Historical information

The Kew Light Opera Company was formed in 1952, and mounted a number of musical and variety productions each year until it was subsumed in the "Q" Theatre Guild in 1957. A partial record of performances by the company includes: 1952 Florodora, 1953 The Cingalee - San Toy or The Emperor's Own, 1954 While the Sun Shines - A Country Girl - Our Miss Gibbs, 1955 The Toreador - The Arcadians, 1956 The Maid of the Mountains - Whiteoaks - Goodnight Vienna!, 1957 A Country Girl. Most of the Company's performances took place in the Kew Recreation Hall in Wellington Street, Kew.


The scrapbook of annotated photographs, programmes, and newspaper reviews of which this item is a part was assembled by Marion Tilley, wardrobe mistress for, and performer in, productions by the Kew Light Opera Company and the "Q" Theatre Guild. It is significant as a remarkably complete document of theatre performances in Kew, Victoria during the 1950s and 1960s. The scrapbook, and the items individually catalogued within it, have artistic and aesthetic significance within the history of performing arts in Victoria in the middle of the 20th Century. They have social significance in that they reveal socio-cultural values and preoccupations during the period. The records also act as a history of arts activities in the Kew Recreation Hall and later in the Kew City Hall as entertainment and community arts and music precincts.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of Lance Nicholls, left, in a performance of Goodnight Vienna! by The Kew Light Opera Company in 1957. Nicholls produced and directed the production as well as performing as Prince Schmettoff. The accompanying programme provides a profile of Nicholls. It states that: Lance Nicholls (Prince Schmettoff), our producer, is a well known personality in the theatre and radio world, having created a reputation as an outstanding character actor through his roles in "Libel", "Streets of London", "Seven Day's Leave", "Village Priest". He was with J.C.W. for many years and a leading player with the late Gregan McMahon, The Roland McCarty Shakespearian Coy., and The Melbourne Little Theatre; also touring with the Council of Adult Education in "Tobias and the Angel" and "The Miser", then in "While the Sun Shines" for the Red Cross. Mr. Nicholls conducted his own Company of players, known as The Modern Theatre, who presented Shakespearian productions to schools and colleges, and has successfully produced many other plays and Musical Comedy. The Kew Light Opera Company has been fortunate in having a producer and player of such high calibre as Mr. Nicholls, and, it has been seen in previous successful shows under his guidance, hopes to go on to further success in the future."

Inscriptions & markings

Inscribed above the photo in the scrapbook by Marion Tilley: "Lance Nicholls".