Author(s): Frank Van Straten
This spectacular book is an affectionate celebration of Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre. Packed with evocative text and hundreds of rare, nostalgic images, it documents the shows and stars who’ve entertained theatre-goers over the past 14 decades.
Her Majesty’s great stage has housed everything from Show Boat, Oklahoma! and Fiddler on the Roof to Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins and The Rocky Horror Show – hundreds of shows, including an intriguing few that were not exactly box office bonanzas! Its dressing rooms have been home to Dame Nellie Melba, Anna Pavlova and Dame Joan Sutherland as well as Peter Allen, Dame Edna, Jerry Hall, and even Bananas in Pyjamas.
It hasn’t always been easy. Her Majesty’s has survived two world wars, two serious depressions, the introduction of talkies and television, and a disastrous 1929 fire. Seventy years later it escaped almost certain demolition when it was purchased and completely refurbished by entrepreneur Mike Walsh.
Your guide on this nostalgic ramble is noted Australian entertainment historian Frank Van Straten. He’s mined not only the treasures in the theatre’s extensive archive, but also the memories and memorabilia of many showbiz veterans.
The result is a landmark publication that will delight everyone who loves the magic of the theatre – and, especially, The Maj.