Programs from the 2nd Festival of Fools -- 1976
to Ed Baker of the Friends Roadshow, I have scanned these programs as
PDF files and made links to them below. These were all printed at least
a week or more before the events they advertised, so it was inevitable
that reality varied from the script here and there. I'll mention some
events I remember, along with a few historical comments.
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This 8 page magazine circulated for a few weeks before the 2nd Festival
of Fools began. There were quite a few companies from the 1975 Festival,
but many new groups too -- most notably Theatre Slapstique from
England, and the Dutch group Hauser Orkater, who did an amazingly
original music & comedy production called Famous Artists.
The London Friends Roadshow performed a play called Friends In
High Places. Henk Langeveld drew the map on the back cover.
NOTE: In subsequent programs, there's a venue called The Movies
-- it was a cinema on Haarlemerweg, near the West Gate of Amsterdam.
They sponsored short theatrical acts in addition to their films.
(I performed there a few times.)
First Week: That's
Jango Edwards on the cover, photographed by Jan Jaap Dekker, who
had replaced me as stage manager for the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe.
Personally, I was enroute from the volcanic island of Stromboli
off the coast of Italy. I'd seen Lumiere and Son in England the
previous winter. The Fabulous Poodles would have a hit in the US
a few years later with Mirror Star, and Jimi Hendrix's old
bassist Noel Redding showed up, leading his own group. Johnny Melville
played his first Festival of Fools with the Salatka Balloon Band.
2nd Week: The famous
Mall of America is located near Minneapolis, Minnesota -- the city
where cover subjects Mime Troupe of America was formed. Some of
these actors stayed in Holland and formed the long-lasting Pidgeon
Drop company. My friend Jean Paul Bell performed with the great
Nola Rae in the London Mime Company. This was the first Festival
of Fools for Dog Troep -- a processional Dutch conglomerate who
affected the course of theater into the Twenty-first Century. Prolific
English writer George Melly acquitted himself famously as the front-man
of an entertaining cabaret-style Jazz band. I returned to Amsterdam
that weekend, and met Sharon Landau, who was performing with Abrakadabra.
We would later work together in Theater Slapstique, and she performed
many times with other members of the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe,
well into the 1980's.
It was nice to re-introduce myself to hilarious actor/director Carlos
Trafic and singer Joanie Borgman of Blue Rose, who'd seen me and
Footsbarn in Mousehole, Cornwall the previous summer. There was
a film crew at many performances -- I vividly remember abstract
Argentinian stylist Benito Gutmacher playing to the camera in the
Zuilenzaal at the Shaffy Theater. I later found out that it was
Jacques & Ann Katmor, Victor Ken and "twelve other Israeli
cinematogues" making a 16mm film called The Fools, which
was shown at the 1978 Festival. Read
about The Fools HERE
was a welcome guest at my old haunts from the previous
year. Rob Weber at the Shaffy issued me a Medewerker
card, and all doors flew open. The Great Salt Lake Mime
Troupe's show relied on a lot more verbal comedy and
clowning, plus Alan Purves hit the drum kit hard --
he'd played for Friends Roadshow in 1975, and would
later join Sail-Joya for a long sit on their throne.
The band was otherwise the same as '75 until later that
summer. Debra Ryals was back as a dancer, and Dave Zupan,
fresh from Dimitri's school in Switzerland, performed
onstage with George-O. Matthew Child and Katie Duck*
introduced themselves with choreography by Patsy Droubay,
who stayed in Salt Lake.
Davey Norket was leader of the band for Friends Roadshow,
with new drummer Tom Derry, ace percussionist Linda
Anton Curtis, and soundman David Roe -- alongside Sean
Bergin, Ced Curtis, and Jane Hunt. Ed Baker & Ted
Van Zutphen returned. Bobby Clark was a co-star, as
was Michael Novotny, Rick Parets, and Carl Holmer. Jango
Edwards led the onstage insanity!
Members of the Friends' band and the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe's
group jammed together many times. These musicians played at De Paradiso
on the bill with great Blues and Jazz musicians Jimmy Witherspoon
and Herbie Hancock -- Footsbarn was playing Midsummer Madness
during Queen Elizabeth's 25th Jubilee, and wouldn't come to Amsterdam
until after the USA Bicentenial Celebration on July 4. (I was wearing
a tricorner hat that day in Vondelpark!)
* Katie Duck acquired her professional name after duet work
with Jango Edwards, and a solo tour later in 1976. "Duck"
PDFs and images courtesy
of Ed Baker, Ted Van Zutphen, Alan Purves, and my own collection.
Rights Reserved for use in this site © Michael R. Evans 2011