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Monday, February 20, 2012

Review of Eliza O'Neil at Covent Garden

Fom La Belle Assemblee, May, 1815


Covent Garden

A new afterpiece, entitled The Fortune of War, was on Wednesday, May 17, performed at this Theatre; it is, without question, one of the most humourous farces of the day. It is the production of Mr Kenny, to whose fertile and whimsical genius the public are indebted for several pieces of acknowledged merit.

Covent Garden, c. 1815


            The plot, which comprises a far greater number of ludicrous incidents and whimsical situations than we have recently seen in any effort of the same description is remarkable for its complexity.

Covent Garden, c. 1815



            The afterpiece met with almost unprecedented success. It was loudly applauded throughout, and was announced for repetition, amidst the exclamations of the audience.

            Miss O’Neil’s performance of the character of Euphrosia, in the Grecian Daughter, may be ranked amongst her most successful efforts. The play, in many senses, is heavy and declamatory, and wants that spirit and variety of action, without which tragedy never fails to be insipid. In some senses, however, the character of Euphrosia shines forth with great strength and dignity, and rescues this piece from that oblivion into which it would otherwise have fallen. Miss O’Neil was peculiarly successful in the scene with Evander; she threw a surprising pathos and an heroic affection into this scene which we never saw surpassed. In the scene in which she stabs Dionysius she was most eminently happy; she here rose to the highest energy and sublimity of tragic acting, and gave us a lively image of Mrs. Siddons in her best days. Young’s Evander was a chaste and powerful performance.

Today's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


1 comment:

Louisa Cornell said...

I love how she was "happy" in the scene in which she stabs Dionysus! What a great review and insight into those things deemed important in Regency theatre.