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


Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), Tuesday, August 5, 1884; Issue 4752.

Concerning Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's opera there remains little fresh to be said. The work is now being heard for the third time in Cardiff, and must be familiar to most play-goers in the town. Familiarity can scarcely be said to breed contempt in the present instance, however, as the humours of the libretto, with its fanciful conceits and ingenious satire, and the variety and daintiness of the score, are not to be fully appreciated on a first hearing, but rather gain interest by repetition.

Of the company now engaged in the representation several members are already well known in Cardiff. A hearty welcome must be accorded to Mr. John Wilkinson, whose racy performance of the Lord Chancellor lingers pleasantly in the memory. It has matured with age, and is now lacking in no detail to give it finish and completeness.

It will be recollected of Miss Marion Grahame, who is now entrusted with the part of Phyllis, that she had already created a favourable impression in "Patience" when that opera was first played in the provinces, and this impression is more than confirmed now. Miss Fanny Harrison is well suited as the Queen of the Fairies,  while Mr. Marler brings out the stolid humours of Private Willis with marked effect. Mr. H. D'Egville's pleasant voice and agreeable stage presence make Strephon a general favourite, and Miss Haidee Crofton is quite adequate as Iolanthe.

The band and chorus are well up to the mark, and it goes without saying that the opera was appreciated to the full last evening by a crowded and fashionable audience.

The Era (London, England), Saturday, August 9, 1884; Issue 2394.

THEATRE ROYAL. – Lessee and Manager, Mr. Edward Fletcher; Acting-Manager, Mr. John Sheridan. – The management has exercised considerable wisdom in its selection for Bank Holiday week, and with Iolanthe all that could be desired in the shape of business has been done.

The cast has been considerably improved since we last had opportunity of listening to Gilbert and Sullivan's pretty opera, but in some instances it remains the same. Mr. John Wilkinson is agile and funny in the role of the Chancellor; and Miss Marion Grahame, whom we have seen here before, created a most favourable impression as Phyllis. As the Fairy Queen Miss Fanny Harrison was attractive; Mr. H. D'Egville, as Strephon, lent efficient aid; and the music allotted to Iolanthe was charmingly sung by Miss Haidee Crofton. The fine bass voice of Mr. Marler was conspicuous in the part of Private Willis; and my Lords Tolloller and Mountararat found able exponenets in Messrs. James Sydney and T. W. Hemsley.

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