THE LYCEUM.—"THE SOUTHERN CROSS."
On Saturday evening the management of the Lyceum Theatre commenced what was announced as "the second year of the record dramatic season" at that place of amusement with a drama consisting of a prologue and four acts, entitled "The Southern Cross," which is the result of the collaboration of the Rev. George Walters (author of "Joseph of Canaan") and Mr. W A. Cuneo. The piece is strongly reminiscent of the bushranging period in the history of this colony, but the joint authors can- not be congratulated either upon the originality of their conception or its literary excellence. The language is indeed commonplace, and at times un- necessarily emphatic even for the purpose of illus- trating the rough edges of bush life or the surrouud- ings of a "lambing down" wayside drinking shanty. The plot is not particularly wholesome, and it will hardly assist the aspirations of those who hope some day to see the stage a strong adjunct to the pulpit in the moral education and refinement of the people. It is due to the management to say that they did everything to make "The Southern Cross" a suc- cess. The cast of characters—a very long one—was well filled by a strong company, and no exception could be taken to the scenery, which is of a most pic- turesque character, notably that representing the township of Byalla, Conroy's Gap, and the gully into which Westman leaps in order to avoid arrest. It is hardly necessary to enter into any criticism of the interpretation of the drama by the company, and it will be sufficient to say that they tried hard with the scanty material at their disposal to keep the audi- ence interested. The principal characters were allotted as follows :—Gladys Westman, Miss Ada Woodhill; Phœbe Gray, Miss Julie Woodville; Annie Forrester, Miss Gwen Dallas; Polly Maguire, Miss Alice May; Michael Connors, Mr. W. H. Diver; Lionel Westman, Mr. Bert Bailey; Wilfred Mordaunt (a new chum), Mr. Philp Lytton; Gil- bert Roach and Jack Devine (bushrangers), Mr. F. Patey and Mr. Frank Harcourt respectively. Master Claude played remarkably well as little Gladys, Lionel's child; Mr. J. South gave a good sketch of a bush tramp ; and there was the usual assortment of troopers, bushmen, &c. On Tuesday afternoon next a benefit tendered to Mr. Harry Shine, who is about to leave for India, will take place at the Lyceum, and a strong programme is to be presented.