Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

u

Mr Morris to continue to act as trea. the lord and master admirably well ; surer without prejudice. The affairs, but no art could give to his manly, therefore, remain just where they did. sensible, and thinking countenance,

In the mean time, the theatre was the air of that of a simpleton. Mr opened on the oth of June, by the Jones was a very unworthy Coppercompany of the last season, with the Captain. This gentleman acceded to exception of Mr Fawcett, and the the Covent Garden company in the addition of Mrs Glover, Mrs Eyre, season 1807-8. He came to London and Messrs Jones, Eyre, and Holland. elevated by the praises of a Dublin Fletcher's comedy of Rule a Wife audience ; and, upon a national prinand Have a Wife was the opening ciple, was received with great applay; and introduced to us Mr Young plause by the Irish in London. With as Leon, Mr Jones as Michael Perez, all their support, however, he has not and Mrs Glover as Estifania. Of all been able to preserve the reputation other dramatists, Fletcher has the he acquired in Dublin. He acts pringreatest command of natural and easy cipally Mr Lewis's characters, and, humour ; it comes to him without ef. of course, encounters great disadvanfort; and it remains with him with- tages. Such of that gentleman's parts, out any anxiety to preserve it. The indeed, as were written expressly for reader of Beaumont and Fletcher's him, seem fated to die with their ori. plays is never tired : he runs through ginal actor : and any other comedian one play, and enters upon another, with ought no more to be censured for not as much vigour as he opened the book; playing them well, than for not beand if, in the course of his reading, ing able to wear a coat which was he is seldom dazzled by the splendour made for Mr Lewis, or for not reof Shakespeare, or amazed by the sembling a portrait which was drawn profundity of Jonson, he is never for him. Mrs Glover is an excellent theless free from the obscurities of comic actress: Her embonpoint is the former and the pedantry of the somewhat against her powers of plealatter. Mr Young's Leon assumed sing ; but she has the genius of her

a

The following anecdote, which we deliver upon the authority of a gentleman who was present, is so characteristic of the fire and vivacity which remained with this lively veteran to the last, that we are irresistibly tempted to lay it before our readers. Mr Lewis's excellence in Squire Groom is known to every one in the least degree conversant with theatrical matters. Some time after he had taken his Icave of the stage, and was residing in Liverpool as a private gentleman, a Mr Jones (but not the Mr Jones above alluded to) was announced for this dashing part; Lewis, who was a proprietor of the theatre, was at great pains to instruct the young representative, and, on the night of performance, went behind the scenes, to encourage him. He had himself repeatedlly performed the character at Liverpool, and was anxious that the mantle which he had relinquished, should, if possible, be made to fit the shoulders of Mr Jones. The entri of Squire Groom is usually preceded by a rattling view-holla ; but just as Mr Jones was “ mustering his breath” to give it, or rather, in the words of our narrator, was beginning to chirp it out like a mouse in a cheese, the disappointed veteran, slapping the actor on the back, himself sent forth a peal, so clear, so loud, so ringing, that the audience, instantly catching the well-known tones of their favourite, were lost in acclamations of admiration, regret, and delight! For a few moments, they half-indulged the hope of once more beholding Lewis on the boards ; but the stirring sound was a yox, et preterea nihil; for it ushered in Mr Jones.

art out of all question : Her Jealous which was afterwards published by Wife is her chef d'auvre.

the author with the rest of the farce. On the 14th of June, the Critic Thus purged, the farce made its apwas restored to its place on the stock. pearance on the stage; and is cerlist at this theatre. The great at- tainly the liveliest offspring of Mr traction of this dramatic olio is the Hook's giddy muse. Sir Fretful Plagiary of Mr Mathews, On the 10th of July was produa a piece of acting which is, beyond ced one of Mr Dimond's “ three-act doubt, one of the chef d'oeuvres of the plays,” under the title of the Found. stage. The “ fretful temper” of the ling of the Forest. Mr Dimond has character, which “ winces at every a pretty talent for working up distouch,” is inimitably depic:ed by Mr mal stories into spectacles, and provi. Mathews's continual restlessness and ding them with Aowing words : he eager examination of every look in has now acquired a habit of prothe room, to see whether it makes ducing one of these things regularly for or against him ; and nothing can at the Hay-market, which, being a be finer than the quickness with summer theatre, is ambitious of riwhich he catches at every favourable valling Astley's and the Circus. The spark, and turns round to fan it into Foundling of the Forest should have a fame.

usurped no higher situation than that On the first of July was produced, of a melo-drama. It is not without from the pen of MrTheodore Hook, a interest ; but it proceeds upon the new farce, called Killing no Murder, wrong principle of mistaking horror the first representation of which ex- for terror, and pain for pity. The cited an unusual interest, on account character of Bertrand is like the ex. of its being known in the theatre, hibition of a man on the rack; this that Mr Larpent, the deputy-licen- agonized wretch has taken an oath ser, had refused to pass it, till it had to commit murder, and suffers the received certain alterations. The title must dreadful conflicts of conscience, of the piece, Killing no Murder, at whether he can more safely break a first led the public to believe, that vow, or cut a throat. The piece, the license was refused for political however, met with great success, and reasons ; but it afterwards turned out ran a long career with “ Killing no that Mr Larpent's only objection to Murder." the piece was, that its second act was On the 1st of August, a musical a “ most indecent and shameful at. romance, called The Vintagers, was tack (we quote his words) on a very produced from the pen of Mr Eyre religious and harmless set of people, of the theatre. This piece ranks Mr and was altogether an infamous per. Eyre as an author about as high (or secution of the methodists, whom go- rather as low) as he stands in the vernment did not wish to be ridicu- scale of actors. The great blot of led." The farce was easily altered; the drama is the clap-trapping Engfor nothing from Mr Theodore Hook's lish sailor, which, we are informed, was pen possesses so laborious a compact- heightened to suit the taste of its acness and finish as to be injured by tor, Mr Farley, and against the betsubsequent change ; and it was found ter judgment of Mr Eyre. The munecessary to suppress only one scene, sic was composed by Mr Bishop, a

a

.

rising harmonist of great merit ; but,

ENGLISII OPERA. notwithstanding this advantage, the Vintagers was performed but four On the 26th of June, under a li. nights.

cence granted by the Lord ChamberOn the 7th of September, a little lain, Mr Arnold opened for the suminterlude in one act, called the Day mer the large theatre at the Lyceum after the Wedding, was acted for the in the Strand, for the representation first time at this theatre. It is taken of English operas, by which are unfrom a French comedy, entitled La derstood every sort of opera performFemme Coleré, and was first produ- ed at the regular theatres, without beced by Mrs Charles Kemble for her ing reduced to the necessity, as is benefit. The git of it is to shew how otherwise the case, of throwing the lovers in their courtship deceive each dialogue into recitative. Since the other, and discover their mistake on- Drury-Lane company had quitted ly when the knot is tied, and it is too their house, on the 10th of June, Mr late. Lady Freelove, (Mrs Gibbs) Arnold had greatly improved the inwho was all honey before the wed terior of the theatre, by re-painting ding, is converted by the ceremony the box.fronts, by widening the aveinto pure gall. Freelove, (Mr Jones) nues, and by turning the panorama her husband, seeing this temper, of Saint Petersburgh, which used to which he had not before suspected, be exhibited at the Lyceum, picture pretends to be ten times more irrita- and all, into a saloon, 'illuminated by ble, by which feint, like Petruchio, a brilliant chandelier, and covered by he works the cure of his Katherine. a balloon awning. The theatre openThe scene was well acted on both ed with a new comic opera, written parts.

by the inanager, called Up all Night, On the 15th of September, the or the Smugglers’ Cave, and Mr theatre closed as usual, Mr Young D’Egville's old ballet of Love in a performing the office of returning to Tub. The following dramatis perthe public the thanks of the proprie. sone will give an idea of the strength tors, for a season, the profits of which of the company, since the opera was were about 30001.

so contrived as to bring them all into play:

Admiral Blunt,
Harry Blunt,
Heart well,
Young Heartwell,
Meddle,
Peter,
Smugglers,
Boy,

Mr Dowton.
Mr Doyle.
Mr Marshall.
Mr Philipps.
Mr Horn.
Mr G. Smith.
Messrs Fisher, Miller, and
1 Chatterley.
Master Wallack.

Juliana,
Flora,
Madge,

Mrs Mountain.
Mrs Bishop (late Miss Lyon.)
Mrs Orger.

We consider this opera, squared, assisted of Mr D'Egville, master, and it necessarily was, to the capacities of his six female pupils, Monsieur Bourthe company, cut according to Mr din, Mademoiselle Lupino, and Mas. Arnold's cloth, decidedly the best ter Noble. production of this author's pen. The The opera of the Russian Imposaction goes on smoothly, and the in- tor is ascribed to the pen of Mr Henry terest is supported throughout. The Siddons. The plot of the piece is serious songs are tolerably written ; founded upon an historical fact which and Mr Dowton's comic

one is the took place in the reign of Catherine production of Mr James Smith. The II. ; and we believe the drama to be · dialogue is not altogether destitute immediately taken from a little French of humour; and if it does not possess piece, called Le Faux Alexis. The any very great beauties, is at least opera was not without interest ; and free from glaring faults. The music was got up in excellent Russian cosof the piece is the production of Mr tume ; but the music, which was by M. P. King; and, though seldom Mr Addison, was decidedly inferior original, is always correct, and some- to all former compositions of the times very pleasing. The vocal English opera. The Russian Imposstrength of the company was not tor met with a good deal of success, mean; and considerable interest was but by no means an equal run with given to the English Opera by the Up all Night. introduction to London of Mr Phi. On the 7th of August, the Duenlipps, from Dublin, a singer of very na was got up for the sake of remellifluous voice and scientific taste, storing, to a London audience, Mr who made himself popular, by the Quick, the original Isaac Mendoza. grace with which he sung a beauti. Upwards of sixty years of age, his ful rondo in the piece, called " Sigli powers must necessarily be impaired ; not for love." His cadences, how- and, though he occasionally elicited ever, are too .servilely copied from sparks of former genius, we do not Mr Braham. Mr Philipps is an actor consider his return to the stage a of more spirit than most singers ; and prudent step for his reputation. seems to plume himself not a little Judging of Mr Quick's Isaac Menupon the accomplishment. Mr Horn doza, as if it had been the performis a singer of less pretensions ; but he ance of a novice, we should have call. is a good musician, and is never heard ed it a dry unamusing piece of acting. with displeasure. The opera met Mr Philipps' Carlos and Mrs Moun. with a success, which induced the tain’s Clara were excellent performmanager not to interrupt its nightly ances. Mr Philipps gave our farun till the 22d of July, when a new vourite old airs with a chasteness and opera, entitled the Russian Impostor, sweetness peculiar to himself, and we or the Siege of Smolensko, was pro- were glad to see him of the opinion, duced. But the ballet of Love in a that good music“ is, when unaTub had been first, on the 5th of dorned, adorned the most." July, exchanged for Mr Dibdin se- On the 28th of August, Mr Theo. nior's burletta of Poor Vulcan, and, dore Hook produced a hasty opera, on the 20th, for a ballet, called the called Safe and Sound, of which the Nabob, or the Indian Lovers. The story is founded on the severe edict corps de ballet of this company con. of Frederick the Second against duel

lists in his army. The ground-work gested characters. The music of the of the piece was bad, and the edifice opera was composed by the author's still worse. The dialogue consisted father, and bore the marks of almost almost wholly of old jokes ; and the as little pains and study as the words. entire production bore the appear- On the 20th of September, the ance of shameful neglect. To say theatre closed for the season, thanks nothing of himself, Ñr Hook does being returned by Mr Raymond, the not do justice to the actors, when he stage manager. sets before them such crude, undi

SCOTTISH DRAMA.

We know not how far we shall be signed by the patentees, Lord Melheld justifiable, in making the metro. ville and the Duke of Buccleuch :polis of Scotland an exception from

Right Hon. Lord Chief Baron. our general rule, which excludes from

Right Hon. Lord Advocate. critical notice

any

theatres save those Right Hon. Lord Provost of Edinof London. But, independently of burgh. its claims upon us in other respects, Right Hon. Robert Dundas, of Melo we trust it will be admitted, that

ville. the city so proudly distinguished by

Sir P. Murray, of Auchtertyre, Bart. its eminence in philosophy, science,

Sir John Hay, of Haystown, Bart.

Mr Solicitor General, poetry, and criticism, may impart to Dean of Faculty. its theatre a consequence of charac- Gilbert Innes, Esq. ter not unworthy of notice in a work David Hume, Esq. like this, and raising it above all the Walter Scott, Esq. provincial establishments, to an intel. William Erskine, Esq. lectual rivalry even with the theatres Henry Mackenzie, Esq. of the sister metropolis.

Some disputes and difficulties haIn the present year, 1809, the ving arisen with the proprietors of term of the old patent expired, and the theatre hitherto used, respecting with it, the management of the family the terms of rent or purchase, Mr of the late Mr Jackson and Mr Rock. Siddons was under the necessity of The situation of manager was offer- engaging the extensive rooms erected ed to public competition, upon a lease by Mr Corri for his musical performof five years ; and, among various ances, for the purpose of converting offers, the proposals of Mr Henry them into a temporary theatre, until Siddons were at length accepted as a new one could be built, of a magni. the most eligible, by the following tude and character better suited to gentlemen, to whom the patent is as- the population and taste of this city. *

This at least was the intention when the arrangements between Messrs Sid. dons and Corri were first entered upon; but since then, we believe the design has been abandoned, as Mr Siddons has very lately concluded terms of purchase with

VOL. II. PART II.

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »