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'"SARS OF.THE AIR" - r . S UMNER, LOCKE-ELLIOTT - PLAYWRIGHT, ACTOR. AND SOLDIER
ý1Tie dd$iwv chance meetings , reveal facts. about produe: tions that authors seldom have a chance otherwise of finding out," says Sumner Locke-Elliott, Syd ney playwright and actor, now p member of the First Australian Broadcasting Control Unit and a I scriptwriter for "The Army Hour," heard each Wednesday at 7.20 p.m. on the National pro gramme.
THlE ARNM 1I0I111 OAN WEI)NEISIIfY NIGHTS TIe norI 7.1.0 IjIhI-, JI ini0mrnl ,how In thIE Natlannl nrnpmmme In likely InI polre hight) Popular. All the pppmnnl-. Illca 1, 0 2 00 ( 0 1womn In the forol., and mopt of thom had had se'llcn t theatrical oIopoololl - Ifor ooomplt,' Srnatpo Locpio-EltlpI. the corlottriter. whose Hoop Ih Olaoched.
One night before the Pacific War began Pte. Locke-Elliott was int,.the Theatre Royal, Sydney, talking to n friend during an interval when a woman in the row;' behind him leant over and Ssaid "Excuse me, I heard your nmne mentioned-are you Sumner Iocke.Elliott? Well, I was in ybur:play, 'Interval,' in Rnabal; when! it was staged by the White * Settlement there." This wao the first that Locke. Elliott.knew about the produe tion. The woman then gave him !details.off the.show and sent him a programme. SIt-wnsnnt-until a month after the production had finished that Sumner.Locke-Elliott also hearqd about) the isuccessful production of his play; "Cow Jumped Over the ,Moon," in IIollywood. where it had.run for a very successful season. A'.lotter came from a friend- who had been visiting
California, where soie had .seen, his name in an advertisement for the, show in the Los Angeles .paper. She sent him details and a. programme and the following week his royalties. arrived from the Callboard Theatre. Metro, Goldwyn Mayer also wrote about the play, which they had "scouted," and 'asked for a script. Sumner Locke-Elliott was later offered dialogue work''b by' M-G-M. should he go to the States. The war prevented tha;t from being an immediate 'cbjcc live, but he hopes 'to go as 'oan as It is over. The son of Melbourne novelist, Sumner Locke, well known dur. ing the last war for her mai" short stories and novels. Sumner Locke-Elliott was born in Sydney.. At the age of fourteen he won the Nellie Stewart Silver,Cup" for' the best Australian one-act play in n juvenile drama competition: On leaving school, he made an immediate success in radio; ap' pearing for eight months in the irincipal role in an A.B.C. chil Iren's serial.'"Midshipman Easy." Further parts followed in A.B.C. night shows. OAt the age of seventeen he joined the staff of J. C. Williamson Ltd. as a pub. licity writer, but after two years he rejoined radio, this time as a scriptwriter for a commercial station. His first stage play. "Cow Jumped Over the Moon," was produced in Sydney in 1037. ond was quickly followed by hils second, "Interval," which has been performed in every State in Australia, and has recently been published under the auspices of the Commonwealth Literary Fund. Two other. plays by Locke-Ellintt Wave been produced by'repertory theatres in Melbourne and in Sydney`-'Goodbye to the Music" and "Your 'Obedient Servant." Pte. Locke-Elliott says that hl obtained most of his training in acting and writing for the stage through his association with tlih Independent Theatre in Sydney. where, over a period of ten years. he took part in many productionr including some of his own plr' Since he joined the Army, 1942, he has appeared only spas modically in radio, spending morst of his time doing Army-shows in" the Northern Territory. Return ing recently from the north "t join the First Australian Broud casting Control Unit, he is now working for "The Army.,Hour" as scriptwriter, and also as an actor in some of the dramatisa tions in the shows.