Gilbert and Sullivan Archive

The Mikado

Tuesday, 12 Nov 1895, page 4
Hanley Theatre Royal

Mr. D'Oyly Carte's Repertoire Company, who are at the Hanley Theatre Royal this week made an excellent impression last evening with an admirable representation of "The Mikado." The delightful opera was lavishly, not to say beautifully mounted, the stage throughout the evening being flooded with strong lights, which showed up to perfection the artistic character of the decorative work and carpentry, and the rich dresses of the ladies and gentlemen who took part in the performance. The work has certainly never been heard from local boards under more complete and satisfying conditions. The orchestra was the largest and most able we ever remember having the pleasure of listening to in light opera at this theatre. The reeds were doubled and the string and brass department increased in number and variety. As might be expected the effect was to ensure a great improvement in the character of the orchestral work generally. The overture was well played and the accompaniment to concerted music and solos very pleasing, the strings and flute being quite unusually effective in the accompaniment to the willow song. The chorus, too, is stronger than usual; and the voices excellently trained. An old friend, Mr. George Thorne, appears in no character which so admirably suits his dry humour, as that of the Lord High Executioner. Last night he was in rare form and his impersonation was most mirth provoking, although there was a slight tendency here and there to exaggeration. It was noticeable that the verse which was sung on the revival of the opera at the Savoy last week, in which the critic dramatist was added was added to those social offenders who would never be missed, was not given by Mr. Thorne. The Pooh-Bah of Mr. Fred Billington is so well known as to need no comment further than to say that the pointing of the underlying unctuous humour of the part could be placed in no safer hands. Mr. Richard Clark[e] sang and acted the part of the wandering minstrel Nanki-Po efficiently. His version of "A Wandering Minstrel I" was excellently vocalised and the action most effective. Miss Esme Lee was perfectly at home as Yum-Yum, singing and acting in agreeable freshness and vivacity. The young lady appearing as Pitti-Sing (Miss Dorothy Vane) has a much better voice than one is accustomed to hear from the impersonator of the role, and last night was properly applauded for her singing as well for her acting. Katisha in the hands of Miss Kate Forester [sic] is a capital creation, at times bordering on the tragic. Her singing was admirable, encores were frequent and the enjoyment of the large audience expressed without stints. The lovers of light opera have evidently a real treat this week, as different work is staged almost nightly. Tonight the ever delightful "Patience" is to be given.
This review was submitted to the G&S Archive by Louis Silverstein.

Page modified 16 July 2012