Mandarin – Denaby Success

February 1907

Mexborough & Swinton Times, February 16, 1907

Denaby Enjoys “The Mandarin,”
A Twice Told Success

The Mandarin, his satellites, foes, and feminine tormentors, were all in happy vein on Wednesday evening. At Mexborough they took the public by storm, and flushed with their essay before the footlights, they carried their mature theatricals crusade to Denaby Main with what success we leave our readers to imagine.

On the one side of the curtain was a cast of performers actuated by love of harmony, of scenic effects, and of portraying in life the things which are not. On the other side there was a large and keenly representative audience, to whose ears the sweet and well blended tones were altogether delightful; to whom the picturesque and variegated costumes presented a pleasing spectacle, and who were ever ready to be amused by the farcical situations into which their whimsical owner chose to fill their performance.

With one party ready to please, and the other ready to be pleased, it can sparsely be a matter for wonder that the success of the Mexborough performers were almost rivalled as a result of the Denaby effort. And certainly the work of the performers maintained its original standard throughout, Mr. W. Popple, for instance, would, but for the embarrassing influence of the bevy of Chinese ladies, have made a stern and unyielding Mandarin, but Miss Pattie Washington, as young Shy, saw to it that his edicts were not allowed to become as those of the Modes and Persians. This young lady, with her sweet voice, winsome appearance, and very real humour excelled herself, and her vocal contests.

With Soh-Fah, her rival for the possession of that extremely desirable Englishman, Lieutenant Smith, were exceedingly diverting. The character of the stranded lieutenant was very admirably sustained by Mr Arthur Butler, who shone particularly in his many vocal efforts.

Miss A. Popple certainly looked, acted, and sang the part of the jealous rival to perfection, her contributions to the splendid wave of harmony being very well received. “Doh-Ray-Me” (Miss Smith) and Col. Coldsteel (Mr J. Dunc), paired them off in a manner which could not fail to please; while the latter, with his youthful warriors, was very popular.

Mr J. Crossley may be congratulated on the manner in which he defended his client, Lieutenant Smith, from the dread majesty of the law; though the “public prosecutor” (Mr G. Ives) certainly did look somewhat fearsome.

Mr Gore Thorpe, the foreman of the jury, pronounced the terrible verdict in a manner which delighted everyone, with one exception, Miss Haighs (Ming Song) tea song met with very warm appreciation

To the Chinese ladies and children a good deal of the beauty of the effect was due and the dances (arranged by Miss Peat) were really cleverly executed.

As to the music, the sweetness and artistry of the various numbers was greatly enhanced by the sympathetic accompaniment of the orchestra, under the conduct and shape of Mr W. Winstanley (Mr M. Soar being the leader), while Miss Creighton proved a capable pianist. Mr W. H. Lowcock of Kilnhurst, (second violin), was the only other additional instrumentalist

As a result of the effort, the Fullerton hospital should benefit substantially. To Miss Mason, Mr W. Watson, and Mr A. Robinson a good deal of Wednesday night’s success is due; while to Mr W. H. Chambers and the managers of the school hearty thanks should be accorded to the loan of the building for purposes of rehearsal and performance. The good taste of Mrs Cooper, of Swinton, was revealed in the dresses of many of the ladies.