Page:Notes by the Way.djvu/30

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viii

JOSEPH KNIGHT.

and 'It is Never too Late to Mend' at the Grecian. 'Forbidden Fruit' at the Lyceum receives this censure: "M. Augier since his 'Mariage d'Olympe' has produced no work so unhealthy as this." Phelps is at Sadler's Wells. Mr. H. J. Byron makes his first appearance in London at the Globe on Saturday, October 23rd, in his own drama 'Not such a Fool as He Looks.' At the Surrey is a farce 'Who's Who?' a title now used for a very different subject; and at the same theatre is "a drama of the old-fashioned Surrey stamp, 'The Watch Dog of the Walsinghams,'" by Mr. Palgrave Simpson, in which "Madame Celeste appears in a variety of striking situations." Mr. J. R. Planché is superintending the stage arrangements at the St. James's, which is under the management of Mrs. John Wood.

Fechter as HamletIn December Fechter is giving twelve farewell performances at the Princess's previous to his departure for America. Of his impersonation of Hamlet it is stated that it "has not greatly altered during the years he has resided in England. It has all its old intelligence, beauty, and inadequacy. Many of the readings are good. The gestures and attitudes are almost without exception admirable; but the whole lacks inspiration. Instances of misconception of the meaning of Hamlet might easily be quoted. The words 'Into my grave' are given with a sadness out of keeping with the irony with which all Hamlet's speeches addressed to Polonius are coloured. It is clear from what Polonius afterwards says that Hamlet's words sounded like a query rather than a lament. In the First Folio, and in most editions, they are followed by a note of interrogation, which, however, in the edition of Messrs. Clark and Wright is omitted. When Hamlet, addressing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, says, 'Is it not very strange? for mine uncle is King of Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while my father lived give twenty, forty, fifty, an hundred ducats apiece for his picture in little,' Mr. Fechter takes hold, with marks of contempt, of such a picture hanging from the neck of Guildenstern. This is a very pitiful piece of stage realism, and is as antagonistic to probability as to poetry. Mr. Fechter was supported by Miss Leclercq as Ophelia, Miss Elsworthy as the Queen, and Mr. H. Marston as the Ghost. On Wednesday Mr. Fechter appeared as Claude Melnotte, and on Friday as Ruy Bias."

Other events recorded are Mr. Burnand's new drama 'Mordern Grange,' to be produced at the Queen's; and Sothern's first novelty at the Haymarket, a two-act comedy by H. T. Craven. Charles Mathews is announced to leave for Australia on the 31st of January, 1870; and what seems now a regular old-world announcement is made, to the effect that "Mr. W. S. Woodin has returned to London, and is now giving at the Egyptian Hall his amusing entertainment 'My Carpet-Bag and Sketch-Book.'"