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"THE SENTIMENTAL

BLOKE."

?

-*-.

For three delightful hours on Saturday night the Sentimental Bloke lived and had his being at the Palace Theatre

In his tribulations and In his triumphs, in his sad quarrel with Doreen, and in his reconciliation with her, in the company of the "push" outside Ah cluong's In Spadger'a lane, and finally amidst the felicities of the farm, proud of his reform, piouder still of his Doreen, and proudest of all of his baby, the Sentimental Bloke In real life Ib the same lovable eharactpr as that immortalised in verso by Mr C J Dennis A coaiedy in threo acts, the production was a triumph alike for Mr. Dennis the rompan>, and all the others associated with it That the largo audience appreciated it, as something deflnilo and dis- tinctive in Australlar type and atmosphere, was manifest At the dose of each art they warmly applauded the play¬ę rs Htul at the final curtain, after Ginger Mirk had ' mooched" out of the si ene, along the hard road back to the city, they showered the lady members of the company, with bouquets and other tokens and called for the author (Mr Dennis) and the prcducer (Mr Bert Bailey) When Messrs E. J and Dan Carroll and Mr Dennis invited Mr. Bailey to he associated with the produc- tion-the tenth Australian play, incidentally, which Mi Lilley las produced-he welcomed the opportunity The production bud a long run In Melbourne, and should meet Avlth simi- lar success here It has the added merit of being entirely Austi allan

Tho comedy Is not without one o two weak spotB-more, for Instance, might have been seen of the Bloke In tho opening acts and less of some of the subordinate characters-but it Is an excellent production for all that It is the love story of the Bloke and Doreen- the latter a humble worker at a pickle factory, and whom he met first of all at the markets when she Avas looking for some brummagem jewellery-around whiih the comedy, and at times, rollicking farce, rev oh es The piece opens In Spadger's-lane, typical haunt of the .push" with which the Bloke associated be- fore Do.een tuined his mind to a better life, and exacted from hlui a voav to ' eut the boo/e," the ' btoush ' and the "two-up." But the road to Doreen's heart is strewn with thorns He sees his and her happiness Imperilled by the infatuations of ono of the "push" for Doreen, and by the wiles of others among them, by a confidence trick to entice Doreen's uncle to get rich quick, on tile strength of a speck of gold which had all the alluring prospects of an El Dorado, but which turned out finally, by an Ingenious climax, to be the battered remains of a precious set of false teeth, on a gold mounting, which '"Erb," the uncle's simple and melancholy farm hand, had lost years ago The Bloke "cut the push " But the old, pugnacious spirit comes back to him in the knowledge that some of his former companions have Avon their wa,, to the simple heart and purse of the uncle, and that they have been Introduced to him by no other than ' Snorky Otton," the "Stror 'at Coot," who is also trying to win the hearts of Doreen and her mother. Ono of the most delightful situations is when the

Bloke, hip old passions aroused by the machi-

nations of ti e "push," sets In hot pursuit of Steve Gunn," spieler and confidence man, and the latter's worthy apprentice, "Spike Wegg," figuratively breaks their heads as well as his vow to Doreen to "cut out the stouBh," sends the old uncle back home to safety, and then turns attention to his rival, Snorky Ottcn, confederate of Steve Gunn and his other evil accomplice. If the uncle, seeing visions of a gold mine on his farm, did not quickly appre- ciate the Inttusion of the Bloke into his affairs, he finally recognised in him a Avarm hearted protector by handing over to him and Doreen the farm amidst the rural peace and quiet which the Bioko had longed for, after a taste at fruit picking In the country before he met Doreen Then there is the Bloke's appearance at the musical evening at Doreen's i home-a real vignette out of that typical

phaso of suburbia which often finds its hap- piest hours at such functions-the reconcilia- tion with Doreen, and the inglorious retire- ment of his rival, after he and his confede- rates had been exposed It Is in these passages, and amidst the crowning joys of domestic happiness on the farm, that the Sen- timental Bloke and Doreen are seen at their beBt The rugged philosophy of the Bloke, In his views on life, the native wit of Ginger Mick, his bosom friend, who hawkB rabbits, and the mingled comedv and pathos, are ample compensations for a little weakness here and

there

Of the characters In Mr Dennls'B work, which are best portiaved In real life on the stage, honours must go to Mr Walter Cor nock, who, as the Sentimental Bloke, looks and playB the role to perfection and Mr Tal Qrdell, as Ginger Mick They were delight- ful. Eileen Alexander, as Doreen although effocthe, did not appenr to fit into the pic- ture quite bo well, she left the Impression at times of a delicacy and refinement of bearing a little foreign to her en\ Ironmont Generally, however, she acquitted herself well in a difficult role The cast also Included Stella Payter, as Doreen's "Mar," Mr Edward Landor, as Uncle Jim, Mr Leslie Gordon, a delightful simpleton nB '"Erb, the fat m hand," Mr. Herbert C Walton, as "Artie Apps," Mr F Brown (the "Stror 'at Coot"), Mr Arthur Shirley (Steve Gunn spieler and confidence man), Mr B Egan (Ah Quong) Mr J Souter (Spike Wegg), Iza Crossley (Eine), Alice Wal- ton (Mrs EntvAl3tIe), and Alfreda Bevan (nurse).

Mr. Dennis, in acknowledging the enthusi- astic call for him at the close, oxpiessed his appreciation of the reception accorded to an entirely "Australian play, and of the work of all associated with it

Mr Bert Bailey, who also had to come on to the stage, said that distinctive Australian comedy of this character, written by an Aus- tralian author and produced bj an Australian company, must help to pave the way for the wider recognition of Australian works (Ap- plause ) _______________________

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

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