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ASTLEY'S NEW AMPHITHEATRE. . The theatre at Westminster-bridge, has, like the reparabilis ales, risen fron the ashes of its former self, “ another and the same." It would occupy too much room to enter into all the beauties and conveniencies of this new structure, therefore we shall merely say, that taste every where prevails in the embellishments, and that nothing, which judgment or expence could produce, is wanting. Its “ form and cause conjoin'd," must insure it the public favour.
PROVINCIAL DRAMA, &c.
Theatre SHEFFIELD.---The following address, one of the best which the critical circumstances of the country have produced, was lately spoken at this theatre, by Mr. Harley, on the occasion of a play, performed by desire of Colonel, the Earl of Effingham, and the Gentlemen of the Sheffield Volunteer Infantry. Written by Mr. E. Rhodes.
Speaks as entering :--
“ Hang up our banners on the outer walls,
Nor less her pride she sees the hardy tas,
Our fathers found this island poor and rude,
Celestial Peace ! all lovely as thou art,
Yet, what avails, sweet Peace! thy loveliest charms!
England alone! degenerate Europe hear!
But tho' no Tell in Europe's cause embark,
The HOME, the PROUDEST HOME OF LIBERTY. Theatre WOLVERHAMPTON.---This theatre closed on the 6th inst. and we have had one of the greatest seasons this town, perhaps, ever experienced. Black Beard has been got up in a very superior manner. Mr. Hatton is our low comedian ; an actor of much humour, who had a very great benefit, when he sung the parody on Miss Bailey, inserted in your last number, written by Mr. Amphlett, of this town. Mr. Shuter, son of our venerable comedian, whose death was announced by your correspondent Civis, at the beginning of the sea. son, is a great favourite, and bids fair for a very good actor. His benefit was one of the largest ever known at this theatre. Indeed, the whole family of the Shuters have been always favourites of the town, and Mrs. Shuter and children had also a great benefit, when Mr. Shuter sarg us two original songs, written by the author of the above-mentioned parody, entitled, A Peep into the Green Room, and Bachelors have at ye all, both of which were loudly encored. We have
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had a young Thespian try his hand for the first time in Frederick in “ Lovers' Vows.” His conception of the character was very correct, and his figure and voice well calculated for the stage, on which he is very likely to excel, if he make it his profession. Some of the speeches were spoken with much discrimination, in which the varying passions of the son and the soldier were disclosed with much success : he was received with very great applause, and went through the whole performance with credit to himself, and satisfaction to the audience. Wolverhampton, March 7, 1804..
“DRAMATICUS." Theatre WOLVERHAMPTON.-This theatre, on the 6th of March, closed one of the greatest theatrical seasons that this town ever experienced. The play was the “ Will,” with the pantomime of " Black Beard." The latter piece has been gotten up in a very fine style. The different views of Black Beard's vessel, particularly that of the quarter-deck, are executed in a manner that would do credit to any theatre in the kingdom. The principal characters too were very ably sustained. Mr. Hatton, in Black Beard, Mr. Young, in Osmyn, and Mrs. Barnard, in Ismena, gave great strength to the piece. The dress of the latter was extremely elegant, and her acting, in several scenes, surpassingly fine and interesting. The town, however, was greatly disappointed in not finding Mrs. Gibbon in the piece ; considering herself engaged for the first line of pantomime, she probably objected to taking the secondary part of Black Beard's wife. Of the nature of her engagement we are ignorant; we have only to lament that we were not gratified by her appearance. The benefits of the season, upon the whole, have been very great. Mr. Shuter had near 801. Mr. Archer near 701. Mr. Hatton, and Mrs. Barnard very lit'le short. Mr. Gibbon had every right to expect a greater than he found; his being between 301. and 401. At the benefit of the latter, a young gentleman of the town made his first appearance in Frederick, in “ Lovers' Vows.” He has a good figure and voice, and acquitted him, self with much satisfaction to the audience. Mr. Young had a very genteel house ; the receipts being 401. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson's night was very fashionably attended, being by the desire of the Harmonic Society of this town. The receipts were about 501. We were sorry to find Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Chambers' nights so very unequal to their merits; the latter, from her long services in the theatre, and her very superior acting, had every right to expect the indul. gence of a grateful public. This corps of theatricals is, at present, very strong. Mesdames Barnard, Dawson, Gibbons, Edwards, Chambers, and Shuter, &c. and Messrs. Archer, Gibbons, Young, Dawson, Shuter, and Vernon, &c, if properly disposed of, are able to get up most of the Er.glish dramas with considerable effect. Wolverhampton, Warch 7, 1801.
Civis. Theatre BATH.-This theatre is about to close, after a pretty good season, at the end of which Elliston quits us. He took leave of the audience on the night of his benefit, in a very elegant and appropriate speech. We sincerely wish he may not regret the change. • Mr. and Mrs. Taylor quit Bath for Liverpool. We understand Elliston's principal characters are to be filled by Egerton, who hath this season been kept as a corps de reserve,
Mrs. Johnston's benefit was more productive this season than it had been before. This lady remains where her talents are so deservedly held in estimation.
We feel it our duty to caution a favourite comic actor of this theatre against a repetition of the shameful interpolations and buffoonery, with which he intermixes every character he represents. Those in the gallery, and his play-mates, may laugh, but the judicious grieve. We could add much upon this subject; but we first try the effect of a hint.
Mrs. Edwin is, indeed, a gem. Surely there must be some hidden cause, why the fine talents of this lady are not transplanted to a more genial soil. Blissett hath not been engaged this season, though, perhaps, Bath hath not a greater favourite. We hope it is not true, that the wigs left by that veteran in dramatic criticism, Woodtall, to Blissett, were sold by the latter for a few paltry shillings.
Theatre Royal BRIGHTON,-This theatre will next summer be conducted by Mr. Brunton, sen. so that the inhabitants and visitors of that delightful spot are likely once more to see a respectable theatrical company, under a respectable manager.
MANCHESTER THEATRICALS. This theatre opened on the 1st of December, with “ Pizarro,” and “ the Poor Sailor,” the amount of which, £.124 was given to the theatrical fund: the performance, upon the whole, went off very smoothly, chiefly owing to the occasion ; but the following, and many succeeding nights, was a tumult of uproar and confusion, (nothing new in this theatre,) but which has beeu greatly aggravated this season, by the publication of a twopenny weekly pamphlet, entitled The Townsman, which threatened destruction and annihilation to the managers, and their adherents, for not furnishing them with a better company, or, in short, such a one as they could approve of. But what kind of a corps must that be? For the fickleness of those individuals is such, that the performers of the two London houses, jointly, could not satisfy them for more than a season!
In speaking thus, I am not including the town at large, nor indeed but a very trifling part, viz. the authors of the Townsman; (for though it is brought out under the title and style of an individual, yet there are several concerned in it ;) a publication replete with ignorance, impudence, and partiality: some of its authors, I would advise to pay more attention to the paint brush and pill box, to daubing of sign-hoards, and pounding of drugs, (if they are capable,) than taking to them the office of dramatic censors. The present company is certainly as respectable a corps as any out of the metropolis, several of whom have appeared there, and been stationary for many seasons. However, not to intrude too far on the limits of the Mirror, I will endeavour to be brief. The houses, this season, have been too productive to suppose the public at large could have been influenced by this scurrilous publication ; yet, strange to say, several of the actors, who have been most liberally applauded on the stage, have been lashed most unmercifully, by the Townsman, on the following Saturday! Nay, so tenacious are they, that, if a performer drops his handkerchief on the stage, by accident, a hiss will ensue. Poor Diddler experienced it, for unfortunately let
ting the roll fall from his hands, at the breakfast table, (oh! 'twas a crime not to be pardoned *.) Mr. Cooper, the American actor, who performed a few nights here, they attacked most uminercifully, till he received a good benefit, and then they found out he was deserving of it! I cannot help remarking here, a sen tence or two of Fielding's, in his Miser : “ He that is rich can have no vice, and he that is poor can have no virtue ;" which I think very applicable, in the present case, as there are a few of our performers “ who never can be wrong, and the rest never can be right.” Delicacy forbids me to mention the former, but justice compels me to speak of the latter, in order to vindicate their characbers from the false, illiberal aspersions, which have been thrown on them, and must hurt them in the opinion of the world, unless a proper explanation is given. : In the prst place, Mr. Richardson, who has alternately been in the Bath, Norwich, Dublin, and Covent Garden Theatres, and whose merits are well known, and approved of, the Townsman and his friends seem determined to crush, as they indiscriminately abuse hiin, in all he does, notwithstanding the audience receive him well. Mr. Gordon, an actor of merit, has also suffered severely from their lash; but having run their courser to a stand, they are now changing in favour of him, as has been the case with many others, viz. Messrs. Bengough, Mills, Grist, &c. and White was eternally damned for playing Sempronius! (which, by the bye, was a case of necessity;) for, had this actor justice done him, he certainly possesses considerable merit, as a comedian, which the few opportunities he has had sufficiently evince. In one sense, however, I must accord with the Townsman: we certainly are much in want of a first-rate female singer; and a musical Irishman, he says; but after Mr. Johnstone, better than we have are not to be found. A great change, I understand, will take place in the theatre the next season; and I sincerely hope we shall not have a Korse company than the present; as, from the character of the town, performers are very tenacious of coming; and good actors will certainly not engage for inferior business,which the Townsman expects. As to the abilities of the performers in general, they speak for themselves, and are too well known to need ang culogium from my pen; the only cause of my writing these remarks is to rescue the actors and actresses from the false and scurrilous reflections thrown on them, ånd to hold up their characters in a just and impartial light to the world at large ; for private pique and personal invective are the constant and predominant characteristics of the Townsman!
Theatre ANDOVER.Mrs. Thornton's company hath been performing here very successfully. Here is a Mr. Thompson, who represents many of Fawcett's characters, with an energy and force seldom equalled, and which ought to procure for him a situation on the boards of our first provincial theatres, as his talents will ultimately, if he persevere, and be industrious in his profession-raise him to
.." Critics---full bold, I venture on the name,
“ Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame;