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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 7, No. 3. May 3, 1944

Comments from Christchurch

page 7

Comments from [unclear: Christchurch]

When I was invited by your Editor [unclear: subscribe] an article to an issue of [unclear: lient"] devoted mainly to Extrav. was pleased to accept the offer as an [unclear: portunity] for expressing a few views [unclear: such] University productions. Un[unclear: tunately], as a graduate of C.U.C. and [unclear: while] writer and participant of [unclear: was] there, I have not a very deep [unclear: background] and tradition of the style [unclear: thought] of your Extravs. at V.U.C. [unclear: may] be of interest, as far as the [unclear: ve]-mentioned limitation permits, to [unclear: trast] the differences that exist be[unclear: tween] the shows of the two Colleges.

See Society in Satire

As far as I can see, the predominant [unclear: nd] of V.U.C. Extravs. is that of poll-[unclear: al] and social lampoonery and satire. [unclear: C.U.C.] this tendency was generally [unclear: nearly] so pronounced. The differ[unclear: ce] is probably due to the different [unclear: outlooks] of the student bodies of the [unclear: o] Colleges. V.U.C. seems to lean far [unclear: re] towards the political and social [unclear: differences] than C.U.C. The latter (in my [unclear: ne] and probably more so now) was [unclear: ry] largely influenced by a strong [unclear: d] vigorous body of full-time students [unclear: whose] number counted a big per[unclear: ntage] of science and engineering stu[unclear: nts]. It is a well-known and deplor[unclear: le] phenomenon that scientists and [unclear: gineers] do not interest themselves in [unclear: cial] and political problems to the ex[unclear: nt] their scientific and technological [unclear: tivities] and the reactions thereof on [unclear: e] everyday life of the community [unclear: arrant]. When, in the very distant [unclear: ture], the University of New Zealand [unclear: calises] that no graduate worthy of the [unclear: me] has the right to a degree in [unclear: ienee] or engineering without at least [unclear: general] idea of the social functions [unclear: d] implications of his profession, we [unclear: ay] witness a difference in the outlook [unclear: Extravs]. at C.U.C.

At present the Extravs. (Revues, [unclear: ey] call them at C.U.C.) are of the [unclear: rcical], musical comedy type. Gener[unclear: ly], political and social satire figures [unclear: ite] largely, but only incidentally as [unclear: mpared] with V.U.C., where, as far as [unclear: can] see, the tendency is for this [unclear: tiricism] to be the fundamental tenor. [unclear: dicative] of this is the recent pre[unclear: minary] announcement in a recent [unclear: sue] of the "Dominion" advertising [unclear: xtrav]., which ends with the tag, "See [unclear: pciety] in Satire."

Budding Playwrights?

The other point I wish to raise is [unclear: at], in my opinion, it is a great pity [unclear: at] the scripts of the College shows [unclear: re] not preserved, at least, in the [unclear: braries] of the respective Colleges. It [unclear: s] disturbing but nevertheless true that [unclear: he] bulk of original stage-writing com[unclear: osed] in New Zealand and produced in [unclear: ur] local theatres is comprised of the [unclear: nnual] Capping Shows of our Univer[unclear: ity] Colleges. They are the only [unclear: edium] of expression a budding New [unclear: ealand] playwright has available and which will provide a reasonable chance of his efforts being publicly performed, True, they are often immature; not unnaturally, they sometimes indicate a lack of appreciation of stage-craft and technique; "Colonel Blimps" naturally fulminate against the degeneracy of the budding intellectuals of the country; some even think that student shows are a disgrace and should be [unclear: sp] pressed. But this must be remembered. No other organisation seems to possess the originality, the spontaneity and the willingness to blaze the trail of a truly New Zealand theatre and still show a reasonable profit over a period of years because of, not in spite of, its appeal to John Citizen.

Ian Dick.