Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 5. May, 7, 1947
Among Soviet delegates to the Festival will be the world-famous composer Shostakovich (miraculously recovered from his recent liquidation in the "N.Z. Listener") who will sit on the jury for the musical competitions. The Soviet delegation will also include the Obrazcov puppet theatre, ballet dancers from the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre, dance and choir groups from the national republics, the CDK football team, and, perhaps, the famous arctic explorer Papanin.
Two representatives of Mongolian youth travelled 8,000 miles from Ulan Bator to Prague to discuss Mongolian participation in the Festival. They plan to bring to Prague the Mongolian National Ballet, choirs, singery and folk instruments, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, carvings, metal work, embroideries and photographs, and two films—"The Mongolian People's Republic" and "Tsogto-Taidji."
The Central Union of Chinese Students in Great Britain is sending a Chinese play in English, an exhibition of paintings and woodcuts, and they will also participate in sports activities.
The Federation of Youth Organisations in the Indonesian Republic is preparing an exhibition on the life and struggles of Indonesian youth. Should they be unable to send representatives from Indonesia, they will be represented by Indonesians living in Holland.
Twenty-five students from McGill University will be among Canadian representatives to the Festival. They will afterwards proceed to Yugoslavia. A French-Canadian theatrical group is also expected to attend the Festival.
The French Festival Committee is organising a torch relay race from Oradour (the French "Lidice" destroyed by the Nazis) via Italy and Austria to Lidice.
Fifty delegates from the Kuomintan San Min Chu I Youth Corps will attend the Festival. They will bring with them exhibitions of photographs, books, drawings, sculptures, embroideries, etc.
A short newsreel on Festival preparations is being shown in Prague cinemas and has been sent to other countries for general distribution. A film festival will be organised in Prague during the Festival. Altogether, 25 artistic and 34 documentary films from many countries will be screened. Two new French films will have their world premiere at the Festival.
The International Student Service is sending films, photographs and drawings to Prague. Overseas students coming for study tours to Europe under the auspices of ISS will spend some time in Prague participating in the Festival.
Two thousand British visitors are expected at the Festival. A meeting to set up a preparatory committee met in January and was attended by representatives from 27 youth organisations.
Youth of the western Hemisphere at chartering a special airliner to take them to Prague.
The 1947 Extrav. will be shown to ogling Wellington audiences from Saturday, May 17th, till the following Thursday. Rehearsals for the Show commenced on March 31st—seven weeks before the opening of the show! The whole show was rehearsed on Sunday, April 27th, with still three weeks to go! Rehearsals to date have not been a general fiasco due to too much exuberance and general pandemonium, but have rather been typified by hard work from all members of the cast, the wardrobe and props, dept. The orchestra has been formed, a company of over twenty members, and has put in three practice nights a week. The show is shaping extremely well but the tempo must be increased until it reaches fever-pitch on the opening night. Artificial stimulants have not so far been necessary.
The Comedy Hormonists
The script for this year's epic was written by those Kings of Korn—McCreary and Higgin. Their brain child "Utopanella" is distinguished by the fact that it has, of all things, a plot—unified complete and cohesive. In spite of this they have sub-plots and ballets, liberally sprinkled with [unclear: that] [unclear: lewdity udity] and crudity which give the show a piquant flavour for which all Extrav's are noted.
The scene opens on the good ship Fonganella, just prior to the cataclysmic catastrophe which leaves her high and dry on the rocks for two years. The question of the Government of this microcosm is complicated by the dissensions arising from the presence of Blimps, Communists and small bourgeois opportunists in the shape of a Shakespearean troupe. The attempts of the fairy godfather, J. J. O'Malley, to steer a middle course to his own advantage, prove abortive, and the show ends in a true Shakespearian debacle, leaving Anthropus, the common man happy in his abysmal ignorance.
One outstanding feature of Utopanella is the number and variety of songs and choruses. Jeff Stewart, the Lyric Writer, has proved his worth and used his talent to the utmost. In the first act alone there are twelve songs and choruses, with plenty to follow in acts two and three. The opening of Act II is sung in comic opera vein, but Jeff's idea of comic opera is decidedly modern. Although that rug-cutting masterpiece "Dig Me Sister with a Solid Spade" has not been used, there is no lack of variety in melodies and lyric. Four original songs and lyrics have been written, including "I Like to Kill," sung by Stew Scoones with a spine-chilling thrill. The others are: "I Can't Get a Girl to Practice On" and a semimonologue, "Lady Macbeth's Song." Jeff's skill at composing parodies has produced "Salami," "Utopanella is Our Idea of Heaven," sung to "Isa Lei," and the Commo's song, "Yes, it's Time We had Another Revolution," sung to the melody of "Tiritomba."
Principal participants in this paradisical parody is that "cultivated, celebrated, underrated, leprechaun your friend J. J. O'Malley," who has come hot-foot from page 3 of the "Southern Cross" expressly for the purpose. Mr. O'Malley, Barnaby's fairy-godfather, now deep in the Rousing shortage at the bottom of page 3 of the Labour Daily, takes time off to give a pink flavour to Utopanella's politics. If anyone desires to meet him before the show he may be found there, complete with cigar and pink wings, and together with his leprechauns, amiable ghosts and the odd fairy. At great expense Gus the ghost has been able to summon Peter Brazer Bread, Bob Demple Fire, and Walter Cash Sugar to assist O'Malley in his double-dealing efforts. These crafty curs, together with Learned Saw, MacBeth and his spouse, and Anthropus, comprise the supreme gutless corporation which is noted chiefly for its bilge and wind. Such is the presiding body of the newly formed Utopia.
Blimps and Commos
In Act II O'Malley invites the Blimps to call witnesses in support of their form of government, and the evidence produced by the Wallahs of Wall Street is faintly reminiscent of the daily utterances of the Chamber of Dominance. The witness called by the Commos is none other than the Crimson King of the Kremlin. MacBeth's line, "Hi Jo, what d' y' know?" causes consternation, but Jo's proclamation, delivered in oracular monotones, confounds even the staunchest members of his party. The remainder of the plot centres around MacBeth's attempt to dispose of O'Malley and his regime with the aid of a by now rabid pack of communists and infuriated swarms of Blimps in bath-towels. O'Malley's fate will be obvious to all "Southern Cross" readers, and also to you, once you have forked out your three bob and seen the show.