"G.A.S." THE PLAYHOUSES. The Illustrated London News 1884 October 18 85(2374): 366, col. 3

Theatrical entertainment more refined and diverting than that which Mr. R. D'Oyly Carte has hitherto supplied at the elegant and comfortable Savoy Theatre it would be difficult to discover. Albeit the comic operas of "The Sorcerer," and "Trial by Jury" are not new, these exceedingly humorous works of Sir Arthur Sullivan and Mr. W. S. Gilbert were on Saturday night, the Eleventh of October, as gleefully enjoyed by a brilliant audience as if they had been successful novelties. It was made quite clear that much fun was yet to be obtained out of this well-exploited realm of  Topsy-turveydom. Prefaced by its delightfully melodious overture, relished all the more from the fact that Sir Arthur Sullivan himself conducted, "The Sorcerer" was brightly opened by the tuneful chorus of village lasses, whose coquettish Kate-Greenaway costumes were especially charming. What if reminiscences of "Faust" were suggested by Constance's first sweet aria? The recital of the demure damsel's fond attachment for the middle-aged baritone Vicar was none the less acceptable. Admirably acted as well as sung, "The Sorcerer" never went better, if it ever went so well. As the arch-contriver of all the mischief, the spell-worker who by means of his insidious philtre and "Der Freischütz"-like comiuc incantation makes the most unmateable couples fall in love with each other, Mr. George Grossmith is in his element. The Sorcerer veils his identity under the name of Mr. John Wellington Wells, it will be remembered. Among the drollest situations are those in which the irreproachable Lady Sangazure betrays her passion for Mr. Wells, and the high-bred dame's quondam admirer, Sir Marmaduke Poingdextre [sic], finds the mature charms of Mrs. Partlet, the pew-opener, irrisistible. These cleverly individualised parts tell the more because of the point and spirit displayed by Mr. Grossmith as Mr. Wells, and by Miss Brandram as her Ladyship, Mr. R. Temple as the elderly baronet, and Miss Ada Dorée as Mrs. Partlet. Similarly excellent in every way is Mr. Barrington as Dr. Daly; while for archness and coyness Miss Jessie Bond's Constance is equally praiseworthy. As the bride and bridegroom, Aline and Alexis, Miss L. Braham and Mr. Durward Lely are well matched. Mounted with richness and good taste, and diversified with attractive incidental dances, "The Sorcerer" is, in a word, interpreted so well that the merry opera has unquestionably entered upon a fresh lease of life. Author, Composer, and leading Vocalists fully deserved the enthusiastic calls with which they were honoured. As though "The Sorcerer" were not a sufficing pabulum for one evening, the uproariously funny dramatic cantata of "Trial by Jury" is thrown in at the Savoy as a palatable dessert; and serves to introduce Mr. Barrington in the wig and gown of the amorous Judge, a bevy of captivating choristers as bridesmaids, Miss Dysart as a tuneful plaintiff, and Mr. Durward Lely as the tenor defendant.


 

transcribed by Helga J. Perry, 24 April 2001