Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, No. 25. October 8, 1968
Sir-In the Salient of July 30 the drama critic, Bob Lord, said "Perhaps the play [Two Gentlemen of Veronal would have been other things in other hands … I refuse, it's my whim and I can be condemned for it, to criticise this production for what it would have been. I can only pass my opinion on what was there . . " In his review of Downstage's "Knickers" in the latest issue, he denies this "For the revue to succeed as it should" he says, "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."
This little statement of Aims and Beliefs leaves the reader with the impression that only one sketch succeeded, "but even this failed to come across as fully as it might." This is, presumably, according to his view of what "Knickers" should be.
I can only pass an opinion on what was there, and my opinion is that it was very good fun. I to have been to "Knickers" twice and found it quite the funniest thing I have ever seen at Downstage. It contains some brilliantly vicious satire, much at Keith's expense, and some truly beautiful trips into absurdity. It certainly was not, when I saw it, the typical rehash of cribbed overseas humour set in the traditional frames of student revue sketches. This was what I had expected and what Bob's review could lead unsuspecting readers to think. I don't laugh easily, and the show made me laugh a great deal. If this is the criterion, then the production is a success.
To paraphrase David Lean, I am sure Hall, Smith and Whitehouse would admit that they could not write and perform the kind of revue that some critics would write and perform, if they could write and perform revues.
[Bob Lord replies: "Thank you Bill for your pleasant note; it is good to be reminded of what other people see as your inconsistencies."-ed.]