|Iolanthe > Reviews > No.1 "Iolanthe" Company in Preston
From The Lancaster Gazette and General Advertiser for Lancashire, Westmorland, and Yorkshire (Lancaster, England), Saturday, June 30, 1883; Issue 5358.
Crowded houses have rewarded the enterprising lessee of the Theatre Royal, Preston, during the present week, attracted by the performance of Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's latest operatic success, "Iolanthe," by Mr. D'Oyly Carte's Company. The company represents the opera most admirably. Altogether there are upwards of forty vocalists, and among the principals are two or three known to Lancaster audiences, having appeared here in Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's operas, "Pinafore," "Pirates of Penzance," or "Patience."
Mr. F. Federici, as the half mortal and half fairy Strephon, sings well and gives a capital representation of the part. Miss Fanny Harrison, as Fairy Queen, is in good voice, and the part could not be in better hands. Miss Beatrix Young, as "Iolanthe" sings sweetly and acts gracefully, and the same remark applies to the leading fairies.
Mr. Frank Thornton's interpretation of the Lord Chancellor is very clever and exceedingly amusing, and his delivery of the lines describing the difficulties of his position as "a highly-susceptible Chancellor" bring down the house:—"The feelings of a Lord Chancellor who is in love with a ward of court are not to be envied. What is his position? Can he give his own consent to his own marriage with his own ward? Can he marry his own ward without his own consent? And if he marries his own ward without his own consent, can he commit himself for contempt of his own court? And if he commit himself for contempt of his own court, can he appear by counsel before himself, to move for arrest of his own judgment? Ah, my lords, it is indeed painful to have to sit upon a woolsack which is stuffed with such thorns as these!"
The opera is well put on the stage, and the choruses and orchestral arrangements are excellent. There are only two scenes in the piece, and the artist has carefully supplied every detail to make them effective. The dresses of the peers are very rich, and some of the groupings are very pretty. The company's engagement closes on Saturday night.
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