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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 7. 1964.

Vast Improvement In Extrav

page 5

Vast Improvement In Extrav

Judging by the performance I saw, Extravaganza is on the road back to the great shows of other years.

Photo from Extravaganza

After last year's effort, Extravaganza enthusiasts had a lot of problems to cope with. Firstly, they had to rid the show of the non-students who were taking all the plum roles and killing the student interest. They had to drag the show out of the financial mire which was likely to kill association support. And, finally—the most difficult thing—they had to find students to write, produce and manage the show.

It is obvious that they have succeeded in mastering these difficulties, and have produced a show which was apparently a good financial success. This is a far cry from the £1024 lost last year.

This year's script, "We are the greatest or how I learnt to stop worrying and love Christine" was written by David Flude It kept away from the usual satire on New Zealand politics, and concerned Itself more with a few prods at New Zealanders in general. It was spiced with scenes from British and American political life.

Production, by Jeremy Agar, was generally good, though I think that he could profitably cut a tab scene taking oft the NZBC. It was an unfunny funny scene, and nothing Is much worse than this.

Of the actors, Albert Wendt as Cassius X was obviously the star. He was perhaps the only one who moved the show along by his performance, quite apart from the lines the scriptwriter had given him. Doug Wison as Jed Wilder and Ann McHugh as Miss Christine made good work of two of the longer roles. The parts of Lord Hume and James Bond were also well played.

The inevitable male ballet was nothing to write home about. The routine described as the Conservative Ballet was reasonably successful, but could have done with just a bit more suggestion of doubtful sexuality on the part of Whitehall and Conservative Party types.

The stage manager made a mistake, I think, in shifting props for the tab scenes in semiblackout. Far better would have been total blackout, or no black-out at all. The stage crew could easily have put on odd costumes and become part of the show.

Finally, the interval—here was 20 minutes which could have been used to advantage. Mock interviews with prominent persons in the audience, general humour in which the audience can participate could have been provided at this point.

Photo from Extrav