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Ballet Rambert’s 1948/49 tour of Australasia.


The Ballet Rambert’s Australasian Schedule.

17 October 1947 to 1 May 1948.

Melbourne (opening at HM Theatre), Broken Hill (3 nights), Sydney

7 May 1948 to ? September 1948.

Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin.

.. and finally

11 September 1948 to January 1949

Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth.

Two photographers accompanied the tour – Jean Stewart and Walter Stringer.

The Australian tour ended at the Capitol Theatre, Perth, and the company sailed for the UK. Nearly half the dancers chose to remain in Australia.


If the Somerton Man was travelling with this company as an undercover agent he wouldn’t be using his real name, neither would he be likely to have his clothing labelled as such.

And he would no longer have been a member of the company after November 30, 1948.


Ballet Rambert in Australasia 1947–1949

In addition:

Say there were fifty dancers in a Rambert touring company – each one with a spare pair of flats, each one with his or her individual boot lasts – that’s two hundred individual ballet flats – some in rank condition – and one hundred pieces of carved wood, being one for each dancer’s foot.

An inventory.

And if a member of the touring company was responsible for the care and transportation of these items they would all have to have been labelled. Even the oldest slippers; the ones with their label rubbed away or hidden by resin grime – they would  have to be re-labelled.

Every slipper labelled, packed, transported, unpacked and distributed before each performance rehearsal.
Every boot last labelled, packed, transported, unpacked and made available as needed.

The Rambert Ballet made appearances in all of the capitals during their Australian tour. Dozens. A hundred.
Old slippers were no doubt discarded after performances, new ones ordered. And wood splits, is broken, can be warped by moisture and heat.

To design a computer-based inventory system that could deal with such challenges would not be easy.

So, alternatively,

.. the dancers carried their slippers and boot lasts with their personal luggage.

It was the only way.

You know it makes sense.

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