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I Revival at Theatre Royal.
Originally Intended to satirise the vogue of "blood and thunder" melodramas in later Vic- torian days, "Ruddlgore" has a less obvious as well as a less complex modern appeal than Its Gilbert and Sullivan operatic predecessors, both in «¡spect of libretto and music. Ches- terton said of the "Ruddlgore" script that it was "loo Intelligent to be Intelligible." The music Is generally agreed to be patchy, strik- ing a more elevated as vi", as a more com- monplace note than in "The Mikado." How- ever eli this may be, it can be agreed that Saturday night's performance bv the Gilbert and Sullivan Company at the Theatre Royal was an affair of highlights, interspersed with periods of merely average entertainment.
These highlights Included a clever singing of the patter trio in the second act by Sir Despard Murgatroyd (Mr. Richard Watson), Robin (Mr. Ivan Menzies), and Mad Mar- garet, in her reformed character (Miss Eileen Kelly). It is here that Gilbert refers to his own capacity for crowding words fast and tasclnatlngly hito musical phrases:
This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter
'Isn't generally heard, and, ii it la, li doesn't
The trio was delightfully received, and had to be repeated. Following this, Miss Evelyn Hall,'at Dame Hannah, scored a personal suc- cess with her oak tree song.
This opera does not give Mr. Ivan Menzies any outstanding opportunity for his comic talents. In the first act, as the shy Robin, he was well cast. But in his later character, as the bad baronet, he made no remarkable impression, probably because his gifts are essentially whimsical and not at all melo- dramatic. On the other hand, the company's "heavy," Mr. Watson, made a pronounced hit both as Sir Despard and as the later moral prig.
Mr. Godfrey Stirling, the tenor, danced his hornpipe with spirit; and Mr. Bernard Man- ning made a dignified, if rather starchy, ap- pearance as the ghost of Sir Roderic Mur- gatroyd. The Rose Maybud was interpreted by Miss Winifred Lawson, finally must be mentioned Mr. Clifford Cowlcy's discreet but Immensely effective Old Adam Goodheart.