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'TIKIS' inffF^AP T!$!S'I5?5iy
WINDSOR EXTOLLED IN SONG AND STORY FOR THE STAGE
npHE new Australian musical romance 'The Ce'dar Tree,' now being produced by P. Thring in Melbourne, is the work of a trio already well-known in Australian mu sical and literary circles, and who have for long looked upon Windsor as the wor thiest setting for a 'musical romance of' historical arid beautiful character. Varney Monk, who wrote the music, was, of course, the creator of 'Collett's Inn' — the first big Australian musical comedy
show'. Edmund Barclay, who wrote the 'book,1' is ^probably the most versatile writer in Australia* Short stories, scenarios, ra dio plays, dramas, romances and revues have all rolled off the pen of this celebrated writer. Only 60 shows of his were produced for the Australian Broadcasting Commission last year. He has a fondness for historical subjects, and welcomed Var ney Monk's invitation to collaborate' with her in a story of old Windsor. Helene Barclay his wife, wTio wrote all the lyrics and com edy numbers for 'The Cedar Tree,'- also wri ,ters an immense 'mimbet; .pf,Jyrics^for her husband's broadcast shows and 'is^in'mbre* serious vein, a poet of fine feeling and deft craftsmanship. Her songs' in 'The Cedar Tree,' particularly the ones about' the old Hawkesbury .River Road and old sights and sounds- of Windsor, will appeal tremendous ly to all. Varney Monk, who has been a composer, from a very early age,' character- ises all 'her work with her- own deep sin cerity, and her music has a 'heart' as well as a 'head' appeal. She is the wife of Cyril Monk, the well-known violinist. ' ? - 1 The Monk-Barclay trio spent many happy flays at Windsor browsing round, and par ticularly treasure their first visit to our oldest inhabitant; Mr., Thomas Masters, who related to them many anecdotes of davs gone by passed on to him by 'folk who have gone before.' There is a splendid. com- edy character in 'The Cedar Tree,' in a person no less than the Flying Pieman, es pecially resurrected for the purpose. Many of his engaging . eccentricities will be ao*r-'--i on the stage. Although, of course, the story (around the year 1830) is purely ori srinal and romantic, it has just those au- : thentic links with the past arid just that true historical flavor which will indeed gra tify we residents of Windsor and its- dis- ' trict. Another pleasing fact is that Mr. Barclay's characters ? are intensely human. He has not indulged in the general ' unjust practice of burlesquing the Australian char acter and intelligence and reducing our pioneers to ''hayseed' level. No, he reveals our forefathers as individuals worthy of our following, and so we shall all eagerly await the production of this musical ro mance in Sydney. The collaboration between Varney Monk and the Barclays has been a splendid ex ample of what harmonious team-work can accomplish. They '?'? all three have been very happy in the creation of 'The Cedar Tree,' and hope that it will be but the first of many such musical plays for the Australian stage.