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THE CHRISTMAS SHOW. I

- - - - - - THE HANDS IN COLD…

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AMATEUR THEATRICALS AT CHESTER.

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AMATEUR THEATRICALS AT CHESTER. At tho Royalty Theatre, on Monday afternoon and evening, amateur performances were given of "Mrs. Gorringe's Necklace" with most suc- cessful results. Every part of the house was fiiled on both occasions, and this was particularly gratifying, as it was sought to benefit that excel- lent society the Chester Benevolent Association, of which Katharine Duchess of Westminster is patroness. The play was produced under the direction of Col. Hugh Archdale, C.B., and the cast was an exceptionally strong one. This was the first time "Mrs. Gorringe's Necklace'' had been presented in Chester, and though the plot is not strikingly novel, the story is smartly told, and an the hands of the talented performers it created a very favourable impression. Mrs. Gorringe, while on a visit to Col. and Mrs. Jardine. misses a diamond necklace from her dressing table. It has been taken by David Cairn, a fellow-guest, who has fallen into financial difficulties, and is engaged to Isabel, daughter of Mrs. Jardine. Cairn, having taken the nec klace, is stricken with remorse, and hides it in the library, pending an opportunity to return it. Tlie necklace is found by Captain Mowbray, another guest, also in love with Isabel, and a detective declares him guilty w i -a b L of the theft. Certainly circumstantial evidence is against him. Cairn admits to him that he has taken the jewel, and Mowbray, on learning that Cairn and Isabel have been secretly married, heroically determines to take the blame on his own shoulders. Cairn, however, has still a spaik of manliness left in him. and, leaving a note for his wife confessing his contemptible action, he puts an end to himself. This sounds more hke tragedy than comedy, but the pieoe scintillates with bril- liant repartee and amusing incidents. Monday evening's audience were kept in a continual bubble of merriment, and again and again they shewed their appreciation of the clever acting. Mrs. Hugh Archdale won golden opinions by her accom- plished impersonation of the flighty Mre. Gor- ringe. Her vivacity was delightfully refreshing, and her flirtation passages with Capt. Mowbray and subsequent recollection of the absent Mr Gorringe and her three children were distinctly drolL It may be mentioned that Miss Mary- Moore, 'who has the rights of the play, lent Mrs. Archdale the original necklace she wore during the run of the comedy in town. Mrs. Montague Thorold was most happy in her conception of the part of Mrs. Jardine, whose indignation at the carryings-on of Mrs. Gorringe and the upset over the missing necklace, lead to a breach of the laws of hospitality. In this scene Mrs. Thorold was remarkably realistic. Mrs. Sydney Sharpe made a charming Isabel, sustaining the emotional parts with much skill, and fully maintaining the high reputation she gained last year at a similar func- tion. Miss Dorothy Thorneyoroft shewed praise- worthy aptitude as the skittish Vicky, and Miss Lilias Summers as Miss Potts did what little she had to do well. Col. Hugh Archdale delineated the character of Capt. Mowbray in a quiet, natural manner, and Major MacGillycuddy, as usual, made a great hit in the role of the fussy Col. Jardine. which suited him admirably. Mr. Charles Kenyon shewed much histrionic ability M the unfortunate David Cairn. Mr. Alistair Tavler did full iustice to the nart of the detective. and Mr. C. H. Dale, R.W.F., made a creditable footma.n. The duties of stage manager were ably discharged by Mr. H. G. Rolt, and the following ladies made attractive programme sellers: —After- noon: The Misses Swetenham, Margery Frost, Angel Archdale, Vera Bosoawen, E. Sandbach, Dorothy Birch, B. Sandbach, Gwendolen Frost, and Freda. Barker. Evening: The Misses Ful- ton, H. Birch, E. Boscawen, Maud Frost, Archer. Robertson, and 0. Roberts. Among those who took tickets, and most of whom were present, were her Grace the Duchess of Westminster, the Countess Grosvenor, Lady Arthur Grosvenor, Sir Francis and Lady Howard, Lady Hanmer. the Hon. Mrs. Kenyon, the Hon. Mrs. Brodrick, the Hon. Mrs. Guy Feilden, Mr. and Mrs. Yerburgh, the Mayor and Mayoress of Chester, Mrs. Sand- bach, Mrs.. Howell Evans (Gresford), Mrs. Henry Gladstone, Mrs. Hornby Lewis, Mrs. E. W. Swetenham, Mrs. Aldersey, Mrs. Potts, Mrs. Barnston (Malpas), Mrs. Tvrer, Mrs. Nelson (Acton Park), Mrs. Rogerson. Col. and Mrs. Brown, Col. and Mrs. McLeod. Mrs. Soames. Mrs. Geo. Haves. Mrs. B. O. Roberts. Mr. and Mrs. R. Dixon, Mrs. Watkinson. Miss Sleigh, Mrs. T. Gibbons Frost, Mrs. J. G. Frost, Mrs. Uvodale Corbett, Mrs. Rogerson, Major and Mrs. Meredith, Mrs. Pearse, Mrs. Birch. Mrs. Rees, Mrs. Hamilton. Mrs. Barker. Mrs. W. Lees, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Thomson, Mrs. C. P. Douglas, Mrs. Buddicombe, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Barbour. Miss Keith Douglas, eto. A lady correspondent writes:—Some exceed- ingly pretty dresses were worn. Mrs Archdale, in the first act, appeared in a becoming gown of pale blue and white mousseline-de-soie, with dainty touches of pale blue. Mrs. Thorold was in cream, and Mrs. Sydney Sharpe in a pale pink costume and a smart claret Louis hat. In the second act Mrs. Thorold appeared in a handsome rose pink satin dress with flounces of black lace, and Mrs Arohdale's white spangled net over a satin even- ing gown was much admired. She was also wear- ing handsome diamond and turquoise ornaments. Mis3 Thorneycroft wore a pretty white dreas with blue ribbons. Mrs. Sharpe's evening gown was of pink chiffon. and she afterwards wore a pretty and effecti ve black soft silk dress, the skirt of whioh was flounced to the waist. She also wore a pretty hat of whito chiffon trimmed with pale blue and a touch of red. Mrs. Archdale later came on in a dainty soft pink .and white dress, wearing a charming -plumed hat. A"t the end of the second act bouquets were presented amid much applause. > <

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