Bodgies and widgies are staging a dramatic comeback.
Dunedin playwright Sarah McDougall is looking for people who
were part of the milkbar and early rock 'n' roll scene in New
Zealand to contribute memories for a new play.
Moon at the Bottom of the Garden will have its world
premiere at the 2014 Otago Festival of the Arts in October.
''The catalyst for writing the play was reading about 'the
jukebox killing' in Auckland in the 1950s,'' Mrs McDougall
''What interests me are the stories and experiences of any
ODT readers who were once bodgies or their female
counterparts, widgies, or who knew the milkbar and rock 'n'
roll scene. These people would be in their 70s now.''
There was widespread public concern about ''juvenile
delinquency'' in 1954, after Paddy Black stabbed 19-year-old
Alan Jacques to death over a woman beside the jukebox in
Auckland milk bar Ye Olde Barn.
A newspaper report of the day said the murder exposed ''an
American-style teenage wasteland, of warring juveniles,
delinquents, teenage sex, no parental supervision, all-night
dives, blaring jukeboxes - even a cult built around the
banned books of Mickey Spillane''.
Black was convicted of murder and hanged.
The full-length play script would shift the focus from the
two protagonists to the girl they were fighting over, Mrs
''I was wondering what the life of the young girl, the widgie
at the heart of the murder, could have been like.''
Mrs McDougall wrote the play while becoming the first person
to graduate with a recently-established University of Otago
master of fine arts degree in theatre studies.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 68
Greig St, Broad Bay, Dunedin 9014.