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Autographed photo

Alex Findley was well named 'The Gentleman of Variety'. He was the first star I ever saw at the Tivoli as a child and he remained a great favourite and it was a great pleasure to work on his show and get to meet him.
During his October 1962 show, which included, Bond Rowell and Helen Norman, his long time 'feeds', along with The Scott Boys, George Cormack & Irene Sharp,  Ronnie Parnell & Marie Ashton, Danny Drysden (Street)
and Roland Roy & Jackie Toaduff. In J. H. Littleton's book he mentions that Roy & Jackie joined the show for the last two weeks of the production. This was due to an incident that involved myself as Stage Lighting
Operator!  The original producer was ---  ---, who shall remain nameless, but as I have explained, on a Monday it was my duty to watch rehearsals and get to know the lighting plots and cues. On this particular Monday,
of the very first day of the show, the producer totally ignored me and when I eventually insisted he said he would see me at midday. We were normally out of the theatre from around midday until 5pm. I actually hung
around the theatre until 2pm, two hours into my own time, but he never appeared. 

5pm came around and I still didn't have any information, nor could I give the Lime boys any cues etc. However,  I hurriedly caught each artist as they turned up at the theatre and got their views and what numbers they would
be performing and going by the tempo of the tunes and performance I wrote down a basic lighting routine. I never saw or heard from the producer right up to and during the show. The Lime boys were livid, but did their best
and waited for my buzzer codes and tried to stay in step with the performance. Such was their experience they did very well, as I did, until during the first half finale, there was a dance routine with the producer, who was also a
dancer, and the chorus and I found that I couldn't catch lighting changes or make colour changes as the mood and pace was changing too quickly. 

At One point in the performance I was also getting pretty annoyed and at a certain point the producer wanted a certain lighting mood and I had no idea it was coming or what it should be and from the stage I heard quite
clearly the producer, shout Useless B---d'', and I could see the reaction from the Musical Director, Johnny Douglas, and the band, in the orchestra pit, that they too heard it clearly, as possibly the front row did too, at which
point I raised all the stage lights to maximum brilliance and left them there for the remainder of the act.

I was expecting trouble, and sure enough the producer roared off the stage and came straight for me, but thankfully Tommy Wright and some stage hands cooled the situation and we simply exchanged words, with him at stage
level and I on the lighting panel platform. The remainder of the show went all right as we all understood what was required.  However, next morning I had to report to Theatre Manager, Andy Folly, to explain the situation. I
explained things as truthfully as possible and half expected to loose my job, but the outcome was, that I remained with the show while the 'producer' was replaced by Roland Roy and Jackie Toaduff, who went on to produce
great shows. They were very professional.

My disappointment in the outgoing 'producer' was that I also knew of him and had seen him in numerous shows over the years and while he always had an air of arrogance about him, his shows and performances were very
entertaining. I got no joy from this situation and even today just feel sad that it turned out that way. How or why he expected me, or the Lime Boys to work to 'unwritten' script, is a mystery!

The Alex Findley show was great fun. Another incidence I will always remember with fondness was that Alex Findley had recently toured Australia and he had some 8mm cine films arrive and wanted to view. He asked around
the theatre for anyone with a projector and as luck had it, that was my hobby. WE arranged to bring the projector (an old Specto 8) and screen and set it up in the Star Dressing room one afternoon and Alex, his wife and others
bunched into the room and we ran the reels of film. As Alex's show in Australia took place during  Christmas and along with all the new Australian scenes in the film it was the first time that I had ever seen Christmas being
celebrated in the heat of Summer! It was quite fascinating and I shall always appreciate having played my part in making that gathering possible.

The Calum Kenney Show followed in October 1962, with his regular touring team of Scottish artists, that was assured success but also with him was an Irish comedian, Sammy Short, who was a real live wire. Sammy was as
funny off stage as he was on and his energy and sense of fun carried every sketch to belly-laugh level.

As mentioned above, cine photography was my hobby. However,  I was always reluctant to take film in the theatre. Film was expensive and very slow in those days and I couldn't be sure that I would even get an image on the
film. However, I took a few shots from the lighting platform and then during a longish sketch when all stage lights were up, I went down to stage level and grabbed a few shots from that angle.  I didn't get much time to use the
camera before returning to the lighting panel. However, between the two performances 'Houses' I managed to take 3-4 minutes of film during the same scenes. One or two artists objected as they thought I may be trying to
make some money from the film, but I assured them that it was purely for my own use.
I eagerly waited the films return from processing and was very pleased at the results. After 43 years it has become quite a historical piece of film. The scenes include Calum, Will Starr, Ken Swann & Magee, singer Rae Gordon,
dancer Vi Day and comedian Sammy Short. Part of a sketch which includes a 'Bucket' and a musical sketch with Calum and the chorus. The film ends with clips of Calum doing his own act.

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