Eliza Winstanley, Carte de visite, circa 1860. TCS 19, Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Eliza Winstanley, who died of diabetes and exhaustion in Sydney in 1882, is largely forgotten. But as a leading artist on Australia’s earliest stages she deserves a prominent place in our theatrical histories.
Walking in water: James Burke-Dunsmore as Jesus in the Good Friday performance of the Passion of Jesus, staged by the Wintershall Players, in Trafalgar Square, London, April 2018.
Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images
Was Jesus Christ the first male lead in the history of modern theatre?
Ivy Emms with the man she married, Jack Bent, on a music catalogue for the song Just a Ray of Sunlight. After performing patriotic songs as a child in popular pantomimes, Emms later worked as a choreographer at Melbourne’s Tivoli Theatre.
More than 100,000 records of live performance are on a database of our theatre history. They tell of corroborees, the first play staged by white settlers, and long-gone gracious theatres.
The Laughing Audience (or A Pleased Audience), by William Hogarth.
National Portrait Gallery
Popcorn packets and phone use in the theatre can be very distracting, but it’s nothing compared to what performers had to put up with in the past.