Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company

Above: A Pollard troupe in North America, c 1904. The players identified so far include, in the front row, first from left – Olive Moore, second from right – Willie Thomas, right – Daphne Pollard. The Heintz twins, Johnnie and Freddie, wear top hats and are visible kneeling at the front. Postcard courtesy Robert Maynard.

These are pages dedicated to the child performers in Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company troupes run by Charles Pollard and his sister Nellie Chester. The children usually came from the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. A feature is that these troupes generally performed in South-East Asia, India and North America over the period 1896 -1910, but never in their hometown of Melbourne.*

Some of the performers with Pollard’s whose full stories are known include

*Note: Another Pollard family member, Tom, ran separate Pollard troupes touring through Australia and New Zealand (& occasionally to South Africa and the “Far east” but not to North America) at about the same time. These troupes are the subject of Peter Downes book The Pollards (2002) – and their members came from across New Zealand and Australia. Confusingly, occasionally child actors swapped from one company to another.