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


The Derby Mercury (Derby, England), Wednesday, August 27, 1884; Issue 8850.

"Iolanthe" – as it is now being performed at Nottingham by one of Mr. D'Oyly Carte's companies, under the experienced management of Mr. Herbert Brook – has several points of special interest. To begin with, at least four of the artists – Miss Marion Grahame, and Messrs James Sydney, D'Egville, and John Wilkinson – are well-known in Derby in connection with Mr. Carte's enterprises, three of tham having appeared here last year in "Iolanthe" itself. All are excellent performers. Miss Grahame has a voice of good range and resonancy, and is, withal, a clever actress. Mr. Sydney has been playing tenor parts in the Gilbert-Sullivan series for some years, and always with very great acceptance. Mr. D'Egville has a baritone of agreeable quality, and Mr. Wilkinson, if not remarkable as a vocalist, has comic power. His by-play as the Lord Chancellor is really good.

For the rest, Miss Haidee Crofton, the Iolanthe of this company, is, vocally, the best yet known in the provinces. This lady was the original Hebe in "The Sorcerer," [sic] and her return to Gilbert-Sullivan opera is very welcome. We have heard all the Iolanthes (now a goodly number!), and by none has the pathetic solo in the second act been sung with so much skill and effect as by Miss Crofton. It was deservedly encored on Monday.

Of the younger artists in the cast the most promising is Miss Geraldine St. Maur, whose Celia is a very bright and pleasing performance.

Miss Fanny Harrison is the Queen of the Fairies, a part in which her imposing presence shows to much adavantage. Mr. George Marler is the Private Willis; and Mr. W. T. Hemsley is the Lord Mountararat – a role which he can scarcely be said to adequately fill, though on Monday his one solo gave evident satisfaction.

The chorus is numerous and efficient, and Sir Arthur Sullivan's orchestration receives careful treatment at the hands of Mr. George Arnold and his forces. The attractive scenery is the work of Mr. Harry Potts. On Monday there was a good attendance, and there is the prospect of still larger audiences on the remaining evenings of the week.

The Era (London, England), Saturday, August 30, 1884; Issue 2397.

THEATRE ROYAL. – Manager, Mr. Thomas W. Charles. – A welcome return visit of Iolanthe was commenced on Monday last, greatly to the satisfaction of all who appreciate refined fun and satire allied to bright and clever music. All the favourite numbers were applauded to the echo, many of them being redemanded, whilst the acting commanded the unstinted approval of the audience.

Several changes have taken place in the company since last it visited us. Miss Haidee Crofton is now the Iolanthe, and daintily, indeed, she performs the character, both singing and acting it with a charm all her own. Her rendering in particular of the song "He loves! if in the bygone years" was simply perfect.

A new Phyllis in the person of Miss Marion Grahame was another delightful introduction that was warmly appreciated by the visitors.

Mr. John Wilkinson as the Lord Chancellor, Mr. T. W. Hemsley as Mountararat, Mr. James Sydney as Tolloller, Mr. Hervet D'Egville as Strephon, are also changes from the former cast, all of them being highly satisfactory.

Mr. George Marler is again the efficient representative of Private Willis, and last, but by no means least, Miss Fanny Harrison once more majestically impersonates the Queen of the Fairies. Lelia, Celia, and Fleta are prettily acted by Mlles. M. Levison, Gerldine St. Maur, and Emma Gwynne.

The choruses are capitally given and the scenery by Mr. Harry Potts is both ingenious in its setting and remarkably picturesque.

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