Cairns Little Theatre presents… “Paint Your Wagon.”

Fifty year old Govt tourist promotion tape provided by Marc of Edmonton, used by Cairns Post.


My Cairns Friends…Bill Manning’s Pie-cart.

Theatre people; Hippies John Watson and Bryan Nason.

Cairns Little Theatre “Paint Your Wagon.

Full Programme, photos etc Paint Your Wagon.

Little Theatre 1964 in-house News-sheet. (squabbling)

Mime Adam Darius, Old Theatre Programmes.

When Pets And People Have Had Their Day.

Rosa In The Pot.


Thanks to successful movie actor, Anthony Hopkins, who featured in a recent Craig Ferguson show, I now know that a highlight of his career occurred in Glasgow fifty years ago this week. Standing-in for the ill Laurence Oliver I think it was, but of far greater importance about the same time was the Cairns Little Theatre’s showing of their first and possibly last musical production. The prominently reproduced Cairns Post review features their 1964 local tour itinerary.

My arrival in North Queensland a year or two earlier coincided with the showing of John Wayne’s zoo-chasing hero movie Hatari and its long-lasting popular cutesy, Henry Mancini composed theme, Baby Elephant Walk. A large ensemble of Spanish dancers, The Great Lousillo, apart from introducing we plebeians to Ravel’s Bolero, seemed easily accommodated on the theatre stage, but the Little Theatre had its own venue a couple of blocks from the town centre, the Hibernian Hall, I think it was.

The cosy, friendly little town of Cairns was most welcoming and I went on to spend the best part of a decade in this undisturbed paradise of some, then 29,000 inhabitants. Entertainment was party or self-generated. After the hamburger joint, the ‘chinese’ was the place to be seen until the really suave and sophisticated lifestyle changed local society when a pizza shop opened.

The more dogmatic among us persisted with using the phonetic “pizz-ah” until capitulating to the majority. Had these smart-arse southern intruders been nipped in the bud at this point, the Surfer’s Paradise-like vermin invasion might have been delayed or derailed in its tracks. I jest of course.

The five photos shown are my souvenir picks from the many on offer that were taken on full dress rehearsal. The bulk of the audience that night consisted of nuns from St Monica’s. Somewhere within the upheaval of my filing system is a “Wagon” programme and when it surfaces will drop it in this post in the possibility descendents of the players might recognise forbears.
img013 CP Review

Review from Cairns Post June 1964.

Note mixed quote marks.


Fifty Year old Qld Govt tourist promo.tape provided by Marc of nearby Edmonton, used by Cairns Post. The tape shows its age. When it stops, restart the clip and slide over the blip-spot. It’s worth persevering with.

This is a melancholy scene; that damned wind Maria, perhaps? The old chap seated on my right was making side quips sending a grandson on his right into giggling fits, another lanky grandson stands behind me.

img010 Swing doors; bottle

“Out the window goes the beans.” The coated, sitting chap about to catch bottle thrown by exuberant, soon to be rich miner, was sans left arm.

img004Dancing; wall nude.

“The first thing you know.” Lee Marvin.

img007Rumson's Bar

“Backstage” review of 2009 off-Broadway production.


“I was born under a wandering star.”



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: