Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 11. August 1, 1957
I am a Camera
I am a Camera
Next week V.U.C. audiences will have the opportunity of seeing the Drama Club production of John Van Druten's "I Am a Camera". One of the outstanding plays of recent years. "I Am a Camera" won the coveted New York Drama Circle's Award for 1952, has had long runs on Broadway and the West End, and, with Julie Harris as Sally Bowles, made a tremendous hit in the film version. Now the V.U.C. Drama Club, following up the success of "The Cherry Orchard", are to give the Wellington premiere of Van Druten's exciting play.
Set against the backdrop of 1930 Berlin, where frustration and poverty have created an atmosphere which is fostering the rise of Hitler Germany, the action of the play centres round two very different onlookers on the scene—the young English writer. Christopher Isherwood (John Dawick), detached, observing, minutely the conflicts, fears and events which he hopes will one day provide him with the material for his as yet unwritten novel; and Sally Bowles.
Sally (Elizabeth Gordon) needs a whole paragraph to herself, if not a whole book. She is a bundle of paradoxes. Young, sexually attractive, collossally egotistical—yet with a naivete which would seem incredible in such, a determined femme fatale. Green lacquered fingernails—a colour most unfortunately chosen as it shows up alarmingly the dark tobacco stains on her fingers; fitting, black skirt; large blue eyes—but all this is quite inadequate. One simply cannot describe Sally or her her impact on other people in this way. You will have to meet her for yourselves.
Among the other characters in the play are Fritz Wendel (Graeme Eton), precise, self-confident, priding himself on his way with women—a pride which is rudely shaken when he meets Natalia Landauer (Donella Palmer), a young German Jewess whose family is being caught up in the Nazi anti-Semitism persecution; Fraulein Schneider (Diane Spurdle). Chris' landlady, friendly when she has her own way, but vindictive when roused—one of the thousands of German women whose stupidity made them ideal tools in the hands of the Nazis: Clive Mortimer (Terry Corbett), the perpetual American tourist, desperately determined to have a good time, doing one city after another, wandering round in a daze brought on by overindulgence in opium and whisky; and, lastly, but emphatically not least, the formidable Mrs. Watson-Coutneidge (Heather Scott), Sally's mother.
("I am a Camera" will be presented in the V.U.C. Little Theatre at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week—August 6th, 7th, and 8th, Admission 2/6d.)
At our last copy meeting we were interrupted by two special sleuths from the Biological Society. Someone had reported a Society function without letting the Committee vet. it. We are glad to see that already the Biological Society is preparing for its place in a democratic society. We were fortunate to obtain the sleuths' Imprimatur.
Resident Executive of N.Z.U.S.A. has decided to write a firmly-phrased letter to the Senate of the U.N.Z., expressing N.Z. U.S.A's serious concern at Senate's decision to refuse the association representation on that body. The issue is still considered very much a live one, and Senate has been asked to place the matter on its agenda for its August meeting. All college presidents have been asked to approach Senate members in their locality to discuss the matter with them.