s biography.

<<Take me to Ike Delavale>>

Australian Variety Theatre Archive – Sixth Year Highlights (2016-2017)

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, 2017, marks its sixth 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 almost 3,000 new records. Many of these entries have also been updated.


Two priority projects were undertaken during the past twelve months to improve the AVTA. These have been completed.

  1. The hyperlinking of all people, troupes, and organisations mentioned in any online pages to their respective entries within the AVTA. Adding hyperlinks is now standard practice whenever a new entry is published.
  2. Replacing abbreviations for all references and citations to all PDFs published in the Works section (1840 to 1935), and adding hyperlinks to any newspaper reference digitised by the National Library of Australia (Trove). This is also now standard practice whenever a new production is added to any Works PDF.

Two additional projects initiated during the past 12 months will continue to be addressed over the 2017/2018 period.

  1. Replacing all abbreviations in PDF biographies with full citation details; and
  2. Creating more Research Notes PDFs. 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.


In addition to the above projects 170 new entries were also added. This involved 116 new agent entries and 54 new works entries. 9 new sections and 7 new Research Notes PDFs were also published. Several biographies were updated and expanded, too, – notably those connected to Ike Delavale.

On 10 May 2017 the Australian Variety Theatre Archive comprised 1,366 agent entries (people, organisations, and miscellaneous industry activity); and 1,592 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).


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 21,292 people who visited the site between 10 May 2016 and 10 May 2017 (a new record). Of these 7,425 people investigated the Archive further, at an average of 2.86 pages per person. The busiest month was April 2017 with 2,537 visitors.

The AVTA was accessed by people from almost every country on the planet (notably absent were 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.


Adelaide • Brisbane • Darwin • Hobart/Launceston • Melbourne • Northern Territory • Perth • Sydney (Theatres/venues pages) and Historical Insights


Sidney Cook

Film and Vaudeville

An Interrupted Divorce • Charlie at the Sydney Show


Don Pictures (Darwin) • Lashwood & White Theatrical Agency • Lew Parks

Music Directors/Composers

Variety: H. Florack • Other: Oswald Anderson • John M. Dunn • George English • George English Jnr • C. W. MacCarthy • Isaac Nathan • W. Arundel Orchard • Hubert Russell

Organisations and Partnerships

Cole’s Variety’s • Cook’s Pictures • Kelly & Leon • Sadler & Kearns • Williamson & Musgrove


Variety: Australian Sapphires • A. V. Barry • Elsie Bates • Vera Benson • Billy Wells & the Eclair Twins • Belle Bluett • Humphrey Bishop • Gus Bluett • Kitty Bluett • Rosie Bowie • Dot Browne • Sid Burchell • Ben Calvert • Joe Charles • Charles & Dani • Les Coney • Conrad Charlton • Gerry Connolly • Mike Connors • Harry Cremar • Emilie Dani • Dot Davis • Bert Delavale • Ern Delavale • Delavale & Vockler • Tom Delohery • Fanning & Devoe • Farrell & Gaffney • Stan “Stud” Foley • Lucy Fraser • Jim Gaffney • Hilda Gifford • Gifford Sisters • The Glory Girl • Hagan & Fraser • Lizzie Hastings • Florence Henderson • Charles Hugo • Jennings & Gerald • Keith & Witt • Jake Mack • C. Post Mason • Don G. Merle • Cliff O’Keefe • Fred Parsons • Frank Perryn • Peggy Pryde • Edna Ralston • Alf Rockley • Lily Rockley • Wal Rockley • Rockley Brothers • Edwin Shipp • Les Shipp • Maude Shipp • Minnie Shipp • Shipp & Gaffney • Sam Stern • Nell Stirling • Lily Vockler • Fred Witt

 Practitioners: Other:

Bill Ayr • Frank Ayrton • Bert Bailey • Dan Barry • A. E. Balnaves • John Cazabon • Peter Dawson • J. I. Hunt • Stanley A. Kilminster • June Mendoza • A. B. “Banjo” Paterson • Rita Pauncefort • Mascotte Ralston • J. Harding Tucker • Jack Ward (aka J. E. Ward) • Wilton Welch •


Darwin Town Hall • Olympic Circus (Sydney) • Prince of Wales Theatre [1] (Melbourne) • Plaza Theatre (Northcote, Melbourne) • Queen’s Hall (Perth) • Scandinavian Music Hall (Sydney) • Stadium (Darwin) • St George’s Hall (Melbourne) • Yorketown Town Hall •


Dan Barry’s World-Wide Wonder Show • Clay’s Waxworks & Vaudeville Co • Florack’s Federal Minstrels • Lizzie Hastings’ Minstrels • Lizzie Hastings’ Picnic Party • Royal Strollers [2] • Shipp’s Entertainers/Minstrels • The Versatiles


Variety: Aboard the Lugger (1927) • Ace High (1927) • After the Storm (1925) • At The Show (1924) • Bubble and Squeak (1925) • Coppers and Capers (1926) • Crackers (1926) • Criss Cross (1927) • The Diamond Palace (1924) • Dots and Spots (1927) • Fireworks (1926) • Good Catch (1934/radio) • Happy School Days (1924) • Heads and Tails (1924) • Heave Ho! (1926) • Hello, Princess (1932) •  His Wives (1926) • The Holiday Makers (1923) • In Arizona (1926) • Jack the Giant Killer (1924) • Kentucky Days (1926) • Little Bo-Peep (1929/radio) • Mother Hubbard (1925) • The Mystic Egg (1927) • Nobody Home (1924) • Now and Then (1934) • The Painters (1926) • Pete Wins Tatts (1925) • Prince Charming (1921) • Princess Yo-Yo (1933/radio) • P’s and Q’s (1925) • Puff Paste (1926) • Put and Take (1925) • The Revue Star ()1931) • Rin Tin (1927) • The Singing Girl (1930) • Sky High (1925) • Snappy Sydney (1933) • Stumps Drawn (1926) • The Telephone Girls (1913) • That’s That (1923) • The Two Scamps (1899) • Water Babies (1925) • What Is It? (1915) • Who’s Baby (1926) • Wiggy Wiggy (1927)

Legitimate: Faust and Gretchen (1883) • Lady Nora (1907) • The Mandarin (1896) • The Man in the Moon (1907) • The Merchant of Bassora (1917) • Singvoegelchen (1882) • Uller the Bowman (1909) • The Windmill (1891)

Film & Vaudeville:

An Interrupted Divorce (1917) • Charlie at the Sydney Show (1916)

New Biographies (PDFs):

An Interrupted Divorce (film) • Charlie at the Sydney Show (film) • Oswald Anderson • Dot Mendoza

New Research Notes (PDFs):

Ben Goodson • Stanley A. Kilminster • Hal Lashwood • Billy Maloney • Eric Masters • J. Harding Tucker • Prince of Wales Theatre [1] (Melbourne)



The AVTA is another publication from


Published in: on June 11, 2017 at 6:26 am  Comments Off on Australian Variety Theatre Archive – Sixth Year Highlights (2016-2017)  
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Australian Variety Theatre Archive – Now Online

About banner 3b

Dr Clay Djubal proudly announces that the Australian Variety Theatre Archive, a new research website devoted to popular culture entertainment between circa 1850 and 1930, is now online.

Coming Attractions / Recent Additions
is a post page that will announce recent updates and forthcoming entries

The first post is due for publication following the AVTA’s official launch in late June 2011.

The AVTA is another publication from

Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 12:47 am  Comments Off on Australian Variety Theatre Archive – Now Online  
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