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summer, Mr Arnold, the son of the precede any attempt towards rebuildlate Dr Arnold, had obtained a li- ing the theatre," were now advised cence from the Lord Chamberlain to “ that their adjourned meeting would play English operas from every 26th take place early in October, when of June to every 19th of September ; matters of essential importance would and Colonel Greville had obtained a be submitted to their consideration ;"> similar licence to exhibit the same and were farther told, “ that the preamusements during the winter. Mr sent temporary arrangement had for Arnold was in possession of the Ly. its object the particular advantages ceum Theatre and Mr Sheridan want. of the new renters, and the means of ed this for his Drury-Lane company keeping the company together, and this season, but refused to pay Mr that the proprietors had not reserved Amold for it. A meeting then took to themselves the smallest emolument place between Colonel Greville and or income, be the success of the seaMr Arnold, who agreed to make son what it might.” their summer and winter licences a No adjourned meeting that we could joint property, and to open the Ly- hear of took place; the company ceum immediately under the manage. were not kept together ; it was more ment of the latter ; but no assistance than conjectured that some of the procould be expected from the Drury- prietors did receive emolument from Lane company, while they were ar the success of the season ; and the ticled to Mr Sheridan, without that renters and other legal claimants upon gentleman's permission. Here, how the theatre were thus left in the lurch. ever, Mr Sheridan made the first ad. The articles of Mr Bannister, Mr vances ; and an arrangement was con- Elliston, and Mr Braham, having ex. cluded, in which all the performers, pired, they all seceded from the come under articles to him, were to con- pany, which was, on the other hand, sider themselves engaged to Mr Ar- strengthened by Mr Philipps and Mr nold in his stead, and, in consequence Horn of the English Opera. of which, the profits of the season On the 14th of October, the comwere to be divided in thirds, among pany received the accession of Mrs Colonel Greville, Mr Arnold, and, Edwin, the daughter-in-law of the as it is shrewdly guessed, Mr Sheri- celebrated comedian of that name. dan, his son, &c. The Drury-Lane She appeared in the character of the company did not therefore play un. Widow Cheerly, in Mr Cherry's coder their former licence, but under a medy of the Soldier's Daughter, a new one, called in the bills“ the spe- part very injudiciously chosen for her cial licence of the Lord Chamberlain, introduction to a London audience. granted for the present season to the But, in spite of all the inanity of the joint application of all parties princi. character, which is only a bad copy pally interested." The renters, who of Murphy's Widow Belmour, Mrs had, soon after the burning of Drury- Edwin contrived to make a highly Lane Theatre, been cautioned by the favourable impression upon the town. proprietors against selling their 5001. She afterwards appeared in the chashares “ at an extraordinary depre- racters of Violante, Albina, Lady ciation,” and “ assured that every Racket, and Beatrice. Her figure is endeavour towards a just and equi. short but pretty, and her countenance table arrangement with them would very animated. Her voice is pler
sing, and her enunciation good; but a musical farce, in three acts, of his we think she does not sufficiently hide own writing, and of Mr Kelly's her art, to make the one sonorous composing, under the title of Briand the other distinct. It appeared, tain's Jubilee. As an occasional eftoo, that when she had done speak- fusion of loyalty, we might have paring, she sometimes seemed to think doned the sorry writing of the piece, she had done acting, and relaxed from and should have contented ourselves herexertions, so as to remind us, rather with saying to Mr Arnold, " suffipainfully, that they were exertions. cient for the jubilee is the drama
On the same evening with Mrs thereof ;” but this gentleman, beEdwin's, took place the first appear- ing author and manager too, chose to ance in London of Mr Knight from expose his bantling for many nights the York Theatre. He performed afterwards, (“an ill-favoured thing, Timothy Quaint in the play, and Ro- sir, but mine own,”) and Britain's bin Roughhead in the farce of For- Jubilee must therefore undergo a less tune's Frolics. He displayed a dry tender criticism. sort of hard manner, which has since On the 2d of November, Mr Mel
. lifted him into notice, and, to enter vin, the gentleman who preceded Mr into no comparison with Mr Emery, Jones for one season at Covent Garhis simple rustic is not without merit. den Theatre, returned to the capital
, The 7th of October introduced and re-appeared at the Lyceum in the to a London stage, as a substitute character of Vapid in the Dramatist, for Mr Elliston, Mr Wrench from and Robin in No Song No Supper. the Bath theatre. He appeared as Mr Melvin is an actor of considerable Belcour in the play, and as Tristrem merit in certain characters of low coFickle in the farce. The thought. medy, such as Brass in the Confede less vivacity of the West Indian was racy, and Michael in the Adopted given with due force ; but the occa Child. His action wholly unfits him sional bursts of feeling and repent for the gentlemen of comedy, and his ance were Aurried over with a very voice, from the singular lowness of its ill grace. His figure, though not tone, suits better with caricature than his face, is good, and his manner per with character. But there is a busy
and confident : he has a spirit about the actor, which always vulgar trick of twisting and biting interests the audience in what he is his lips ; and his ease is rather that doing ; and, unpleasant as it is in ge of an impudent, fearless, unmanner neral to listen to him, he now and ed youth, than of a gentleman. In then delights you with a touch of the farce, we found nothing to ob- nature, that makes you forget the per ject to. The rapid transitions, the culiarity of his voice. boisterous restlessness, the assumed No other production worthy of gravity of the character, were all well notice was produced during the rerepresented. He has since sustain. mainder of the season. ed many parts belonging to Mr Elliston and Mr Bannister ; and always Covent-GARDEN COMPANY AT THE shewed himself a better substitute for the latter than for the former.
HAY-MARKET THEATRE. The 25th of October being the The excellent pantomime of Moday of jubilee, Mr Arnold produced ther Goose was revived for the
Christmas holidays, “with addition- sing that Macbeth, who must doubt. al splendour,” and “concluded with less be supposed to have been debatwo new scenes, representing the ting, like Hamlet, the expediency of ruins of theold Covent Garden Thea. self.murder before he entered the tre, and its transformation to a new scene, had actually decided in its faone.” The life and soul of this, and vour, and had proceeded to this preof every other pantomime by this paration for death, before maturer company, is the clown of Mr Gri- reflection led him to this self-interromaldi, who has brought the charac- gatory. ter to a pitch of perfection that leaves On the 25th of January, Mr Kem. harlequin wholly in the back ground; ble was sufficiently recovered to reand this by a practice for which he sume his situation on the stage. has with justice been blamed ; we Mr Grefullhe's farce of « Is he a mean that of uniting the agility of Prince ?” (before alluded to,) was the latter character to the humour of produced on the 7th of February. the former. The clown ought to be The equivoque of this piece is easy harlequin's foil, and not his rival; and natural; and the writing is the and though his conceit ought to in
If Mr Grefullhe has little duce him to imitate harlequin's feats, wit, he well understands at least the his clownish awkwardness ought to humour of situation, and disfigures force him to fail in the imitation. his dramas with few modern vices. Mr Grimaldi is rather a harlequin af. The farce afforded a happy opportufecting the clown, than a clown af. nity for the display of Mr Liston's fecting the harlequin. In buffoon peculiar talents. Mr Munden mainhumour, Mr Grimaldi is faultless. tained his character with the true
A severe illness at the commence- dignity of a German baron, whose chament of the year, which confined Mr. teau avoit une porte, et des fenetres. Kemble, gave freedom to the exer
On the 9th of March, the compations of Mr Young in the characters ny produced a new comedy from the of Hamlet, Sir Edward Mortimer, pen of Mr Allingham, under the tiZanga, Macbeth, Beverley, Lord tle of Independence, or the Trustee. Townley, and Hotspur. "Always This gentleman is quite unequal to respectable, sensible, and gentleman- the task of writing a comedy, howły, Mr Young was seen with plea- ever happy he may have been in one sure in every one of these characters. or two farces. His present attempt Mr Young is the actor of study ; hc was damned on the first night of its has evidently paid the greatest at- performance; but was nevertheless tention to the character of Hamlet; repeated for three succeeding evenand the consequence is, that that is ings. Thin houses seem to be now his best performance. Mr Young is the only damnation which the manarather fond of innovation : When gers of our theatres will condescend Macbeth enters and says,
to recognize. Independence died of Why should I play the Roman fool, and empty benches on the fourth night. die
For this reason, we shall spare to in« On mine own sword ?"
dulge in useless censure. Mr Young previously paused at the We find nothing to record of this attitude of this species of suicide ; company now, till the 20th of May, but he has no authority for suppo. when Mr Lewis, after a service of
six and thirty years, took his last be. The parting was the most interest. nefit, and with it, his final leave of ing scene the theatre ever witnessed ; the stage. He played the character and towards the conclusion of it
, of Michael Perez, in Fletcher's Rule there was scarcely a dry eye in the a Wife and Have a Wife; and never house. The actor (or rather the did he play it better. It was in. man) was visibly affected, and left deed the great peculiarity of this co the stage amidst the loudest acclamedian, that he never seemed to mations of a crowded theatre. grow old. “ Time, which was con On the 31st of May, the company tinually washing away the dissoluble closed their season, Mr Young hafabrics of other actors, seemed to pass ring previously addressed the auwithout injury by the adamant of dience to the following effect :Lewis.” But Mr Lewis felt his years, if the public did not; and “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN-I am judged wisely in retiring from the desired by the proprietors of Corestduties of a profession, in which he Garden Theatre, to offer you their could not, in the course of nature, kind and liberal patronage you have
most grateful acknowledgements for the have performed many years longer, afforded them during this most trywhile he “ had not yet lost all his ori- ing and distressing season. The weight ginal brightness." The comedy be- of their obligation is the more sensibly ing concluded, Mr Lewis came for- felt, as they are aware (though every ward, and took leave of the audience exertion has been used, the attraction of in the following address :
novelty has been in a great measure wanting. Next year, however, the
hope the deficiency in theatrical amuse“ LADIES AND GENTLEMEN– I have ments will be amply supplied. Their the honour of addressing you for the last new theatre is now covered in. Owing time. This is the close of my theatrical to the circunstances of the times, they life, and I really feel so overcome, by ta- have encountered the greatest difficulties, king leave for ever of my friends and pa- and gone to an unprecedented expence trons, that, might it not be deemed dis- in procuring the best materials necesa respectful and negligent, I could wish to sary for the structure of so large a buiddecline it; but it is a public duty which ing'; but from the indefatigable exertions I owe, and I will attempt to pay' it, con- of all concerned in the undertaking, they scious I shall meet your indulgence; for, have now the heartfelt satisfaction of as when I remind you, that I have been suring you, that the New Theatre Royal, thirty-six years in your service, and can- in Covent-Garden, will be opened for not recollect to have once fallen under your entertainment on Monday the lith your displeasure, my dramatic death can- of September. The chief ambition of vot be niet by me without the strongest the proprietors has been, to consult the emotions of regret and gratitude. I comfort and convenience of the audience; should offer my acknowledgements for and they trust that, when completed, the innumerable acts of kindness shewn to New Theatre will receive the enviable my latest efforts: all these I powerfully sanction of your approbation, and be feel, though I have not the words to ex. deemed worthy of the metropolis of the press my feelings. But while the heart British empire. The performers, likehas a sensation, it will beat with grati- wise, ladies and gentlemen, beg leave to titude. Ladies and Gentlemen, with the return their most grateful thanks to a greatest respect, and, if you will adınit kind and indulgent public; and, till ve the word, the sincerest affection, I bid meet on our new stage, the compasy you farewell.”
humbly take their leave.”
and hear every thing, the exclama.
tion, New THEATRE ROYAL, CoventGARDEN.
.“ This a genial room!
This is a temple," The proprietors of Covent Garden Theatre were certainly not idle in the building is certainly, from the the erection of their new house. On chasteness and harmony of its design, Saturday the 30th of December, “worthy of the metropolis of the 1808, the first stone of the new thea. British empire.” Mr Smirke has tre was laid by his Royal Highness taken for his model the finest specithe Prince of Wales, and furnished a men of the Doric kind at Athens, very interesting masonic spectacle. which has escaped the ravages of Among the articles deposited in the time and war, or the more desolating box inclosed in the foundation, is a
barbarism of the ignorant Turks, gold medal, stating, in Latin, that the grand temple of Minerva, called George, Prince of Wales, laid the also Parthenon, and from its dimenfoundation of the theatre with his sions Hecatompedon, situated in the own hand; and on the reverse is a acropolis, or castle of Athens. By bust of his royal highness, and the a careful comparison with the illusyear 1808. There is also another trations of Greek antiquities, it has medal, of the same size, of copper, been found that a scrupulous attenwith the following inscription :
tion has been paid to correctness of
imitation. The ornaments of the “ Under the auspices of His Most Sacred Majesty, George III.,
tympanum and frieze, and at the King of the United Kingdom of Great corners of the pediment, arc omitted ; Britain and Ireland,
as is also the interior row of columns, the Foundation Stone of the for which the situation does not allow Theatre, Covent-Garden, was laid by sufficient projection of the portico. His Royal Highness,
At the top of each wing of the George, Prioce of Wales.
building are entablatures, with basso MDCCC,VIII.”
relievos, designed by Mr Flaxman, On the reverse is,
and executed by him and Mr Rossi, “Robert Smirke, Architect.”
from subjects of the ancient and mo
dern drama. Towards the close of the summer In a nich, at the southern extremiof 1809 there arose, for the inspec. ty of the building, is the figure of tion of the public, in Bow street, the Tragedy, holding the tragic mask and facade of a handsome edifice in imi. dagger; and in a corresponding nich, tation of stone. The rapidity with at the northern extremity, is the fiwhich this theatre was constructed is gure of Comedy, holding the shepupexampled in this country; but one, herd's crook, or pedum, on her right that was burnt some years back in shoulder, and the comic mask in lier Paris, was rebuilt of stone in less left hand. The design of these basso time. The building, although it is relievos is in the true spirit of the more like a church than a theatre, antique, and the execution of them and is calculated to extort from him is good, but liable to the charge of who enters a play-house, with a flatness: the character of the front view to a snug seat, where he can see of the building seems to require some