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From The Aberdeen Weekly Journal
, Thursday, March 24, 1881.


There has seldom been a more thoroughly enjoyable entertainment in Aberdeen than that which occupies the boards of Her 'Majesty's Theatre this week in Gilbert and Sullivan's popular opera "H.M.S. Pinafore," played entirely by juveniles. Youthful precocity is not always edifying, but "H.M.S. Pinafore" lends itself peculiarly to presentation by children, in whose mouths all the whimsicality and extravagance, which are the attraction of the piece, become doubly effective. The humorous dialogue, gravely delivered, sounds irresistibly quaint, and the burlesque of the opera is greater than ever when acted by tiny children – and acted so well, and with such a complete appreciation of the spirit of the piece.

Nothing could well be more adapted to bring out all the humour of the opera than its performance by the company now in Aberdeen, of which the principals are almost without exception those who appeared some fifteen months ago at the Opera Comique in London. Where all are so excellent it is not easy to specify, but perhaps Miss Ettie Masson [=Effie Mason] as the"Little Buttercup" and Master Willie Phillips as Dick Deadeye deserve to be mentioned as particularly artistic. The former acts throughout with inimitable gravity, and her songs are admirably rendered, while the "business" of the latter is really perfect, and his singing in the duet with the captain produces invariably an unanimous encore. Master [J.] E. Pickering as Sir Joseph. Porter reproduces all the humour of the character in even a more humorous form, and Master Coburn as Ralph Rackstraw sings the difficult music falling to that part in a manner which few adults could excel. Miss Emilie Grattan as Josephine acts with exquisite grace and taste, and Master Grattan's Captain Corcoran is a complete embodiment of the idea of the part. Master Persano plays the boatswain's mate exceedingly well, and surely nothing is more wonderful than the performance of the diminutive midshipmite, whose every action is carefully and minutely studied. Hebe is also well played, and the training of the chorus, as well as the principaIs, has been such as to make the entire performance even more enjoyable than that of the same opera with adults.

The theatre has been well filled nightly, and encores have been almost universal. Last night the house was crowded, and the enthusiasm was boundless, Dick Deadeye on his call before the curtain being manifestly for once a "popular character." Certainly no one should miss seeing during the week an entertainment as unique as it is novel.

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