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been credited with coming up
                                                             with  the  idea  of  asking
                                                             visiting stars to contribute to
                                                             this "signing wall", with the
                                                             result  that  it  has  become  a
                                                             priceless  gallery  preserving
                                                             precious  memories  of  the
                                                             theatre's  proud  and  long
                                                             history. Some of the names I
                                                             saw  there  included  Spike
                                                             Milligan,  Lauren  Bacall,
                                                             Slim    Dusty,   Barry
                                                             Humphries,      Angela
                                                             Lansbury, Rowan Atkinson,
                                                             Wilfred Hyde-White, Debbie
                                                             Reynolds,  Maggie  Smith,
                                                             Reg Livermore, and Whoopi
       View of the two level auditorium from the stage. The refurbishment will  Goldberg  to  mention  just  a
       re-introduce a second balcony as the third  level     few  of  them.  During  the
                                                             theatre's Renewal project, the
       Bill makes uninvited visits from time to time. You see, he is the theatre's  wall  has  to  be  dismantled
       resident ghost and he has been around for as long as the theatre has. Back  brick  by  brick,  and  re-
       in 1913, there were two Opening Nights for the theatre. The first was on  assembled  in  a  new  Green
       5 September for a large assembly of prominent citizens and VIPs, who  Room in order to preserve it
       were  treated  to  lots  of  speeches  and  an  official  Opening  Ceremony  with  a  little  damage  as
       performed by the Mayor of Adelaide, J. Lavington Bonython. The second  possible.
       Opening Night was for the general public, on 6 September. Just before
       the  show  was  due  to  commence,  two  backstage  employees  were  There  is  a  lot  of  affection
       instructed  to  climb  an  iron  ladder  up  into  the  flies  to  check  that  the  amongst  patrons,  staff  and
       mechanism for lowering and raising the asbestos fire safety curtain was  performers  for  this  "Grand
       working properly, which they did. The curtain was successfully lowered  Old  Lady  of  Grote  Street"
       and raised, and everything left secure. His mate then saw William Fisher  and  we  look  forward  to  its
       begin to descend the ladder, but he had not gone down more than five  next  incarnation.  With  a
       feet when he fell about 30 feet to the stage below. He landed on his head,  budget of around 66 million
       fracturing his skull, and was picked up in an unconscious state. He died  dollars,   it   should   be
       in the Royal Adelaide Hospital about 2 hours later. At the time William  something pretty special. ★
       fell, the theatre was crowded, but the house curtain was down, so people
       were oblivious that anything untoward had happened and the show went
       ahead  as  planned.  William  was  a  conscientious  employee  and  no
       explanation could be found as to the cause of the accident. Ever since
       that  incident,  there  have  been  reports  of  people  hearing  creaking
       footsteps, lights being turned on mysteriously, backstage crew sometimes
       seeing  a  figure  out  of  the  corner  of  their  eye,  and  unexplainable
       happenings in the flies. Various staff at the theatre believe that these
       occurrences have some link back to William Fisher's unfortunate demise.
       My exploration of the theatre was nearing an end as I progressed through
       various backstage rooms, workshops, spotlight storage spaces and empty
       dressing rooms. A hidden treasure of this theatre was to be found deep
       in the bowels of the backstage area, in the old Green Room. In this space,
       a large expanse of the brick wall has been covered with many dozens of
       autographs  and  signatures  from  some  of  the  biggest  names  in  show
       business  who  have  performed  in  the  theatre  over  the  years.  Kelvin
       Adams, Head Mechanist at the theatre for more than three decades, has
         Just a few of the hundreds of signatures on the Green Room signing wall
                                                                     Tivoli - Frank Van Straten. (Thomas C Lothian Pty Ltd. 2003.)
                                                                     Her Majesty’s Pleasure - Frank Van Straten. (Wakefield Press. 2013.)
                                                                     Film Weekly – 19 Oct. 1967 Vol. 107, No. 2126, to 27 Feb. 1969 Vol
                                                                     109 No. 2194.
                                                                     The Showman - Vol. 19, No. 6, 15 Oct. 1967 to Vol. 20, No. 11, 15
                                                                     March 1969.
                                                                     The Advertiser - Monday 18 September 1913, page 15.
                                                                     The Advertiser - Thursday 5 September 2013, Page 25. "Grand Story
                                                                     Written in Stone"
                                                                     The Advertiser - Monday 26 March 2018, page 22. "Fitting Farewell
                                                                     for the Grand Old Maj".
                                                                     Her Majesty's Theatre Closing Benefit Souvenir Program - 24 March

                                                                     Additional Information - Allan Hall and Adam Towill.
                                                                     Special Thanks to Jane Rossetto, Adelaide Festival Centre.

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