Film and television actor Graeme Blundell, has selected almost 300 anecdotes about Australian theatre, from its rather sordid origins in the 1790s to the more celebrated age of Barry Humphries, Wendy Harmer and John Bell. The anecdotes are all drawn from published sources: newspapers, magazines, biographies, memoirs and historical works. Arranged chronologically, they contain reminiscences of all the great figures of the Australian stage, including George Coppin, J.C. Williamson, Nellie Melba, Gladys Moncrieff, Roy Rene ("Mo"), Gwen Plumb, Peter Finch, Ray Barrett, Frank Thring, Noel Ferrier, June Slater, Gordon Chater, David Williamson and Reg Livermore. Writers such as Patrick White, Sumner Locke Elliott, Dorothy Hewett and Barry Oakley relate their adventures and misadventures in the theatre. Overseas artists have also been drawn to the Australian stage, and several of them apear on these pages - Lola Montez, Charles Kean, Sarah Bernhardt and Noel Coward, who, when asked at the airport if he had anything to say to the "Sydney Sun", said simply "Shine".
The book ends with Humphries' caustic account of the opening night of the operatic version of "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll" and with Barrie Kosky's notorious attack on the current state of Australian culture.