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"H.M.S. PINAFORE." |
i Helen Langton as Josephine.
Sir Joseph Porter, together with his numer- ous sisters cousins, and aunts, the villainous Dick Deadeye; Captain Corcoran, who ad- dressed his seamen with such marked respect; the love-lorn Ralph Rackstraw; the equa'Jv disconsolate Josephine; that round, red creature, dear little Buttercup-all these and more were gathered on the stage of the Theatre Royal on Saturday night. In brief, the play was "HMS. Pinafore" Strangely enough, for the first time during the present se<ison, some empty seats were to be seen in the auditorium "Pinafore" does not, like "The Pirates of Penzance" and "The Mikado," delight the eye with pretty costumes Hebe and her gang of sisters, cousins, and aunts appear in severe cream yachting outfit; and tne uniform of a British tor is not calculated to cater for a love of the picturesque. Yet "Pinafore" contains splendid humour, and a great deal of delichtful music There seems to be no reason whv this opera should decline in public esteem y hile its fel'ows in the series go marching on from triumph to triumph
Saturday night's performance was the means of Miss Helen Langton winning another substantial success This joung Aurtralian stager has an unusually clear, fluent, and sympathetic voice; her appearance is attrac- tive; and she is obviously applying herself diligently to the cultivation of an acceptable style of acting A3 Josephine "Sorry Her Lot Who Loves Too Well" v as her principal test-piece; and the audience delivered its ver- ölet by applauaing vith might and main In the trio "Never Mind the Why or Where- fore," Josephine fluttered to and fro with en- gaging delicacy and l.ghtness, adding the poe- try of motion to the stimulating charm of
The Ralph Rackstraw of this season is Mr. Godfrey Stirling. He took the part quietly, and thus emphasised the Ivncal feeling in much of Ralph's music "The Nightingale," with which Ralph makes his entrance, sing- ing plaintively of his passion for the lady so far above him in station, introduced some pianissimo singing of an exceedingly pleasant sort In the duet, "Refrain, Audacious Tar," both Ralph and Josephine entered fully into the spirit of the scene
Mr. Ivan Menzies's portrait of Sir Joseph was unfailingly amusing as a piece of grotes- que character-study In the scene where the First Lord hands the Boatswain's Mate a copy of the trio, "A Eritish Tar is a Soaring Soul," he spent several minutes in wordless panto- mime, engrossed in the difficulties of handling three sheets of music and a p-ece of red lib bon at the same time. Towards the end of the second act, he gave free rein to all sorts of bright Irrelevant foolery.
As Dick Deadeve. Mr Bernard Manning achieved a masterpiece of make-up The twisted hand of this poor creature, his seamed and peculiar face, kept him well in the notice of the audience as a caricature, apart from Mr Manning's excellent acting Mr Gregory Stroud vas brisk and business-like as Cap- tain Corcoran He registered clearly the ad- verse effects on Corcoran's moral brought about bv Sir Joseph's absurd strictures, ?nd sang efficiently the music allotted to him Miss Evelyn Gardiner was jovial and suitably buxom as Buttercup; Mr Richard Watson as the Boatswain's Mate and Mr. Clifford Cow- ley as the Carpenter's Mate both provided many humorous moments; Miss Eileen Kelly made a bright Hebe, and Miss Joyce Mundy
was the Midshipmite
"H MS" Pinafore" was preceded bv "Cox and Box." In this amusing little extrava- ganza. Mr Clifford Cowley had a specially marked success as Cox. the journeyman hat- ter The other two actors, Mr Lennox Brewer (Box) and Mr Richard Watson (Sergeant Bouncer), both behaved with much gaiety, [ and the touches of parody-especially the
grand operatic leanings of the music-were
well dealt with