The Sentimental Bloke

by Brown, Arlen & Thompson based on the works of C J Dennis

Directed by Audrey Hoving

October 1982

The Sentimental Bloke is a 1961 Australian musical by Albert Arlen, Nancy Brown and Lloyd Thomson based on Songs of a Sentimental Bloke by C.J. Dennis. It is one of the most successful Australian musicals of the 20th century.

Albert Arlen and Nancy Brown had worked on the musical since 1950. Initially, they sought the involvement of George Johnston, who showed little interest. Later, the actor Lloyd Thomson was brought on board as writer. Arlen and Brown went to England in 1955 to promote the show. This was unsuccessful so they returned to Australia, borrowed some money, and self-produced the musical in an amateur production at Canberra’s Albert Hall in March 1961. The cast included Edwin Ride and Brown. The show had a one-week run in Canberra, which was so popular that extra seating in the aisles had to be arranged. J. C. Williamson’s directors Sir Frank Tait and John McCallum attended the final performance.

Later that year, J.C Williamson’s produced the musical professionally in Melbourne. The original six-week season at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre (from 4 November 1961), directed by John Young, was later extended to five months. The roles of The Bloke, Doreen and Rose of Spadger’s Lane were played by Edwin Ride (from the amateur Canberra production), Patsy Hemingway and Gloria Dawn respectively. Through 1962, the production toured to Adelaide (Tivoli Theatre), Brisbane (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Sydney (Theatre Royal) and Auckland, New Zealand (His Majesty’s Theatre).

Man Alive

by John Dighton

Directed by Judith Kaveney

May 1982

In preparation for the New Year’s day sale, a window dresser has the bright idea of utilizing a special sun lamp in the display window which contains two female dummies and Waldorf, a male dummy fresh from the factory. The lamp’s rays have fantastic properties and turn Waldrof into a beguiling young man and later turn Hathaway, the store’s unpopular owner, into a dummy. While Hathaway is helplessly immobilized, Waldorf revolutionizes the store by throwing a free champagne party. He also thoroughly enjoys himself with the adoring female staff. His human life is short, if exceedingly merry, while Hathaway’s enforced sojourn in the display window has taught him a few valuable lessons.

” A lovely and original bit of nonsense.” – The Evening News , London