Judy Nunn’s latest bestselling novel will take you from the cotton mills of England to the magnificent theatres of Melbourne, on a scintillating journey through the golden age of Australian showbusiness.
‘So, Will, are you going to come with me and my team of merry performers to the sunny climes of Australia, where the crowds are already queuing and the streets are paved with gold?’
In the second half of the 19th century, Melbourne is a veritable boom town, as hopefuls from every corner of the globe flock to the gold fields of Victoria.
And where people crave gold, they also crave entertainment.
Enter stage right: brothers Will and Max Worthing and their wives Mabel and Gertie. The family arrives from England in the 1880s with little else but the masterful talents that will see them rise from simple travelling performers to sophisticated entrepreneurs.
Enter stage left: their rivals, Carlo and Rube. Childhood friends since meeting in a London orphanage, the two men have literally fought their way to the top and are now producers of the bawdy but hugely popular ‘Big Show Bonanza’. The fight for supremacy begins.
Waiting in the wings: Comedy, tragedy, passion and betrayal; economic depression, the Black Death and the horrors of World War One…