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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 7. June 11, 1947


Vigorous dramatic activity has not been noticeable at VUC, in recent years at least. There have been the annual Extravaganzas as an outlet for latent exhibitionism among the students. The "legitimate theatre," however, presumably represented by the Drama Club, has a history of constant but too often abortive struggles. "Anna Christie" and ."Mr. Bolfrey" were the chief highlights in the dreary story of attempted productions and poorly attended play evenings in the past three years. In August of last year, "Ghosts" strutted the inadequate boards of the Gymnasium stage and last March the Drama Club put on Noel Coward's "Private Lives." Nevertheless, students with outstanding dramatic talent have tended to find outlet in other Wellington societies. We began to wonder whether apathy to this play-acting business was a permanent characteristic of Victoria students.

A sudden revolution in dramatic outlook, however, seems to have occurred. The revival is not confined to the Drama Club; it is seen in the recent activities of other College classes and societies.

Sam Williams, the Thomas a Beckett of "Murder in the Cathedral" is producing for our Drama Club "The Infernal Machine" by Jean Cocteau. We know Mr. Williams as the artist whose stage designs for costumes and sets were exhibited at the Public Library recently; he has experience and a distinguished reputation as a producer behind him and VUC can count itself exceedingly fortunate. Moreover, Maria Dronke will be giving her assistance to the production. The play itself promises to be the most workmanlike and interesting choice of the Club for some time.

The cast includes the most able of our student actors. Frances Mulrennan will play Jocasta and Dorian Saker has the part of Oedipus. We may wait with eagerness to see the play near the end of this term.

Meanwhile the Drama Club will be holding a one-act play evening. The casting meeting for this and 'The Infernal Machine" secured an attendance of fifty people instead of the half-dozen we used to expect. We understand that three plays are to be presented in an evening. Such plays are an ideal field for the amateurs and the over-modest to gain experience, as well as an opportunity for actors who cannot give their time for rehearsals over a long period demanded by the major production.