|Title:||Queen of the Market
|Description:||Scene from the new drama of the Queen of the Market, by H. C. Coape and Ben Webster at the Adelphi Theatre. There is also a review of Mephistopheles; or, An Ambassador from Below! by Robert Brough (April 14, 1852).
|1st Performance:||Apr 12, 1852
|Source:||The Illustrated London News, Apr 17, 1852, p. 309
|See Source:||Go to Source Images (8.5 MB)
|Review:||The Illustrated London News, Apr 17, 1852, p. 310
In characterising the same piece here, it cannot be necessary to go into the same detail.
Suffice it to say, that the title adopted is "The Queen of the Market," and the names of
the characters differ. The heroine is here Louise, the wife of Maurice Durand,
and is played by Mrs. Keeley with all her usual power. The Herculean
Syndic (Blaise Lefort) is grotesquely impersonated by Paul Bedford. The story being more
compactly told increases in interest, though the scenic effects are, of course, inferior in extent and ingenuity.
Our illustration is taken from the version exhibited at this house, and represents the scene in
which the supposed Marquis is compelled to receive the bouquet from Louise, and
give to her the customary kiss in return. The embarrassment caused by this
incident is of prominent dramatic interest and was beautifully expressed by Mrs. Keeley and Mr.
Lambert. The position of Blaise Lefort, also, was most amusingly exaggerated by Paul
Bedford. The public will no doubt be curious to compare the different effect of the same piece
at such disproportionate lengths as eight acts and three; moreover, each version is good, we may
predict a considerable run for both.
On Wednesday, another addition was made to the Easter attractions, one of a peculiar structure,
and designed to illustrate the versatility of Miss Woolgar. The author has resorted to a tale
of Machiavelli, and has confided to the actress the mission that the former had entrusted to the
fiend Belfegor. The title of the piece is "Mephistopheles," and summons up
associations with the genius of Goethe and his wonderful "Faust." There is
much of his spirit in this drama.
The infernal powers are much distressed to learn whether matrimonial squabbles are the fault
of husband or wife. To ascertain the fact Mephistopheles proceeds to effect
his incarnation in both characters--the first a doating boor and the other a meek and piously-educated
lady; the former he converts into a brute, the latter into a fashionable termagant. The moral
we suppose is that the fault in question is sometimes the man's
and sometimes the woman's. No very satisfactory conclusion this, but eminently practical.
In it, however, we may recognise the Mephistophelian principle--the Goethean sarcasm.
The dramatic ground, however, is as convincing as the moral one is unstable. The variety
of assumptions, altogether five, realised by Miss Woolgar with the most artistic facility,
demonstrates beyond all doubt the comprehensiveness of her powers. The whole
action is comprised in one set scene; and the charm
of the performance lies
in the apparent completeness of the entire work. As an elegant vaudeville
it merits the success it achieved. The piece is written by Mr. R. B. Brough, one
of the Brothers Brough, whose productions we have on many occasions had the pleasure of commending.