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Our London correspondent writes : : Auttralian theatrical enterprisesin London have, with the exception of W. J. Hollowaj's short season at Terry's Theatre, almost invariably, resulted in financial failure. I ana, therefore, not" specially sanguine that the season which Williamson.and Muegrove announce at the unlucky Shaftesbury Theatre will yield them a fortune. For one « n S \ ' ,??! tner Mrs '■ Brown-Potter nor .;, Curly Bellew have ever really caught on. s wuh the London public. The lady's talents are nndeniable, but her- charms are'a trifie mature, and even the picturesqueV Kyrle (who can t be far off sixty) is aot so dietractingly handsome and juvenile as he ÜBed t0 , b ?: However, "the play's the thing," ,and if the management have:a really strong piece in reserve ; r* all,", as. the melodramatio Villain says,"' well." , 7 i' A far more; promising "ventured-is that which. Dot "Boucicault contemplates at the Court Theatre in October. andnaturexf thepl'ay this astute little man means business with remains a secret, but Hilda Spong has •'signed and a Bix months', engagement, as leading lady, and tells me she is to have a first-cla.* a comedy part. Mr Boucicault inherits his.sire's judgment in theatrical matters and also his gift for stage management. The excellence with which he produced '* My Friend" the Prince '.at the Garrick proved this.' I shall, look forward with much interest, to his season in Chelsea. .-■.'.-■

Madame Soldene leaves for another, expedition to. the Australian colonies in the course of the next few weeks. She meditates making a book about and, in her own words, means to "put everybody in." The fair Emily, even her enemies admit, wields an exceedingly racy pen, and I can imagine that the careers of your public men limned by it might prove highly entertaining reading. Madame's 'Reminiscences,'as you are aWare, created a huge stir in more ih<m one august family. To meet your youthful indi cretions resuriested. jn. print long after you have becomes prop of the Empire cannot be,pleasant. ' There were ructions at la Soldene's publisher's and even rumors of libel. But they have all quieted down. The ex-prima donna looks very well, though she is somewhat fuller in the figure than before she went to Australia. -.■•".. . -

Mr C. Haddon Chambers's new drama, 'ln the Days of the Duke,' was produced at the Adelphi Theatre last night with complete succeß\ It is. of course, a Wellington play, introducing the hero of Waterloo first of all in India, and afterwards at the climax of his fortunes.... The. great scenes aire the historic ball of the of Richmond at Brussels on the eve of Quatre Bras, and the field of Waterloo on the night after the battle. The plot doesn't appear to matter much. o£course, Mr Terris's pale lut fetching fao3 is involved in; shame by {the ever villainous Charles Cartrwiight, and, needless to say, Miss Millward is idolatrouely beloved by both. Marion Terry (in a golden wig) acts Term's wife in the prologue, bub in the play proper she is his mother. The cast altogether covers a foot of programme, but the tableaux are apparently the strength of the play. Mr Chambers met with a big reception on the final fall on the curtain. In this week's ' Era' there is an interview with Mr Kyrle Belle w, who appears to-morrow night after an absence from the London stage of ten years. Mr Bellewhas confidence in the success of «Francillon,' and as the only pressing engagement he and Mrs Potter have is one for an Australian tour with Messrs Williamson and Musgrove other plays in their repertoire will be produced should the success anticipated for 'Francillon ' at the Duke of York's be equal to expectations. The experience of Mrs Potter and Mr Bellew iu their travels is that, whatever the fluctuations of the drama, liberal support has been accorded without variation to the legitimate.- Says Mr Bellew : Take Australia. I suppose there is no more acute management in the world at this moment than that of Mr Williamson and Mr Musgrove and what is their course ? Why, they go straight for Hamlet" and 'As You Like It' It is the same everywhere, and there is no corner of the kpghsh-speaking world, with a building capable of accommodating an audience, that I and Mrs Potter have not visited—aye, again and again. So completely have we established ourselves in the four corners of the earth" that I think I could approximate the receipts, at point and point, of a tour round the world. Compare the case of a London actor. How apt he is to be.forced into a groove and to remain there. If he resents the groove his alternative is to become a manager ; and I have no intention whatsoever of seeking the management of a London theatre. Otherwise he niay be without an occupation. My own case is that if congenial employment be not forthcoming in London I have.the wide world to choose from. Truly a wide field.

At the Ga'rrick Theatre last week was revived Offenbach's comic opera 'La Peri"hole.' This opera has been seen, and I t link I must say appresaed, at a much more rcoent date in the colonies than in London. There has sprung up hero an entirely new theatre.going generation to enjoy the musio of Offenbach, who was a veritable master of the tuneful, sparkling musio, which is bo infinitely superior to what we get so muob. of now in not only musioal plays and burlesques, but also in comio operaß. Miss Florence Bb. John is the light" hearted singer La Perichole in the new revival, and charmingly she fills the part. An interesting feature of the first night was the presence in the stalls of Miss Emily Soldene, a lady not altogether unknown in Australasia and a famous La Perichole of former days. She seemed to enjoy the performance as much as anybody, and her applause was both hearty and frequent. Someone his compiled the interesting ipiece of information that 'The Sign of the Cross,' or the ' Sign,' as everyone now calls it for short, has* been produced no less than 3,000 times in various parts of the world, and been witnessed by fully 6,000,000 people. I do not want to throw discredit on this painstaking person's calculation, but I would just like to point out that 3,000 goes into 6,000,000 just 2,000 times, and 3,000 performances with an average attendance of 2,000 are hard to swallow.

If public opinion is in accord with Press criticism, Messrs Williamson and Musgrove's first venture at the Duke of York's Theatre will not have a very long lease of life. 'Francillon' was produced on Saturday night in the most gorgeous manner, and Mrs Brown Potter and Mr Kyrle Bellew were given a most enthusiastic reception. The play, however, has met with almost universal condemnation. Problem plays in any case have little vogue in England at present, and in the adaptation of this work of Dumas fits the wit and life of the dialogue have to a large extent been lost. There is no dramatio incident to rise superior at any part to the dialogue, hence, the unfavorable impression the play made. The plot is simply this: Francillon De Riverolles, suspecting that her husband has been untrue to her, pretends to be herself taking the liberty which he enjoys ; but this pretence is afterwards proved at its true value, and the husband, having been sufficiently scared, swears fidelity. Mr Belief's Lucien comes in for considerable praise, for by his refined diction and concentration of effects ho succeeds in making interesting a character that in less capable hands would be a bore. With Mrs Brown Potter it is. otherwise. She apparently fails to grasp the charaoter of Francine, and by too Bharp contrasts in her effects attracts one's attention and conveys the impression of straining after and falling short of the effect aimed at. The many little tricks she has, such as running her hands over her brow, breaking into a smile and letting it gradually die away, picking up small articles and throwing them to various corners of the stage, all come in for severe condemnation. Nevertheless, Mrs Potter has the gift of the truly great actress in making her presence felt, and without her the play would be indeed dull I am of opinion, that in a tragedy part Mrs Potter will appear to greater -advantage. One of the refreshing features of «Francillon' is the acting of Miss Grace Noble, who for a long time was a member of the Brough and Boucicault Company.- As -Annette De Riverolles she is a : delightfully sensitive ingenue to Mr Arthur Elwood's sympathetio and earnest Henrr De : Symieujc. The dressing by Worth, of Paris, comes fully-up to sanguine expectations, arid Messrs Williamson and Musgrove's -mounting is on the most lavish scale. .In fact, the dressing, cast, and appointments may be enough to carry a*very weak piece through a lengthy season. >" ;

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FOOTLIGHT FLASHES., Issue 10470, 13 November 1897, Supplement

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FOOTLIGHT FLASHES. Issue 10470, 13 November 1897, Supplement

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