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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia • Page 107
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia • Page 107

Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
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I lwWllllliWf MM P4' if, II Two artists start again WKvU-w fly 7ocA Veitch WO top Australian artists, Lorrae Desmond and Fran i Davidson, this week started their first jobs back home after working; overseas. For both of them it was a chance to test on local, audiences what they had learnt overseas and they both claimed that the overseas exposure had helped them considerably. They are both working at Chequers. Miss Desmond is top of the bill, normally the preserve of highly paid American stars. Miss Desmond, star of her own successful TV series, has been back in Australia about three weeks: after a three-months' stint in Las Vegas. Before that she did a hallowed halls of Romano's for years a top Sydney restaurant, will soon start throbbing with an au go-go beat. For this normally hushed spot, the gathering place for Sydney's society, will become a discotheque in a fortnight. The management hastens to point out, though, that their normal lunch-hour business will not be effected and customers will still be able to dine as normal in the evenings in a smaller room. The chapgeover involves an expenditure of several thousand pounds for a new sound system (including a 2,000 electric organ) and changes in the decor of the restaurant's main room. Dancing girls in large birdcages will be suspended from each side of the stage and negotiations are under way to import a professional au go-go girl from the United States to help with the launching. "We're just following a Lorrae Desmond go when came back, but I'm glad to find I'm in demand. It was a good break getting this Chequers' job. "It shows that what I've been working for. has paid off. I'm no longer a Kid, so tar as kid, so tar Australia is concerned llili Frankie Davidson how I'd but 1 haven't sat down with anyone yet and really talked about it. "I want to settle down here again first. Frankie Davidson had to go away to change bis image. He was a 27-year-old rock 'n' roll star before he left Australia to go to England. "I worked the clubs there," he said. "Working men's clubs have sprung up all over the place. They're like our Leagues clubs and R.S.L. clubs but there are hardly any poker machines. "I didn't have to try to be teen idol there and now I've come back with a lot of experience working in front, of adults I don't have to be here any more. "I was a bit worried good number of guest mm A strict' comes tare a gimmick By Downbeat -VNE hundred and seventeen tunes have been organised into, special music programs for the latest thing in home listening. appearances on American TV. "I learnt a lot over there," she said. "I had a lot of my Australian material worked over bv experts so I could get an American act together. "That taught me a lot. And I learnt a lot more unconsciously just by watching experts in Las "I 'think the experience improved everything about my work." What are Miss Desmond's future plans? She is 33 years old now and happily married. "I want the best of both worlds," she said. "I want to be wife, mother and career girl. "I'd like to get back on to television and I've had several approaches stage debut, playing the guitar, and singing in the revue, 'All Mr Carden added. "He wrote a letter to his father, which Stanley showed me later in London, saying that 'Mr Carden is strict. He cut out one of "pall through the woman he hopes to marry. But the character of Maggie is so. patently that of Marilyn Monroe that last night's dfama of the breakdown of their marriage was the most painful, as well as, ironically, the most telling, section of the work. Carmen Duncan was splendid as Maggie, making her a living person instead of an impersonation. But Leslie Wright, as Quentin, failed to control Mr Miller's torrent of turgid language Fine work came from Alec Marchevsky as Mickey and Reg Collins as Lou. J.O'N. toe By Josephine O'Neill HAD Stanley Holloway's son, Leslie Henson's son, and Richard Murdoch's daughter, in the one show," said Australian director-choreographer George. Carden. floor Is downstairs but the customers can dance upstairs and watch the downstairs action through a large hole in the floor (which is railed off and covered with netting). It is loud; they all ace. And it is dark and gloomy with coloured spotlights. He will feature a group there on some nights; on the others there will be records. What sort of people go to the discotheques? Mostly a yoiing crowd in their twenties and thirties. At the Gas Lash in Elizabeth Street they tend to get the eastern suburbs crowd; at the Latin Quarter they get the western suburbs people. The Gas Lash was Sydney's first discotheque; it opened just over a year ago and after a series of ups and downs is now pretty solidly established. Liquor "We go only four nights a week," the owner, Mr Ron Murphy, said this week. 'There's no point in opening early in the week. People just don't seem to go out. "Things don't usually get moving until pretty late, either. "Liquor? We don't serve it but people can bring their own. We provide coffee and people can drink as much as they want of it. "We sold a bit of liquor for a while but they drank so little it didn't seem to be worth while bothering. "We'd sell less than a bottle of beer to a customer in a night." The Gas Lash can hold about 200 people and on Friday and Saturday nights it does. "It gets pretty frantic down here," Mr Murphy went on, "but they're a well-behaved crowd as a rule. "We keep pretty good control on the door and keep out anyone who looks like he'll make trouble." The Latin Quarter converted itself into a discotheque last March because its normal nightclub business was slipping. There you. can frug or watusi from 6.30 p.m. to about 3 a.m. if you've got the "Changing over to discotheque was the best thing we ever did," said Mr Sam-. my Lee, one of the Quarter's partners, this week. "It's made the place start to move again." trend," said Mr Roy Lister this week. Mr Lister, a theatrical agent, heads the syndicate which will run the discotheque operation in partnership with the owner of Romano's, Mr Bob Louis. "Most of the top res-taurants and nightclubs overseas are becoming discotheques. "It's what people want and they're getting it. People want to participate in the entertainment these days. "We're calling this place 'Romano Au Go-go' and we hope to attract the young jet set crowd. "It won't be too expensive, but it will still be a quality place. We'Jl serve food from Romano's kit-, chens, but the menu will be cheaper and more limited than the other one. "But you'll still be able to choose from the main menu if you want to." Records and a band will be featured there that seems to be the trend all over the world, although the word discotheque strictly means a place where you dance to recorded music. Romano Au Go-go will have a four-man group, the In People, which will play 15 minute spots interspersed with 15 minutes of records. It will open on Saturday, November 6. the discotheques are starting to burst out in Sydney. This week Mr Jim Carter, the man who runs most of the folk music places around Sydney, closed the Last Straw, his folk haven at Neutral Bay, to turn it into Rhubarbs, a discotheque. "The folk scene Is very quiet these days," he said this week, "but the disco business is pretty popular. "I thought I'd have a so at bringing discotheque to the North Shore. There are a lot of swinging young people in the area." Judging by the opening night, Mr Carter should have little trouble making the place go. Rhubarb the only two-storey discotheque in Sydney. The main dance music What's new on record David Lindup orchestra with a more modern sound (a Beatle number is included). Next there, is a bracket of piano numbers played by Dennis Wilson, half a dozen vocals by Ed Ames, and some overtures by the Philharmonic "Pops." Turn the records over and you get a bustling, Music While You Work sort of selection, with Buddy Bregman and Dennis Far-non's orchestras. The album organisers suggest seven arrangements of the set's 20 sides to provide different sorts of music. Does it seem too mechanical, too as though music is being treated as so much wall-paper? I felt that way when I first saw the plan, but on playing the discs, and comparing them to the sort of music I could expect from the radio, or from my own record collection, my own attitude changed. The sound quality is good, too. The set is called "Background Moods" (RDS 12). Mr Carden arrived back in Sydney from London last Thursday to take up a TV contract. "Young Holloway, who had just come down from Harrow, was making his mums v. George Carden my Stanley was amused," Mr Carden added. Now some 23 years old, Nicky Henson was Mordred in the Drury Lane "Came-lot," and is now in the John Barry-Wolf Mankowitz musical, "Passion Flower Hotel." Mr Carden himself has also presented our young Australian talent in the seven years since he last visited us to produce "Lola Montez," and dance-direct 'The Tommy Steele Show." "I went to Scotland for the annual big show, 'Five Past and Patsy Ann Noble was absolutely brilliant," he said. New European talent came his way when he went to Amsterdam to work with producer Rene' Sleeswijk on the latter's annual, year-running revue. Mr Carden's intrepeter was an English girl who has lived a long time in Holland. George Carden himself, born and brought up on his family's sheep-station outside Moree, N.S.W., was determined to become a dancer, and began by breaking into J.C.W. musical comedy. He then turned to choreography, to dance-direction, and to production of every type of musical show. It is a library of background music compiled by RCA and the Readers Digest and released as 10 LPs bound into a special book holder. Background and mood music is nothing new. It 'came in and went out about ten years ago. But this is something ferent. It meets the crying need for a few hours of uninterrupted music pitched around a certain tempo or approach. The old mood music LPs of a few years ago were so gimmicked that they were useless. The first practical feature of the digest album is its size. Given 10 LPs a total of 20 sides' and a record changer, you can plan a couple of hours music background, turn it on, and go about your business. For instance, a run of the top sides only of the first five discs in the set gives one and a half hours of delightful dinner music. The orchestras are Richard Vaughan's Romantio Strings, playing a selection of ballads, then on to the The surprise about Arthur Miller's "After the at the Independent is not that it is a revelatory document but I that it is a bad play. Mr Miller sets this work, half monologue, half drama- -tised dialogue, within "the mind, thought and memory" of a New York lawyer, Quentin. Mr Miller claims that this character is fictional throughout his exploration' of his past relationship with two wives, several women, bis parents, his involvement with radical colleagues and 2 THE SUN'HERALD, OCT 24, 1965 92

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