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9 February 1879


This charming Theatre opened last Saturday, after a short recess, which has been turned to the best possible account in the redecoration and refurnishing of the Theatre, a task which has been accomplished by Mr. E. W. Bradwell in a manner to satisfy the most fastidious taste. Indeed, the first exclamation of the visitor on entering the Theatre is an emphatic compliment to the artistic skill and exquisite taste of Mr. Bradwell, who, in this instance has caused interior decoration to be a fine art. We can hardly overpraise the beauty and grace of the Opera Comique as it now appears to the delighted audience; but our task to-night is chiefly to chronicle the new voyage of the good ship H.M.S. Pinafore, under the able command of Mr. D'Oyly Carte, who may be congratulated upon the success already attending this delightful production, and also upon the promise there is of a new career of popularity.

The opera was repeated with the advantage of the original cast, and the bright and witty dialogue of Mr. W. S. Gilbert, combined with the beautiful music of Mr. Sullivan, could not be in better hands than in those of the present company. A more whimsical and delightful impersonation of the First Lord of the Admiralty could not be imagined than the intensely humorous delineation of Mr. George Grossmith, jun., and the satire embodied in the song descriptive of the First Lord's rise from an office-stool to his high post at the Admiralty has become universally popular. No better Captain Corcoran could be found than Mr. Rutland Barrington, and if the question were put to us, "Did we ever see anything better of its kind?" we should not answer, like the Captain himself, "Hardly ever," but say "'No, never," with the utmost decision. Mr. Power again appears to advantage as the sentimental seaman with his pleasing tenor voice and defiance of all nautical rules. Mr. R. Temple once more represents the mischief-making Dick Deadeye with the most complete success; and Mr. Clifton tells us again the very satisfactory and laughable information that, spite of all temptation to be a "Roosian or a Proosian," the hero remains an Englishman. The sparkling vivacity, grace, and vocal skill of Miss Emma Howson are employed, as heretofore, in representing Josephine, “the lass who loves a sailor;" and Miss Jessie Bond prettily sustains the character of Hebe. Least of all should we forget the thoroughly humorous Little Buttercup, a part which Miss Everard makes so exceedingly comical. The opera is placed upon the stage with all the old completeness, and is conducted by Mr. Alfred Cellier, whose own pretty little operetta, After All, concludes the entertainment; while the clever and amusing sketch Cups and Saucers, by Mr. George Grossmith, junior, is the first item in this most attractive programme.

There can be little doubt that such a programme — supported, as it is, by a most admirable company, in a. Theatre unrivalled for elegance and artistic beauty — will attract larger audiences than ever, for H.M.S. Pinafore is a work which may be seen again and again with renewed enjoyment, so pleasant is its satire, so tuneful its music, and so perfect the entire representation.

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