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 stage."

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]

"H.M.S. PINAFORE" AT THE ASSEMBLY-ROOMS. A grand concert was given at the Assembly-Rooms, on Tuesday evening, by several leading amateurs, in aid of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the room was crowded by a fashionable audience. The first part of the programme was miscellaneous, but the second was the great attraction the perfornamce of Sullivan's popular nautical comic opera, "H.M.S. Pinafore," and, though this was done without any stage, dress, or dramatic effects, the opera was remarkably well rendered, and the choruses were given with a precision that astonished many musical critics present. The following was the caste [sic]: Right Hon. Sir J. Porter, K.C.B., Rev. J. Churchill Baxter ;