Australian Variety Theatre Archive Now 1 Year Old

The Australian Variety Theatre Archive, a research website devoted to popular culture entertainment between circa 1850 and 1930, is now in its second year.

The AVTA 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 200 new records and several dozen expanded biographies, while also updating a large majority of the entries which were available at the start .

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 entries would be much less enlightened.

He would also like to thank the 12,548 people who have visited the site between 10 May 2011 and 10 May 2012. The busiest day was April Fool’s Day 2012 (644 hits), which is interesting… if a little mystifying!?

Herbert Boland • Percy Dix (below) • F.E. Hiscocks • C.F. and Humbert Pugliese • Ernest C. Rolls •  Frank Smith • Alfred Wyburd

Arthur Aldridge • Professor S. S. Baldwin • Syd Beck • Bovis Bros • Fred Davys • Ada Delroy (below) • Faust Family • Effie Fellows • Sam and Sadie Gale • Charles Holt • Arnold Jarvis • Daisy Jerome • Clara Keating • Winifred La France • Stella Lamond • Joe Lawman • Alf J. Lawrence • Little Verlie • Levante (Les Cole) • Morris & Wilson • Slade Murray • Hector Napier • Frank Neil • Leonard Nelson • Ernest Pitcher • Harry Ross • Madeline Rossiter • The Stagpooles • Reg “Kangaroosta” Thornton • Dan Thomas • Winnie Trevail • Priscilla Verne • Alf “Redhead” Wilson • Wykeham and Preston

Composers/Music Directors:
Victor Champion • Owen Conduit • Nicholas La Feuillade • Luscombe Searelle • Fred Whaite (below) • Jessie Gray • W. Hamilton Webber

Ada Delroy Co  • Baldwin’s Butterfly Co • Charles Godfrey Vaudeville Co • Classics of 1923 • Elite Burlesque Revue Co • Gallipoli Strollers (below) • The Globetrotters • Graham Mitchell’s Serenaders • Hicocks’ Federal Minstrels • Hugo’s Buffalo Minstrels • Madge Cloherty’s Celebrities • The Royal Strollers • Smart Set Diggers • Sunbeam Pantomime Children

Gallipoli Strollers [SYM 25 Dec 1918, 14]

Brennan’s Amphitheatres Ltd • Fullers Theatres (below) • Jones & Lawrence • Holland & St John • J. & N. Tait • Pugliese Enterprises

Australian Variety Artists Association • Fuller News •  Everyone’s • Mendelssohn’s Photographic Studios • Lilian Ross (below) • Ye Olde Englyshe Fayre • Harry Clay’s Annual NSW/Queensland Waxworks, Comedy and Vaudeville Tours, 1901-18, 1927, 1929 • Theatre Magazine

Alhambra Theatre (Syd) • Arcadia Theatre (St Kilda) • Bondi Aquarium (below)  Coliseum Theatre (Nth Syd) • Cremorne Gardens (Perth) • Eden Gardens (Manly) • Empire Theatre (Bris) • Gaiety Theatre (Melb) • Palace Gardens (Bris) • Princess Theatre (Syd) • Royal Standard (Syd) • Theatre Royal (Charters Towers)

Among the new works entered have been more than 30 new revusicals and revues from Nat Phillips Whirligigs (ca. 1929-1932), as well as three radio musicals from 1931. Two of these – On the Air (Evan Senior) and The Tin Soldier (Fred Whaite) were the first Australian works to  be written especially for radio.


The AVTA also published two articles in its Mixed Bag Monograph Series.

These are:

For the Duration’: Australian One Act Musical Comedies and the Fashioning of an Imagined National Identity between 1914 and 1918“ by Clay Djubal ( No 1, 25 June 2011)

Harry Leston: A Versatile Showman“ by Loreley Morling (No 2, 25 April 2012)


The AVTA is another publication from