Category Archives: Australian Performing Group

“Domestic Contradictions” APG radio show on ABC in 1977

In 1977 several members of the Australian Performing Group (APG), together with Marius Webb, a radio producer at the Australian Broadcasting Commission, put together a series of radio programs titled “Domestic Contradictions”.

Just before the program was due to go to air (June 1977) the series was banned by ABC management.  But after protests by  a “prominent actors group” and  after making some “minor alterations and deletions”,  the program was re-instated (July 1977).

“Domestic Contradictions” was written by Bob Daly and Bill Garner (APG members) and Peter Dickie (an anti-capitalist political cartoonist). Publicity and the show’s narrator described it as:

“… the continuing story of a rare experiment in building socialism in one room – the Blue Hills of collective living.”

The performers/voices from the APG were  Max Gillies, Evelyn Krape, Fay Mokotow, Bill Garner and Tony Taylor, and the music was by Jack Weiner of the APG.

Two years after “Domestic Contradictions” went to air on the ABC, Greig Pickhaver of the APG (who went on to be HG Nelson) said the program was “the Pram’s most ambitious and successful radio exercise” (The Perambulator, Jan 1979).

Most of this information about the program comes from newspaper reports in The Age and its radio and TV guide, The Green Guide, copies of which appear below.

Although reportedly a nine-part series,  copies of twenty episodes can be found on the YouTube channel of VancePackardTV (whoever that is!).  I have prepared a schedule of those 20 episodes with  links to the YouTube videos. See below.

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APG tries its hand at radio – “Looping The Loop”

In 1976 the Australian Performing Group (APG) embarked upon another undertaking: the production of radio shows.  The Minutes of the Group’s AGM on 29 March 1976 record that:

“Bill Garner presented a copy of the format for the first radio show and outlined his proposal. His program format will be “non-capitalist commercial radio”. Members interested in doing radio shows should approach him. He will soon be approaching members he would like to work with him. The first rehearsal and taping of the radio show will be on Saturday April 10 from 1.30 to 5.30, either at the Pram or the Playbox.”

The first radio show was called “Looping The Loop”. Below are copies of Bill Garner’s format and running sheet for the show, which was to be broadcast in late-April 1976: Continue reading

“Dimboola” the movie – group shot of cast and crew at end of filming

The scenes at the wedding reception in the APG movie “Dimboola” were filmed in a hall in Melbourne. They were the last to be shot. At the end of filming the cast and crew were assembled for a photograph by stills photographer, Ponch Hawkes.

Dimboola movie cast and crew
Cast and crew of “Dimboola” the movie at the end of shooting (mid 1978).
Photo by Ponch Hawkes.

To the best of my knowledge this website is the only place where this photo has been published. Several years after the making of the movie the print was purchased from Ponch Hawkes by my wife and given to me as a birthday present.

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Soapbox Circus performs “Smackin The Dacks”

Soapbox Circus and the Matchbox band performed “Smackin The Dacks” at the front theatre of the Pram Factory from 17 November to 24 December 1977. Here is a copy of the brochure/programme for that season.

Leading performers: Alan Robertson, Jon Hawkes, Robin Laurie, Laurel Frank, Helen Sky, and Michael Price. Band: Tony Burkys, Jim Conway, Mick Conway, Rick Ludbrook, Gordon MacLean, Peter Muhleisen, and Colin Stevens. Credits also are given to Bob Daly, Richard Murphet, Carol Porter, Rose Chong, Margot Lindsay, Kelvin Gedye, Ponch Hawkes, Tim Caldwell, Sue Broadway, Chips Mackinolty, Richard East, Mary Duggan, Fay Mokotow ” and an antfarm of friends and helpers” including: Charlie Aarons, Sally Clifton, Eve Glenn, Ursula Harrison, John Konig, Bayne Laurie, Esther Naylor, Shuvus and Mark Tanner.

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Circus Oz at the Adelaide Festival of Arts 1978

From 14 March to 19 March, 1978 the Australian Performing Group (APG) offshoot Circus Oz gave 12 performances at Bonython Park, Adelaide, as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

“Circus Oz was the amalgamation of two already well known groups—Soapbox Circus, a roadshow set up by the Australian Performing Group (APG) in 1976, and the New Ensemble Circus, a continuation of the New Circus, established in Adelaide in 1974.” – Jon Hawkes, circopedia.org

The following photographs and text are from the Circus Oz brochure which was prepared for distribution at the festival. (Advertisements have been not been copied.) (The photographer/s is/are not credited in the publication. The performers who appear in the photos are:

Sue Broadway, Tony Burkys, Tim Coldwell, Jim Conway, Mick Conway, Jack Daniels, Laurel Frank, Kelvin Gedye, Jon Hawkes, Ponch Hawkes, Robin Laurie, Ric Ludbrook, Gordon McLean, Peter Muhleisen, Michael Price, Jim Robertson, Pixi Robertson and Helen Sky.

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“Back To Bourke Street” poster from the APG (for the September 1977 season)

“Back To Bourke Street” was staged by the Australian Performing Group on several occasions and at several venues. (More information to come.) This poster advertises a return season of 7 late-night shows, three at La Mama theatre and four at the Pram Factory, in September 1977. The show was devised by Claire Dobbin, Libby Drake, Eveyn Krape and Tony Taylor.

Poster Back To Bourke St Sept 1977

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Fourth post re The Dimboola Banner’s stories and pictures about the making of “Dimboola” the movie

THE FOLLOWING IMAGES AND ARTICLES ARE FROM THE DIMBOOLA BANNER, TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 1978

Most of the filming of “Dimboola” took place in and around the small Victoria township of Dimboola. For those few weeks the people of Dimboola took a great deal of interest in the filming, with some even taking part as extras in the movie. The local paper, The Dimboola Banner, published several articles about the event.

This is the FOURTH of four post on this subject. Continue reading

Post two re The Dimboola Banner’s stories and pictures about the making of “Dimboola” the movie

The following images and articles are from The Dimboola Banner, Friday, June 2, 1978.

Most of the filming of “Dimboola” took place in and around the small Victoria township of Dimboola. For those few weeks the people of Dimboola took a great deal of interest in the filming, with some even taking part as extras in the movie. The local paper, The Dimboola Banner, published several articles about the event which were accompanied by publicity photos taken by the film’s stills photographer, Ponch Hawkes.

This is the SECOND of four post on this subject.

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The Dimboola Banner – news articles and pictures – filming of “Dimboola”

The following images and articles are from The Dimboola Banner, Tuesday, May 30, 1978

Most of the filming of the APG’s movie, “Dimboola”,  took place in mid-1978 in and around the small Victoria township of Dimboola. For those few weeks the people of Dimboola took a great deal of interest in the filming, with some even taking part as extras in the movie. Naturally, the local paper, The Dimboola Banner, published several articles about the event. These were often accompanied by publicity photos taken by the film’s stills photographer and APG member, Ponch Hawkes.

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Theatre Australia magazine – Carlton special – 1977

Theatre Australia cover

Max Gillies – 1977 (Cover photo by Ian McKenzie)

This edition of Theatre Australia contains articles titled:

  • “Ten Years of Carlton Theatre” by Garrie Hutchinson (with photos from 1969 and 1970);
  • “The Many Masks of Max Gillies” by John Larkin;
  • “Carlton Designs” by Peter Corrigan (with photos of sets for the plays “City Sugar”, A Floating World”, “Pecking Orders”, “The Mother”, “Crackers at the Savoy” and “Canned Peaches”.; and
  • Playscript – “Marvelous Melbourne” – Part One, with an introduction by Jack Hibberd on “How Marvelous Melbourne Came to Life”.

pram Factory Advert Theatre Australia

Advertisement appearing in the “Carlton special” edition of Theatre Australia magazine, August 1977

Red line small

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