UNFINISHED TRANSCRIPTION!!

SAVOY THEATRE. The Era 1908 July 18 71(3643): 15, col. 2 [unsigned review]
 

SAVOY THEATRE



On Tuesday July 14, Revival of
"H.M.S. PINAFORE."

Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. ... MR. C. H. WORKMAN
Captain Corcoran ...... MR. RUTLAND BARRINGTON
Ralph Rackstraw .................. MR. HENRY HERBERT
Dick Deadeye ................... MR. HENRY A. LYTTON
Bill Bobstay ....................... MR. LEICESTER TUNKS
Bob Becket ............................. MR. FRED HEWETT
Josephine .................................  MISS ELSIE SPAIN
Hebe ......................................... MISS JESSIE ROSE
Little Buttercup .......................... MISS LOUIE RENE

    The revival of H.M.S. Pinafore at the Savoy Theatre on Tuesday evening was one of those hearty, whole-souled successes that does a manager good to attain. One is always a little anxious, in the case of these revivals, lest the reproduction may not bear comparison with the original performance; but with the Opera Comique cast distinctly in one's memory, we may say with confidence that the performance of H.M.S. Pinafore at the Savoy is in every respect equal, and in some superior, to the 1878 one. It is satisfactory to find that few, if any, attempts have been made to improve on the original performance. Here and there a little new business has been introduced. Captain Corcoran's scorn for Sir Joseph Porter's tyranny and impudence is less carefully concealed than it was thirty years ago; and, if we mistake not, in 1878 Ralph Rackstraw did not offer to shake hands with the First Lord after his expression of equality. In consequence of his suffering from a cold, Mr. Barrington's song to the moon at the beginning of the second act was omitted; and the midshipmite does not suck his sugar-stick, but these are mere details.
    There is little to be written at this date about H.M.S. Pinafore. At the time at which it was produced the English people were undergoing a reaction against melodramatic sentimentalism, and the cynical tone of the libretto was quite in sympathy with the general feeling. Apart from its derision of patriotism, naval heroism, love in a cottage, and civil treatment of sailors some of the satire would have delighted Captain Kettle¹  there is a vast amount of fun and humour which is general, and not special or topical. The airs are so swinging and spirited that it is possible to enjoy "For he is an Englishman" without troubling about the sting of the sarcasm involved in the verses; and the burlesque of all the old-fashioned stilted dialogue and the stock situations of melodrama, though not as telling as it seemed to the last generation, is still productive of hearty merriment.The general treatment by the artists is freer and less sardonic, and the singing deserves the warmest and most enthusiastic praise.
 

[...]
As for Mr. Rutland Barrington, it can only be said that his Captain Corcoran has grown riper and rounder in years; otherwise it is the same inimitable performance as that of 1878. One could not wish it altered in the smallest degree.

[...]
 
 


¹ A reference to Cutcliffe Hyne's "The adventures of Captain Kettle," serialised in Pearson's Magazine 1897 3 -1898 5. In these popular stories, Captain Owen Kettle was a gung-ho seafaring hero who was always smartly dressed, liked poetry and whose favourite song was "From Greenland's Icy Mountains" - the Biggles, James Bond or Indiana Jones of the 1890s ?? [BACK]

transcribed by Helga J. Perry, 14 November 2001
Updated 18 March 2007