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From The Era, Saturday, January 22, 1881.


PRINCESS'S THEATRE. – Lessee, Mr. A. D. M'Neill; Acting-Manager, Mr. W. A. M'Neill. – On Monday evening this favourite house was packed in every corner by a brilliant and demonstrative audience, the attraction being the appearance of Mr D'Oyly Carte's company in Gilbert and Sullivan’s eminently successful comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, an event that had been long in pleasant anticipation, and was anxiously waited by a legion of admirers of both author and composer.

The performance was an admirable one, and in every way worthy this charming work; while the mounting and scenery, in which Mr. Evans's artistic skill is again recognisable, were alike of a very tasteful and effective character. The cast did not present many names familiar here, but those of the company who had already appeared in Edinburgh had a hearty reception. Very warm and friendly was the welcome accorded to Mr. David Fisher jun., who made quite a hit as Major-General Stanley. The droll humour of his acting and the excellence of his singing were frequent sources of pleasure and amusement to the audience, and his rendering of the now well-known patter song was one of the features of the evening. Mr. George Marler was eminently successful as the Sergeant of Police, and much of the comic effect of the second act was due to his quaint acting and humorous singing. Mr. G. Coventry made a capital appearance as Frederick, and, although evidently suffering from cold, sang remarkably well. Mr. Marnock was fairly effective as the Pirate King, and Mr. Hemsley made an amusing Lieutenant.

The Mabel of Miss Laura Clement was a most delightful performance, full of poetic charm and delicate grace; while her singing of the beautiful music assigned to her was brilliant in the extreme. Miss Augusta Roche played Ruth with characteristic spirit and effect, and sang throughout with great ability. The other parts were efficiently filled, and the choruses were given with remarkable precision, several of the more elaborately-constructed numbers being encored. A large and well-balanced orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Stanislaus, played the overture and accompaniments splendidly, and there is no doubt but that The Pirates of Penzance will draw immense audiences here for many weeks yet to come.

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