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From The Standard, December 15, 1879.

OPERA COMIQUE

Unconscious of the absurdity of the situations in which they are placed, and of the speeches they utter, is the main point of the humour to be displayed by the actors in H.M.S. Pinafore, and it might have been supposed that when played by children an evidence of lessons learnt would have destroyed the spirit of the fun. To what extent this is the case need not be discussed, for it is certain that those who went to see the “Children’s Pinafore” at the Opera Comique, rather bored at the prospect of witnessing the efforts of infant prodigies, came away in high good temper after having been much amused.

The gentlemen who are responsible for the drilling of the children have done their work wonderfully well, and they had, moreover, excellent material to work on. There is a gravity about some of the little people, as they go through their ludicrous business, that is extremely comic; and the “Children’s Pinafore” will no doubt be one of the popular entertainments of the season.

The music, of course, loses much of its effect when sung by voices of so nearly the same calibre, but most of the children sing very prettily.

The First Lord, Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., is, we fancy, the same personage who served as a midshipman on board the Pinafore in earlier days, though this has necessarily to be lost sight of in a First Lord whose special boast is that his genius for ruling the “Queen’s navee” arises from the fact that he knows nothing whatever about it. Master and Miss Grattan, two of the cleverest stage children, play the Captain and Josephine; Master Eversfield is the Ralph Rackstraw, and Ettie Mason is a miniature Little Buttercup.

Performances of the “Children’s Pinafore” will be given at reduced prices in the afternoons, beginning on Tuesday next.


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