Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 21. September 10, 1968
Drama — Flip-pants
The skills demanded by an intimate revue .are many and it relies for its success as much on the ability of the cast to act with each other as on the script.
Although Steve Whitehouse, Roger Hall, and David Smith have all worked with each other in university revues over the past few years they still have not hit on the right degree of interaction, in Knickers they do not give the audience any hint of the unity they may feel when working together which would enhance the success of the show.
This is not however as serious a criticism as it may sound. The Downstage revue is new, a lot of the material is very good, and working together over a period should provide the subtlety of interaction the cast lacks at present.
I have been to the revue twice and have seen it in the process of change. Good scripts are kept, bad scripts removed, new scripts added. Every six weeks a brand new show. Indeed I enjoyed Knickers much more the second time.
Commenting on the individual sketches is pointless in this column but seems reasonable to say that the standard for the most part is good even if it does rely to a considerable degree on audience familiarity with Pete and Dud, English accents, and so forth for a lot of laughs.
It is a pity that our standards of humour are taken so much from overseas, A few years ago such a revue as this would have had Blue Bottles and Neddys all over the place; this phase has passed. Pete and Dud are here, Frost soon perhaps. This reliance on current English comics, on English accents, tends to diminish some of the satirical bit that is in the scripts—it removes it from our world, makes laughter easier
The hope is of course that Knickers will develop its own independent format and will hit the audience harder than it is. There is considerable talent in the cast and a lot of good material in the scripts. For the.revue to succeed as it should it needs not only to make us laugh but also to show us something of ourselves, our way of life, that will make us think. The one script that succeeded when I saw the show was the attack on the Sunday Times, but even this failed to come across as fully as it might—by diminishing the paper to an absurdity it made us think no one could ever believe anything in it. The unfortunate truth is many many people do believe it.
Cecily Poison brings sex appeal to the show, it is a pity she left singing voice at home. Craig Wrightson's songs are good and well presented, I hope he becomes a permanent guest artist.