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THE CARDIFF PANTOMIME. Mr. Fletcher's Pantomime has been played long enough for us to form a competent judgment of its undoubted merits. A few slight alterations h'1ve been mace, tile actors are entirelv conversant with their lines and business, the music is ren- dered with finish and precision, the elaborate scenic effects are displayed to perfection, and the whole thing works with the smoothness of a well- oiled pie of machinery. Shall we be deemed too c!lujn!! in saving that the present entertainment is the best of its kind ever seen in South Wales ? We think not, for cur opinion is endorsed. not only by the crowds that flock to the theatre and, comin;; away, scarce know the causes tbat have led to their enjoyment, but also by that lesser public, the inner circle,if we may use th- expression, experienced in stage èispjay Hud intimate with theatric work. i'endragon has hinted at the enormous ajJ11culties witli wbich a manager has to grapple in LrlDging befure the public sueD a pro- duction as now graces our boards. The subject chosen, an able author has to be found to enlarge upon il, to invest it with humour, with ùramatic point, and to imbue it with local flavour The scenario has to be thought out, the action arianged, the music selec.ed. and the dresses designed. Last, but not least, the company has to be engaged, each member of which must be adequate in his or her particular line, while thny must ail workup to and with each other. Otherwise there will bê no ensentble. the effect is bizarre, a thing of shreds and patc}¡es Mr. Fletcher has been singular,y fortunate in all his ciioices this year. In Mr. J. J. Bisgood he has found a writer wito a pen graceful, humorous, and broadly comic by turns. His lyrics are neatly turned, and his topical allusions telling and to the point. Mr. G. F. Warde's scenery is far in ad- vance of anything he Las yet. shown us. 1\lay Pole Village is a scene of picturesque realism. In the Depths of the Forest" he has painted a charming sylvan glade, and it is marvellous how on so small a stage he manages to produce the illusion of melting distance. The" Pahce crt Delighl" is a gorgeous picture, and the trans- formation, illustrating" The Sailor Boy's Dream," would be a credit to any theatre, London or pro- vincial. Mr. C. LamsJe,. the musicid director, may- be heartily congratulated on his share of the work. The music is of the hghte-t and brigntest descrip- tion, and goes with unflaggin-r spirit throughout. The costumes are in excellent taste, and the stage is a. constant picture of life and colour. On George Stone the burden and heat of the day chiefly fall. He is a low comedian of the first water—a sayer and doer of unnumbered funny things, a being possessed of an irresistibly-amusing personality. Mr. Frea Little is an able second. In Scene V. he executes a won- derful corkscrew dance, but his chief opportunity occurs later on, when he illustrates various trades on those humble instruments, the bones. The Brothers Martell give a clever exhibition of the now familiar "leg mania," and the burlesque com'- bat between Messrs. J. Edward and J. M. Colvil is one of the great hits, always bringing down the house. Mr. Clifford Campbell is cleverly made up as Davie Burden, and, although he is sufficiently unctuous, he does not over-do his part, often the general manner of those male performers who assume the petticoat. That Mr. Sam Finney is not quite so successful as some of his comrades is perhaps due to the fact that his part scarcely allows him so much scope. Miss Isabella Muncey, Miss Helena Lisle, Miss Katie Cohen, and Miss Bertie Milner form a quartette of charming singers. It is not often in pantomime that so rich a vocal treat is afforded. Miss Lena Leicester and Miss Jenny Esbit play small parts with discretion, hut of Miss Marie Levison we do not see or hear enough. Is it too late for her part to be written up "? Miss Carrie Davison is a dancer of dexterity and fimsb; she performs apas-seai in the lorest scene and afterwards appears as Columbine. Strong in themselves as are all, or nearly all, of the artistes we have named, their great strength lies in their unity. The boat is rowed with good time and swing from the stroke to the last, and this is undoubtedly owing to the able direction of so experienced a coach as the present lessee of the Cardiff Theatre.




Y R A LeE S TIS. j.


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