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AMUSEMENTS, Issue 15677, 16 December 1914
'HUMPTY DUMPTY' PANTOMIME. When t\e heavens opened last night and the steady thud of rain on the gleaming pavements had driven wayfarers home, the public comfortably ensconced within His Majesty's Theatre were cheerfully unconcerned with anything save the lighthearted dalliance of the comedians behind tho proscenium borders. Stephenson and Linley's latest pantomime, ' Humpty Dumpty,' comes as a pleasant interregnum between just defunct vaudeville and approaching drama, and it proved last night a really good effervescent cordial, a complete antiseptic for the microbe of melancholy, an admirable promoter of cheerfulness and good humor to the most limphearted. No public willing to pay respect to merit rather than to persons could fait to be impressed by the crispness, freshness, and vigorous ingenuity of this new entertainment, and if one seems to be postulating a rather extraordinary catalogue of virtues for the pantomime, at least the advocacy of last night's audience, betrayed in unstinted applause, forestalls and "justifies such attitude. Of course, thore are weak spots in this, as in every entertainment thrown into the public domain. For example, an arid period in the first act. when the vehicle seemed to pause like a motor as tho chauffeur changes gear on a hill; but from that period to the fine finale the panto, develops in a crescendo of fun, furnishing a. fine stout volume of amusement that commands respect, and something more. Naturally, a good deal of the credit for the success of the pantomime rests with the author, Mr Harry Taylor. AVriters of musical plays are generally regarded theso days as mere providers of skeletons, upon which stage directors hang the embroideries that push the vehicle along. But Mr Taylor has certainly written a book of very up-to-date, ingenious, and tonical complexion, and furnished many smooth and well-turned lyrics of bright, if slight, texture. Tho other factors of the undoubted success were the handsome costuming and staging of the» production and the fluency and tact of the. artists handling it. The clever work of a few of the principals redeemed the occasional pcrfunctoriness inevitable in shows of tho kind. In Mr Con. Moreni the management have ono of the best "dames" we have seen. Mr Moreni is not the stout -comedian with whom, somehow, humor is still assooiated in the simple mind. As the saving has it, '" fat men are not always the best drivers of fat oxen," which, translated into tho theatrical vernacular, means " fat men are not always the best purveyors of 'fat' parts." Mr Moreni is very thin, but be possesses tho most covetablo of natural gifts—humor—and his portrayal of the AA r idow Buttercup is'crammed with good things, and uproariously funny. His companion comedian, Ernest Loshbrook (Tiddly Wink, tho barber), is also buoyant, and not patently short of his fellow-funmakor; and since the whole of tho comedy pivots round these two, there is no abatement of merriment while they are on the stages—which is always. Tho "principal boy" (Jack Buttercup), without whom no pantomime would be complete, is Miss Olive Robinson, a handsomely proportioned artist, with a big, full voice that proved of magnificent service in tho splendidly-staged song and tableau 'Empire is Calling,' as well as in tho pretty duet with Lolita, ' Love that Makes the AA'orld go Round,' perhaps the most melodic lyric in the book. Miss Mollie King is" Lolita .(principal girl), rather amateurish, but the possessor of a fair mer.zo voice of clear if tenuous quality. The sensation of the first act is furnished by the brilliant acrobatic act of Lennon, Hyman, and Lennon, soino of whose feats in"tumbling are of scalp-tightening nature. The spectacular finale to the second act, 'The Grand March of the Allies,' is also excellent, and last night stirred tho audience to the point of fervor. It remains only to say that a handsome bevy of choral posturists fill the stage throughout, there are some well-arranged ballets, a-nd many other principals in addition to those mentioned are valuable adjuncts to tho entertainment, notably Mr Chas. Howard (King Dazzlum) and Miss Ida lngersol (Humpty Dumpty). Tho pantomime will bo played again tonight. NEW QUEEN'S THEATRE. The "Perpetual" offers a great attraction in a Keystone film entitled ' The Property Man,' with Charles Chaplin as "Props." The supporting subjects feature a.-, excellent love-story drama, ' The Telltale Scar' (a pathetic and touching story), '.Sunnv Jim in Search of a Mother,' etc. This programme was submitted again at the ueual sessions to-day. PLAZA PICTURES. Large audiences fill the Plaza Picture Palace' daily and nightly. ' Caryl of the Mountains'' (drama, 1,000 ft) heads the list. 'Lisheth' is also a good him ot I,oooft. The many other items complete an exceptionally good programme, which will bo repeated to-night. KING EDWARD THEATRE. Tho South Dunedin Theatre continues to boom, and the programme contains many fine films, anion: which is 'The Wrath of the God 6* <a tale of old Japan;. Other pictures are 'A Six-foot Romance,' ' J'he Gaumont Graphic,' and many others, all of which will be rescreened to-day and this evening. FULLERS' PICTURES. 'A Woman's AVa-y,' an interesting photo plav, heads tho current programme at the King's Theatre. 'Life in Senegal' is an extremely interesting film, a number of views depicting fishing operations being most life-like. " The programme, which also includes a number of war views, will bo shown again to-night. HAYAA'ARDS* PICTURES. The current programme at the Octagon Hall is a most interesting colelction of pictures, including dramas, sccnics, .ind comedies, and the latest war views. _T he titles of the chief films are 'The AVr.v.h
of the Gods,' 'Toledo, Spain,' ' Feathered Acrobats,' and ' Colonel Heezaliar's Shipwreck.' This programme will be shown again this evening.
AMUSEMENTS, Issue 15677, 16 December 1914
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