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AMUSEMENTS.

-a

KER MAJESTY'S-" IDS NATURAL LIFE.»

Tho engagement of Mr Alfred Dampier at Her Majesty's Theatio has fortified Messrs Marshall and Alfred Woods with an lmnieusoioportoiro of favourito blay* Any doubt which might bav o boon enter- tained as to the continued vitality of this ropertoiro must bav o boon offoctunlly dispelled on Saturday, when 'Tor the Term of HIB Natural Lifo"_the second of Mr Dampier s senos-filled the great theatre to overflowing Many pooplo wore turned away at tho doors and thero was scant standing room in any part of tho bouse Iho play, founded by Mossrs Dampier and Walkor on Marcus Clarke's nov ol, is mfonor to "Robbory Under Arms" us regards dialogue and construction, tho characters arc for ¿ho most part tho merest puppets of melodrama, and tlio dramatic situations are far from convincing Agatnst nil this, on the othor hand, tho play has to its crodit the ndvantngo of an intricate plot clearly Bet out of rapid actton of a sensational amil, mid of tvv oor th roo bountiful Inbloaux-olemonts of good which caused it to bo vvolcomod on Saturday "with tho most oxtravngmtoxpro33ions of delight lu fact a third popular BUCCOSS bus boen scored nt Her Majesty s and it w onld bo no matter for sur- prise if His JNatural I ifo " carried tho management smoothly along until Cbnsttnns 1 ho play is quito Camíbar bera, as Air Dan.pior rovivod it at tho Theatre Royal in 1S93, lind then, as now, ho was supported by Messis A llolfo, H Pliminer, H Lésion Miss L.lv Dnmp.or, Miss Julia Morton, and

MiBS K ithanno Russell

lu tho stago version of "His Natural Lifo," though Rufus Daivos is most oftou m evidonco, tho commanding figuro which dominates tho stage story is that of the Itov Mr North Mr Al trod D impier plays this part with n broadth and \ irilo si gut II can co -which givo it weight, enabling lum to hold his num V3UC0 throughout long periods of sentontious deliver- ance until tho happ) climax is reached nt which tlio kind-hearted gaol chaolnm is ablo to do something

bosidos tall lins occurs in a capital sceuo m which Captain Trero insists upon flogging a dy ing prisoner in spito of the parson's dotormmed "Audlaoy you shall not " With Hashing eyes and trumpet volco Mr

Dampier opposed the bully, and when ho rushed nt

Frere smashed tho " cat " in pieces, and " knocked bim out in ono round," the choonng waa what Dominio Sampson vv ould bav e described as " Pro-di gi-ous'" Mr Alfred Rolf o whose dramatic mothod is licking m Bcntitnont nnd polish show oil a good deal of ability as Richard Dev mo, alias Rufus Dawes playing the part with a vigour which won him frequent applause, and Miss Lily Dampier £ roved moro than equal to tho requirements of tho

erome a pnrt as Sylvia Vickors Ono of the best Vendorcd characters was that of Captain Mauneo ïroro, in which Mr II Phuiinor, withe ut «over playing the part showed forciblv the innato brutahtv of tho domineering commandant In the later scones, tho slight suggestion of intoxi- cation in voice and walk, and Iho mako-up which indicated the rav ages of a dissolute lifo, wero strong points in a clover impersonation

Tv ery one vv ho has road Marcus Clarke s novol will recall tho ghastly description of " Gabbott Iho Cannibal " When re-arrested nftor his first escape, lind challenged ns to tho number of his companions "lost lu tho hush," tho niflian a answer-"Ihroo

«id if I'd had threo more you'd uevor hnvo caught mo "-froze tho blood of Ins cap- tors Mr Harr) O v elton pla) s lus charac- ter with gruosnmo power The terrible eceno in which Gabbott cunningly wntches his half doltrions companions with hungry looks, tho ogro like v oico in vv Inch ho crios " Givo mo something to munch," aud tho wa) in which bo throws lunisolf upon a rauilcrcd companion with tho words " I nitistopoti this lnrdnr to-mgbt," wore all placed liofore Iho audience Iho house was not spared a cinglo detail, so that tlio actor's terrible aspect and gore stained clothes increased tho icalistic oflcct of the ghastly spectacle A moro repulsivo situation was never staged Hero Mr Bobby Watson, as Tho Crow, simulated skilfully Iho terror Rud weak- ness of the conning little sneak-thief, who could seo that it was soon likely to bo " his turn next " 'Iho comic lehef which cases tho audience after they havo thus " supped full of horrors" is supphod by Mr Harr) Leaton as tho Rev Mr Meelon Mr Leston's look of smug nnhccility, his droll nppenranco nftor being butted into a Tlnnr-hin by a " Ihomis-William goat" (as ho calls it) and his gng "Oh, doar1 what will tho Bishop say ' " enable! bun to keep tho houso in rnsrs of laughter wbenovoi ho appeared Mr Harri Hodson waa well placed as John Rex, tho real murdeier of fcnr Richard Denne, though for the sake of ID m ««i»Wit«« ho should contrive to look a hltlo moro like the half-brother for whom ho io constant!) mistaken In tho opening scene, showing tho in- terior and oxtonor of the Spaniard's Inn at Hamp- stead, with tho snow nil around, Mr Lachlan M'Gowan hits off to tlio life tho character of tho coarse and Irueulont Sir Richard Devino , and along i nst included Miss Austen Elliott as a handsome Lady Devine, Miss Katharmo Russell ns Sarah Rex, Miss Julia Merton as Mrs Vickor-, and Mr J b R)an as Major Vickers

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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