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"PATIENCE " AT THE THEATRE ROYAL

From The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent (Sheffield, England), Tuesday, March 21, 1882; pg. 7; Issue 8562.

Probably the "Patience " of Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan will, like the patience of the hero of the Welsh milkmaid's song in the Ingoldsby Legends, have an end at last, but that end is, we are inclined to believe, a long way off. At first it was principally attractive by being the latest of Mr. Gilbert's and Dr. Sullivan's joint productions, but now and in the future it will depend, for public favour, upon its music and subject of libretto. The music is, undoubtedly, charming, and the characters are strikingly unique; there is thus good reason for supposing that "Patience " will for some considerable time to come be found appearing on the English stage.

Sheffield theatregoers can well remember the great success attending the visit of the company organised to produce the opera in the provinces to the Theatre Royal a few months ago; and it is possibly due to that success and the merits of the piece that the lessee of that place of amusement has engaged D'Oyly Carte's "Patience " Company for the present week. The company's reception, last night, was very enthusiastic, as it deserved to be.

With one or two exceptions it is the same as that first sent out by the enterprising lessee of the Opera Comique. The most important change is that of Miss Ethel Pierson to the title rôle; by voice and acting she is well adapted to the part. The various songs allotted to her were rendered in sweet voice and with a due amount of naivete. Miss Presano, as one of the leading love-sick maidens is a change; she, however, acquitted herself in a very gratifying manner.

It would be difficult to find a better "Bunthorne" than Mr. George Thorne. The greater portion of the fun of the piece is in his hands, and those who have witnessed his performance will admit he acquits himself admirably of the difficult task which is allotted him. Not only is his acting clever, but he sings with great taste and skill. One of the heartiest encores given last night was to his rendering of the pleasing song commencing, "If you're eager for to shine, in the high æsthetic line." Mr. A. Rousbey (the idyllic poet) received for his song to the dairymaid a redemande.

Miss Fanny Edwards again sustained the part of the stout Lady Jane, and Mr. G. Byron Browne, Mr. J. B. Rae, and Mr. James Sydney proved themselves fitted for the parts of the chief of the dragoons.

If anything, the piece was better mounted than before, and the band did its work almost faultlessly. The opera was preceded by "Mock Turtles," which was both amusing and enjoyable.


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