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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.

Revue: Many Happy Returns

Revue: Many Happy Returns

As an attempt to keep alive the spirit of vaudeville and the musical comedy stage. Many Happy Returns was, for the most part, successful. Unfortunately, fine Individual performances were interrupted with rather feeble imitations of past greats of the variety stage. Much of the dancing was magnificent and the co-ordination of movement in which I vainly tried to find a flaw, indicated hours of painstaking rehearsal. The acrobatic acts were quite spectacular: but had a great deal in common with many previous acts seen here before—there was nothing really new.

Perhaps the best provider of entertainment was the comic acts; although here again there was little orginality. Many of the jokes which Terry Scanlan used, had been introduced by people such as Tommy Trinder, many years ago. The slapstick comedy in "Room 999" and the "Three Teddy Bears" however, earned well deserved applause. Another comic act was presented by the "Flat Tops," a young Australian pair, whose rendering of "Ghost Riders" was as funny as anything else in the programme.

The singing, on the whole, was weak: the one exception being Diana Marquez, who enchanted the audience with the ease and beauty of her voice. Unfortunately we were unable to hear Gladys Moncrieff, as she was ill.

Tommy Williams with the Celebrity Circuit's Show Band deserves the highest praise. They never once lost the sparkle and vigour with which they started off. The stage sets were simple but very effective. The frequent scene changes made anything at all elaborate, impossible to construct. A word of criticism toward the management—from the circle, the impressiveness of the performance was somewhat dulled by the filthiness of the stage. Must visiting artists be forced to perform on bare boards, harbouring the dust and dirt of ages past? Other countries can supply fine dancing stages for entertainers—why not New Zealand?

—D.M.E.