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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1936. Volume 7. Number 17.

"Pleasure Cruise"

"Pleasure Cruise"

Introduced stage by stage by a debonair Officer in full regalia, events on the Dramatic Club's Pleasure Cruiser "Awabea" delighted large audiences last Thursday and Friday when it made its two fanciful and varied vojages to strange ports.

The occasion was the annual reveue of the Club, an occasion, be it said, of sparkle and wit, mystery and high gallantry, which amused and diverted those who were discriminating enough to attend, in just the way a good revue should.

The curtain rose to disclose several very disgusted sons of the sea who had evidently found excitement in the Navy confined to seeing the sea. At all points they spoke of frustration. However, they did not let the personal grievance against the oceans stop them from showing true nautical interest in the ballet dancing of the Misses Cora Duncan and Margaret McGreivy, whose presence seemed satisfactorily to remove the main grievance of the disillusioned nauticals.

Next in order came a sketch, the best of the evening. An amoral bridge story of the eternal triangle, commencing with a confession and ending climatically with a revoked ace. We remember particularly Margaret Shortall's admirable stage presence, and the old school motto used to justify her leaving her husband for another man: "All for one and free for all." An excellent sketch, well set off by the capable tap ballet which followed, "Let your-selves go." To the layman most tap-dancing is montonously the same, but Cora Duncan's original ideas, supplemented by the unusually good work of the girls, lifted this item out of the ordinary.

Then came the adventures of "Carrie" told in pseudo-Frankau style by Kingi Tahiwi, and a most attractive Spanish dancer, castanets and all; the modern adventures of a famous French Queen, to the even stranger adventures of a professional hero and an amateur heroine; the finely sung experiences of "Tramps at Sea," to the genuinely mystifying tricks of Ron Meek, and the Cruise moved to port, finishing the first half of the voyage high and dry in the wilds of Scotland, where to the swirl of the pipes two sturdy couples danced abandonedly and sang an excruciatingly funny Scotch song.

When the curtain rose for the second half the ship was again at sea, and although Jean Combs appeared to be alone and sang sweetly of her predicament, the other passengers apparently fared better—a dance duo gliding through a dreamy waltz on the moonlit deck.

Then to hear Miss Dorothea Tossman at the telephone—one of Coward's slick sketches of a lady who unfortunately had been "troubled." A good number, despite the fact that the husband jumped from Waterloo Bridge, now demolished.

Followed a male ballet, in which quadruplicated "Popeye" and "Shirley Temple" (remarkably life-like), showed once again that a sailor has a taking way. A hoax to fool the wise, a further song by John Withers well sung and well received, then to tropical seas, where a party of Islanders showed us in song and dance why so many men go native. Two further thumb-nail sketches and a really amusing talk about life in general, as found by Carl Watson, were the closing items on the cruise, which ended with a rousing finale.

Pat MacKaskell, uniformed as a captain, or a commissionaire, or a waiter, punned his way through the announcements, which could perhaps have been a little shorter; but, then, the scene-shifters have to be given a chance.

On the whole, a jolly good show. We had been led to suspect the prescence of talent at the College, by last year's "Cocktail Party," but the evidence of its continued existence was frankly a surprise.

The ballets, in frocking, as well as in design and execution, improved on last year.

Mr. Meek, the illusionist. again succeeded in keeping would-be detractors silent, not only by his deftness and speed, but by his numerous and blatant puns. We remember that a black hat was darness which was felt?

The hula maidens, while they did not sing as well as Rangi Logan and Co. of last year, appeared to advantage in genuine Island regalia.

We liked Christensen's "Popeye." His coarse laugh and primal enjoyment of things were as the manner born.

"Shirley Temple," too, was extraordinarily lifelike.

Then there was the sun, a sunflower-like object in the raft scene, which was made to set by the simple expedient of lowering it to the floor. Damn funny!

And a real Piper with pipes, and Carl Watson a la Gillie Potter.

This was excellent, mostly original, and always amusing. We recall the story of the girl who, at a dissection class, stated that she couldn't bear rabbits, and was reminded that she wasn't asked to.

Oh! And we forgot to mention the evergreen and ever-popular John Carrad with a brand-new version of "Josephine."