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From The Penny Illustrated Paper, 30 August 1879

For genuine laughter provoked by good-humoured political satire, “H.M.S. Pinafore” still bears off the palm; and the bright and cheery version of the Gilbert-cum-Sullivan comic opera performed at the Imperial Theatre, adjoining the Westminster Aquarium, cannot fail to extend the popularity of this merry composition.

The courteous and able Manager, Mr. Frederick Oswald, sees that all is well done on the stage, and is comfortable in the spacious and airy auditorium. The deck of “H.M.S. Pinafore” is so admirably put upon the stage as to appear a facsimile of a British Man-of War; and the Comedy-Opera Company’s artistes enact the mirthful opera with due spirit and gravity.

Mr. Wilford Morgan makes a capital Ralph Rackstraw, his tenor voice telling with fine effect in the role of the Jack Tar who loves his Captain’s daughter, the music of whose part does not suffer as rendered by Miss Carina Clelland. The unconventionality of the situations — the mock-gravity of Mr. J.G. Taylor as Sir Joseph Porter, who rose to be ruler of the Queen’s Navee by sticking to his desk — and the general completeness with which “H.M.S. Pinafore” is represented render a visit to the Imperial just now one of the most enjoyable treats in town.


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