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‘OLIVER TWIST.’, Issue 7989, 19 August 1889
At the Princess’s Theatre on Saturday evening ‘ Jo ’ was replaced by another adaptation of Dickens’s w'orks, the play selected being ‘ Oliver Twist,’ with Baby Ogden in the leading juvenile part. The attendance was not large, but the audience seemed thoroughly satisfied with the representation given by the compinv of this familiar work. It is an extremely difficult thing to endeavor successfully to condt use any one of Dickens’s works into a three-act play of ordinary length without materially lessening tho attractiveness of the work, and it was therefore not surprising that many present left with a somewhat disappointed feeling, more so if they were intimately acquainted with ii’id realised the many telling situations contained in the hook. It was at times somewhat difficult to imagine that it was an adaptation of Dickens’s ‘ Oliver Twist ’ which was being played, so relentlessly had the dramatist used the pruning knife; hut the piece was not without .exciting situations and a dialogue which could not but fail to intei estand to please those present. As the little outcast Baby Ogden again displayed a knowledge of the requirements of tho part that many an older and more experienced actor would have failed to give prominence to, and the audience were not slow in recognising the abilities of the little performer. In the first aet she sang ‘ Please give me a penny, sir ’ with such feeling that, emanating as it did from one so childish, it seemed scarcely realistic, hut incongruous. Mr D’Orsay Ogden made his first appearance here as the old Jew Fagin, and gave a consistent representation of the character. Speaking generally, his performance was a creditable one, and we should like to see a little more of him. As Nancy Sikes, Miss Helen Fergus was not a success, but this may beaccountedforby the factthatMrßarry Marshall as Bill Sikes was completely out of his element, there being an entiye absence of those characteristics which form such a conspicuous part of the character as created by the author. Mr Harry Power was happily cast as the Artful Dodger, but Charley Bates found a weak representative in Miss Emilia Dawson. As Bumble, the beadle, Mr Joseph Smith created m.pch amusement, and made tho most out of the psrt, which suited him well. As Hie philanthropist Brownlow, Mr Harry Savilie was sufficiently dignified, and at times tenderhearted, hut the character of Monks found an extremely tame exponent in Air W. Godfrey, Subsidiary parts were satisfactorily filled by Misses Pamwell (Mrs Bedwin), Melrose (Rose Maylie), Mailland (Mrs Corney), and Mr J. Wilson (Toby Crackit). Tho ptaging was fairly good, while the view of London Bridge and the closing scene received a round of applause. There were some tiresome waits, however, which protracted the play considerably, and it would be well for the management to avoid them in future. ‘ Oliver Twist ’ will be repeated this evening, and to morrow night ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ will be produced, with Baby as Little Eva,
‘OLIVER TWIST.’, Issue 7989, 19 August 1889
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