A Review for the Benefit of A. Thioden at the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties
MR A. Thiodon's Second Anual Benefit - Second only in importance to that of the proprietor is the benefit of the manager of a popular music hall; and to do this functionary proper honour is the desire of all connected with the profession when the annual festival takes place. On the present occasion not only did the personal and private friends of the beneficiaire foregather in such great numbers as to crowd the enormous music hall owned by Messrs Crowder and Payne; but, in order to add éclat to the affair, the proprietors and managers of nearly all the other halls in the metropolis gave their assistance personally and otherwise with a most gratifying result.
Messrs E. Villiers, W. T. Purkiss, J. Jennings, W. Riley, J. L. Graydon, Sam Adams, E. Winder, W. Bailey, Gus Leach, Poole, Ulph, Madame Gatti, Mr W. Holland, and Mr C. Morton gave all the assistance in their power; and the festival may be summed up as a great success.
Mr Thiodon has succeeded by his urbanity and gentlemanliness in procuring for himself troops of friends, who, on the present occasion, proved themselves properly desirous of showing their appreciation of him both in his professional and private capacities. The result was a celebration memorable in two ways - first as a social success, and next as an entertainment which for general excellence was almost unparalleled. Full justice cannot be done in the space available to the many capital and, in some instances, extraordinary features of the programme set forth; and therefore only a hurried glance can be taken of the truly Gargantuan feast of amusements set forth to delight the immense assembly.
Messrs Stebb and Trepp appeared early, and conveyed a good idea of their excellent ability. Miss Lily Grey described in captivating accents her disappointment with her too bashful lover Joseph. Mr James Fawn, with the admirable low comedy manner which may fairly be called his own, gave "Only one !" in his most humorous style. Messrs Ray, Dwight, and Ray received much and well-deserved applause for their agile dancing and splendid somersault throwing. The Brothers Morton obtained much laughter by their comic Negro business. Miss Birdie Brightling gave some good banjo solos. Russell Pongo, a veritable human monkey as far as climbing is concerned, performed some marvellous feats on a slack rope. Lieut. Cole, who may be described in the ventriloquial race as "Cole first, the rest nowhere" brought his Merry Folks upon the stage to make the audience merry also. Miss Emily Lyndale, in a very pretty, but decidedly summery, costume, sang well and danced even better. The Chiesi troupe performed their most excellent acrobatic feats, and fairly astounded the audience with their wonderful training. Their doings fully merited the applause obtained. Mr Jonghmans, in two songs, recalled the days when he was the prime favourite at Evans's. Madame Garetta, with her pretty and clever pigeon performance, aroused the highest enthusiasm. Miss Marie Le Blanc, in a very attractive dress, endeavoured, with success, to prove to the auditory, that "There is room for a little improvement" in everything, which the audience fully endorsed, with the exception of that which pertains to herself, of course. The Indiarubber Four performed as is their wont, and were acceptable. Miss Nellie L'Estrange, whose appearance in a "love" of a dress, captivated her audience at once, told how her hubby is in the habit of "Taking it home to Sarah," because "it's just the thing to square her;" but, considering that the domestic bribe was an elephant, it may be open to question whether the moral of this song be applicable to all phases of the marital disagreement. Mons. Napoleon, who has previously been known as Lieut. Fred Charles, performed well on the cornet, and sang effectively. Mr G. H. Macdermott sang his amusing apropos song "New Time" with much point. Mr Fred Coyne appeared. The twin Sisters Vaidis gave their extraordinary performance, and here a halt must take place in order to do something like justice to this, as has been said, extraordinary feature of the evening's entertainment.
A more graceful, daring, pretty, and perfect trapeze performance has never been given than this. These young ladies go through their exploits admirably. On the fixed trapeze they perform the most difficult evolutions ever attempted with perfect ease; on the rotary trapeze they simply do wonders; and in an aerial flight from the ceiling to the net, a jump through the air of probably not less than sixty feet, if not more, one of the sisters perfectly electrifies the spectators.
The performance of the Sisters Vaidis must be seen to be properly appreciated, and it ought to be enough to attract all. London to the Canterbury. Miss Ada Vinetta, always pretty and fascinating, told us all about "The charming young boy who lives over the way," but she did not make her audience oblivious of the charming young lady before them. Mr Joe Lawrence was successful with his topical song "Yes, we do ! No, we don't !" Mr. Chicot appeared as a female performer, and was chiefly remarkable for the perfectness of his "get up" for the character. The Martinetti troupe, assisted by the Canterbury corps de ballet, gave their ballet Robert and Bertrand, which has been fully noticed lately. Mr Paul Martinetti's pantomimic business is funny and perfect; there is an air of realism, a quaintness of expression, and an undeniable power of expressing a meaning to an audience in dumb show possessed by Mr Martinetti which no other pantomimist now to be seen can claim. It is this which makes his ballets so perfect; and it is this which makes his comic business as laughable as his death scene is tragic in its intensity. Miss Harriet Vernon, who is a comedienne of some power, explained the peculiarities of the genus "Dude," who, eyeglass in eye, exclaims "You don't say so, now, really ?" in a vacant, expressionless manner. The Sisters Lingard sang a duet, and, to conclude, Miss Bessie Bellwood sang her now celebrated song "What 'cher, 'Ria !" in splendid style, bringing to a close an entertainment which had lasted more than five hours, and which in every feature introduced had brought forth something worthy of admiration.
A morning' performance was given as well as the evening celebration detailed above, and this was supported by all the leading members of the profession, and well attended by the Public. Altogether apart from the pecuniary gain attendant upon such an appeal, Mr Thiodon may feel proud of the benefit given in his honour on the evening of Thursday last.'
Arthur Lloyd also performed in this Benefit but is not mentioned in the review.
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