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8 February 1879

OPERA COMIQUE. — After a recess at a somewhat inconvenient season, but rendered obligatory by the terms of the lease, this house has been reopened with new and elegant decorations, and with the old bill of fare. H.M.S. Pinafore is still to the fore, as pinafores ought to be, and runs along as merrily as ever, supported as it is by the admirable singing and acting of Messrs. Barrington, Grossmith, Power, Temple, Misses Howson and Everard, not to mention the rest of the company, who all deserve praise down to the microscopic midshipmite. In the days when Ours was being acted at the Prince of Wales's, officers used to come up from Aldershot by scores to see it, and the same men came over and over again. We wonder whether H.M.S. Pinafore has a similar magnetic effect on the sister-service, drawing nightly contingents from Sheerness and Portsmouth. If so, the effect on the Royal Navy may be serious. Regarded from a disciplinarian point of view, H.M.S. Pinafore cannot be called a moral play. For not only does it put revolutionary notions into the heads of foretopmen, but the conduct of Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., with his strange ideas of discipline, and his female retinue, if imitated by future First Lords, is likely to be productive of very alarming results.


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