It may not have been this exact record player that I heard my first sounds of musical theatre, but you get the idea. It was the high-tech portability of its time – His Master’s Voice (HMV), now under administration in the UK.
I cut my teeth listening to show tunes into the night while I was supposed to be sleeping. One I’d forgotten, until recently, was Lola Montez, an Australian musical about the dancer and actress who came to Australia to entertain miners on the Victorian gold fields in August 1855. She was in the country for a mere nine months, scandalizing many with her famous Spider Dance.
It’s been a delight to hear it again and to enjoy broad Australian accents belting out songs about Ballarat and the gold rush. Have a listen and see how it stacks up after all these years.