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Theatre Royal.


Theatre Royal. It may be a confession of a want of true culture, but it is a stern and solid fact to admit that I have preferred "Kisses," this week's revue at the Theatre Royal, even to the first-class Shakesperian production of last week. And judging from the houses every night, and the rollicking laughter that has roll- ed aloft furiously, I have little doubt that I am but one of many. The demands of the play house in war-time is, I honestly believe, that shaft give us something light and heady, some- thing that links life with a hearty shade, and drives the curking cares of home life and busi- ness, and loved ones far away, and muddled politics right. away. Kisses fulfils that de- mand adequately. I write adequately because a bad company playing mediocre nonsense would only dissatisfy and accentuate the complaint which the Theatre should cure. "Kisses" is just delightful nonsense well played by a com- pany of artistes. "Kisses," like its namesake, makes no pretence at a plot; it is just some- thing sweet and airy and spontaneous and wholly enjoyable because thereof. Laurie Wylie and Alfred Parker, who wrote the book, had a brain-storm whilst engaged on the work, and the consequence is that the scenes fit Alfred Bruno like so many perfectly tailored garm- ents. True. there is a fine dash of spice in the concoction, but it is spice so well done by the great comedian that it leaves, no bitter taste after the laugh is over-for laugh you must. Indeed, the after-flavour is as delicate and en- joyable as the full there and then dose. Bruno in "Kisses" reminds me forcibly of Fred Kit- chin at his best; but Bruno has enough individuality to make this a trifle unfair. For instance, there is the In the Train" scene done with Brunoesque artistry that no one could have done quite so well. What I like best about the great comedian is the many brands of excellent rumour that he pecks into his pieces. It is a different Bruno in the Train to in the Wood; there is distinction about some of his work in the Harem; and with the Camel, and as the Waiter with witticisms he is again different-just as it is yet another come- dian who burlesques Sousa as a finale. Of course it is a one man show, as most good revues are, but Tom Conover is an admirable foil, and partner to the great Albeit. A good comedian and strong ladies, in a theatrical sense. are the main demands on revue; we know that we have the one from Bruno's name fame and exploits this week. Anyone who has visited the Theatre will agree with me that Marie Owen .and Beatie Hall are as charming, clever and capable revue artistes as ever left the Metro- polis for a trip through the Provinces. Their work is stamped guinea gold and Beatie Evil's vocalism is one of the features of the stow. The chorus is exceptionally able, and even more exceptionally pretty. I do not want it to be thought that the revue has no weaknesses or that I am insensible to them. I know very well that the harmonies would do with streng- thening, and a few new lyric, with more of the sixpenny pop and a little less musical comedy in them would give it added gest-but I have ceased to look for perfection in things mund- ane, and there is much that is unexpectedly good, and clever, and unusual in "Kisses" that I swallowed the harmonics without a gulp. "Kisses" is one of the good things of the stage and I heartily wish it, and its happy players, l ayers, a long and successful run with many Happy Returns to the Merthyr Theatre Royal. Next week is to be a. return to drama, but it is drama with a, difference. "Mother Ma- chree' is a story of New York life that con- cedes nothing in grip or go to any of the old favourites of the days when melodrama held the field against all rivals in the popular af- fection; and has, in addition, charms of refine- ment and sweetness that they never knew. Mr Leonard Mortimer, who is bringing the com- pany. and is himself playing three of the leading parts, has a great reputation through- out Wales, not alone for his fine acting, but for the excellence of the plays that he has staged and toured; and be himself believes that "Mo- ther Machree" is the best thing that he has ever offered to a Welsh audience PLAYGOER. I




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