MISCELLANEOUS SHORT ITEMS
updated 18 March 2007
Fun 1878 June 5 [unsigned review] - Full reference needed!
H.M.S Pinafore is a great hit, and will add to the repute of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan as authors of a style of production peculiarly their own. We have no space for the faintest outline of the plot, but we can say that the fun and subtle humour of the piece is in the author's happiest vein, and that the music is in every way worthy of the composer, full of beauty and freshness, and much of it with that charm that at once fixes it on the mind of the hearer. The piece is thoroughly well acted throughout, and was perfect when presented to the public on the first night. We cannot help saying that George Grossmith more than sustains the repute he has already gained in his particular branch of art, but where all is so good it seems hardly fair to particularise.
"H.M.S. PINAFORE." [BY OUR CRANKISH CRITIC.] Funny Folks 1878 June 8 - Full reference needed!
A leetle bit below the level of the Sorcerer,
which was not quite so good as Trial by Jury, H.M.S. Pinafore
is still a very amusing evening's-worth. Though the new piece has not received
altogether kind treatment at the pens of some contemporaries, I can assure
the seeker after amusement that several comfortable chuckles and two or
three hearty laughs are afforded – I might almost say Pinafore-ded
– by this "entirely original nautical comic opera."
Those among the audience – "Bab Bal-lads" and lasses – who have read Mr. Gilbert's famous verses, will find the plot and incidents of the opera more or less familiar. Those who haven't, won't; but will bubble during the performance with admiring wonder at the author's grotesque originality.
The acting is very satisfactory. Ralph Rackstraw, the hero, is undertaken by Mr. Power; whose voice, curiously enough, is not Power-ful, being of the light tenor order. Mr. Barrington is the Pinafore's captain – "and a good captain, too." Nelson-with-an-eye-glass is made most amusing by George! Grossmith. Miss Everard is a Butter-cup and "sauce"-er – at least, she is decidedly impertinent to Mr. Temple, clever as the deformed sailor, Dick Deadeye. Miss Emma Howson, a debutante, is a comely and – as her singing is a success – a "go"-ly soprano heroine The [sic] smaller parts are ably filled.
With regard to the scenic adjuncts, it may be just hinted that the quarter-deck-orations of the opera are remarkably handsome.
Private Theatricals. The Era 1879 January 26 41(2105): 7, col. 3 [unsigned review]
The very popular Gilbert-Sullivan comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore was performed by amateur ladies and gentlemen, on Thursday last, in the Banqueting Hall attached to the residence of Sir William Armstrong, at Jesmond Dene, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Each character was ably sustained; the chorus, dresses, scenery, &c., were all exceedingly good, and the performance altogether was a brilliant success. Mr S. H. S. Austin, Manager of the Pinafore Provincial company, had the entire arrangement of the affair, and a word of praise is due to him for the energy he displayed in producing such a perfect representation of so difficult a piece. Sir William and Lady Armstrong were in the audience, which comprised about 250 of the elite of the neighbourhood, and one and all seemed to be highly delighted with the performance, the first, we believe, given of this opera by amateurs.
"H.M.S. PINAFORE" IN AMERICA. The Times 1879 February 21 29497: 9, col. 4, pgph. 16 [unsigned news item]
The New York correspondent of the Sheffield Telegraph says:–
"This comic opera is the rage of the town. t is played in four theatres
in this city to crowded houses and in ten other theatres in smaller cities.
Its catch words, its gags, and the sprightly points of its dialogue are
the catch-words of the streets and places of public resort, and a selection
of the music is played by all the theatre orchestras. There never was before
such a theatrical furore in this country about anything put on the
The Sporting Times 1879 April 19- Full reference needed!
A CLERGYMAN who lives in a country town, and who intones very well, has recently been up to London, and was much amused with H.M.S. Pinafore. A Sunday or so back he electrified the congregation, in the Communion service, by ending up with "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife; no more do his sisters, nor his cousins, nor his aunts, his sisters and his cousins whom he —" Here he stopped short, and finished hurriedly with, "Nor anything that is his."
PROVINCIAL. The Musical World 1880 January 3 58(1): 10, col. 2, paragraph 4 [unsigned report]
CHELTENHAM. — An attractive
entertainment was given at the Assembly Rooms here, on Tuesday evening,
in aid of the Cheltenham Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The first part of the programme consisted of a miscellaneous concert, the
second of H.M.S. Pinafore. The performers in both – ladies and gentlemen
– were amateurs. The accompaniments were played by Mr A. E. Dyer (Mus.
Bac.) on the harmonium, and the Rev. G. Bayfield Roberts (conductor) on
the pianoforte. Part-songs by H. Leslie and G. A. Macfarren, besides three
Christmas carols (the last being "There came Three Kings," composed by
the Rev. R. F. Smith), a Lied by Wagner (Herr August Lortzing),
an aria by Mozart (Mrs G. Bayfield Roberts), a violin solo by David
(Mr Sidney Williams), and a song by Millard (Miss Dunn), were comprised
in the miscellaneous selection. The characters in H.M.S. Pinafore
were distributed as follows – Captain Corcoran, Mr N. R. H. Bullen
; Ralph Rackstraw, Herr August Lortzing ; Dick Deadeye, Rev. H. B. Pruen
; Josephine, Mrs F. Daubeny ; Hebe, Miss Taylor ; Little Buttercup (Mrs
Cripps), Mrs Ferguson. The whole passed to everybody's satisfaction, and
it is believed that something handsome will accrue to the Fund.
CHELTENHAM. The Gloucestershire Chronicle 1880 January 3 2449: 4, col. 6 [unsigned report]