Salient. Official Newspaper of the Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Volume 40 Number 9. April 26 1977
Then & Now. . . Arthur Baysting
Then & Now. . . Arthur Baysting
Then . . . Auckland . . . Barry Humphries upstaged for the only time in his life when he's just started performing and two dogs take centrespot in the lecture theatre and begin screwing.
Now . . . Maybe screwing on stage. That is, if the Auckland Engineering Students Contemporary Theatre group get their one-act play in shape who may enter for the NZ play festival.
Then. . . A log as thick as your thumb passed back as you settle in to watch this excellent unknown Wallaby group who are on their way to short-lived stardom. Daddy Cool, last heard-of resident in a Melbourne pub.
Now. . . With Wellington the venue, then thank heavens at least the country-rock, raunch and reggae niche is filled to perfection by local legends Midge Marsden and the Country Fliers. A pub band, guaranteed tasty for out-of-town heads.
Then. . . Dunedin . . . '69 . . . Wind-up gathering labelled nervous pie bowel thrust featuring on one wall colour sci-fi horror Godzilla and on stage demented poets stripping and soaping each other up taking turns to rant some obscure European poet thru' microphone . . .
Now . . . Jacques Prevert can die and Bing Crosby can fall off the stage. But reliable as inflation, the young poets turn up to try their rhymes. This year a larger than life Jim Baxter will appear.
Then . . . Wellington. Graeme Nesbitt, Tim Shad bolt and police on campus . . . Odd rumblings about a war somewhere.
Now . . . Political larfs guaranteed. Parliament will be sitting and free daily tours will take place for festies who feel like an hour of live tragi-comedy from the gallery of the second-best theatre in the capital. Starring your friends and mine and especially recommended for afficionados of the bizarre.
Then . . . Deapanning light verse for laughs as a lead-in to heavy stuff from Carl Stead.
Now . . . Splitting time between collaborating on screenplay of Stead's novel for Aardvark movie and doing Neville Purvis at Carmen's Balcony on weekends . . . Grinding out a stand-up routine for laughs . . .
Hi there! This is The Snowman talkin' to you hear me talkin' to you.
Well, this $50,000 extravaganza is definitely taking place. The $10 Deal, I mean. A new kind of arts festival slated for Wellington and environs, August 22-27. Proposals for this thing began a year or so ago under the aegis of Big Bruce Kirkland, wunderkind of the campus art circuit. Bruce saw his proposals manoeuvred through a subcommittee and through the political apparatus and around January this year the thing started to fall into place. Wellington was chosen as the site so as to keep everything close to headquarters, I suspect. Unfortunately for Kirkland, the bright lights of big cities beckoned and he split the Arts Council. Apparently there was some disappointment over the failure of the political heavies in the organisation to take action on his proposal for a students rock promo outfit.
Kirkland is gonna be all right however. Close links he has forged with the Evans Gudinski chain of operations in Australia are gonna pay off we hear. From May, the erstwhile Director will be domiciled in Melbourne where Evans-Gudinski have their Mushroom Records factory.
Kirkland's replacement at the director's table is Paul Davies from Christchurch. Handpicked by Kirkland, Davies had his first baptism of fire during the Split Enz tour in January. He impressed with his coolness and competence and brings with him to this demanding post a number of years running orientation and capping bangs in the river city. He was the one responsible for the now-legendary Science Fiction Night which lifted a few ghouls out of the dirt a while ago . . .
A number of people concerned with the operation of $10 Deal are biggies in their field . . . looks like the big competition will be amongst the various controllers to get the brightest and best for their own scene. High steppers in the visual arts are Andy Drummond and Nik Spill of the National Art Gallery. These two advocates of post-object art have really stirred up the mud in that venerable institution: Art in the Mail exhibit drew an angry reaction from the populace. Drummond has arranged showings of the films of Len Lye, a notable coup for this young man. If you want to get into their way of thinking write direct to the National Gallery, Wellington, for a copy of their irregular newspaper wherein they expound their philosophy and their reasons why . . .
Greg Stitt from the National Film Unit is looking after the cinematic offerings for $10 Deal, in that place he has been marked for his rapid rise in artistic daring . . . he will glady receive any suggestions for titles to be shown, how about the great Mike Sarne opus. The Untouchables, Greg? Stitt is worried about the non-availability of New Zealand material for the festival so anyone with copies of shorts made recently in this country should drop him a line; for instance, does anyone have a copy of a short flick that Jim Stevenson produced featuring poets Baysting, Mitchell, Haley and Edmond? This was shot on Arts Council money but the finished print has disappeared. Stevenson, incidentally, was Kirkland's pre-decessor at the Students Arts Council.
Lyn Attwood is looking after the rock music side of $10 Deal . . . she is a programmer for Radio 2ZM in Wellington, the nation's elite rock station. The performing Arts are under the nominal control of Sally Rodwell from the Red Mole Enterprises grouping . . . those who saw Split Enz on their '77 tour will remember her as part of the support act, recently she has been seen in concerts with the Beaver Band and the Heart breakers while she is a primary force in the outfit that has taken over Carmen's International Balcony in Wellington . . . apparently the Balcony will be featuring extremely risque late-nite shows during the festival . . . anyone with sophisticated entertainment to offer should contact her immediately.
Director Davies has been fortunate in securing the services of Christchurch's Steve Krenek as Technical Manager for $10 Deal . . . Krenek will be moving to Wellington as soon as he completes his physics Ph.D in May . . . "he comes up with these things all the time" says Davies who has worked closely with Krenek in Canterbury drama productions etc.
Management for the whole shebang will be by long-time student and campus personality Dave Jenkins from the Waikato . . . Jenkins has held the arts together as well as the Union in Waikato for longer than most of us can recall, he is the original dynamo-hummm and will be the one who has to save the Deal from chaos... he is going to need a lot of help so write to him poste-haste in Wellington.
Under negotiation for the Deal at this time are the Fugard play Boesman and Lena which is held by the Australian Theatre Trust, which may or may not be bust this time next month — the Fugard play is a longtime pet of Bruce Kirkland but Davies has inherited his enthusiasm . . . while in Australia earlier this year Davies had the chance to talk with Australian Concert Entertainments about the multi-media show, The Beatles: Away with Words — watch for this one!
Remember that students arts festivals are student affairs, students make them happen! There is room in all areas for help, situations are vacant all over the show so you should write immediately to $10 Deal headquarters or else contact your local officials... this is Your festival, get on the train Now. . .