The Ne'er-Do-Weel at the Olympic has been
sent back to the usually-do-wee-wright to be mended. There'll be several
new spokes put into it, I suppose, and the tire-ing part of it removed.
Mr. HANN'S first scene in this piece, admirably painted,
represented a ruined mill, with a broken wheel, evidently the Ne'er-Do-Wheel,
that wouldn't go. Mr. GILBERT wrote this piece for
Mr. SOTHERN, and, though capitally played by Mr. NEVILLE,
yet it struck me that Mr. SOTHERN's peculiar style
and metallic tone, would have been more in accordance with the general
action of the piece, which seemed to me to be less serious than eccentric.
However, it is taken back to be altered, much as an Eton Boy has to rewrite
his copy of verses after his Tutor's correction. I do not understand Mr.
NEVILLE'S apology for Mr. GILBERT,
as if he were pleading "first fault" for a young and painstaking scholar.
No one can be more enthusiastic on the subject of originality in the Drama
than myself; I regret that any necessity should have ever compelled
Dramatic Authors to translate and adapt, and I heartily welcome all original
"Out of fifty plays that Mr. GILBERT has produced," says NEVILLE in his apology (I am not quoting the exact words), "only ten per cent. are adaptations."
That is to say, the real genuine sugar with less sand than at the other shops. Well, but how about Mr. BYRON? With one exception, or perhaps two, and those the libretti of Operas, all his, and they must amount to twice fifty, and more than that, have been, if I am not mistaken, original. This apology was a mistake. What will be the revised title of the Ne'er-Do-Weel? Why, by kind permission of Mr. CHARLES READE, obtained in a left-handed manner, of course, it may perhaps be "Neville too late to mend."
[Review of The Sorcerer follows. CLICK HERE to read it]
transcribed by Helga J. Perry, 13 October 2001