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Review from The Times
Wednesday November 19, 1873
 
COURT THEATRE

Mr. F. Latour Tomline  has performed a feat, in attempting which most English dramatists have miserably failed – that is to say, he has so adapted one of those long farces which at the Palais Royal, and nowhere else, are called “comedies,” that it affords great amusement to a London audience. Of all the pieces of its kind, Le Chapeau dc Paille d’Italie, originally brought out more than 20 years ago, and fre­quently revived in Paris, is, perhaps, the most extravagant, and as the whole “fun” of the action turns on the civil part of the marriage ceremony, so important in France, it would seem especially unfitted for British soil. Indeed, while the “comedy” was yet new a version of it, in which the scene was not removed from Paris, was brought out at the old Adelphi, with the literally translated title, A Leghorn Bonnet, and though the principal part was sustained by Mr. Wright, then at the height of his popularity, it was withdrawn after a very few representations.

Fortune, however, has smiled at usual upon the daring and mysterious Mr. Tomline. The tale of the wedding party, hurried on from pillar to post, till at last it falls into the hands of the police, cannot be made to look really English, but the adapter, who has given to the piece the appropriate title the Wedding March, and has transferred the scene to London, has thoroughly Anglicized its details. The very names of the personages, Mr. Poppytop, Uncle Bopaddy, Mr. Woodpecker Tapping, the Duke of Turnip­topshire, &c., are in themselves sufficient to indicate the tone of caricature which has been adopted, and which is maintained throughout three acts, the hilarity of the audi­ence being maintained to the last.

The drollery of the Wedding March being dependent rather on the incidents than on the development of character, it does not afford much room for the display of his­trionic talent. Nevertheless, on the sound principle that whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well, Miss Litton has bestowed upon it the entire strength of her compact and efficient company. She herself represents the bride, Mr. Edgar Bruce the bridegroom, Mr. Clifford Cooper the bride’s father, Mr. W. S. Hill the uncle, and the small parts of a Duke and a Marchioness are sustained by Mr. A. Bishop and Miss Marie O’Berne. By a combi­nation of talent a triumph has been obtained, where even a moderate success was scarcely to be anticipated.


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