In the late 1960’s, under the auspices of the psychiatrist superintendent, Dr. David Barlow, the process of desegregating the male and female wards commenced– it exposed the female patients to the risk and sometimes, the reality of sexual abuse though generally improved the male patients’ behaviour and their general attention to cleanliness and appropriate clothing.

Dr. Barlow and others introduced new treatments, including the Hoddle Rehabilitation Music group, music and art therapies to the benefit of patients.

Len Blair, a chaplain wrote two pantomimes- Cindy Rella and the Hospital Ball that staff performed in, giving great enjoyment to the patients. (Dr. David Barlow was in Alice in Larundel Land. In Episode 1 where he drinks from a saucer.)

and Alice in Larundel Land

Episode 1

Episode 2

 

Two artists-in -residence devised the Cinderella wedding procession; patients made costumes and stood along the road as clowns, ruffians and townspeople. The whole hospital then sat down to a wedding breakfast.

Bill Lloyd, a psychiatric nurse created the Larundel Little Theatre Band, a rock band of staff and patients which lasted for nearly 30 years and also co-wrote and produced Alice in Larundel Land.

Button, James (2018) Down the Rabbit Hole: A closer Look at Larundel in Writing this Place, Darebin Arts, City of Darebin. https://www.darebinarts.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/2018-335-City-of-Darebin-This-Place-Proof04-1.pdf

https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/papers/govpub/VPARL1972-73No16.pdf

 

This information below, was printed on the back of the album cover recording the first performance by patients to a live audience at Larundel. The show was a resounding success and played to other hospitals in Victoria.

 

HANSEL AND GRETEL

PRESENTED BY THE HODDLE REHABILITATION CENTRE
LARUNDEL PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL

THE STORY ABOUT THIS RECORDING

Hoddle Rehabilitation Centre in the complex of Larundel Psychiatric Hospital, Bundoora, Victoria specialises in the rehabilitation of young people suffering from a psychiatric illness which is characterised by withdrawal from emotional contact with others and preoccupation with day – dreams and unreality.

The centre comprises patients of both sexes and its therapeutic aims are resocialisation and work rehabilitation.

The units Music Group was established in 1969 and was an immediate success. It aims at the complete, active involvement of the patient, and the production of all its work before an audience. Musical appreciation (e.g. Listening to records) is a passive involvement which has been recognised as a useful therapy for many years. Unfortunately, it makes no demands on the withdrawn patient. Active musical involvement, on the other hand, makes many dynamic demands, and promotes self-awareness and esprit de corps, and forces interpersonal relationships which are invaluable to withdrawn patients, resulting in realistic self-esteem, confidence and pride in achievement, all of which contribute to the return of the patient to a full life in the community.

Hansel and Gretel was first staged at Larundel in December 1971 as a Christmas pantomime and played to full houses. The show was scheduled to run for only two nights, but such as the enthusiasm of the performers and the tremendous reception at Larundel that it was decided to show the pantomime to other hospitals.

In all, Hansel and Gretel was seen and enjoyed by patients at five large hospitals, one as far as Ballarat. The pantomime was also shown at Bundoora Community Hall. This was the first time that psychiatric patients had performed before an audience in the community of Victoria.

The show was produced with minimum staff content. Patients accounted for 90% of the cast, musicians and technicians.

The production was well staged, dressed and lit. Logistical difficulties which at first seemed unsurmountable, but thanks to the enthusiastic response by the hospital administration, nursing staff, occupational therapists and artisans, all of the difficulties were overcome. When you here this recording you may find it hard to believe the performers are any different from an enthusiastic group of young people anywhere in society.

The record adequately demonstrates the value of intense musical involvement in bringing out latent talent and artistic abilities in the withdrawn patient.

This record has been produced for public release in the hope that it may help to pave the way towards a better understanding by the community of the psychiatrically ill. If it succeeds in this, then the personalities behind the voices on this record will stand a better chance of successful acceptance within the community.

Hansel and Gretel was recorded live with an audience. Proceeds from the sale of this record will go exclusively to the purchase of musical and stage equipment for Hoddle Rehabilitation Centre.

RECORDING EDITED BY: Drew Ellen
SCRIPT: Deidre Oliver and Bill Lloyd (Copyright Reserved)
MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT: Wally Mason and Bill Lloyd
COVER DESIGN: Deidre Oliver
COVER ART WORK: George H. Davies
GUEST ARTISTS: The Greenwoods
PRODUCED BY: Bill Lloyd

Acknowledgements:

Mental Hospital Auxiliaries of Victoria
Myer Melbourne Pty. Ltd.
APM Australia Pty. Ltd.
Astor Radio Corporation Pty. Ltd.
Leeds Music Pty. Ltd.
Castle Music Pty. Ltd.

PATRONS:
Jeff Duggan- ABC Supervisor Light Entertainment, Victoria
Dr. David H. Barlow- Medical Superintendent, Larundel Psychiatric Hospital

SIDE 1
The Pantomime
Songs:
Jean (R. McKEON)© ALBERT AND SON
Be Back Soon (L. BART) ©ESSEX
You’ll Never Walk Alone (R. ROGERS) © LEEDS
Spider and the Fly (TRAD)
For I am the Demon King (GILBERT AND SULLIVAN)
Metal Things (G. DOYLE) © RESERVED
The Marines’ Hymn (TRAD)
Eton Boat Song (TRAD)
Pomp and Circumstance (E ELGAR)
Ding Dong the Wicked Witch (H. ARLEN) © ALBERT AND SON

SIDE 2
Songs and music from the pantomime
Banjo (Arr.) Hoddle Music Group
Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head © CASTLE
Where is Love (L. BART) © ESSEX
Travelling Man © ALLANS
My Hero (OSCAR STRAUSS) © ALBERT AND SON
Because (GUY HARDELOT) © CHAPPELL
World of our Own (T. SPRINGFIELD) © CHAPPELL
Mr. Bojangles © ESSEX
Up the Street (Arr.) HODDLE MUSIC GROUP
Carnival is Over (T. SPRINGFIELD) © CHAPPELL
Yellow Submarine (LENNON AND MCCARTNEY) © LEEDS

A HODDLE MUSIC GROUP PRODUCTION

(HODDLE REHABILITATION CENTRE, LARUNDEL PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL, BUNDOORA, VICTORIA)

with thanks to the family of L. Rattray-Wood for finding the recording and allowing it to be published here.