Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 6. June 7, 1951

What they Thought... — Comment on Sidarella

page 3

What they Thought...

Comment on Sidarella

All these people whom we have managed to encourage to give us comments on this year's show have had many years of experience with Extrav. We feel, on Salient, that comments by these knowledgeable people are of great assistance to those who took part in the show, as we feel sure that you will be turning up for the same old grind of rehearsals and hilarity of the presentation next year, how ever tired you may be feeling at the moment! Once you have participated in Extrav. you will feel left out next year when rehearsal time comes round again. As for those who didn't take part this year, there's still time . . . we'll see you next year.

Salient and Cappicade Editor

Extrav this year did at least move with some speed—a fact which is to the producer's credit rather than anyone else's. This is particularly praiseworthy considering the appalling proportion of new names on the cast list. Thus the whole result was a rather better show than anything for the last four or five years. And apart from some flatfooted movement—or lack of it—the cast didn't look too amateurish. Scenery was not outstanding, nor were props, though this might be because the script didn't allow of much spectacular. The script itself seemed to be fairly good throughout, especially where it was low enough. The cracks were quite often funny. Only main objections—a high proportion of drearily long lyrics, which could have been shortened, inaudibility of words because choruses too large, little convincing plot, and not enough of the McKartho. And, of course, all of the female ballet. Do we really need it? Interval entertainment stank. One last query—what were the Drama Club doing when the cast list was made up.

Denny Garrett.

Socialist Stalwart

In my opinion, "Sidarella" is as good as any I have seen; this applies in particular to the script, which had those factors necessary to a successful extravaganza—it was witty, topical and pointed. What particularly appealed to me was the happy goodnature running through the show—everybody obviously enjoyed their participation, which after all is what Extrav is for—enjoyment. Dave is to be congratulated on the production, unfortunately marred, on the last night, by one or two hitches in the curtain; at the beginning of the second act this was particularly noticeable. Another weak point was the make-up—when people are meant to represent public figures some effort should be made to make them up accordingly—Frank Curtin was an exception to this as Rattlee.

The thing that pleased me most was the way in which Extrav had obviously developed those participating; many people had become far more wideawake, more sociable just through the association with other students all doing a job of work.

A. H. Scotney.

Extrav Co-Author

Extravaganza this year has happily returned to its traditional role of lampooning local, national, and international politics and personalities.

Dave Cohen deserves high praise for the production which made the most of the script, although the songs had, in most cases, too many verses.

The music was bright and the use of "traditional airs" is always appreciated by Wellington audiences.

My main criticism is that it is time that script writers, present and potential, realised that a theme, not dependent on some mechanical device such as a lamp or buzzard, is absolutely essential to clarify the action. Ron Meek, Extrav maestro, demonstrated this very effectively, and the main failing of recent Extravs, to measure up to his standard, has been a lack of appreciation of this fact.

The cast contained some good voices and strong choruses but, if my guess is correct, the players were mostly new to the Extrav stage and unable to ad lib to cover gaps. The tendency on the other hand to insert lines and thus confuse the cues without adding to the show was noticeable.

Thursday's performance was unfortunately marred by the addition of remarks which, however much they may appeal to the dressing room occupants or to a half drunk at a "doo," usually meet with a stony silence from a sober audience. The reaction to the unfortunate "banana skin" anecdote every night should have taught these "improvers of the script" the fact that to get a laugh the humour, no matter how low, must be clever, subtle and not perverted.

The men's ballets as usual, stole the scenes when they appeared and Win Stevens, except for one lapse (Saturday), gave his usual exhibition of inspired showmanship.

On the whole this show was an honest attempt to be an Extrav and the writers, producer, stage manager and cast deserve credit for the performance.

Jean Melling.

King of Quiz

The chief failing of the script was its obscurity which made it very difficult to follow; the ending was particularly so, I thought. Also, I feel that it would have been more interesting had there been more reference to local bodies, of which there was no attempt at characterisation.

It was a pity that there was no attempt made to write in parts for good singers, because the songs were good; it is not very often that the songs in Extrav are laughed at. When I say that the songs were good. I feel that better melodies could have been chosen; popular "hits" always go down well, and in any case many tunes, e.g., "All Thru' the Night" were so dull that the audience lost interest in them. The ballets were too ambitious, and did not succeed in consequence: besides, the men should look like men, not women.

I was pleased to note the audience's favourable reaction to the first act; it usually seems to take them some time to get warmed up, and this year there was a higher proportion of laughs at the first act than I can remember in previous years.

The overall impression left with the audience was a good one; they went home happy, which is always a good thing; there were several really good jokes in it.

J. W. Winchester.

Cappicade Editor

I would like to congratulate the cast on their enthusiastic presentation of what at first glance seemed to be a very poor script. Everybody taking part showed ability.

In some places the action seemed to drag, but there was always some cunningly placed humour to lift the action when it was most needed.

P. O. Cotton.