THE ROSCIUS DRAMATIC SOCIETY.
Members of this society appeared last night in a performance given at the Princess 1 heitre for the benefit of the free library fund. It is to be feared that *o far as yesterday's business is concerned (he effort will not push the library scheme very much ahead, for there were only sixty-six persons in the circle and the downstairs accommodation was not all taken up. Another opportunity, however, yet remains whereby the supporters of the library movement may display their earnestness and at the fame time acknowledge the dramatic club's services. 'Fate's Dec.ee' is to be repeated this evouing, and if the public roll up it will probably encourage the performers to infuse into their work a little life, and thus remedy the chief defect noticeable in last night's performance. Palgravo Simpson's drama is a piece that fairly lendsitself to the grasp of amateurs, and while, in respect to the present production, there is no riTe'aii n of suvp ising abi ity on the part of the persons engaged, it ir.ay acknowledged that individually and collectively they showed a thorough acquaintance with the work which they have been studying—the occasional nee.! to ( walk to the prompt side inav be given in without damage to the gene al statoTjin f , since a momentary forgetfulncss is by no means unusual even with prof-ssiona'.u on a fir.,t iv< ln's peiformancc ; and we e;a also say that'the dranrv is adequately mount d, most of the dresses being suitable and the s.tagc arrangement* being very crcd : table, thanks, no doubt, to the professional knowledge of tie coach, Mr Barrie Marschcl, whom stage manager would of course have the direction of affairs from b.diiud. Mr E. P. Willcocks took the put of Sir Hiilip Dcverell, a wicked knight who in order to obtain possession of certain forged bdls proceeds to murder ; Mr W. IT. Irvine appeared as Tom Sparrow, a lawyer's clerk who to please his own conceit assumes the role of an amateur detective, and, of course gets on the track of the wrong man in hi 3 Eearch for the mal-.factor ; Mr James Swan displayed moro than a little confidence in his impersonation of Dan Medlicott, a bill discounter with a happy knack of turning all his experiences to monetary advantage ; Mr R. 11. Daniels was cast as Montgomery Brown, one of the comedy characters who is asked to make fun out of the old subject of au ignoramus bcii g dressed in high collars and a stove-pipe hat: Mr D. Campbell had the honor of the juvenile l a 1 as George Aylmer, the virtuous hero who hj unjustly suspected of the murder; Mr Percy Braithwaite's career as Charles Franklin wn cut shoit by the assassination in the first act; Mr A. E. Crawford put on with ease the dignity appertaining to the banker, Mr Franklin, who as the orchestra perpetually sugge.-t d, was "a line old English gentleman " : and Mr If. P. Roberts as a footman completed the cast so far as the 7nalo characters were concerned. If a con'rast were made as between these and the women's parts, the decision would doubtless be that the fair sex had won, for, to speak the truth, the honors of the evening fairly, rested wi-h Miss Bo3e Elaney, cast as Mairm Beck, and Mi s Kitty Blaney the exponents of tho lively comedy part of Mrs Montgomery Brown, while Miss Lauia Ilanlon made a distinctly favorable impression and once or twice displayed considerable promise in Her essay ns the heroine, Luoy Fairfax. It mod to ba tho rulo to secure the services of professionals for the women's part 3 when amateur theatrical performances wvro being arranged. Recent experiences s'sow that tho old rulo can be safely abandoned, and among the ladles who have helped to e;tabb>h tho charge the exponents of the three parts first alluded to cprtainly deserve honorable mention. The orchestra engaged for Ihe production is capably directed by Mr Kob. rtshaw ; and the scenery is a c-edit t> Messrs Jaggcrs, GJaWter, and Ingleson. 'Pate's Decree' will be lepeatcd thii evening for tro last time.
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THE ROSCIUS DRAMATIC SOCIETY., Evening Star, Issue 10423, 18 September 1897