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BY THE ORPHANS' CLUB. ■•And his name is mostly Bill," wrote Henry Lawson in reference to his favorite subject, tho swagger, or sundowner. To all appearances all the Bills of tho bush wcro mustered on the stage of His Majesty's Theatre last night, there to celebrate the birthday of one particular Bill, whoso disguise, wo might whisper in confidence, did not altogether hide his identity,, and whom wo strongly suspect to have been none other than the popular president of the Orphans' Club. Tho raising of the curtain disclosed a very effective bush setting, with camp fire, over which the inevitable billy was boiling ( whilo the many Bilks sprawled round in picturesque attitudes. And the proposal that, while the billy boiled, those present should hold a "shivoo" in honor of tiik Bill was "carried unanimous," after the one dissentient had been summarily disposod of. Bill then started the ball rolling with tho song 'My Birthday,' and this was followed by a humorous ditty entitled ' 1 do love my wife,' sung with much feeling by Bill. Stung to emulation. Bill No. 3 broke into melody, and described a Conversazione which happened somewhere in Ireland in the days of his youth. Doubtless anticipating a too-hilarious states of affairs at this juncture, the programme provided for a serious part song, • The Old Brigade,' by all tho Bills ; four of whom, not yet exhausted, next rendered 'Home, Sweet Home' on tho suggestion of the chapcrone of a picnic party which had been invited to share in tho fun. Just about here entered the curate, a wandering sheep from the said picnic party, and the boys welcomed him with the derisive quartet ' Simple Simon.' Meantime Sleepy Bill, who had been fishing off the bridgo with not-too-great success, came down stage and put a request, in tho form of a musical monologue, for ' Twenty Gallons of Sleep.' He was not allowed to slumber, however, and was brought back to recite another item. Tho curate, whose name really was Simon, but who was, for the sake of uniformity, addressed as Bill, then told his audience, in a diverting manner, something of his life, and finished by reading .some "notices" that were of an entirely original character. ATI then adjourned to tho barn for a cup of tea, etc., the second act showing an interior, with tho eamc Bills and the "female" members of the picnic party thoroughly enjoying themselves. Here, howover, entered a new character, whoso kilts, to say nothing of his accent, belied the name "Bill" by which he was called. This Bill from the Highlands sang ' Tho Wedding of Sandy M Nab,' and had to return and give ' Turn Over.' Still the boys (and the audience) were unsatisfied, so he acceded to a voiced request and told of the glorias of 'A Wee Doch an Doris.' Lonely Bill having dropped in, also obliged, with ' Laugh, and the World Laughs With You,' which brought on Bill No. 8 or 0 with ' The Old Sundowner,' and yot another with 'Jim.' Some card tricks by " Tricky Bill," and a duet, ' We've Worked Eight Hours This Day,' by two more Bills, brought the birthday party to a close. The entertainment may be described as unique and highly amusing, and the Dunedin Orphans' Club are to be complimented on carrying it to such a successful issue. It was a "full houeo" hist night, over £lO7 being taken at the door, so that the British and Belgian relief fund will benefit substantially, money for tho salo of tickets having yet to be added to this amount. Except, porhaps, for the last fow minutes, the show was not allowed to drag, and though one or two of the performers suffered momentarily from "loss of memory," tho lapse was scarcely perceptiblo and quite excusable. The make-ups were admirable, and it would be invidious to single out any particular character. Wo may 'bo permitted to break through their anonymity, however, and to 6ay that those who contributed items were : Bros. J. Leech, J. M'Connell, W. Gray, S. HOsborn, W. W. Crawford, Mearns, H. Russell, A. Sligo, and R. Booth, those by Bros. Crawford, Mearns, and Osborn especially pleasing tho audience. The club orchestra, under the baton of Bro. J. Haggitt, rendered excellent service. Osborn and M'Connell wcro stage managers.

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Bibliographic details

SUNDOWNERS'ENTERTAINMENT, Evening Star, Issue 15665, 2 December 1914

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SUNDOWNERS'ENTERTAINMENT Evening Star, Issue 15665, 2 December 1914