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Extraordinary Scene .at a Concert.

The mania for ’‘stonewalling” must be in the air just now. On Saturday evening the tactics which lately prevailed in Parliament were reproduced in the concert hall. There were all the essentials of the recognised stonewalling—the minority resisting the will of the majority, and even the counterpart of the now familiar display of “the Major’s hobnailed boots.” It happened at the concert given by St. Paul’s choir in the Theatre Royal. One of our most promising young lady singers— Miss Grady—had just rendered a favorite English ballad, which was so heartily appreciated that the audience demanded its repetition. Now, it has lately been made Mr Parker’s unwritten rule not to permit encores at any of his concerts, but the audience either were not aware of the rule or ignored its existence. They thundered out their applause, while Mr Parker sat at tho organ prepared to proceed with the next item of the programme. There he sat, with his back to the audience, as patiently as though waiting for the next singer to appear. Still came the applause, till the young lady who was being complimented by it, and who had sat waiting for a sign from the conductor, rose and bowed her acknowledgment. But this did not satisfy the audience and they continued to applaud. By-and-bye tho conductor drew out his watch and held

it before him as though contemplating the flying seconds. Whether meant as a piece of bravado or not it was taken as such, and caused the audience to clap with more vigor than ever. It now became evident that the question was simply one of staying power. At length faint hisses became audible. By this time the uproar had lasted nearly five minutes. Mr Parker then rose, and, turning to the auditory, appealed “ to the good taste and manners of the audience ” not to keep a number of ladies and gentlemen

waiting on the stage as they were doing.—(Cries of “ Encore.”) It was, he said, perfectly well known that at all concerts which la- had tin- i ion..r <■'. conducting the right of I'HiMref v. :i,s nut allowed. —(Renewed c/ics of Encore. ’) He was only carrying out what «. s now recognised to be the proper course at a!! concerts in England, where the “encore nuisance” hj ;d had to be put dov/n. “Make this a special case," was suggested iu a well-known Parliamentary stonewalling voic- from the dress circle. “No,” said Mr Parker, “the programme was quite long enough already,” and he thereupon resumed hi#, scat with an air of stolidity. .Salvos of applause came again from uli parts of the House for a couple of minutes. Then Mr Parker resumed the “hob-nailed boots,” and speaking with a good deal of asperity, said that if this unseemly scene continued he would consider it his duty to close the concert. Thus the cloture was applied, and after some more applause by way of protest, the coerced sconewallers retired from the contest. The scene was not creditable, probably to either side, but it was undoubtedly prolonged by Mr Parker’s obstinacy, for the encore could have been complied with in much less time than was wasted in resisting it. If an audience were expected to abide by the rule upon which he insisted the fact ought at least to have been notified beforehand. It only remains to be added that the gathering was entirely composed of the better classes of the community, none of the usual theatre “ roughs” being present.—* Post.’

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Extraordinary Scene .at a Concert., Issue 7989, 19 August 1889

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Extraordinary Scene .at a Concert. Issue 7989, 19 August 1889

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