Scandal erupts at Adelaide’s Centenary.

1912CoventGardenCMPSD

Miss Miethke’s earnest appeal for ‘Peace and Goodwill’ was tested closer to home, when scandal erupted over a sponsored visit to Adelaide of the Ballet Russes during the centenary year. The ballet was not part of the official program. Indeed the famous company did not intend, originally, to include Adelaide in its tour to Australia.

However when the Butler government learned of this it took the extraordinary (for the 1930s) step of sponsoring the company to come, purchasing an additional 500 tickets which it distributed to politicians, their friends and families.

In the prevailing straitened economic times this was too much, especially as it emerged that 700 mothers of the children participating in Miss Miethke’s pageant had been refused free tickets on the grounds of expense. There was much outraged protest which, secure in its new gerrymander, the Butler Government simply ignored.

A glittering three week season duly opened at the Theatre Royal on 13 October and played to an audience that would be the envy of many contemporary dance companies.

Some 23,000 people attended, indicating that 22,500 South Australians trumped up the (considerable) price of a ticket. Apart from this, cultural events were thin on the ground in the centenary program, which clearly tended towards sporting events and public spectacles.

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via Centenary Celebrations 1936 | Adelaidia.