Video Histories, Episode 4: The National Commercial Era. Before the era of government subsidies, Australian theatre was dominated by a production behemoth, JC Williamson Theatres, or “The Firm”. Originally a New York actor manager, James Cassius Williamson moved to Australia in the 1880s and launched his career with the first legal production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. Later highlights included a production of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House a mere three months after its international premiere, and a disatsrous tour by Sarah Bernhardt. Our resident historian Robert Reid lays it all down.
Video editing and production by Sayraphim Lothian