The Era from London, Greater London, England on April 5, 1890 · 8
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The Era from London, Greater London, England · 8

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Saturday, April 5, 1890
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April 5, 1890. THE ERA. 8 THEATRICAL GOSSIP. Religion on the stage is always a mistake. Its introduction in the artificial world of the footlights is certain to offend many, and is always m dubious taste. If the praying scene in the fourth act of Mr Sydney Grundy's drama A Village Priest, produced at the Haymarket Theatre on Thursday night, could be removed, the piece would be one of the strongest and most interesting lately performed on the English stage. Me George Grossmith will noTTs has been frequently stated, pay a visit to the United States tins year, His provincial tour has been a very successful one The halls and public buildings have been filled to overflowing wherever he has given his entertainments, and "return visits," after very brief absences, have been as popular as "first appearances.' A custom which is becoming unpleasantly marked at most of our first nights is that of giving the principal actors in the pic-.-e a round of applause at each entry on and exit from the stage. These outbursts sadly detract from the effect of the performance, and it would be far bettor for the ontbm&u-t to wait until the end of the act before expressing their delight and admiration. Mr Henry Neville's valuable services have been secured by Mr Augustus Harris and Mr William Terriss for the production of Paul ICam-ar at Drury-lane. Ax amusing incident took place at Hooley's Theatre, Chicago, the other night during the performance of Borneo and Juliet. Miss Mather, who was playing Juliet, was suffering from a severe attack of influenza. In the last act, where the supposed lifeless body is seen lying in the tomb, Miss Mather was seized with an irresistible desire to sneeze. She controlled herself as long as she could, but just as Komeo. passionately lamenting the death of his fair young bride, opened the doors of the sepulchre, Juliet gave a very vigorous sneeze that brought a roar of laughter from the audience. The tragic ending of the p'ay was entirely spoiled. "The Real Little Loud Fauntleroy " was played by Mr Horace Liugnnl's company 011 Monday last at Aberdeen for the l,002d time. Me C. J. Alien, the euergetic acting - manager of the Gaiety Theatre, leaves per s.s. Etruria, on the. 12th inst., for New York, commissioned by Mr George Edwardes to make arrangements for another visit to America of Mr Fred. Leslie and Miss Farren, and for the carrying of the merry burlesque Faust Up to Date to California. Mr Ahud proposes to return by the same steamer that takes him out. Mr William Fakkkn, on Saturday night last, while appearing in the first act of David Garrick at the Criterion, was taken suddenly with illness, and created some alarm and anxiety among his friends and companions. Mr Farren soon after the commencement of the comedy paused in his part, and dropped apparently helpless into a chair, considerably alarming Miss Mary Moore, who was with him on the stage. After a painful silence the curtain was lowered, and there were many anxious and curious faces among the audience, who gave a hearty cheer, as presently it was raised again, and Mr Farren, happily recovered, went on with bis part, playing with pluck and determination, although evidently still suffering. At the end, when he was called, an apology for his non-appearance was made by Mr Charles Wyndliam. A scene of considerable excitement, in which several members of the No 2 Gondoliers company were the chief actors, was witnessed the other night at West Hartlepool, The night being fine and the air balmy, a number of the "boys" were assembled, after the performance, outside the Theatre Royal, when a cab suddenly dashed past. As it flew by a soft missile was thrown from the vehicle, caught the Grand Inquisitor in the eye, and scattered itself in fragments on the rest of the party. Burning with indignation at the gross and unprovoked insult, the Grand Inquisitor dashed off in hot pursuit, of his unknown assailant in the rapidly disappearing cab. " Come on, boys," was the cry, and presently tun cntuv party heaved into motion. "Stop that cab !" "Stop that cab !" were the shouts that filled the air, and presently the hue and cry became general. People flung cp.-n their street doors, and asked where the fire was. Others said it was another mystery of a h uisom cab. Pell-mell dashed the boys, still led by the Grand Inquisitor, lint it was no use. They were outpaced, and lost their intended prey on the outskirts of the town. Presently, however, the cab, having deposited its fare, returned. The Grand Inquisitor confronted it, and fixed the Jehu with his eye. He pulled up, and the name of his fare was demanded. This he refused to give, but as a compromise drove as many as he could accommodate to the same destination. The house was stormed, and the occupier brought to the door. He was accused of insult, but denied it, and, whilst admitting lie as in the cab, refused to name his confederates. His name was taken, and the boys threatened to proceed further with the matter. Then they good huinouie.lly treated the assault a clear case as a joke, and drove away with the knowledge that they had at least given one of their aggressors a salutary caution. A remakkai.LE feat, it is said, was recently accomplished by the Madison-square Th'-atre Company of New York with Aunt Jack. In order to play at Washington in aid of the Actors' Fund the company left Jersey Ohy Station at half-past seven in the morning, and arrived at Washington (a distance of 227 miles) at about a quarter to twelve. The performance of Aunt Jack began at one o'clock, before President Harrison and a brilliant audience, the receipts reaching 2.130 dollars, and at twenty-six minutes to eight the comedians were safely buck in Jersey City. Late in the evening they played the comedy as usual at the Madison-square house, showing, it is said, no trace of fatigue resulting from their rapidly executed journey of over 450 miles and the day performance. Some difficulty lias arisen with regard to M. Delaunay's appointment as stage - manager at the Fram;ais. He resides at Versailles, and, consequently, is reluctant to undertake night duty, so that the smaimers would have to continue their functions each evening, and a certain amount of confusion might accordingly occur between these dual authorities. It is possible, however, that this impediment may be removed. Mr Geo. Alexander, Mr H. Newson Smith (directors), and Mr C. J. Davies (secretary), of the Royal General Theatrical Fund, waited on Mr Leopold De Rothschild recently at New Court, asking him to honour the Fund by presiding at the annual festival, fixed for Thursday, June 12th next, at the Hotel Metropole, and he' very kindly informed those gentlemen that it would give him great pleasure to comply with their request. Miss Marie Tempest will make her reappearance as Kitty Carroll in The lied Hvssar, at the Lyric Theatre, this evening, when the new musical vaudeville in one act, entitled The Sentry, by F. Remo and Malcolm Watson, music by Ivan Caryll, will also be produced. Mr John Hake's health was the cause of serious anxiety at the clo.-e of last week ; but a few days' rest at breezy Brighton has completely restored his wonted vigour, and thi3 evening at the Garrick he will resume lifs clever and enjoyable impersonation in A Pair of Spectacles. Madame Sarah Bernhardt recently wrote to the Archb'shop of Paris to a.-k whether it would be offensive to Catholics to perform the Passion play of M. Harau-court on Good Friday evening, in ordinary costume, and in the form of an oratorio, interspersed with declamation. She added that her own desire would be to introduce some kind of monastic or pilgrim garb more in keeping with the high character of the poem. Cardinal Kichard has given no direct reply, but has merely repeated that in principle he disapproves of mystery plays, which are only adapted exclusively to a Catholic state of society and to very simple surroundings, such as those of QUr Ammergau or Brixlegg. Mrs Billington has been engaged by Mr Thomas Thome for the proposed revival of She Stoops to Conquer at the Vaudeville, and will, of course, play Mrs Hardeastle. Mr Charles Melville's new romantic drama, Reality, is meeting with great success, and is booked well into next year at all the first-class theatres. Reality will be played at two London theatres during the year. Mr W. E. Langley has purchased the entire rights of, and intends touring shortly with, a new comedy-drama written specially for him by Mr C. A. Clarke, author of Current Cash, &c. He will be accompanied hy little Beryl Mercer, in a part written for her, and Miss Beryl Montague (Mrs W. E. Langley), the successful Jack and Polly, in Sand in Sand, and by other well-known artistes, Mr George Alexander has secured a new one-act play, by Walter Frithe, entitled A Midsummer Day, and proposes to produce it at the Avenue. "The Grandsire," which was produced so successfully last season at Terry's Theatre by Mr George Alexander, is to be given at matinees at the Avenue after Easter. " The Gondoliers " (E) company, on tour, have just formed a cricket club under the most favourable auspices. Mr W. Kemble undertakes the captaincy and Mr E. H. Beresford the hon. presidentship. Under a receiving order made in the case of Horace Guy Smith, trading as "Horace Guy," and described as of Liverpool-street, King's-oross, late of Brighton, theatrical manager, accounts have been furnished showing liabilities 1,110 and assets nil. The debtor states that in August, 1S8S (having at that time a capital of 4,000), he became a theatrical manager. He attributes bis insolvency to losses (estimated at 4,405) incurred in connection with two operas, for the production of which he engaged companies, and to embarking in this speculation without any previous experience, also to personal expenditure, estimated at 1,000. The debtor intimated his intention to offer his creditors a composition of 2s. Gd. in the pound. At the first meeting before the Official Receiver, on Thursday, the chairman, in dealing with the proofs, said that several persons who were creditors for wages had sent in voting letters for the acceptance of 2s. 6d., thereby waiving their preferential rights, and it seemed that the ladies and gentlemen who had taken this course were animated by the well-known desire on the part of members of the theatrical profession to assist one another. On the voting facing taken, the chairman announced that the debtor's proposal was not accepted by the necessary majority of creditors, and the Official Receiver would continue to act as trustee under the proceedings. On Easter Monday, at the afternoon performance, Messrs Alfred German Reed and Corney Grain will produce a new entertainment entitled Carnival Times, written by Malcolm Watson, music by Corney Grain, and an entirely new musical sketch will be given by Mi Corney Grain called Tommy at College. Mr Henry Irving has been on a visit to Shanklin, Isle of Wight. Mr Henrt Jones has just died atStratford-on-Avon, at the advanced age of eighty-six. For upwards of half a century Mr Jones has been considered a Stratford celebrity, and his museum of curiosities was most probably unique. It has been visited by many thousands of English and American travellers, including some of the most prominent Shakespearian writers and actors of tlie day. Mr Jones aspired to be considered a poet, and wrote verses, which he used to recite to visitors. His visitors' book contained the names of many famous men, both of England and America, together with their observations. Mr Clifton Bingham is at work on an operetta to be entitled Daphne's Dilemma. Mr and Mrs Francis Jerrard (Miss Emilie Grattan), of the Sweet Lavender company, and Mr Walter Hatton, of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, have been the guests of Harry G. Don, Esq., at "Ryehill3,'; Marske-by-the-Sea," during the week. Messrs Arthur Whittaker and William Jennings' Our Flat compary start their tour at the Theatre Royal, Ipswich, on Monday. Miss May Bowerman has recovered from her recent illness, and is about to resume her professional duties. Miss Florence L. Forster has been engaged by Miss Emma Hutchison for juvenile lead in her Squire's Wife and Pink Dominos tour. Probate of the will, dated Oct. 10th, 1S89, of the late Mrs Sarah Farebrother (usually known as Louisa FitzGeorge), of 0, Queen-street, Mayfair, who died on Jan. 12th last, aged seventy-five years, has been granted to the executors, his Royal Highness George William Frederick Charles, Duke of Cambridge, and Lieutenant-General Kichard Bateson, of the Ranger's Lodge, Hyde-park, equerry to the said Duke of Cambridge, by whom the value of the testatrix's personal estate has been sworn at 12,763 13s. The testatrix bequeathes to General Bawsou, Mr G. W. F. Brown, and Mr George Brown, of Elm-grove, Staines. 100 each : to Colonel Charles Manners Sutton Farebrother, 2,000; to Mrs Louisa Catherine Hamilton, wife of Colonel Francis Fisher Hamilton, 1,000 ; and specific legacies of plate and jewellery to Colonel Farebrother, Colonel and Mrs Hamilton, Colonel George William Augustus FitzGeorge, Captain Adolphus Augustus Frederick FitzGeorge, R.N., and Colonel Augustus Charles Frederick FitzGeorge, the last-named of whom is to have the option of taking the furniture of the house in Queen-street for 800. The residue of her property the testatrix leaves in trust for Colonel Farebrother, Mrs Hamilton, Colonel George W. A. FitzGeorge, Captain FitzGeorge, and Colonel Augustus FitzGeorge. "The Dead Heart " will be kept in the Lyceum bill until Friday, May 9th, after which date we are promised revivals of Louis XL, The Bells, and Olivia. " Wealth," Mr Henry A. Jones's much-abused Hay-market play, is in rehearsal at the Madison-square Theatre, New York, for production by Mr Palmer's company. "Dr. Bill" will be given at a matinee at the Avenue on Monday, and arrangements have been made for the company to appear at Portsmouth, Brighton, Heading, Cambridge, &c. These matinees will in no way interfere with the usual evening performance in London. THE production of M. de Bornier's Mahomet at the Francais has been definitively interdicted, in deference to the objections of the Sublime Porte. Mr Scovel, the popular singer, is continuing to add to the list of his admirers in America, having appeared with the greatest success in Faust, Carmen, &c, with the Boston Ideal Opera Company. " The Lottery of Life " is the title selected by Mr Neville Doone for his new four-act society drama, to be presented at a matinee at the Comedy Theatre on Thursday, May 8th, Mr J. W. Turner's English opera company furnish the holiday attraction at the Standard, opening with The Bohemian Girl at a matinee on Monday, Montana being underlined for the evening performance. Mr Arthur S. Godfrey has been engaged by Mr Rich WalJou for his forthcoming stock season at the Princess's Theatre, Glasgow. Mr F. Fernandez has been engaged as business-manager for My Uncle tour. Miss Le Bert will play Mary Bazin in The Linendraper, in place of Miss Forsyth, who goes to Terry's Theatre to play in Nixie. til Gerald Maxwell is engaged to support Lady Monckton at the opening of the New Theatre, Richmond. Mr Fred. Emney, theLurcherof the Dorothy provincial company, has, by the advice of his doctor, o ,-1.-.,.,, TVT ..flifnvrnnfinn ft.nrl Tea vinw at Onn- stantinople. Miss Lilian Seccombe is continuing tne success m New Zealand that 8he has already naa in Australia. Mrs Langthy will give two special matinees of As You Like Lt at the St. James's Theatre on Saturday next and the following Saturday, April 19th, and will also produce the comedy at the Crystal Palace on Thursday, May 1st. Mr C. Hayden Coffin will shortly give a morning concert at the Prince's Hall, and will be supported by Misses Mary Davies, Liza Lehmann, Marian Mackenzie, Hope Temple, and Amy Roseile ; Mr Lawrence Kellie, Mons. Nachez, and Signor Randegger. The four weeks' visit of the Carl Rosa grand opera company to Manchester, which was concluded mat Saturday evening by an enjoyable performance of The Lily of Killarncy, is said to be the most successful which the company has ever paid to that city. The large Theatre Royal was crowded at each performance by appreciative audiences, and on the occasion of the company's next visit, their engagement will, according to present arrangements, extend to six weeks. Miss Maude Millett will commence a short provincial tour, supported by her own company, at the Theatre Royal, Cambridge, on Monday, 28th inst. Miss Millett has placed all her business arrangements m the hands of Mr Gilbert Tate. The Prince of Wales, who arrived in Paris on Tuesday afternoon for a twenty-four hours' stay on his way to Cannes, spent the evening at the Vaudeville, where Feu Toupinel is proving a tremendous success. Nothing has yet been heard of M. Saint-Saens, but his friends are still confident that no uneasiness need be felt on his account. WITH regard to M. Marais's probable return to the Francais, it is stated that the actor has spontaneously offered to undergo the ordeal of three debuts in roles selected by the director of the house, and to submit to the verdict pronounced on his performance in them. Some of the most celebrated artistes entered our leading theatre in this way, but it has long gone out of use. M. Marais has won general approval by his plucky proposal to revive it. Me Leonard Outraji has acquired the rights of Mr W. G. Wills's tragedy Juanna. The Johannesberg Opera Bouffe Company, organised by Messrs Thorne and Lockwood, on behalf of a syndicate, has recently been disbanded through the syndicate having " burst." The intelligence of the collapse of the South African capitalist combination was not wired to England until Mr A. E, Thorne had collected a company of thirty, who worked for four weeks at rehearsing no less than three operas. The artists were paid for these rehearsals, and Mr Thorne is admitted to be entirely without blame in the matter. "Sinbad THE Sailor," originally produced by Mr Elliston at the New Theatre Royal, Bolton, finished its career on Saturday last, having run fourteen weeks. TVTt, CfT-T-TTrtTT-n TJTnT.-c , i,ama-r. In lpftrn IS IvlUJ? seriously ill at San Francisco, where he has been playing with the Kendals. Mr Fred Horner's play, The Bungalow, is to be produced in Berlin at the Wallner Theatre, on Saturday next, and Mr Horner has started for the German capital i :.,i.,,-l l nliocraDlo Th p P-tpr man 111 OlUei UU SUlJCilUtiClIU UilC lOU title will be Das Model (The Model). The 200th performance of The Bungalow will be given at Toole's Theatre on Easter Tuesday, on which occasion a re-issue rn, .,,.-.IU r,A.,nr nnnlqinin TwrpnT.v.fwn ll T US UI Wie JUOAUll aouvciijio uuvaiu."-, trations from the play) will be made, and a copy given " Tmii?c;Ttn "RnnNniuv " will be Droduced at the Comedy Theatre on Monday next, preceded by Pink Dominos. "April Showers" starts the series of matinees at the Comedy on Wednesday next, and will be played every Wednesday and Saturday. The Linendraper is due at the Comedy Theatre on Thursday, the 17th inst., with an excellent cast. Miss Sylvia Grey has undertaken to play the part nr TVT.'nt, Pmfhrmoii in Mm TWnsffravp'a fieri.?? and Co.. at the Prince of Wales's Theatre on the 17th inst., at IVir William meeu a manure. Mrs W. Sidney', so long connected with Richmond, will play Mrs Cluppins in Bardell v. Pickwick on Monday, at the New Theatre. Arthur Williams, another old Richmond favourite, will play Sam Weller ; W. H. Denny, a resident of Richmond, will be the Judge ; and Mr J. R. Crauford will appear as Serjeant Buzfuz. Mr Lonsdale being indisposed, the part of the Marquis in Les Cloches de Corneville at the Opera Oomique was taken on Thursday evening by Mr William Hogarth, For Mr W. B. Redfarn's No. 1 Dorothy tour, commencing in July at the Grand Theatre, Derby, there have been secured the services of Mr J. Furneaux Cook, Mr John Bannister, Miss Marion Cross, Miss EsmiS Lee, &c. Miss Marriott rejoins Mr Irving's company, when he reopens at the Lyceum in September. Miss Le Warren has been engaged by Mr William Terriss to play the Widow Melnotte in his matinees of The Lady of Lyons. Miss Bella Cuthbert has been engaged by Miss Moody for her original part in Kleptomania. Miss Naomi Neilson, having recovered from indisposition, has been engaged by Miss Fortescue for her forthcoming tour. On Thursday last, at St. Helens, a football match was j-Jayed between the gentlemen of Mr J. B. Ashley's Manhood company, dressed in grotesque costumes, and Mr Cross's team. Rugby rules. The gate money was handed over to the local hospitals. DEATH OF AN OL.D ACTRESS. Miss Amelia Mercer, aged between seventy-five and eiirbtv. died on Monday last. This old ladv had for several years been entirely supported by the Dramatic and Musical bick X una, wnicti uetrays the expenses or her funeral in their ground "The Actors' Acre" at Woking Cemetery. The case of Miss Mercer was brought to the notice of the Dramatic and Musical Sick Fund at a time when she was in extreme distress. The brokers were in possession of her small effects, and starvation stared her in the face. From all future difficulties the committee at once determined to relieve her. They placed the matter before the Actors Benevolent Fund, but unfortunately their rules were so stringent, she having left the stage some twenty years, they could not assist. The rules of the Dramatic and Musical Fund being more elastic, the poor old lady has been most carefully protected to the end. Miss Mercer's career before the very sad accident occurred which deprived her of any further opportunity of appearing before the public a fall that dislocated her spine had been a most prosperous one. Both in London and the provinces, in the thirties and forties, she played lead and seconds with such artists as Sheridan Knowles, Vandenhoff, Cooke, Macready, G. V. Brooke, Henry Betty, Webster, R. Younge, Alfred Wigan, &c, and with, in the casts, Miss Helen Faucit, Mr Coleman Pope, Miss Ellen Tree, &c; and to show the great versatility of Miss Mercer's talents we may mention that she sang, played the guitar, and danced in many productions in the company of the great Brabam, Stuart King, Harry Bedford, Henry Phillips, Mrs Waylett, Miss P. Horton, &c. Such names will bring, no doubt, many pleasant memories to those who still survive. About three or four years since, Mr J. D. Tidd, hon. treasurer of the Dramatic and Musical Sick Fund, made an appeal for Miss Mercer, which unfortunately was not very productive. Should any one living who may remember her desire to show any respect, contributions towards placing a memorial on her grave may be sent to Mr Tidd, at the offices of the Dramatic and Musical Sick Fund, 9, Adam-street, W.C. The funeral will take place on Sunday. "A VILLAGE PRIEST." Play in Five Acts, adapted from " Le Secret de la Terreuse," by Sydney Grundy, ..,,,, and produced at the Haymarket on Thursday, April 3d. The Abbe Dubois Mr Tree Jean Torquenie Mr Fernandez Armand D'Arcay Mr Fred Terry Captain of Gendarmes Mr Allan Madame D'Ar;av Mrs Gaston Murray Comtessc dc Tre'meillan .... Miss Rose Leclercq Marguerite Mrs Tree Jeanne Torquenie; Miss Norreys Madeleine Mrs E. H. Brooke Le Secret de la Terreuse, the five-act drama by MM. Busnach and Cauvin, from which Mr Sydney Grundy has drawn his new drama, A Village Priest, was first played at the Chateau d'Eau Theatre, Paris, on October 12th last year. The story of the French piece runs as follows : M. Armand D'Arijay, a barrister of Rouen, is engaged to Mdlle. Marguerite de Tremeillan, the daughter of a widowed Comte of that name, who ir.hahit.a a chateau in the environs of the town. Armand's mother is a widow; and both she and the Comte highly approve of the betrothal. A personage important to the storv, but who does not actually appear . , . T V T . . . 1 - - ' Ul., Un m tne piece, is a iu. ue luortrie, a ruua uuuicmu, besides paying unsuccessful court to the wife of a gamekeeper named Jean Torquenie, succeeded in corrupting the virtue of Madame de Tremeillan. When the Comte discovered his wife's infidelity and his friend's treachery, he challenged the latter to a duel ; but he was prevented from risking his life by the blind devotedness and criminal cunning of an old nurse, who was passionately attached to the Count and his family. This woman, who had served in the ranks of the insurgent troops during the Vendiean war, had earned for herself, by her exploits behind the improvised earthworks of the "Chouans," the sobriquet of "La Terreuse." On learning of the proposed duel, she stole the cun of the camekeener. Torauenie, hid behind a hedge, shot De Mortrie dead, and then, leaving the weapon on the ground, went to tell the Comte of her deed. In order to prevent the inevitable scandal which would result from the whole truth being made known, the Comte took into his confidence his friend, the President D'Arcay, a distinguished judge. The latter allowed himself to be influenced by sympathy with the deceived husband, and summed up so heavily against Torquenie at his trial for the murder of de Mortrie, that the latter was convicted of the crime and sentenced to ten years' hard labour. In the first act of the drama, Torauenie, white-haired and worn, who is at liberty on a ticket-of-leave, returns to Kennes. and entrusts the rehabilitation ot nis cnarac ter to the young barrister. Armand undertakes the case ; but, remarking the portrait of the old Judge on the wall ot the room, Torquenie rjursts into sucn violent railing that Armand turns him out of the house. Gradually, however, a suspicion of his father's dis honesty in this particular trial steals over tne son ; ana this suspicion is confirmed by circumstantial evidence. A volume of "The Vicar of Wakefield" had been found in the dead man's pocket, and Armand observes the pages to be marked so as to serve as a secret cypher, which, being interpreted, points to a liaison of De Mortrie s with some lady. This volume, it transpires, came from the library of the Tremeillan Chateau ; and Armand soon comprehends the truth, and understands the reason of his father's injustice. Finally, in the fourth act, La Terreuse reveals her guilt to Armand in a fit of sonnambulism, in which she repeats before him the details of her crime. Armand demands of the Comte reparation to the innocent Torquenie : but Tremeillan refuses to make public his wife's frailty, and tells Armand that by exposing his father's guilt he will break his mother's heart. The self-denial of the old gamekeeper, who, on understanding the pain that would be caused to the innocent by the truth being made known, renounces his hopes of rehabilitation, shames the Count into a confession which answers its purpose without doing harm, and Armand, having achieved his task, is able to marry Marguerite with an easy conscience. Such are the materials which Mr Sydney Grundy has utilised in the making of his new play A Village Priest, which was played for the first time, at the Haymarket Theatre, on Thursday. He has treated them with equal boldness, dexterity, and ingenuity. Eliminating the homicidal and sonnambulistic hag entirely from his scheme, he has made the Count de Tremeillan the man who was murdered, and the man who murdered him the President D'Arcay himself. In the first act of A Village Priest Torquenie returns, having escaped from imprisonment. His daughter Jeanne is horrified instead of being delighted at meeting him, and the feeling that his beloved child believes him to be guilty is an additional spur to the eagerness of the unjustly accused man to prove his innocence, In the second act, which takes place iu the Abbe's garden, suspicion of his father's injustice begins to steal upon Armand, and the circumstantial evidence he discovers in the marked volume of Goldsmith's novel suggests to him inferences which, in the third act, lead him to cross-examine the Countess De Tremeillan. The deceased President D'Arcay, it seems, was not only a murderer but a base slanderer, and had poisoned the mind of the Comtesse, who believed her husband guilty of an amour with Marianne Torquenie, and, in retaliation, was unfaithful to the Judge. Under the searching investigation of the young lawyer the Comtesse breaks down, and kneels to him for mercy, imploring him not to persevere in an exposure which will cause 30 mucli pain to herself, to Madame D'Argay, and to his betrothed. But Armand, in spite of all, determines to do his duty, even though it make it necessary for him to give up his marriage with Marguerite. It is at this point that the Abbe Dubois becomes an important personage in the action. He had learned the dreadful truth abotit the murder from the lips of the President D'Arijay himself before he died, and, up to this point, his conscience has not beeu sufficiently uneasy to induce him to take the extreme step of violating the secrecy of the confessional. But when Torquenie returns, hunted down by gendarmes, to claim vindication ; when Armand presses the Abbe to reveal the truth, the good priest goes through a terrible moral struggle. What is it his duty to do ? He kneels in the moonlight, and prays for a sign. The moon, peeping from behind a cloud, throws a beam of radiance upon the page of an open Bible standing on a reading-desk ; and the first words which meet the Abbe's eye are interpreted by him as an indication of the Divine will. He resolves to speak out, though doing so will force him to leave the Church. Fortunately for all parties, this sublime sacrifice is not necessary. Torquenie has only another year to serve, and sooner than cause pain to the aged Madame D'Arcay, who has been a benefactor to him and his child Jeanne, lie prefers to go back to prison, and the curtain falls on his departure with the party of soldiers sent to capture him. The dialogue of A Village Priest is eloquent, literary, and refined ; and if Mr Beerbohm Tree and Mr Sydney Grundy can only bring themselves to eliminate the prayerful soliloquy at the end of the fourth act a scene which, whatever may be said in its defence, is cert-iin to offend a considerable section of the playgoing puhlic we think that then A Village Priest will prove one of the strongest and most interesting dramas which has been produced for some time. The acting all round was almost faultless. Mr Beerbohm-Tree's character-acting is always excellent, and his make-up and manner as the middle-aged Abbe, with his wisps of grey hair on either side of his temple?, his mild benignity of bearing, and his clerical address were equally admirable. But it was not until the latter part of the play that the full force of Mr Tree's talent had scope. A finer piece of intellectual acting than his representation of the Abbe's conscientious struggle has seldom been seen on the English stage. The elevation of its treatment, the dignified reserve of its style, and the grandeur of its moral tone made Mr Tree's Abbe Dubois a noble conception carried out with real genius. Mr Fernandez, in theioleof Jean Torquenie, bad a part of the kind in which ho specially excels. This martyr to the ill-deeds of others was depicted by Mr Fernandez with wonderful truth to nature, with unaffected pathos, and with touching resignation. Mr Fred. Terry was admirable throughout as Armand D'Arcay, and particularly so in the scene with the Comtesse in the third act, where this excellent young actor had moments of fine intensity which startled and thrilled. Mr Allan was neat and solid as the Captain of Gendarmes, and Mrs Gaston Murray played Madame D'Arcay with all the mild and gentle grace which the character required. As the Comtesse De Tremeillan Miss Rose Leclercq was seen to great advantage. From beginning to end her treatment of the role was replete with aristocratic ease and artistic finish, and in the more powerful portions of the part she rose to a high level of histrionic achievement. Mrs Tree as Marguerite was as sweet and sympathetic as could be desired, and Miss Norreys' expression of dread in the one scene in which, she, as Jeanne Torquenie, had any opportunity, made a distinct and decidedly favourable impression. Mrs E. H. Brooke as the Abbe's imperious but affectionate housekeeper, Madeleine, supplied a touch of comedy which harmonised pleasantly with the lighter passages of Mr Tree's own role. The scenery was delightfully tasteful and artistic. The interiors were as real, solid, and luxurious as could be wished, and the pretty pictune of the Abbe's garden, with its blossoming fruit tree and the flat poplar-grown pastures beyond, was charming in its freshness, beauty, and appropriately French character. "DR. BILL" AT THE AVENUE. Dr. William Brown Mr George Amxaxder Mr Firman Mr Ai.sert Chevalier Mr Horton Mr George Capei. George Webster Mr Benjamin Webster Ba(rir3 Mr Harry Grattan Mralaorton .' Miss Fanny Broi gfi Louisa Brown Miss Elizabeth Robins Jenny Firman Miss Laura Graves Mrs Firman Miss Carlotta Leclerco. EHen Miss Marie Linmn Miss Fauntl'eroy Miss Edith Kenv, ard When, a few weeks ago, Mr George Alexander commenced his managerial career at the house by the Thames Embankment, and the curtain had fallen on Mr Hamilton Aide's latest contribution to the world's fun, we predicted that all London would laugh on hearing of the difficulties created for "Dr. Bill " by a too-officious father-in-law, and would make haste to laugh again on seeing them. Our prediction was well founded, for since the opening night the youngest manager in the metropolis has had the gratification of witnessing, crowds at his doors, crowds in all parts of the house long before the rising of the curtain, and a full treasury as the pleasant result of the enjoyment afforded by one of drollest and cleverest farcical comedie3 seen on the London stage in recent years. The only objection that can be brought even by the purist against Dr. Bill will come, if it comes at all, from professional sources. It may be very funny, though it 13 not quite correct to represent to the public that theatrical life is, to use an expressive vulgarism, "all beer and skittles;" but there are those who doubt the propriety of exposingthe seamy side of the profession, and of creating an impression that actors and actresses all belong to a fast school, and spend their leisure hours as the prodigal spent his cash, in riotous living. It would be, however, ungracious to grumble at those who, in this instance, have served up so enjoyable a "Bill," and any who are inclined that way we are sure will be at least partially-cured if they will but consult the Avenue " Doctor." Mr George Alexander as Dr. Bill. We have already remarked that to go straight from the serious work of Adelphi melodrama to the wild nonsense of a farcical comedy such as that under notice, and to be at once at home in the same is no easy matter, and argues considerable versatilitv iu the actor who attempts the task and in the attempt succeeds. That Mr Alexander has succeeded is as Mr uuoert s jingnsnman saiu 01 ms nationality "greatly to his credit." There is, of course, a good deal that is serious about Dr. William Brown, for it is the doctor who has to bear the brunt of the difficulties created by a fussy father-in-law who, determined that he shall not enjoy the quiet life for which his soul perhaps longs, and which expediency and a remembrance of past peccadilloes have certainly suggested, sticks a brass plate on his door, sends circulars far and wide, and brings him patients he would rather be without. Mr Alexander then is serious enough, but his is the seriousness from which springs merriment, and the more faithfully he depicts the trouble-t of the doctor and the married man the louder is the laughter of those who look and listen. Mr Albert Chevalier as Mr Firman, This is that dreadful father-in-law. The doctor applies to him an adjective slightly stronger, but also initialed with the letter "D." Mr Chevalier's Mr Firman is funny in appearance. There is laughter concealed in that lock of hair that is so artfully arranged on his fussy fore-bead, behind which lurks a fussy brain. The air with which he brings in medical works for his son-in-law's study ; the importance he puts 011 as he hands out envelopes for direction to ladies of all the professions the consciousness of having done a clever thing i hich marks his acknowledgment of the Utter forged for the-doctor's advertisement and the gulling of the British nublic. are all comical in the extreme ; but still more comical is the actor in the exhibition of old Firman's perplexity iu the wildly extravagant business of the second act. Mr Chevalier is certainly responsible for many of the aching sides that are the result of the hilarity created during the progress of the piece. Mr Benjamin Webster as georgk webster. Here we have the mashiest of the tribe of mashers. His collar is of the starchiest and the stilfest ; his grin a grin that shows his teetli is everlasting that is, until the catastrophe comes and he has to dodge deserved punishment. The suggestion of the lady-killer is most eloquent, and very cleverly as well as very comically is it shown that the masher, when comes his opportunity to mash, finds that he is without brains, and that having run his fair quarry to her lair he cannot conjure up a word to say to her. Mr Webster's-portrait of Masher George is complete in all its details. MISS r AN NY" UROUGH AS MRS HORTON. I HIS IS tne lady who is the object of George Webster's silly atten tions. Tins is the burlesque actress who, Being marneci to a superintendent of notice, findsitimnossibleto settle down to the humdrum of domestic life, and, so finding, bothers her pretty little head about her neighbours business. Thus bothering, she contrives the complications which form, as it were, the backbone of the production and the source of the greatest hilarity. It is verv amusintr to note her air of snnerior knowledge and experience with which this Mrs Horton makes Mrs W. Brown uneasy in the first act with her suggestion mac the doctor is not to be trusted, and ha' declaration that all the men are alike ; but the actress's great opportunity comes in the second act, where, having, put her scheme for man's exposure into execution, she finds it has been based 011 a woful mistake. We have said, and we mav repeat with emphasis, that a better picture of comic terror than that presented by the actress when Mrs Horton realises the extent ot the blunder she has committed is not to be imagined, and that in the frantic resolve to get at the key down her own back be it observed which possihly may prevent a domestic catastrophe, the heights and the depths of funny frenzy aie reached. By this impersonation Miss Brough strengthens her hold on public favour and her position as one of the very best comic actresses our stage can boast. Mr George Capel as the jealous Superintendent Ol Police. Mr Harrv Grattun as s?rs. servant to the Doctor, Bliss Robins as the Doctor's much-worried- wife. Miss Laura Graves as her sister. Miss Carlotta. Loolercq as her mother, and Miss Marie Linden as Mrs Mortons pert and innnisitive maul all give good sup port; and Miss Edith Ken ward may be ag-iin complimented for keeping free from offence and yet adequately vivacious the nart of Miss Fauntieroy, the dashing. young damsel, who, with lively reminiscences of the li-angaroo Dance, knocks all the propriety out ot "Dr. Bill." Presentation. At the 't'heatre Royal. Middhs-roush, on Saturday, being the last night of the season. It- .T I'l-niidlMi- tbo 1.,.- nresenterl with a hand some marble timepiece, subscribed for by the company otner ineruis, the presentation oemg maue on ,r.. k,r Hi- ri4 T3.,la Mr Prrttl ,1 I o r T t iiti r. A the tha ;iiks in a very neat and appropriate speech.

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