Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Oct 24 1970, Page 111

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - October 24, 1970, Winnipeg, ManitobaSure Winnipeg free press saturday. October 24, 1970 features 13 the festival express financially a Flop but a Good party by Michael Bennett Canadian press staff writer financially it was a write off but it was a helluva Good Ken Walker who admits he promoted last summer s Rock n Roll on rails festival express for the Money was glibly philosophical later about his train trip from Toronto to Calgary that turned into a costly ride. The question was not How much i was going to make but How much i was going to lose. If i wanted to impress anybody i d Staple my financial statement to my his plan was to bring Janis Joplin the band the grateful dead Delaney and Bonnie and friends Shana a Eric Anderson and More to people in five cities. When they Tore Down the stage in Calgary Only Rock freaks had paid in admissions barely enough to cover the Cost of the Talent alone. The train had some Romance and Appeal to said Walker who promoted and made Money with the Toronto pop festival two years ago. Historically it brought nations together. Rock music brings kids together so we just combined the when Walker and George and Thor Eaton of the department store family first got in touch with Canadian National railways in Toron to officials Shook their Heads and said it could t be done. They nearly choked when i gave them the order five sleepers two lounges with 110-Volt service for jamming a wanted to give them a cafeteria Flatcar and two 150-ton die the Price under including nine waiters. A Talent budget was handed to Dave Wil Liams who used to work for Apple records in new York and he filled it with the greatest collection of Rock Folk and blues musicians Canada had Ever seen. Then things started to go wrong. Empire stadium had in vested about in artificial turf and they did t want it to so Van Couver had to be scratched. Nervous City fathers in Montreal hurriedly cancelled the 12-hour show there be cause it clashed with St. Jean Baptiste Day celebrations and Walker was left with dates in Toronto Winnipeg and Calgary. Montreal was afraid some fanatics were going to bomb he said. In Toronto the May fourth movement a group of hippies and maoists who want to liberate everything from men s washrooms to the City jail tried to storm the Gates of Cne stadium. Police and Young people were injured and there were anything by Good vibrations. When we got to Winnipeg people were scared out of their minds by what went Down in the papers. Scially but it a helluva Good party. Parents were saying it. You re not going to anything where there s dope wild riots and death the one Day stand in Winnipeg Drew Only and was upstaged by the Mani Toba Centennial appearance by prime minister Trudeau and his Cabinet. The May fourth move ment Branch was also on hand in Calgary. There was Only a Token at tempt at Gate crashing on the last Day but it was enough to make Walker furious. He had three of the demonstrators arrested out Side Mcmahon stadium. How do they expect us to do it for nothing the per formers want to get paid i want to get paid the stadium wants to get paid the cops want to get paid. They say it s their music. Well it s the performers music first and my music second. They play it and i bring it. Then ifs their music. I m providing the enter not on a Cru the whole incredible trip was filmed from Toronto to Calgary on and off the train but unless Walker comes out with a festival express sequel to Woodstock few peo ple Are going to know what went Down Between stops. It la take another to Complete the film and the sound track is worthless without it. If worse comes to worse i la have the greatest track stereo Home movie in the country. I May just print it up and Send it to the peo ple on the they make the Public aware of modern theatre by Glennis Zilm Edmonton up two Edmonton playwrights who resent that most live drama in Canada is imported decided this year to do something about it. Wilfred Watson and Edwin Turner arranged for presentations of original Canadian plays at the Public Art Gal Lery in an Experiment de signed both to provide a vehicle for local dramatists and to make the Public More aware of modern theatre. There s enough Talent Good do this said Watson. He and Turner said in an interview that they see themselves As having a responsibility to promote Ca Nadian theatre. Canadians needed to see for themselves what kind of people they Are not always just watch the american dream. We have a role As image said Watson. Canadians need to separate ourselves from the american sort of separatism from the United the plays were presented at the Edmonton Art gallery and May be repeated later at the University of Alberta gallery. This getting away from the traditional theatre build ing and its illusions is very said Turner. Both Art galleries too Are inter ested in getting away from the Static gallery image and having music poetry and drama within their escape a play by John Orrell was the first presen tation. It was held in the main foyer of the Art gallery during noon hours to catch downtown shoppers and of fice workers during their lunch break. Although it played to Small audiences Watson and Turner did t worry. Always takes a Little while to get Turner the plays Are performed without special lighting and May be held in any part of the gallery that suits the mood of the play. For example Watson s play has a prison setting. The cast used a stairwell going Down into the basement of the gallery and the audience was seated on cushions on the stairs looking Down on the actors in the Cement austere look ing Well this Type of presentation involves audiences in a Way that the conventional theatre cannot said Watson. Audiences want to feel they arc a part of what s going on. Television h a s hoi pod create this he said. It s causing changes in the attitude to the theatre everywhere. Even protest movements Are theatre in a both Watson Ami Turner believe Many of the things being tried in modern plays will Lead to change in the present theatre. Institutional theatre is on the said Turner. Drama would have to get out of its Box and look into support of drama. Call it location theatre or Street theatre or what you he said. Plays should be presented where the peo ple Are in Foyers in mar Ket places in cafes not just in setting up this theatre group is not Turner. He also started a group while he was in London in 1968. The group called the Roundhouse produced three of his plays. If the area or location for the play can be arranged such productions Are not costly he said. Cost of or Rell s play in the gallery was about the Are free to the Public. 4

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