Graphics, Image for A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing
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Graphics, Image for A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing
THE   ADELPHI   THEATRE   CALENDAR
A Record of Dramatic Performances at a Leading Victorian Theatre

Formerly the Sans Pareil (1806-1819), later the Adelphi (1819-1900)
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Title:A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing
Description:Amateur Performance at the Adelphi Theatre:  Scene from A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing (by Tom Taylor).
1st Performance:Oct 1, 1866
Theatre:Adelphi
Source:The Illustrated London News, May 18, 1867, p. 501
Review:The Illustrated London News, May 18, 1867, p. 502

SCENE FROM "A SHEEP IN WOLF'S CLOTHING,"

PERFORMED AT THE ADELPHI, MAY 11.

Our engraving represents the crisis in the play of "A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing," which was performed at the Adelphi Theatre, in the afternoon of last Saturday, in aid of the fund for the benefit of the family of the late Mr. C. H. Bennett, the eminent artist.  The "situation" is this.  The date of the play is the time when, Monmouth's rebellion having been suppressed, Colonel Kirke was sent into the west to inflict savage retribution.  A friend of Monmouth's, Jasper Carew, who escaped from Sedgemoor, has been secreted in his own house, with the knowledge of his faithful and loving wife alone, and Colonel Kirke, supposing her to be a rich widow, has been courting her.  To save her husband, the wife, Anne Carew, has pretended not only to be an enemy of the rebels but to hate the memory of her husband, and has sent away their child for fear of her detecting the presence of her father.  But, for the purpose of the drama, a situation is contrived in which the three indulge their affection and are suddenly surprised by the deceived and vengeful Kirke.  "So, a very pretty family group!"  is his exclamation, and he proceeds to threats of execution, when Lord Churchill enters to supersede him and make all happy.  The figures are those of the odious Kirke (Mr. Mark Lemon), of Jasper Carew (Mr. Tom Taylor), his wife (Miss Kate Terry), and the child (Florence Terry), and the closet behind is the place where Carew had been concealed.

The play was part of the entertainment for the excellent purpose we have mentioned.  It was necessary to raise the fund on account of Mr. Bennett's premature death and the fragility of his health having precluded life assurance.  His colleagues in the production of Punch determined upon making a strong effort on the occasion, and they arranged a most attractive afternoon.  Mr. Arthur Sullivan, the most talented of our younger composers had, in conjunction with Mr. Burnand, converted the favourite piece of "Box and Cox" into an operetta of the most ludicrous description, and this was the opening performance, Mr. Sullivan conducting, and the piece being played by Mr. Du Maurier, Mr. Quinten, and Mr. Arthur Blunt.  It went with enormous éclat, and the performers were called before the curtain.  The celebrated amateurs known as the Moray Minstrels (from their chiefly performing as Moray Lodge, the residence of Mr. Arthur Lewis) then gave a number of delicious part-songs and madrigals, executed in a style seldom heard in a theatre.  Between the two portions of this music, Mr. Shirley Brooks came on and delivered an address, written by himself, and it was enthusiastically received.  We extract a few lines which describe the object of the effort and the character of Mr. Bennett:--

      Only, some friends of a lost friend, whose name
      Is all the inheritance his children claim
      (Save memory of his goodness), think it due
      To make some brief acknowledgment to you.
      Brief, but not cold--some thanks that you have come
      And helped us to secure that saddened home
      Where eight young mourners round a mother weep
      A fond and dear-loved father's early sleep.
      Take it from us--and with this word we end
      All sad allusion to our parted friend,
      That for a better purpose generous hearts
      Ne'er prompted liberal hands to do their parts.
      You knew his power, his satire keen but fair,
      And the rich fancy served by skill as rare.
      You did not know, except some friendly few,
      That he was earnest, gentle, patient, true.
      A better soldier doth Life's battle lack,
      And he has died with harness on his back.

The music was succeeded by the performance of the play whence our illustration is taken, and in which, in addition to the performers we have named, Mr. Tenniel, Mr. Burnand, Mr. Silver, Mr. Pritchett, Mrs Watts (Miss Terry's sister), Mrs. Stoker, Mr. Horace Mayhew and Mr. Shirley Brooks acted.  Mr. Lemon is a skilled actor, and acquitted himself better than the majority of professionals could have done; but all his coadjutors threw themselves earnestly into the work and would not have been taken for amateurs.  After the play, came Offenbach's famous bit of fun with the two blind French beggars (Messrs. Du Maurier and Harold Power), and this was acted to perfection.  And then one of the most remarkable and brilliant audiences ever collected dispersed, just in time to leave the theatre (kindly given, free of other expense than the servants' wages, by Mr. Benjamin Webster) to the ordinary British public.  A large sum was obtained by the performance, but we understand that much more is wanted; and we end this account, therefore, by again recommending the cause to the attention of our readers.

 

The Illustrated London News, May 18, 1867, p. 501

 

 

The Illustrated London News, May 18, 1867, p. 502

 



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Copyright © 1988, 1992, 2013 by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.
Originally published by Greenwood Press as The Sans Pareil Theatre 1806-1819, Adelphi Theatre 1819-1850: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers, 1988, and The Adelphi Theatre 1850-1900: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers and Management, 1992.
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The Adelphi Theatre Calendar revised, reconstructed and amplified.  Copyright © 2013, by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, with the exception of graphics from The Clip Art Book, edited by Gerard Quinn and published by Crescent in 1990.  These images are reproduced in accord with the publisher’s note, which states "The Clip Art Book is a new compilation of illustrations that are in the public domain.  The individual illustrations are copyright free and may be reproduced without permission or payment.  However, the selection of illustrations and their layout is the copyright of the publisher, so that one page or more may not be photocopied or reproduced without first contacting the publishers."