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‘NEW BABYLON.’, Issue 8008, 10 September 1889
Another change, and that the last of the season, was made in Mr Bland Holt’s programme at the Princess Theatre last night, ‘ The Ruling Passion ’ being withdrawn in favor of ‘New Babylon,’ This latter is, unlike its predecessor, an old acquaintance of ours, Mr Holt having produced it here a number of years ago during one of his invariably triumphant progresses through the colonies. As on that occasion, he has a company numerous enough and talented enough to fill the large cast to entire satisfaction, while his scenic effects are quite up to the previous high standard — which implies that nothing more could bo desired. The collision scene seemed scarcely so realistic as before, but the immediately succeeding rescue incident was capitally worked out. Cremorne Gardens, Goodwood racecourse, Seven Dials, and tho Thames Embankment formed equally congenial subjects lor MrGordon’a facile brush, contrasting although they did so strongly in
their surroundings and in their necessarily diverse treatment. The costumes of the principal lady characters were extremely handsome and in profuse variety, so that nothing was wanting in attractiveness. Mr Holt naturally assumed his old part of the Yankee detective Flotsam, and played it with all his original dry humor and smartness. It Is hoi, however, one of his best Characters, though that ia owing to Want of ability on the part of the author rather than of the actor. Any audience out an American gne must weary of the incessant flow from Flotsam’s lips of those exaggerated similes that seem inseparable from the stage Yankee, and we fancy that it is in the short passage where the detective assumes the part of the street ballad seller—and sings a couple of comic songs very fairly, too—that Mr Holt is most appreciated. His coolness in his many times of peril one cannot help admiring ; but why he should prefer a candlestick to a revolver as a. weapon with which to intimidate, with a view of arresting, a desperate cut-throat is what we could never understand in connection with this play. Miss Blanche Lewis appeared to very great advantage in the two parts of Eunice and Bel Lorimer, playing the one with due grace and feeling and the other with all the necessary dash and vigor. Mr W. H. Seagrave made a great hit as the Jew reprobate Ezra Lazareck, while his partner in the “long firm,” The O’Sligo, was admirably represented by Mr C. Holloway, who not only invariably makes up splendidly but seems able to take equally well any part that comes to hand. Mr L. St, Lawrence created an immense amount of fun as the innocent but highly pugnacious John Jeremiah Lamb, and there is no doubt that his drollncss and vivacity went a great way towards making the whole performance the success that it was. Miss Alice Deorwyn and Mrs Bland Holt were simply charming as the friends Madge and Dora; and Miss Y. Vivienne made a very attractive “ Loo.” A powerful piece of acting was that of Miss Carrie George as Aunt Crazy, the drunken and degraded wife of one of the principal characters, The chief villain of the play was of course Mr Albert Norman, who, however, as the desperado Ramirez gave a character sketch entirely different from those with which he has previously favored us. His acting was powerful and consistent throughout. Mr H. Norman had a chance given him in being allotted the part of the ill-fated jockey Tiny Spurts, and took every advantage of the opportunity; while Mr H. Roberts as the youthful Jack Randall, Mr E. Ryan as the Chinaman Ah Luck, Mr A. Glover as Hiram Maltby, and Mr W. Howe as Vincent Vayne, all filled responsible parts in their usual conscientious style. * New Babylon ’ will doubtless run till the end of the season.
‘NEW BABYLON.’, Issue 8008, 10 September 1889
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