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Adelaide University Footlights Club
Papers 1930-2005

MSS 790.2099423 A2283m


The HutThe Adelaide University Footlights Club was formed in 1930 with the declared objects of arranging an annual University Revue and to 'supervise and advance the interests of its members in dramatic pursuits'. The first revue was staged on 18 December at the Theatre Royal, replacing the traditional Varsity Concert, with further revues held annually to 1938 (at the Tivoli from 1934). Productions ceased with the start of war in 1939 but were revived in 1948, with revues held in the Tivoli that year and in 1949 and 1950.

Again there was a hiatus before a revival in 1953, with revues held in the Hut on campus, in the Studio Theatre in 1956 and from 1958 in the new Union Hall. Comic sketches and song and dance, with a strong representation by female students, featured largely in the original revues of the 1930s and in the early years of the post-war revival. The Club made a brief foray into 'straight' drama in 1959 with a production of Hamlet but otherwise concentrated on the annual revue, with stronger political and social commentary in later years.

Production was more erratic in the 1970s but in 1980 the revue They route horses, don’t they? was staged to celebrate Footlight’s jubilee. Revues continued through the 1980s, several in conjunction with the Law Students’ Society. The 1980s also saw Footlights’ comedy presentations for the Adelaide Festival and Fringe and in 1987-1988 plays of more depth with a comedy element.

In February-March 2006 and 2008 Old Footlighters’ who had participated from 1948 to 1970 presented Be your age revues for the Adelaide Fringe.

Further history of the club, focusing particularly on the period between 1953 and 1973, can be found on the Adelaide University Footlights Club website.

The minute book and papers re the 1969-72 and 1976 revues were presented to the Library in July 1981 by Matthew Goode. Additional papers, including most of the revue scripts and programs, were received in December 2003, September 2004, December 2005 and 2007 from Susan Lawrence. Programme and script for Hot Dog Revue were donated by Penny Gent in 2018.

Additional programmes were transferred from the Theatre Programmes collection in 2008.
Notices in Series 1 were transferred from University of Adelaide Miscellaneous publications in April 2018.

Contents Listing

Series 1: Minutes and notices
30 September 1930-13 March 1961 and March 1961-September 1963.  2 v.
1973 Flyer calling for interest in joining Footlights (typescript, processed)
1976 Letter to Social Club advertising "Full Frontal Allegory" revue for December 13th to 22nd; flyer advertisment distributed on campus (typescripts, processed)
1977 Flyer advertising Old Footlighters production "Tonight at 8.15" / Noel Coward 20-23 April; notices of AGM and re-scheduled AGM June/July; notice for auditions September 1977 (typescripts and ms, processed)

Series 2:
Revue scripts and working files
1956-1961, 1964-1972, 1975. 40cm.Out Of This World

  • 1956 Six bells for Venus [songs by Albert Bunn only]
  • 1957 That lunatic fringe [cast circular]
  • 1958 That adamant eve, Pts I & II (2 copies, plus 3rd copy of Pt 1)
  • 1959 Out of this world
  • 1960 Strictly between us (2 copies)
  • 1961 Blind date (2 copies)
  • 1964 To catch a rocking horse
  • 1965 Ta Ta, goonight, goonight (3 copies)
  • 1966 Scribble on the wall
  • 1967 Get here
  • 1968 It's a riot
  • 1969 Now is the time
  • 1970 Gobble (includes posters, flyers, reheasal schedules, working notes, reviews etc)
  • 1971 Cosmic cornies
  • 1972 Green is the colour of Mike Truelove's hare.
  • 1975 Hot Dog Hotel
  • Also a selection of single skits, not individually dated but from revues 1968-1972.

Series 3:
Revue programmes
1930-1931, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1949-1950, 1953-1973, 1975, 1980, 1987-1990, 2006, 2008 & 2014 (Old Footlighters). 5 cm. Originals and photocopies

  • See: Item Listing
  • See also: programmes and newspaper cuttings pasted or inserted loosely into the
    minute book in Series 1 and within the working files in Series 2, the posters in Series 5 and the reproductions from 1933-1936 programmes in Series 9

Series 4:
Revue photographs, drawing
1968. 19 items.

  • Photographs and paper prints from scans of originals [Robyn Archer, plus many unidentified]
  • 1935: 6 photographs mounted in mat 45 x 66 cm [oversize, in map cabinet]
  • Copy of a drawing by Hugo Shaw of Geoff Ward and Brian Bergin(?) in rehearsal for 1974 revue
  • see also minute book in Series 1 and Series 6

Series 5:
Revue posters
1956, 1966, 1976. 7 items. [oversize, in map cabinet]
Scribble On The Wall

  • Hamlet 1959
  • Six bells 1956 original drawing on board 80 x 75 cm
  • Strictly between us 1960
  • To catch a rocking horse 1964 (2 paintings by Steve Ramsay)
  • Scribble on the wall 1966 cloth on hanging rod 58 x 36 cm
  • Gobble 1970 cloth 25 x 66 cm
  • Full frontal allegory 1976 colour poster 66 x 46 cm
  • see also: Gobble poster in Series 2 selection of skits

Series 6:
Exhibition of history of Footlights 1930-1971
Source materials and photocopies collected and displayed for the 50th anniversary exhibition.

  • Extracts from Footlights Club minutes
  • Newspaper reviews of Revues 
  • Summary history of the Club by Jeff Scott, 1958

Series 7:
Jubilee reunion
December 2003

  • Running sheet and scripts, various
  • Greetings from Sue Adey, former Footlights member Suzanne Seager (1959-1961)
  • Dinner menu
  • Article from The Advertiser (December 2003) by Samela Harris

Series 8: Films and recordings

  • The Prosh report 1968, 37 minutes. [35mm film of the TV show The Prosh report recorded at Channel 9 studios on Saturday July 21 1968 and shown on Tuesday July 30 at 10.30pm, featuring Robyn Smith (now Archer) and the Wesley Three]
  • Also DVD copies made in 2007
  • Photocopied articles from On Dit 1968.
  • DVD recordings of Be Your Age (Again) 2006, Be Your Age (Again again) 2008, Be Your Age ... or Bust 2010, Be Your Age (Again again again) 2012

Series 9: 75th Anniversary Commemorative Dinner
Saturday October 15th, 2005

  • Menus featuring reproductions from Footlights programmes from 1933-1936. 8 items
  • Footlights Club 75th Anniversary Dinner (DVD recording, 2 discs). Includes the 1968 prosh film and Dinner slide show
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