Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 5. April 28th, 1948
Vot-Thu-Halla Set Alight Extrav. '48 Erupts
Vot-Thu-Halla Set Alight Extrav. '48 Erupts
Hell comes to Victoria again—this time on the stage. On Thursday night about a hundred students were in the Gym and a fairly rough and ready method of selection had to be used. After giving a short summary of the show the producer, Jeff Stewart, aided by Jean Melling, Henry Connor, who are associate producers (Dave Cohen was unable to be present that night) heard men and women of the College reading and singing.
The amount of really good talent offering this year far surpasses anything seen for some years. The producers were actually wishing that there were more large speaking parts, instead of having to scratch around for Extrav. actors as they had thought might be the case. The good speaking voices of the women who "tried out" was particularly noticeable as also was the willingness of all types to take a really active (i.e., ballet) part in the show.
A good thing to see was that there were quite a number willing to take on the not-so-glamorous but essential jobs such as helping with Props, which are under the guidance of Ray Michael. Huddy Williamson is back on his usual job of managing the stage and effects as well as lending a helping had in all fields. Dave Cohen is well remembered for his effective pepping up of choruses in past Extravs and his natty appearance in tie and tails as conductor. Gwenda Martin is handling Wardrobe this year; and Frank Munro is busy putting an orchestra together in his usual efficient fashion (by the way if you can tootle a flute or fiddle or blow, he may find a spot for you). Ted Harcourt will be directing make-up operations and help is welcomed, especially if it has any experience at all. Gwenda can use people who can sew or who can guide a piece of material through a sewing machine. Every little helps in all fields.
Vot-thu-halla commences in hell (Vot-thu-halla to you) it having been decided by the Selection Committee that there is much more scope for Extrav. there than in Heaven—we wondered why??? But you'll soon find out.
The Devil gets a little bored by this and that and decides to summon Peater from Waydownundah to answer for his misdeeds. The Hell's Belles, who are noted for their ability to "get their man"—you'll soon see why—are sent to bring him down. They wander off singin' and dancin'. Their route and the getting of Peater wanders through the Miss Enzed Conquest, the Lord Mare's Show, and State Receptions to several well-known visitors but eventually we arrive back in Vot-thu-halla where Peater is tried. He is inevitably found guilty by devious means and after many "trials"—he is removed from office, the Cashionalists are quite unsportingly jubilant, and then—but if you're not in the show you'd better come to it to find out what the end is.
Rehearsals started on Sunday with a song session and the playing of several records so that the right swing of some numbers could be guaged by the cast. By the time this issue is in print a week's rehearsals will have taken place and the show should be getting into form.
All members of the cast must be at every rehearsal in which they appear. All castings at present are tentative (when we went to press that was) and as such as subject to any necessary alteration. By the time this appears in print the show will have solidified somewhat.
A feature of the show is the music—but definitely!! Some popular, some traditional (?) and a number of original songs by Jeff. "I am a Spy," a solo in the show, will probably live on as will others of Jeff's originals in this show—there are several of them.
The show as you perhaps know by now was written by Jean Melling and Jeff Stewart and they wish to specially thank George Turner for his lyrics.
Gerry Player, who is well-known for her activities in previous Extravs. is this year "doing" the ballets. As there are more than usual of these it is up to the cast to make her arduous job as easy as possible by being on time and their their damnedest to learn the steps. Three weeks is not a very long time remember—this applies to all members of the cast.
As far as enthusiasm is concerned the cast, producers and other important people leave little to be desired, and it will not be their fault if Extrav. does not meet with the support it has merited and received in days gone by.