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Mr. Wilfrid Thomas
Mr, Wilfrid Thomas has arrived in Sydney after an absence of 10 years. He is a pioneer in radio, and has re- turned under engagement to the Aus- tralian Broadcasting Commission to give 27 song recitals and six talks, and to stage six productions.
As a boy in his teens he look par', in the experimental programmes first put on the alt- in Sydney. "We used to sing into a tele- phone receiver in wooden box," he recalled yesterday, "and every now and then we would have to interrupt the programme because of the interference created by Morse signals. That was in the pre-2PC, 2BIj days." Since then Mr. Thon s has been a radio artist under the varying conditions which have existed. Overseas he lins played in many tele- vised performa:..3s.
"Television is the most terrifying form of entertainment a player can take part in," said Mr. Thomas. "At first it is nerve-wrack- ing. It has all the terrors of the first night in the theatre, without any of the compensa- tions of the presence of a prompter or the audience reaction to provide encouragement. For one thing, rehearsals are not as thorough, and for others there are the distractions of cameras swinging at you from many direc- tions and the activities of the scene shifters. Then, on the stage, if anything goes wrong, an experienced actor can usually cover up the fact, but in television the player is tied down to a certain position in relation to the cameras and the other actors, and his oppor- tunities of distracting the attention of the audience from a slip are small.''
FUTURE OF TELEVISION.
But despite the problems presented to play- ers for television, Mr. Thomas is firmly con- vinced that the n;w idea will make rapid strides. Uri to the outbreak of the war fine work was being done by the British Broad- casting Corporation at Alexandra Palace, where the E.M.I, system is used. With the outbreak of the war, however, television in Eng- land was closed down because the Admiralty feared the beam might serve as a direction finder for enemy aircraft. In addition to the B.B.C. activities, Mr. Thomas explained, there is the television work being carried on under the Baird system, the executives behind which are concentrating successfully on large-scale transmissions of events to moving picture theatres.
At present television has not been developed in the United States of America to the stan- dard reached in England. This is partly be- cause television to-day has a limited range approximately the distance from the trans- mitting tower to the horizon. Sponsors whose advertisements keep American broadcasting going are not prepared to pay large sums for such a small coverage. Mr. Tilomas fears, however, that the Americans may forge ahead during Britain's enforced closing down of television, in the same way as they did in the field of moving pictures during the Great
The A.B.C. expects Mr. Thomas's songs, radio plays, talks, and feature programmes to bring many unusual features to local broad- casting. His success overseas during the past 10 years suggests that the expectation will be fulfilled. During his visit he will study the work of Australian dramatists in the hope that he may be able to introduce it to English audiences.
MUSIC IN AMERICA.
The Federal Controller of Music, Mr. W. G. Janies, recently returned from a tour through North America and England. During that tour he engaged a number of artists to come to Australia for the Commission this year. But in addition he gathered interesting Impressions of the music and the musicians of the countries he visited. Some of these impressions he has written into two talks, the first of which, "Music in America," he will give over 2FC at 7.45 p.m. to-morrow. The second talk, "Music in America-Person- alities," will come from the same station at the same time on Fridav.
NAMES OF PLAYERS.
Listeners have recently urged that the names of those taking part in plays over the A.B.C. network should be announced before, instead of after, the performance. This is a request that is unlikely to be acceded to. It is ex- plained that many a player with the right voice scarcely looks the part. It would be fatal, it is suggested, to announce Mr. X. as taking the part of D'Artagnnn when Mr. X., despite his robust voice and radio vitality, is known to many listeners as undersized and unimpressive. These listeners would all the time be seeing Mr. X. as he is and not as the robust D'Artagnan his voice is creating.