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"THE GAY GORDONS."

CLARKE AND MEYNELL'S NEW • COMPANY. .'

"The Gay Gordon?," a musical comedy in two acts by Seymour Hicks. Music by Guy Jones. Lyrics by Arthur AVimpcris, C. 11. Bovill, P. G, Wodehousc, and Henry Hamilton. Cast— Angus Graeme Fro.nli Lincoln Nat Siddons (Showman) Tom Graves Edmund Siddons David Jefferson Andrew Quainton \V. L. Montgomery John Smith Frank Uouipton 'i'ho Martiuis of DaleEbury Frank OaUdcn Brooks Viscount Belstaira Carloton Stuart Lord Elminuton Robert Dehor Lord Mcilsham C. U. llouchum Archibald Speedy Percy Clifton Corporal Jiobert Jacla-on Janet M'Lcod Maggie Knight Victoria Siddons Nell Finnis Charlotte Siddons Nellio Cozens Stary Jt'Leod Cult PaJmer Lady St. Jermyu Mabel Dark Lady Millicent Graeme ot Lochalt Evelyn Aborn A Peasant Woman Olive Grant Peggy Quainton Florence linesun A new company in o new musical comedy is an attraction which AYcllington has yet to learn how to resist. Last evening it gave a whole-souled welcome tq Clarko and Meyuell's English Musical Company in "The Gay Gordons," by filling every ,seat in the Opera House. "The Gay Gordons" was written by Edward Seymour Hicks, himself one of England's best-known singing comedians, ana is of a type which is sure of a certain roguq by reason of the variety of interest embodied. It is, however, hardly a production calculated to make a lasting impression on the memory. It is uninspirational, yet is a bright entertainment, with lots of laughable business—as much the manufacture .of tho comedians as the author—a bright book, straining lyrics, and music that tinkles for the time being. It is fortunate, 100, that "Tho Gay Gordons" hits been entrusted to a lot of olevcr people, who make the pace very lively throughout by individual oomie farce. Scope for this is found in tho ultra-farcical front half of the first act where the fun waxes wildly hilarious, and tho burlesque sketchings of tho second act which, by the way, has a touch here and there which would bo better omitted. The versatility of the players is given a fair opportunity for display on several occasions whea-e broad comedy is subdued to permit tho enactment of two or three little scenes, of tender tone, in which quite a sincere note was struck by tho protagonists, Miss Florcnco liuesOn and Mr. Frank Lincoln, both of whom are exceptionally clever people, and had a commensurate reception. "The Gay Gordons" has a slip of a plot, in which the head of tho Gordons and tho whole of the clan are immediately concerned. The heir to the chieftainship has been mislaid in some mysterious way, and the castle' has, prior to annexation by the Crown, been let to the wealthy American, Andrew Quainton, who has in Peggy Quainton a very charming daughter. Peggy, being a loyal little American, abhors the popular* drift of her countrywomen into the ranks of tho British aristocracy, aud has sworn not (o marry a title. In a frolicsome fit she changes places with a strolling fortune-teller, niid, in her motley, meets the man of her hoait—Angus Graeme, a private in the Gordon Highlanders. Angus is no half-hearted wooor, and, in tho Course of a charmingly-acted scene, gains tho affection of tho little American girl, who is delighted that lovo has como to her in the humble tartan of a soldier lad. Comes the news that tho long-lost heir to tho "estates hns been found in tho person of Angus Graeme. His first thought is that, by gaining the title, lie might lose lus sweetheart, and, to hold her secure, ho arranges a big deception, whereby ho shall still bo plain Angus until ho can arrange to break tho news that he is really an Earl. This he decides to do through Peggy's brother, who is expected to arrive at "the castle at any time. The plan agley," ,for Peggy, in lior gay sprightliness, 11111 personates lier brother to Angus, who unburdens his position, and tho difficulty it entails, before discerning tho masquerade. : Poggy is almost'heartbroken at the manner in which she has been deceived, but tho , American sir] is always practical, and Cupid argues so persistently that tho breach is healed, and happiness ensured before the curtain descends. Tho comcdy has an attractive setting, divided between a scene in tho Highland moors aud one of the grounds of Mcllrosc Castle, both of which, bv the way, have been artistically painted by Mr. Phil Goatcher. A protty effect, is admirably realised on the rise of the curtain. It is tho dark before dawn, and tho mists lio heavy oil the craggy hills- A glimmer- of light outlines .the near rocks and distant horizon, and, as tho mist lifts at the bidding of approaching day, the pink of dawn flushes tho distant hill-tops and, growing, suffuses tho whole scene in warm glow—tho prelude to an amber day. Tito effect is heightened by an appropriate solo and chorus, which is a sort of invocation to tho dawn.

Of tho principals, Mr. Frank Lincoln stands out as especially competent. With a personality tliat grips at once, lie is a quick and clever comedian, who never misses a point, an ideal lover, and can tomfool with tho best of them. Ho was quite successful , in Hie catchy "Jlr. M'Kic" song, "Now that ray Ship's Come Home," and in tho duet You, You, You" with Miss lmeson. This little lady has a pretty piquancy of manner and pose which arc 'distinctly ingratiating, and, in smart time, sho was on tho best of terms with her audience. Unfortunately her songs were not as pretty as herself. Tho excoption was "Molly O'Hara," a lively lilt in emerald green. Miss ImMon showed a nice touch or two where tho dramatic interest deepened, and, as an offset, displayed plenty of ability as a dancer. Mr. Tom Graves extracted plenty of fun out of tho part of Nat Siddons, a broken-down showman. with a predilection for the "mountain dew" of the Gordons. His humour is natural to a great extent, which is all the inoro reason why ho should not strain it by adding certain touches. Mr. Oakdon-Brookes, a pleasiii" light baritone, as the Marquis oi Dalesbury, sang "The Regiment of Gordons" with spirit, and joined Miss Olive Jalm in tho duet "My Heart's in tho Highlands." Miss Nell Finiiis made a very attractive Victoria Siddons, and fang -"'Miss Innocent" and "Come Along, Little Girls" roguishly.' Jlr. Daniel Jelferson was thin and miserable enough as Edmund Siddons, and Mr. AY. J. Montgomery appeared to advantage as an intensely English American. Miss Maggie Knight also shied at the Scotch accent, but otherwise was most acceptable as Angus Graeme's dear old stepmother. Miss Cliff Palmer appeared to advantage as Mary M'Leorl, mid Miss Nellio Cozens displayed a good taste for broad comedy as Mrs. Siddons. Tho orchestra, under Mr. F. Wynne Jones, was well under control.

Tiio , audience included his Excellency the Governor, Lady Islington, and a party from Government House.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DOM19110916.2.55

Bibliographic details

"THE GAY GORDONS.", Dominion, Volume 4, Issue 1234, 16 September 1911

Word Count
1,154

"THE GAY GORDONS." Dominion, Volume 4, Issue 1234, 16 September 1911

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