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FOOTLIGHT FLASHES., Issue 10460, 2 November 1897
[By Call Boy.J Miss Ada Crossley baa been “ resting” on the Continent prior to fulfilling her engagement at the Birmingham Festival. Miss Mabel Lane, the Melbourne actress, who played all through the long run of ‘ Charley’s Aunt ’ at the Globe 'Theatre, London, has sailed for South Africa as a member of Mr George Edwardea’a ‘ Secret Service ’ Company, Miss Bessie Doyle, the violinist, will return to Melbourne at the end of the year, and give a series of concerts. She has adopted the nom de theatre of Eileen O’Moore. Maggie Moore and her company met with a fine reception at the Melbourne Royal in ‘ Jacquelina’ on October 16. Miss Ada Juneen has gone into management at Melbourne, having leased the Biiou over Christmas for a season of burlesque and comedy. * An Irish Gentleman,’ the joint work of David Christie Murray and J. L. Shine, is still being played, despite the shower of adverse criticism which attended its initial performance. Its life at the Globe Theatre in the metropolis was, however, short, and it is now being toured. The piece has been very considerably improved, no attempt being now made to try and hide the hero’s liking for “ special Scotch.” He still goes out to . New Zealand in the second act and swears ! but is got under the influence by the ' villains drugging his tea. And at this juncture is still the weakest scene of the play. EllaleenDunrayne is brought in and finds him asleep. Her attempt to find out whether the sleep is a natural one or the ; result of a drunken carousal is absurd. It i is is a very weak scene, and the authors would do well to accept the suggestion ol ■ the theatrical gossip writer in the ‘ Referee, : i who recommends that Gerald Dorsev should’, J under the influence of his potations’ ; be made to act as, it is said in ' the play, <did his papa, who, when the ! whisky was in and the wits out, would . cuddle every girl he met without staying tc , inquire whether she was duchess or dairyl maid. Such a course on the part of Gerald i Dorsay would be quite sufficient to keep Ellaleen Dunrayne estranged from him till ; the play had worked out to its prescribed ; length. As a touring piece, despite its ' faults, * An Irish Gentleman ’ seems to be t meeting with a cordial reception. 1 A sad piece of news for the fair sex ol , New York was contained in a paragraph ir - a London daily last Saturday. It seems , that M. Paderewski has parted with his ; “aureole of old gold”; in other words, has taken the advice of the impertinent small : boys, who always greeted the great pianist ■ with a line of that once popular song ‘ Gel your ’air cut.’ Paderewski is spending c holiday on his new Polish estate, which ad joins that of the De Reszkes, and it is said [ that these favorite operatic singers have stated that they will soon entice the pianist on to a bicycle. ! It is a somewhat remarkable fact that, : after remaining for long years neglected bj i the composer, Washington Irving’s story oi 1 * H'P Van Winkle ’ should have been within ! a comparatively short period made the sub- ’ ject of no less than three operas with English , libretti. First there was the ‘Rip Van . Winkle’ composed by Planquette to a librettc . by the late Henri Meilhac and another. > Then there was one not quite so well known, i written and set to music by an American i composer named Bristow. And now a new ■ version has come from Mr William Akerman and Mr Franco Leoni. This latest 1 version was produced for the first time last 1 Saturday night, at Her Majesty’s Theatre. It purports to be a serious rendering of the [ subject, but the scheme of the work only > differs in very small particulars from Plan- ; quette s opera, and the music is very disap- ! pointing. Their aim at something big and i grand ends in mediocrity, while at times i there is a melody familiar, but which baffles ‘ the memory in any attempt to place it. In | fact, the new ‘ Rip Yan Winkle ’ rather • deserves the criticism it has received. It has been called amateurish on good grounds. THE FIRM’S It EXT VENTURE. I Mr Harry Paulton, who will make the I acquaintance of a Dunedin audience in the ’ early part of December, first appeared on the ; English stage in 1861. In 1865 he was en--1 gaged for three seasons at the Theatre Royal Glasgow, and became exceedingly popular. Mr Paulton’s real connection with the London ■ stage may be said to have begun in 1870, when he was engaged with the Strand Thsatre as Blueskin in the burlesque of The Idle Prentice, In 18/2 he joined the company of the Alhambra Theatre, with which he remained for over five ; years, appearing during that period for the most part in opera bouffe. A few years , ago he relinquished this line and took to t comedy (principally farcical) at the Strand Theatre, London. He has since visited . America and the Continent several times ; and has always met with receptions that i have amply demonstrated his popularity ! Whilst attending to his duties as principal [ comedian, he has found time in the intervals i to write many light comedies and comic ; operas, including ‘ Niobe,’ which was made 1 familiar to us by the Brough Company, and ; the books of ‘ Manteaux Noir,’ ‘ Erminie,’ ‘ Pepita,’ and others. Miss Alma Stanley, ; w ho is an actress of considerable brilliancv, made her appearance on the stage in December, 1873, in ‘ Luorezia Borgia,’ and subsequently in the pantomime ‘ Cinderella’at the Theatre Royal, Hull, In 1876 she finally relinquished pantomime. Played most successfully at various theatres with the late Mr Phelps in ‘ Henry VIII. ’ ‘ Richelieu,’ and ‘ School for Scandal.’ Miss Stanley prefers heavy plays to comedy, and attributes muchS of her success to the fac, that she had a long training at the beginning of her career in Shakespearian plays. She has been associated with Mr Paulton in various London successes. Our London correspondent, writing on September 10, says ; I notice the writer of the theatrical notes in the ‘ Daily Mail ’ says “ the forthcoming production for the first timein English, though not in England, of ‘Francillon’ is arousing a fast-growing interest—the more especially as it will make its appearance at the Duke of York’s Theatre under so famous a management as that of Messrs Williamson and Musgrove, of America. Antipodeans, I have always understood, are somewhat proud of their theatrical entrepreneurs and the good fare they provide for colonial audiences, and I fancy they would not thank anyone to call Messrs Williamson and Musgrove an American firm. ‘ Francillon,»the very Anglicised work of Dumas fils, will be much the same ‘Francillon ’ as played by Mrs Brown-Potter and Mr Kryle Bellew throughout the colonies a few months ago. The cast for the English production has been made up, and in the part of Francine, Comtease De Rivefolles, in of course, Mrs Brown-Potter, while Mr Kryle Bellew is the Lucien Comte De Riverolles. Perhaps no better illustration of the wide difference between the English and French versions can be given than the fact that Mr Bellew a part as the hero of the piece does not appear in the French version, but is only referred to. In looking down the cast the only name I notice that I remember as being well known to Australian audiences is that of Miss Grace Noble, who played for a long while in Australia with the Brough and Boucicault Company. Miss Noble takes the part of Annette to Mr Arthur Elwood’s Henri. The love episode between Annette and Henri, which acts as a foil to the semi-tragedy of the Comte and Comtesae De Riverolles, is the one thing that makes it apparent that the dramatist does not intend to condemn marriage. The production is being looked forward to by the feminine portion of the community with very considerable interest owing to the fact that the whole piece is to be costumed by Worth, of Paris. Not in the present fashion, mind you, but in what is to be the fashion next season. One great innovation that is predicted is that all dinner dresses will have special trains. The .first performance of ‘Francillon’ is to be on September 18. Messrs Williamson and Musgrove are in for a very big order indeed in London this season. When it was announced that ■ they were taking over the Shaftesbury in October it was understood that it was to run comic opera there, but such seems not to be the case, another house having been engaged for this venture. I understand that Miss Nellie Stewart is to be the prima donna, and will make another attempt to win her way into
the hearts of London audiences as she has done with Australian. The first opera- that if to be tried is ‘The Scarlet Feather,’ an adaptation of ‘ La Petite Marie,’ Dot Boucicault, of whom so very little has been heard since ho came to England from Australia last year, has undertaken a season at the Court Theatre in conjunction with Mr Arthur Chudleigh. One of their principal engagements hap been that of Miss Hilda Spong for a period of six mouths. I am pleased to see that an Australian is appearing just at present with marked success in the cast of ‘ The King’s Highway’— a ‘Dick Turpin’ sketch which holds the boards at the South London Theatre. “ Carados,” in the ‘ Referee,’ writing of her performance, says that “the clever Australian jumping mare Wiapera enacts the star part. Black Bess, with more ‘insight’ and with more snbildty than that difficult character has ever been represented in my experience. - ’ The name Wiapera (it is, I think meant for Waipera) savors more of Maoriland than of the island continent; but what does that matter. The fact remains that we have another colonial gaining laurels on the London stage. Charley Godfrey, who was troubled with paralysis in Westralia, is gradually improving in health since hia return to England. He is to make his reappearance at the Oxford and one or two other music halls shortly. It was only definitely decided a few days ago that Wilson Barrett and his company should make the trip to the colonies in January next—at least so I am informed. Just at present he is playing at the Lyric ‘ The Sign of the Cross,’ which will be the ■pUce de resistance oi the colonial tour. He put it on intending to withdraw it after a fortnight or so, but it is booked so far ahead that the date of its withdrawal is uncertain. This certainly speaks well for its popularity. A copyright performance of the drama in four acts founded on Mr Stanley Weyman’s novel ‘A Man in Black,’ by Mr H. Williams,’ was given last week at the Vaudeville Theatre. " This week both the Japanese musical play the ‘ Geisha,’ at Daly’s, and the comedy entitled ‘A Night Out,’at the Vaudeville, reached their five-hundredth consecutive performance. Both are still going strong ; in fact the other night when I wanted to go in to revive my pleasant recollections of the ‘ Geisha ’ I found that there was not a vacant seat in the house.
FOOTLIGHT FLASHES., Issue 10460, 2 November 1897
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