The gentleman who “does” the Parisian correspondence for the Adelphi Theatre, has supplied it with a vaudeville bearing the above title; the fable, of which, like some of AEsop’s, principally concerns a hen, that, however, does not speak, and a smart cockscomb who does—an innocent little fair who has charge of the fowl—a sort of Justice Woodcock, and a bombardier who, because he is in the uniform of a drum or bugle-major, calls himself a serjeant. To these may be added, Mr. Yates in his own private character, and a few sibilants in the pit, who completed the poultry-nature of the piece by playing the part of geese.
The plot would have been without interest, but for the accidental introduction of the last two characters,—or the geese and the cock-of-the-walk. The pittites, affronted at the extreme puerility of some of the incidents, and the inanity of all the dialogue, hissed. This raffled the feathers of the cock-of-the-walk, who was already on, or rather at, the wing; and he flew upon the stage in a tantrum, to silence the geese. Mr. Yates spoke—we need not say how or what. Everybody knows how he of the Adelphi shrugs his shoulders, and squeezes his hat, and smiles, and frowns, and “appeals” and “declares upon his honour” while agitating the buttons on the left side of his coat, and “entreats” and “throws himself upon the candour of a British public,” and puts the stamp upon all he has said by an impressive thump of the foot, a final flourish of the arms, and a triumphal exit to poean-sounding “bravoes!” and to the utter confusion of all dis—or to be more correct, hiss—sentients.
In the end, however, the latter triumphed; and Cocorico deserved its fate in spite of the actors. Mrs. Grattan played the chief character with much tact and cleverness, singing the vaudevilles charmingly—a most difficult task, we should say, on account of the adapter, in putting English words to French music, having ignorantly mis-accentuated a large majority of them. Miss Terrey infused into a simple country girl a degree of character which shews that she has not yet fallen into the vampire-trap of too many young performers—stage conventionalism, and that she copies from Nature. It is unfortunate for both these clever actresses that they have been thrust into a piece, which not even their talents could save from partial ——, but it is a naughty word, and Mrs. Judy has grown very strict. The piece wants cur-tailment; which, if previously applied, will increase the interest, and make it, perhaps, an endurable dramatic
[Illustration: FRENCH “TAIL”—WITH CUTS.]
* * * * *