SAVOY THEATRE. – The fairy opera of "Iolanthe; or, The Peer and the Peri," which has maintained its position in the programme of the Savoy Theatre for nearly twelve months, was repeated on Saturday evening for the 350th time, without showing the slightes sign of diminished popularity. The pleasing melodies of sir Arthur Sullivan and the fantastic humour of Mr W. S. Gilbert continue to be received by the public with as keen a relish as ever, and no indication of flagging energies can be traced in a performance still preserving in all essential respects the advantages of the original cast. Miss Leonora Braham, Miss Jessie Bond, Mr George Grossmith, Mr Rutland Barrington, Mr Durward Lely, and Mr R. Temple sustain their respective characters with unabated vivacity, while Miss R. Carlingford, who is now the appropriate representative of the portly Queen of the Fairies; Miss Sybil Grey, Miss Mina Rowley, and Miss Grace Arnold as her attendants, with Mr Charles Ryley as the stalwart Private Willis, of the Grenadier Guards, very satisfactorily occupy the places of their predecessors. An extra quarter of an hour's merriment is now provided by Mr George Grossmith's diverting musical sketch, entitled, The Drama on Crutches, in which is humorously worked out an idea that the stage may be occupied in the next century by fashionable amateurs, and that an old playgoer may then contrast their highly refined method of interpretation with the more robust style of the actors of the past. Availing himself of a slightly exaggerated imitation of the voice and gesture of familiar public favourites, Mr George Grossmith rapisly brings a series of easily-recognized personages before the spectators, and, besides making some good-natured references to the peculiarities of his colleagues at the Savoy Theatre, introduces a distinct allusion to his own personal characteristics in evidence of the examples of his mimicry not being invidiously selected. The excellence of the imitations and the cleverness of the entertainer received very cordial acknowledgment in quickly responsive laughter, followed by a final round of hearty applause. – D.T.
transcribed by Helga J. Perry, 19 November 2000
updated 16 December 2000