Bendigo-born William Anderson produced melodramas with Australian themes, authentic local settings and local talent, but gambling, on horses and grand schemes, eventually proved his undoing. Leann Richards re-introduces the charismatic showman, once mentioned in the same breath as J.C. Williamson.
In the early 20th century most Australian theatrical entrepreneurs were foreign born. There was one exception, William Anderson. For over thirty years Anderson dominated Australian melodrama and actively supported native writers, actors and producers.