|Patience > Review of the first night from Freeman's Journal
I think most people will admit that the extravagances of the apostles of the æsthetic mania have not been without their uses, when they are the means of causing such a large amount of amusement to the public, as is the case at present in London, where three of the most successful pieces running at the theatre are based on this craze. On Saturday night Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's new comedy opera, entitled, "Patience," was performed for the first time at the prettiest and most comfortable of London theatres, The Opera Comique, and it was a pronounced success.
When it became known sometime since that Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan were engaged upon this work great expectations were formed for their collaboration, and the performance on Saturday night shows that Mr. Gilbert’s wit is as keen as ever, whilst Mr. Sullivan's capability for setting it to appropriate music seems to have increased with practice.
The plot of the opera is of course of the most amusingly extravagant character imaginable, and so ingeniously complicated that I could not possibly detail it here. It suffices for a stalking horse, from behind which Mr. Gilbert shoots his wit at the æsthetes, hitting them invariably in the tenderest places. The music is bright throughout, whilst a couple of the songs will, I am sure, outrival any of their kind in the "Pirates" or the "Pinafore" in public favour.
One of the most interesting features of the performance on Saturday night was the fact that it was listened to throughout with stolid earnestness by the gentleman who is generally supposed to have supplied Du Maurier with his character of Postlethwaite, and also by several others of the best known disciples [of] Æstheticism. At the conclusion of the opera Messrs Sullivan and Gilbert were called before the curtain and received a great ovation. I need only add that the dresses and scenery were faultless, and that Messrs Grossmith and Barrington, whose names have been so long associated with the opera comique, excelled themselves in their respective parts. On the whole, I think Messrs D'Oyly Carte and Michael Gunn may be congratulated on having made another success which will bring them in a golden harvest.
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