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"THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE" AT THE THEATRE

FromThe Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, December 12, 1882; pg. 2; Issue 8790.

Mr, D'Oyly Carte's opera company commenced a week's engagement at the Theatre Royal last night, producing the popular and now well-known opera, Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance." Considering the inclement state of the weather, and the dense fog which prevailed, there was a good house.

The opera, which by this time has grown very familiar to Sheffield theatre-goers, went exceedingly well. Mr. David Fisher, Jun., again appeared as the Major-General, and not only in the humorous song in which he details his varied accomplishments, but also in his grief at the possible loss of his daughters, he was inimitable. His pathetic plea that he was an orphan boy lost none of its effect, although he has repeated it here so often, and he was applauded by the house, as well as spared by the pirates. The stalwart, bold, and yet tender-hearted pirate king had an admirable exponent in Mr. G. W. Marnock, who has taken this rôle so long that one naturally associates him with the character, and expects to find him waving the black flag, and singing "I am the pirate king," whenever the opera is put upon the stage. Mr. John Child appeared to great advantage as Frederic, the unfortunate young man who ought to have been apprenticed to a pilot; and Mr. G. F. Marler delighted everyone with his personation of the sergeant of police, who is not merely a monument of official dignity, but can make love, and has hopes and fears like ordinary mortals.

The character of Mabel (who so confidingly, and at such short notice, gives her heart to Frederic) was gracefully taken by Miss Esme Lee, who has a very sweet, pleasing voice. Miss Fanny Harrison was announced to appear as Ruth, the piratical maid-of-all-work, but was called to London to rehearse the part of the "Fairy Queen" in Gilbert and Sullivan's new opera "Iolanthe; or the Peer and the Peri." The part was consequently represented by Miss Bernard, who was a very capable substitute. The chorus and orchestration were very good, and the piece was well mounted.

Owing to the intense cold, however, it was impossible for the occupants of some part of the house to thoroughly enjoy the performance; and we venture to suggest that a curtain of heavy drapery should be placed across the doorway leading to the boxes. Should this suggestion be adopted, or some other mode of preventing the draughts be devised, the frequenters of this part of the house would be thankful.


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