THE RULING PASSION.
Last evening’s change pjf programme at the Princess’s Theatre oan 'scarcely be termed an improvement, for the new piece (James Willing’s ‘ Ruling Passion ’) is very much below its predecessor, ‘The Union Jack,’ in everything except scenic effects. The plot is needlessly difhcnlt to follow, the characters are almost without exception far less interesting, and the dialogue is only very occasionally anything like smart. Some people may, however, consider that these drawbacks are more than compensated for by the increased amount of sensationalism qnd mechanical stage work to be found in • Tho Ruling Passion ’; if there be any such, they will god both attributes present in ample supply, in the prologue we have the murder of a miser and a simultaneous sudden death from heart disease, while later on wp are treated to a peep inside a private lunatic asylum (where a sane inmate is made the victim of brutal usage), to a flight from the grounds of the Crystal Palace in a balloon (which desoends iu the aea. where, however, a rescue party happep to bp cjoso handy), and to sundry other exciting situation?. The scenic artist and the stage /management ceitdnly deserve great credit
for the admirable manner in which the necessarily numerous and rapid changes are carried out, and their skilful handiwork was frequently and enthusiastically applauded by tho audience. Mr George Gordon is a perfect master of perspective, and all varieties of scene appear well within his power of representation whether a long London street or a sea effect, a view in the Crystal Palace grounds or a journey through cloudland. The principal characters in ‘The Ruling Passion’ are Minnie and LauraDoone, twin sisters. The latter is married to Gerald Swain, the villain of the plot, and is by him, in furtherance of his plans for self-advance-ment, subjected to various hardships, including incarceration in a lunatic asylum. The sisters are played by Miss Blanche Lewis with much dramatic power and grace. The part of her scheming husband is, of course, taken by Mr Albert Norman, and, equally of course, with all the requisite vigor and truth to life, Mr Bland Holt is as happy as ever in the character of Nat Grey, who is described as a “philosophical vagabond,” and who is chiefly remarkable for unlimited “ cheek ” and an irrepressible flow of language, Mr Charles Holloway secured, to many minds, the chief honors of the evening by his exceedingly clever representation of two entirely different characters—the one a sordid old miser, the other an unctuous hypocritical asylum proprietor. Miss Alice Deorwyn as Gerald Swaine’s deceived second wife made up well, and played with suitable dignity; while Mrs Bland Holt as her daughter Diana was all that could bo desired, Mr Walter Howe as Harry Manly had a part almost identical with that he filled so acceptably in ‘The Union Jack ’; and Mr H. R. Roberts—who, we understand, is a son of those well-known favorites here years ago, Mr R. Roberts and his wife, whose maiden name was Polly Leake—did well as Tom Coatbridge. Miss Carry George made an exceedingly malignant helpmate to her husband Dr Dwining, and quite revelled in the cruelties that were practised in his asylum. Tho other characters in a heavy cast were all satisfactorily filled, and special mention must be made of the clever yet natural way in which “ Little May ” assumed the part of the child Laura. The musical arrangements were quite up to the mark. ‘The Ruling Passion’ will be played till further notice.
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THE RULING PASSION., Evening Star, Issue 8002, 3 September 1889
THE RULING PASSION. Evening Star, Issue 8002, 3 September 1889
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