Friday, 01 March 2013 11:00

Betsy

Illustrated Australian News, 1 May 1889, p 65. Illustrated Australian News, 1 May 1889, p 65. SLV Newspapers Collection

BIJOU THEATRE  "BETSY."  

reprinted from the Argus, Monday 22 April 1889, p.6

(The theatre was destroyed by fire on the evening of 22 April, 1889)

The Bijou Theatre was crowded in every part on Saturday night to welcome the return of Mr. Brough and Mr. Boucicault with their comedy company. The piece chosen for the occasion was Burnand's comedy "Betsy," which was first introduced to the Melbourne public by the late Mr. F. Marshall, when he assumed the management of the old Princess's Theatre. His reproduction was exceedingly well received and the appearance of each and every member of the company was greeted with hearty applause, special receptions being accorded to Mr and Mrs. Brough, Mr. Boucicault, and Mr. Titheradge.

The last named gentleman was the only member of the company who had played in the original Australian cast, and as Captain McManus he repeated with increased effect what has generally been regarded as one of his best efforts. He has elaborated his original conception of the character, and his portraiture of the jovial but jealous Irishman was a most finished performance. Mr. Brough was somewhat disappointing as Dr. Dawson. The character in his hands lacked individuality. He made the hypocrisy of the needy tutor too apparent, and thereby lost much of the dry keen humour with which the late Mr. Marshall used to imbue the part Mr. Boucicault has shown on many occasions special aptitude tor the assumption of characters similar to that of Dolly Birkett, and as the precocious south he left nothing to be desired. By the attention whIch Mr Anson had evidently bestowed upon his study of the character ot Mr Birkett, he brought the part into a prominence not hitherto held in it, but in the third act he allowed himself to indulge in some antics that were quite out of keeping with even such on eccentric conception as this gourmand of newspaper politics. Of the ladies Mrs. Brough made a winsome Mrs McManus, and fully justified her husband's jealousy, and Miss Romer was entirely successful as Mrs. Birkett. Miss Bessy Major was a comfortably comely Madame Polenta, and Miss Pattie Browne played the title role in her usual part and pleasing manner. The minor parts, with which Miss Emma Temple, Miss Amy Gourlay, Mr. Hans Phillips, and Mr. G. Bryant were entrusted, were more than adequately filled, and the whole company was enthusiastically recalled at the end of each act. The comedy will be repeated to-night and every evening until further notice.

 

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