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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Special Extravaganza Programme Issue [1953]

Fifty Years of Extrav

Fifty Years of Extrav

Marsqueraid—the monicker of Extravaganza 1955—and such a brisk, crisp and risque 120 minutes of modley saturated with songs and dripping with puns the maligned public of Wellington will have to suffer.

Descending late from their daily terrors, the weary and bleary have of late detected something of a minor scismological disturbance epi-centred near the Gym. Close investigation has revealed that once sombre edifice is in the apparent throes of chronic diarrhoea, pulsating violently to the rhythm of varied and eerie sounds emitted at intervals through shattered windows and splintered weather boards. But only the men of steel who have penetrated the fog and grog, the mist and the schist of the upper floor will realise the brutal truth—rehearsals are on.

Veteran of Extravaganzas and producer of former shows. Jeff Stewart, foaming at the larynx and blasting from the lungs, when interviewed had this to say: "Quiet please!"

Confusion, chaos, it is obvious that the process of panic has begun. But when did Extrav Itself begin. It may be Interesting to glance back over the years, so with our time-machine in reverse, off we go.

Back in 1903—the days of the "New Look"—we find a slim Issue marked sedately: "Students' Carnival"—the precursor of Cappicades yet unborn. In this we read that Diploma Day is Wednesday, June 24, and a carnival is to be held in the Sydney Street Schoolroom at which the whole thirteen graduates will be capped! Peeping inside we find a programme including, in part one, the Victoria College song, a pianoforte solo, a love song and a plantation song. Part two represents the beginning of Extrav. It is a farce called "My Turn Next." set in a country chemist's shop parlour.

The farce disappears from the scene until 1906, when it again makes its appearance as a two night stand. There is no trace of this noble script so we must travel on to 1911. In this year the show is now full length. Part One (with songs) having died a well-deserved death. In "Reform" or "The Metamorphosis of the Evolutions" we note that the part of Herlock Sholmes was taken by A. E. Caddick, a bloke who has since written a text book on English or something. In this year another change has taken place. The Extravaganza (yes, it really was called an Extrav that year) has moved to the concert chamber of the Town Hall. Also, the odd types which haunt the backstage are appearing—the properties manager and stage manager,

Now, strangely enough, in 1912, Part One of the earlier programmes is resurrected and again we are entertained with violin solos, glees and the rest. The main show was "Wumpty Dumpty" with a distinguished cast featuring Messes Caddick, Hall-Jones and Slevwright.