Open main menu

Walch, Garnet, the author and dramatist, is the youngest son of the late Major Walch, of her Majesty's 54th Regiment, and brother of the well-known publishers Messrs. Walch, of Tasmania. Mr. Walch was born in Tasmania in 1843, but passed some of his earlier years in England and on the Continent. On the completion of his education he returned to Australia, where he was at first engaged in commercial pursuits, but later on developed a taste for press work, and was employed as a writer on several of the leading papers of New South Wales. He also started a journal of his own, known as the Cumberland Times, but his first independent literary venture appeared as recently as 1870, when he published a series of Christmas stories, under the title of "Fireflash." At Christmas 1871 he produced his original extravaganza Trookulentos, which achieved great success. Removing to Victoria, toward the close of 1872, he produced True Blue Beard at the Prince of Wales' Theatre (now the Opera House), and early next year a burlesque entitled Pygmalion and his Gal a dear, followed by his extravaganzas Australia Felix and Adamatna, both played at the Opera House. In 1874 he published a volume of humorous verse and prose, "Head over Heels," and next year a grotesquely illustrated work styled "On the Cards." His next Melbourne pantomime was an adaptation of "Froggie would a-wooing go," while in Sydney was played his original version of Beauty and the Beast, the Theatre Royal of each city being the locale of production. In 1876, besides a variety of dramiettes written to introduce Dr. Silvester's ghost effects, Mr. Walch wrote his pantomime Hey Diddle Diddle for the Melbourne Theatre Royal, a fresh version of his Trookulentos being also played in New Zealand. Mr. Walch subsequently produced a dramatisation of "Helen's Babies" and a comedy styled Humble-pie, besides others which it is needless to enumerate. In addition to the above, Mr. Walch has written several localised versions of popular burlesques and bouffes and a number of descriptive lectures. Shortly after his arrival in Melbourne Mr. Walch was chosen out of a hundred and fifteen applicants to fill the post of secretary to the Melbourne Athenæum, the leading literary institute of Australia. This post he resigned in 1882. He edited a handsome illustrated volume entitled "Victoria in 1880," published locally.