|Patience >"C" Company in Birmingham
Birmingham Daily Post (Birmingham, England), Tuesday, April 8, 1884; Issue 8040.
PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE.
Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's ever welcome comic opera "Patience" was reproduced at this house last night by the same company, barring a few changes, which appeared in with such success last autumn. The changes alluded to are some for the better, some for the worst; but, take it altogether, the company is a strong one, and its performance on this occasion appeared to give great satisfaction to a large and appreciative audience.
The work itself has been so often heard here since its first performance in Birmingham some three years ago, and its gems are so familiar to music lovers and playgoers, that it would be superfluous to say anything more in praise of its humour, melody, and picturesqueness. Although the dramatic framework is even slighter than usual in Mr. Gilbert's librettos, the text is inferior to none in point of brilliancy, whilst the music contains some of the choicest things which Sir Arthur Sullivan has written.
The part of the pretty dairymaid Patience, whose personal charms and excessive scrupulousness are among the chief actors of the little plot, introduced a new and promising aspirant in Miss Josephine Findlay, who unites a sweet and fairly powerful voice to an agreeable presence and some dramatic intelligence. Her intonation is good, and in simple cantabile she phrases well; but her powers of execution at present are limited. Her most effective efforts last night were the song, "I cannot tell what this love may be," and in the madrigalian duet with Grosvenor, "Prythee, pretty maiden."
Mr. Wilfred E. Shine, who has succeeded Mr. Thorne in the part of the fleshy poet Bunthorne, has evidently modelled himself very closely upon his predecessor, whose manner, voice, and appearance he reproduces so successfully that one needs the printed testimony of the hand-bill to assure us of his identity. Mr. Shine, however, has more voice than Mr. Thorne, and somewhat less reserve, and while he does fuller justice to the music than was possible to his predecessor, he occasionally overdoes the acting. This latter defect, however, was not so noticeable last night in the second as in the first act. In the former his humour occasionally verged upon extravagance, but in the latter he kept well within the obvious limits of the part, and his success was proportionately great. His chief effects were produced in the famous duet with the Lady Jane, "So go to him and say to him," which was twice repeated in compliance with the enthusiastic demand of the audience, and the no less popular duet with Grosvenor, describing the rival types of young men — the "every day young man," and pseudo-æsthete — which was also repeated.
Mr. Walter Greyling is neither vocally nor dramatically an adequate substitute for Mr. Rousbey in the part of the idyllic poet Grosvenor, but he looks the character fairly, and his singing of "The Magnet and the Churn" appeared to please the audience.
Miss Elsie Cameron is of course quite at home in the part of the faithful and massive Lady Jane, and her Handelian solo at-the opening of the second act and her part in the duet with Bunthorne, previously mentioned, were capitally sung. Mr. R. Christian is scarcely equal to the part of the Duke of Dunstable. Mr. Byron Brown is fairly effective as Colonel Calverley, whose song, with chorus, "When I first put this uniform on," won much applause. Mr. Halley, as Major Murgatroyd, did justice to the song of "The Heavy Dragoon;" and the trio and quintet in the second act, in which the three officers take part with the Ladies Angela and Saphir, were so well sung that it is a pity their effect should have been spoiled by an uncalled-for repetition of the quintet, which led to some confusion and loss of time on the stage.
The chorus singing left little to be desired, the band was fairly efficient, and the costumes and mise-en-scène were as usual bright and picturesque. The entertainment concluded with a new musical comedietta entitled "A Private Wire," in which the principal performers were Miss Mina Rowley, Mr. Browning, and Mr. Jesse Smith.
The Era (London, England), Saturday, April 12, 1884; Issue 2377.
PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE — Proprietor, Mr. J. Rogers; Acting-manager, Mr. C.M. Appleby. — Mr. D'Oyly Carte's opera company have during the past week met with marked success with Patience. The piece, under the able management of Mr. Taylor, has been admirably cast. Miss Josephine Findlay made an able representative of Patience, playing the part with a considerable amount of grace, whilst her vocalisation was exceptionally good. Miss Rose Husk as the Lady Angela, Miss Blanche Symonds as Lady Saphir, and Miss Mina Rowley were all perfect in their respective parts. Miss Elsie Cameron as Lady Jane gave an artistic rendering of that part. Mr. Wilfred Shine, who has recently joined the company, gave an almost perfect impersonation of Bunthorne. Mr. Walter Greyling was all that could be desired as Grosvenor, Mr. Byron Browne as the Colonel, Mr. Halley as the Major, and Mr. R. Christian as the Lieutenant, all played their parts with much skill.
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