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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 3. 1965.

Theatre Damage — Club Fined £10

Theatre Damage — Club Fined £10

Following incidents at the conclusion of the Drama Club's orientation plays, "Salome" and "Everyman," the club has been fined £10. Executive decided on this after a protracted investigation into allegations of negligent damage, made by Students' Association secretary Ian Boyd.

"On the Thursday evening after the performance (the club) was expected to clear up the theatre and leave it in a suitable state for the Downstage Theatre Company to move in on Friday morning," Mr. Boyd stated in a letter to Executive.

"The Drama Club cleared the stage on Thursday night, but left a considerable number of properties on the stage loading dock." Mr. Boyd continued. "The club put a number of other properties in the basement. Some were thrown from the level of the stage through the manhole into the basement. The basement (was) left in such a state that it (was) impossible for Mr. Biggs to do repair work. Two columns and a number of flats were blocking his work bench.

"A drum of turps belonging to the university was damaged because of properties that were thrown on it. One member of the Drama Club crew was seen by myself to push part of the stage flooring through the manhole to the basement and allow it to fall to the floor of the basement.

"This resulted in this piece of stage flooring being damaged. One rostra, the property of the Union, not the Drama Club, was broken up."

Executive was also told that the caretaker had found that a hole had been knocked in a door and that the wardrobe room was not tidy.

Mr. Boyd also pointed out that the Drama Club had been holding weekend rehearsals on Sundays without making bookings in time with the result that last-minute re-arrangements of caretakers' hours had to be made.

On hearing these allegations. Social Controller Andrew Cornwall moved a motion of censure against the Drama Club. The question of a fine was raised.

A spokesman for the Drama Club. Mr. von Dadleszen, told Executive that he regretted the motion. He felt that a motion of censure or a fine would achieve little, since the people involved were often those not very interested in what happened to the Drama Club. The stage manager for the orientation production had twice before walked out and left the cleaning up behind.

Sue Madgwick, Women's Representative opposed a motion of censure. Tim Bertram moved that the Drama Club be ordered to forward a cheque for £10 for the purchase of capital equipment for the theatre.

Helen Sutch. Women's Vice-President, spoke against both a censure and a One. The Drama Club had nothing to do with what happened, she said. Only one or two individuals were involved who had nothing to do with the Drama Club. She conceded that she had not been present at the time the events took place.

Sue Madgwick pointed out that Mr. Boyd had looked at the activities, then gone away, and then complained. She thought this was unreasonable.

Alister Taylor, Association Secretary, pointed out that on the last five Sunday arternoons the Drama Club had demanded that the building be opened—yet they had no bookings.

Mr. von Dadelszen explained the Drama Club organisation. Once the production began, the control rested with the production staff. He suggested that a fine would not go back to the people who did the damage.

Tom Robins in reply stated that in his opinion no committee could disaffiliate themselves from what is done at a particular function.

Looking to the future, Denis Paxie pointed out that in the same week in April a Drama Club production ended on a Tuesday night and the following Friday night Extravaganza opened. On past occasions the Drama Club had taken up to two weeks to clear the theatre after a production, yet in this week the club would have to be out of the theatre by 9am Wednesday.

Tim Bertram, who had been doing some rapid research in the Association's constitution, suggested that there was no provision for fining an affiliated body, only for fining an individual. However, an affiliated body could be threatened with disaffiliation.

The motion to fine the club no was carried.

Tom Robins. Association President, then moved from the chair "that the Drama Club confine its activities to ordinary union hours up to the 31st July. 1965." Sue Madgwick gasped. "That's utterly unreasonable—it'll completely sabotage the next production."

"You might as well disaffiliate the club," claimed Helen Sutch.

In support of his motion Tom Robins said that the Drama Club considered nobody except itself and expected other people to solve its problems. The Drama Club was exercising a privilege in using the Union on Sundays, particularly as the Union was paying the caretaker's wages and not the club. Either the club should abide by the rules or it should not expect to get privileges.

For the Drama Club, Mr. von Dadelszen accepted responsibility for the past actions but pointed out that the club could not control everybody. The exclusion motion was then put and lost, only Robins and one other voting for it.

Spencer Digby Photo.

Spencer Digby Photo.