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June 16. Mogul Tale.-Ways and Means.-Peeping Tom. 17. Mock Doctor.-Review.-Five miles off.
18. Fortune's Frolic.-Inkle and Yarico.-Animal Magnetism.
19. Hunter of the Alps.-Dramatist.*-Catch him who can. June 20.
Powell's Lady Duberley was a perfect chandler's wife, and Lord Duberley, by Mr. Mathews, suffers nothing by a comparison with the best of his predecessors. A richer piece of comic acting than he presented in the first scene, between Lord Duberley and Mr. Steadfast, has rarely been witnessed. In the obsolete language of Chaucer, he was the “realle foosele."
Miss Taylor, who appeared for the first time in Caroline Dormer, possesses considerable merit. Her figure is pretty, and her countenance expressive, which, together with a very agreeable voice, gave much interest to the character she sustained. Her action is awkward, but attention and study will correct this defect, and render her a valuable
The theatre has undergone a thorough repair: it has been newly painted white and gilt, and to its present neat and elegant appearance is added the desirable improvement of a lobby, in the front of the house, on a level with the slips, up one pair of stairs.
Mr. Reynolds's merry comedy, the Dramatist, was played on this evening. Mr. Fawcett, in Vapid, and Mrs. Gibbs, in Marianne, did the author ample justice, and afforded the audience an abundance of amusement. Of the rest it would be a compliment to say nothing.Mr. Palmer, taking advantage of the spacious room he possesses for improvement, has certainly done something favourable with regard to his pronunciation, but we wish he would study the graces even a little. Nothing can be more vulgar than his manners and deportment, and the dress which he wore to represent Harry Neville, a lover and a gentleman, was far more fit for that sort of gentleman, who announces a visitor, or delivers a letter. Mr. Palmer, however, has capabilities, and improveable faculties, but Mr. Winston has never shewn any symptom of capability, and it is too late in the day with him to sanction in us the hope that he will ever improve the meagre faculties which nature has bestowed on him. How one who, as an actor, has "neither the accent of christian, nor the gait of christian, pagan, nor man," and who struts, slobbers, and vapours to the ridicule and disgust of all abservers, should be allowed to thrust himself into a part which no other performer in the theatre, who would undertake it, could enact with such superlative demerit, may seem strange. The secret, how
20. Five miles off.-Irish Widow.-Tom Thumb.
ever, is disclosed in the substance of a speech, which he makes in this character-Floriville,—There is one person in that house, who, in his eyes, has all the accomplishments of man, and whom he loves more than all other created beings-himself.
Now my good Lord Abergavenny ;
"What does this vanity,
"But minister communication of
"A most poor issue?" Henry VIII:
And thus we see Mr. Winston, because he is a proprietor, and thinks he may dance to his own music, gratifying his pitiful ambition, in utter contempt of the public and common sense.
* The part of the Widow Brady, in the Irish Widow, introduced Mrs. Litchfield again on these boards, after an absence of five years. Her reception was highly flattering, but not more so than her rare talents well deserve. This farce was written by Garrick to exhibit the versatility of the genius of Mrs. Barry, and it may be safely questioned, from the delight experienced on the present occasion, whether that celebrated actress did more justice to the part than Mrs. Litchfield. The various powers of Mrs. Litchfield are also made conspicubus by this performance, but here, however we may differ from others, and that lady herself, we must make one remark. Much as we have always admired her fine voice and sound judgment, and estimable as we think her in tragedy
"Hanc socci cepêre -, grandesque cothurni
Alternis aptam sermonibus-"
it has ever been our opinion that comedy is her forte. The humour and naiveté, which she displays in the Widow Brady, and the neatness and archness with which she delivers the dialogue, give such full proofs of vis comica in her nature, as leave no doubt that she would stand at the head of her profession in this line of acting. Mrs. Martyr is no more, and Mrs. Mattocks will, probably, soón quit the scene. The public stock of mirth will then suffer a loss, which none could so ably repair as Mrs. Litchfield.
+ We have delayed putting this division of our work to press, for the purpose of noticing Mr. Young, from the Manchester theatre, who, on this night, made his first appearance on a London stage, in the character of Hamlet. In the whole circle of the drama there is scarcely any part more arduous than that of the youthful Prince of Denmark, but, undismayed by its difficulty, and the various powers, 3 I-VOL. I.*
necessary to fill it, even respectably, many theatrical adventurers, on the principle of aut Cæsar, aut nullus, are perpetually seen chusing this rôle for their debût, and sinking immediately afterwards into obscurity, deep in proportion to the giddy height, from which their ignorance and presumption had precipitated them. The fame of Mr. Young had pre.ceded his steps, and his essay in the part was attended by happier auspices, and a more flattering issue. We went prepared to see much, and if report had at all deceived us, it was by under-rating his abilities.— We shall make no comparisons-none is necessary, since there was no other imitation in his performance of Hamlet than such as any two actors must exhibit, who play the same part with a judicious observance of its objects and bearings. He, that chuses to seek a greater portion of originality, may easily find it by travelling out of the chosen road of propriety and good sense.
The success of Mr. Young was complete. His voice is excellent, and he commands it to any utterance. His judgment is sound and his taste correct. In a picture full of merit, we are almost at a loss to point out beauties particularly deserving of notice. His delivery of "Leave me, friends,” to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, in the third act, was admirably conceived, and his manner of uttering the words, "Is it the king?" was magical in its effect. The scene with Ophelia, and the instructions to the players, were excellent, but the closet-scene was perfect. Mrs. Litchfield, in the Queen, here ably supported him.
As the Merchant of Venice terminates with the fourth act, so is Hamlet nothing after the third; but what was left for the actor to do, he did with unabating spirit and judgment. His voice does not possess the compass to rant, were he so inclined, but it is peculiarly adapted to the expression of tenderness, in which it is remarkably fine. If he failed in any thing, it was in the lighter parts, in which he, sometimes, did not infuse a sufficient degree of ease and playfulness. Some words he gave an accent to, which we cannot approve of. If he pronounces "complete," (act 1. sc. 4.) in this manner, complete, and not, as the measure requires, cómplete, (see our No. III. p. 208); why should he care about "Nemean," in the line
"As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve,”
and give it thus, Neměan, instead of Nemean, like Spenser, and Claudian "Nemæum Leonem?" As he uses "chanson" with a French accent, why should he not deal with "mallecho," or malhecho as if it was, as it is, a pure Spanish word, and call it malhetcho, and not mallěco. Mr. Young also took the liberty of correcting Shakspeare in "Father and mother is man and wife," substituting the plural of the verb, but he might as properly have altered “most best," &c. &c.
These things, however, are trifling blemishes, and we gladly resume our former tone, and affirm that the whole was a masterly piece of acting, conceived with great judgment, and executed with admirable skill. Mr. Young's figure is below the middle size, but well formed and graceful in its action. His countenance is manly and expressive. Judging from it, we should suppose his age about forty, but we understand that he is not so old by several years. The town is to be congratulated on the acquisition of a performer of such intrinsic worth.
Mr. Chapman represented the "poor ghost," and made it poor indeed. His delivery was so insufferably drowsy, that the audience felt no pity for his case, but held him righteously condemned "to fast in fires," most justly damned. The Polonius of Mr. Mathews was acted generally with good discretion, but we advise him, in scene 2. act 2. with Mr. Wharton, the "vile king," not to use his finger so familiarly and freely on his majesty's arm. Let him recollect that Mr. Wharton is a king, though he does not look so. Mr. Liston had been making too merry to play the grave-digger with becoming gravity-he made some wretched blunders, and either forgot the words of the ditty, or had not taken the trouble to learn them. This is unpardonable.Many reasonable complaints are made by the actors against Mr. Winston, for attempting to play parts, which they could fill far better; but Mr. Winston, it seems, has similar cause to be discontented, for Mr. Meredith performed the player-king!
THEATRICAL CHIT CHAT,
In our Theatrical Chit Chat we can only be supposed to give the lie of the day, or that which is talked of, but which we have no present means of ascertaining. Whether this sort of information be true or false, is, in general, of little consequence, but when it is otherwise, and we have, through error, abetted a serious falsehood, we are prompt to correct our misunderstanding. In our No. for March we state "that a certain amiable actress has thought proper to make public complaint of the infidelity of her husband." In this statement we were wholly misled, and in nothing more than in terming that actress amiable, unless it be amiable in a woman, with no plea but gross wantonness, (for the partner of her guilt is every way contemptible), to dishonour the bed of an accomplished husband, and to leave behind her six children, to share, though innocent, in her infamy and disgrace. Proceedings, in this case, have already been had in Ireland, and the adulterer, now in England, intends, it is said, to suffer outlawry, rather than be brought into a court, in which his own dissoluteness and that of his father are well known, and would become the subject of minute enquiry and severe reprobation.
On Tuesday, the 9th instant, Mr. Kelly revived Пl Barbiere di Seviglia. It is the most pleasing of the comic operas, and, with the powerful assistance of Morelli, in the barber, was exceedingly well played. The trio of Mad, Perini, and Signors Naldi and Siboni, in the first act, was delightfully sung and loudly encored. Le Siege de Troye increases in favour, and is an exhibition full of splendor and excellent dancing.
Mad. Catalani has renewed her engagement, for next season, at an advanced rate. 5000 guineas, and two benefits, one of which is insured to produce 1000.
It is said, but we hope without truth, that, after this season, Mademoiselle Parisot retires from the King's Theatre. The loss will be irreparable, for, with her, the corps de ballet will lose the most fascinating of all its graces.
ROYAL AMPHITHEATRE, WESTMINSTER BRidge.
THE entertainments at this theatre are nearly the same as they were last month, which is a parsimony not to be commended. Expence, well-timed, is often a great gain, and in no instance does it appear more, perhaps, than in the disbursements of a theatre, which the public are ready enough to repay by full houses. The only novelty which we have, at present, to notice, is of a very elegant kind—“ Julking," by Mynheer Ducrow. This term (the unde derivatur of which we know not) signifies, it seems, an imitation of birds, and, from the name of the imitator, it naturally strikes one that the cock would be the first on the list; but that is not the case, for the imitations consist entirely of whistling, which the good citizens, not knowing the note of a lark from that of an owl, gape at most wonderfully, whilst Mr. Astley, senior, in the lobby, applauds it with ornithological rapture. For intelligibility we confess that we prefer Mr. Rees's imitations."Those little pitomes of men, called monkeys. The monkeys understand us, and we understand the monkeys-birds of a feather will flock together, you know Mr. Merriman !”
We lament to hear that Mr. Astley, junior, whose ingenious labours and liberal management so contributed to the success of this theatre, is, for the moment, obliged to leave the concern in hands less efficient.
A NEW Comic pantomime called "The Magic Sword, or Harlequin Warrior;" with new music, &c. has just been got up at this theatre.