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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 33, Number 13. 1970



Lincoln College—'If there wer'nt any blacks, we would have to invent them', by Jonny Speight

For those who may have watched the television series 'Till death do us part' many of the characters in Lincoln's production of 'If there wer'nt nay blacks, we would have to invent them' will be familiar even if the setting is somewhat different; the biting satire which is so much a part of the bigoted character of Alf Garnett has been transposed into this play (by the same author) in the form of the (symbolically) Blind Man, whilst the character of Alf's acquiescent wife, who will do anything for a quiet life, can be readily discerned in the character of the Backwards Man.

Before turning to a criticism of the Lincoln production, one feels it is necessary to point out that the Lincoln Drama Club has only this year been resurrected after some years of quiescence, consequently many of the flaws which were evident in the acting could be put down to stage inexperience of many of the cast.

On the whole the performance was somewhat disjointed; the pace of what is essentially a fast moving play was, in places, slowed down considerably by the slow picking up of cues and the forced delivery of lines, largely on the part of the minor characters.

However, there were elements in the production which has a potentially devastating impact, referring specifically to that trio of actors Phillip Holder, Ian Cocks and Malcolm Moriss (as the Blind Man, the Backwards Man and the effeminate Young Man respectively) who, with such delicate awareness of mood, built up a powerful atmosphere pervaded by bigotry, fear and blind hatred from a somewhat uninspiring beginning.

As for the set, one must make the observation that this production overcame a problem which many of the other productions in the Festival found rather awkward, and that was the transferring of the mise-en-scene from one theatre to another without destroying it's original visual conception—the odd few grave crosses and the single park bench allowed for the maximum of flexibility in this aspect of the production.

Bruce Kirkham.