Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 12. 1965.
Downstage's Victoriana: — Bruce Mason Hit
Bruce Mason Hit
Much that has been proffered to the Public of recent years in the name of entertainment has exhibited none of that ingenious delicacy or strong refinement to which formerly we were accustomed.
Mr. Bruce Mason must accept the thanks of those too long deprived of genteel culture, for his presentation, still to be seen in this city, of Victoriana, A Soiree, Musicale. The writer does not hesitate to assert that it will be long ere such another show visits this Colony, and he recommends it with an easy conscience both to the Gentlemen, whose manly spirits cannot but be fired with its Patriotism, as they must be softened by its Pathos, and to the Fair Sex, whom it may properly delight, without once occasioning a blush.
The judicious viewer will ever form his own notions of what accords the most exactly with his taste; but he will be hard pressed to deny the sublime effect of the co-mingled strains of the Grieg Piano Concerto and the National Anthem. Nor will he dismiss without due appreciation the stirring rendition of The Charge of the Life Brigade, a poem commemorating the glorious Crimean Dead, performed at the especial request of our own RSA. To a most affecting reading by Mr. Lewis Rowbotham, Mr. Michael Woolf added his considerable prowess on the trumpet, while Miss Treena Kerr gave an impression now fierce, now doleful, with strenuous or muted strokes on the bass drum.
For the Ladies, there was an abundance of such sentiment as could not fail to bring tears to the most sparkling pair of eyes. When Miss Jean Williams sang with the greatest conceivable emotion of an overblown rose, several gentlemen in the audience were observed to resort to their pocket handkerchiefs. During her more lively songs and dances with Miss Kerr, many were unable to restrain themselves from tapping.
No review could be complete without mention of the scenery designed by Mr. Ian Mune. It combined taste with ingenuity, leaving space neither for improvement nor for addition. It is impossible to convey the effect of so many riches: carpets, candles and candelabra; the grandest furniture; picture frames and pianoforte; a bowl of lilies and sundry other blossoms-never can so great an abundance have filled with more than Nature's bounty so tiny a stage.
This Entertainment, if indeed so light a word can adequately describe it, cannot be too highly recommended to the Public. Nay, there is a duty to see it; for it contains in it all that is Noble, all that is Good, all that is Beautiful in our Ag.—Alastair Bisley.