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"F" ('Iolanthe' No. 1) Company in Croydon

The Era (London, England), Saturday, August 2, 1884; Issue 2393.

THEATRE ROYAL. — Lessees and Managers, Messrs Roberts, Archer, and Bartlett. — After having been closed for a few weeks the theatre was opened with much éclat on Wednesday evening by Mr. D'Oyly Carte's Iolanthe company. Seldom has the local Temple of Thespis been more largely patronised by the leading inhabitants than during the three nights' engagement of this popular company, the building being crowded at each performance. The opera was mounted on a scale of completeness which the lessees have led their patrons to expect, the opening scene, an Arcadian landscape, being exceedingly picturesque and effective.

All the members of the company sustained their roles in an efficient manner. Mr. Wilkinson was intensely humorous as the Lord Chancellor, his singing and grotesque dancing alike fairly bringing down the house. Mr. Hervet D'Egville employed an agreeable baritone voice as Strephon in some tuneful airs; and Mr. James Sydney's fine tenor organ was heard to much advantage in the music for the Earl of Tolloller. The Earl of Mountararat found an able exponent in Mr. T.W. Hemsley, this gentleman's spirited singing frequently evoking loud applause. Mr. George Marler, an old favourite, sang his only song in a style that excited an enthusiastic encore.

As Iolanthe Miss Haidee Crofton was exceedingly popular, her cultured singing and graceful acting being much admired. Miss Marion Grahame as Phyllis was piquant and fascinating, and Miss Fanny Harrison was an imposing Queen of the Fairies.

The chorus was a powerful one, and a petite orchestra, under the direction of Mr. J. Reillie, played the accompaniments in an able manner. Iolanthe was preceded by the satirical musical sketch Cups and Saucers, and the respective characters were sustained by Mr. E. Vernon, and Misses Gwynne and Vincent.

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