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Reynold's Newspaper, 7 January 1872


Mr. Gilbert’s Christmas piece is light and lively, and the music of Mr. A Sullivan tuneful, fanciful, and pleasing.  The plot of the piece turns upon the descent of the Olympian gods to earth, whither they come for the purpose of recuperating their worn-out faculties, being supplanted in Olympus by Thespis and his associate players.  Thespis, however, proves utetrly unequal to the task of government, and the consequence is that the substitute of Mars enters himself a member of the peace society, that of Bacchus becomes a teetotaller, and everything is turned topsy-turvy.  The gods, in returning home, are highly indignant, and sentence the peccant players all to become “eminent tragedians,” — a terrible doom now-a-days, and, we must presume, the same in bygone ages.  Mr. Toole plays the showman, Thespis; Miss Farren, Mercury; and the other parts are filled by Messrs. Maclean, Soutar, Payne, Misses Loseby, Tremaine, and Miss Behrend, who wears so very lovely a dress, that it is difficult to determine which most to admire, that, or the wearer.  The strength, however, of Mr. Gilbert’s piece is not to be found in the dialogue he has written, or the situations he has contrived, or in the pretty face and charming robe of Miss Behrend, but in the fluency and drollery of Mr. Sullivan’s music, as exhibited in the railway official’s legend, which is of itself enough to ensure the success of the entertainment.

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