|A gypsy chorus girl, Tweed Heads Primary School, 1969|
I always remembered this photograph of myself in a "gypsy" costume, because it was one of the first I have in colour. Looking closely, I recall my mother's pink shawl, the apron made in sewing class, the curtain ring 'earrings', and a love of beads. It is probably the only photo with all my adult teeth, some painfully extracted at a later age. I remember the make-up being applied with my mother in attendance, on the landing at the top of the stairs leading to the main Primary School Hall.
|The stairs leading to the School Hall in 2019|
Until this year, I didn't remember the name of the musical or how it came to be. That's where the seminar provided an amazing connection - the teacher who had been tasked with organising the musical also attended. Yvonne, a Tweed Shire local, returned for a two-year teaching stint at Tweed Heads Primary School. She was asked to arrange a musical in both 1969 and 1970.
Her first choice was "The Gypsy Gay", the lead character "Romany Rof". Trove reveals that this musical was a stalwart of school productions for many years in many Australian states.
Did participation also bestow a love of musicals and being part of them? Certainly I tried in high school, but never made it past the chorus line.