Elva Mai Hoover, Peter Brockington, Gary Files, Nicholas Simons & Rita Howell Photographer Unknown

January 7-23, 1971

World Premiere


Book & Lyrics by Christopher Newton
Music by Allan Rae

Director's Notes

It is an intriguing pastime to leaf through nineteenth century illustrations of the future. For the most part the drawings tell us more about the nineteenth century than about the future. Although overall concepts may be fairly accurate, the details always reflect the age in which they were drawn. Prosperous looking heroes out of Ouida and Rider Haggard stare at enormous television screens while surrounded by knick-knacks that belong in Sherlock Holmes' study. Predicting the future is impossible; guessing at the future involves fantasising on the present. My concern in this musical has not been with possible mechanical inventions in the style of H.G. Wells or with possible social systems in the style of Aldous Huxley; I have been more concerned with certain arche-types (the witch-mother figure, the hero-farm boy, the philosopher, the joiner of clubs, etc.) I am more concerned with images than with a straightforward plot, and I am hoping that the audience will feel a disturbing sense of the known becoming unknown and at the same time, because it is an entertainment about all, come away filled with a delight that the world does actually exist and that it is, or could be, a pleasant place to live in. 

I have had difficulty describing Trip... in a few words. It is a 'Science-fiction rock musical' because the music is influenced by rock, and the theme is overtly science fiction. It is an 'eclectic electric musical' because there are bits of everything in it, and Allan Rae has provided a very complex sequence of electronic tape compositions which sometimes blend with the orchestra, sometimes appear on their own. It is a 'Gothic fantasy' because the characters become larger than life, for instance Gull goes further than we can: we put things out of our mind, he removes them from the world all together.

The influences on the book are numerous – J.G. Ballard, the Gormenghast trilogy, Lewis Carroll, Fellini's Satyricon, Itma, Harry Parch's The Bewitched, Rowland Emmett, and the landscape of Southern Alberta.

– Christopher Newton

Cast & Creative Team
For Trip...

  • Michael Ball
    Dr. Lladdergrub
  • Peter Brockington
    Captain Wembley Trampleasure
  • Gary Files
    Slatt (a boy from Vulcan)
  • Elva Mai Hoover
  • Rita Howell
  • Nicholas Simons
    General Gull, Grandle, Eldred Saffold, Dr. Katterfelto
  • Christopher Newton
  • Sheila Toye
  • Lighting Design
    John Hughes
  • Tommy Bridges
    Musical Director
  • Charlotte Green
    Stage Manager