"Clouds." | The Dramatic and Pantomimic Sparks Company last night produced, for the first ; time in Christchurch, Marsden's Comedy- ' drama " Clouds," a cleverly adapted stage I version of a very interesting novel. The '■ story, briefly told, is as follows : — The Hon : Walter Randall, ex-member of Congress (Mr Harry Douglass), has a son, Ralph (Mr \ Henry Hoyte), and a daughter, Ella (Miss ; Chrissie Peachy). The son he wishes to marry to the daughter of an old friend, Cora Adair (Miss Mary Weir), and the daughter is in love with Fred Town (Mr St Lawrence), a gentleman ' I artist, somewhat Bohemian in his tastes. Walter's plans are likely to be frustrated through his son having contracted marriage with Stella (Mrs G. B. W. Lewis) a friendless orphan whom he befriended when her father was killed by a railway , accident. The play opens when Stella is in the enjoyment of her home, possessing the love of her husband and child. Her happiness is speedily destroyed by the dis- : covery that her marriage had been a sham, ! and that her lover has returned to his ' father's house. In her despair she finds a friend in Fred, who, at her solicitation, secures her the position of housekeeper in Walter's house. Here she is kindly received by Ella, but superciliously treated by Cora. Disguised aa a widow she witnesses the proposal of Ralph to Dora, a proposal in wliich, however, there is no demonstration of affection. The kindly interest taken in the supposed widow by Fred excites the jealousy of Ella, and some amusement is caused by the lovers' tiffs between them. For a time Stella's fate is not a happy one, and Cora carries her dislike so far as to get the housekeeper dismissed. Ere the dismissal can be carried into effect, a letter from Cora to a scoundrel — Billy Buddies (Mr E. D. Haygarth) falls accidentally into tho hands of Fred, who gives it to Stella.
*««JV.ami-_iidaid^r3*gir«^ This letter discloses the fact that Cora is an impostor, and leads to her discomfiture ; and tlie reconciliation of husband and wife, | Another couple of lovcra who have little to ! do with the story are Gola Wiiuberley j (Miss Tottie Young), an unsophisticated country maiden, and Alberry Sedley (Mr j Charles Thompson), a member of the V.M.C.A. These contrive to learn the j common lesson of lovo with amusingly artless simplicity. Subsidiary characters are William Wiiuberley (Mr Wilson ! Forbes), father of Gola, Dr Edward Lane | (Mr Alfred Rolfe), Miss Matilda Prim ; (Mrs J. P. Hydes), and Mrs Malvernon j (Miss Marie Brooks.) j The performance was a very even one ' throughout, but the lion's share of the ! honours was secured by Mrs Lewis, who j showed her versatility by the thorough I manner in which she played an extremely i difficult character. Mr Henry Hoyte deserves credit for the naturalness of his . style, which is free from any staginess. I Mr St Lawrence was at home in his role. ;• Mr Haygarth made a very funny villain, j Miss Weir was as disagreeable as she could j be. Miss Peachy was petulant, without ! being ill-tempered, and gave a very attractive rendering of her "part. Mrs J. P. Hydes was true to her name, being prim in speech and action, though not destitute of good-feeling. The audience was liberal in applause, and evidently greatly interested in the development of the story. The curtain had to be raised at the close of each act, and Mrs Lewis and Mr Hoyte were called for at the end of the third. This evening the programme will consist of " The Jealous Wife" and "Aladdin."
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Theatre Royal., Star, Issue 5152, 6 November 1884
Theatre Royal. Star, Issue 5152, 6 November 1884
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