Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 6. May 9, 1957
You may get the impression Extrav. is hastily tumbled together and thrown on stage with help of liberal applications of alcohol.
This impression has not been achieved without years of careful cultivation, if you think the last scene was being written while the first scene was being played, you are wrong: actually the first is usually written while the last is being played.
It's more fun that way.
As usual, this year an international contest (sponsors V. U. C. S. A., UNESCO etc.) was held to select a script. Results were disheartening.
The following entries were eliminated:
"A Sid for a Farthing: or the Absurd Man" by Carol Reed.
"The Trouble with Wally" by Alfred Hitchcock.
"Will Success Spoil Sid?" by George Axelrod.
"Eden of the East" by John Steinbeck.
"A Cable-Car named Desire" by Elia Kazan.
"Moby Sid" by John Huston.
They all lacked that aesthetic integrity essential for a work in this genre.
The judges (T. S. Eliot, Arthur Miller—by arrangement with Marilyn Monro Productions, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Dame Hilda Ross) selected a script which was immediately rejected by the Students' Association Executive. They wanted something much more super-colossal. (Anyway it was too dirty.) They commissioned a collaboration of Igo Stravinsky (Musical Score), Joshua Logan and Tyrone Guthrie (Production—supervised, of course, by Richard Campion), Salvador Dali (decor), Cecil Beaton (Costume), Michael Kidd (Choreography), Nikita Khrushchev (Plot), Helena Frankenstein (Make-up), Arnold Toynbee (Lyrics)—and Huddy Williamson (Stage Manager).
All accepted, but with a single exception insist on appearing in the programme under assumed names.
The plot—as it eventuated—is laden with social significances. (If you can discover this plot, please contact the authors and let them into the secret. The only plot they know about will be at the box-office.)