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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 3 March 28, 1945

Peter Goes Through Looking Glass

Peter Goes Through Looking Glass

Extrav., retreat of the bawdy, the drunks, the social, and the perpetual undergrade began with a bang last Friday when, in a gym. packed with eager students, Ron Meek, author/producer of this year's opus "Peter in Blunderland," chose his large cast.

The script this year is the most brilliant work we've yet had in the long list of Ron's extravs., and will, too, be the college's most difficult undertaking to date. The show runs in the Opera House from April 20 to 26; the cast and the backstage crew will work like slaves till then—but it'll be worth it!

Over a hundred students were on hand, and a fairly rough-and-ready method of selection had to be used. After giving a summary of the show, the producer, aided by a selection committee of Jack Barr, Dave Cohen and Huddy Williamson, heard men and women of the college reading and singing. Joan Easterbrook-Smith, an old Extrav. stalwart, showed up to play the piano, and a very remarkable display of talent was revealed.

Among such old hands as Campbell, Bogle, Hartley and Joan Taylor were a large bunch of freshers, many with very good voices. This year there are several women's parts, and competition here was sharp. The task of the selection committee was an unenviable one. and, as Mr. Meek explained, the casting is tentative only.

"Peter in Blunderland," obviously, is a pinch from Alice, and Peter is involved in similar incredible and hair-raising adventures, meeting on his journey to the Better World well-known figures in national and international political life. Many of the characters will be readily recognisable, the Red King, for example, being a familiar face left over from last year. The book is exceedingly clever, following the style of Alice to a remarkable degree. The college is fortunate in having the use of the Wellington Repertory Theatre's delightful Alice costumes; but the work of the wardrobe mistress and the property man will be very arduous. Lots more help is needed.

The author of the show, Ron Meek, is a familiar figure to many of the older students, but freshers may be interested in knowing that he is author of numbers of Extravs, including last year's "Zealous Zombies"; a brilliant graduate in law; holder of a Strathcona Research Fellowship at Cambridge, interrupted because of the war; a nominee of Victoria for Rhodes Scholar; an NZU blue in several sports; author of several books and pamphlets. He has just been appointed to an important post in the N.Z. Public Service Association.

Ron Meek

Ron Meek

"... eyebrows were raised ..."

Ron states that "Peter" has been contributed to largely by Max Bland, a Hamilton confrere who, with Ron, presented political shows that raised eyebrows in that prosperous farming district.