1 JANUARY 1831, Page 21


THE Pantomimes this season have one grand fault—want of con- nexion; and it has been the capital defect of all the performances of this' kind which we have seen with critical eyes. They open very promisingly with some fairy tale or nursery legend, and all goes on auspiciously until the transformations; when, whisk ! goes the story with the cast-off dresses, and exit the author, leav- ing the piece in the hands of the mechanist. This is any thing but what ought to be. The thread of the story should be continued through the harlequinade, and be the clue to connect not only suc- cessive scenes, but every trick and tumble. The main plot is the same in all pantomimes, however differently introduced, or with whatever episodes it be garnished ; and it is equally subje.ct to the rule of propriety with a speaking drama. It differs from the latter only in this, that the pantomimic action is tha dialogue, slaps and thwacks are the practical jokes, tricks and disguises the retorts and equivokes. A dramatic author might with the same propriety put into the mouths of his characters repartees and sarcasm hav- ing no bearing on the plot, as an inventor of pantomime send on a succession of tricks and transformations without any connexion with the story. This practice is not merely against rule, but it mars the interest, and neutralizes the fun : that which is ludicrous seems absurd, simply because it has no meaning; and the spec- tators are wearied instead of being amused. Until this besetting sin is reformed, pantomimes will be the dullest of "comic annuals."

As regards those of Drury Lane and Covent Garden, there is little to choose between Mr. BARRYMORE'S at the former, and Mr. FARLEY'S at the latter house : the second, perhaps, is the better of the two,—or rather, the first is the worst, for both are indiffe- rent. Mr. STANFIELD'S diorama, at Drury Lane, is the grand attraction; and it is worth enduring the dulness of the pantomime to witness this splendid display of scenic art. The audience cross the Alps by the Pass of the Simplon, from the town of Sion and the Valley of the Rhone over the Schalbet, and through the Grand Gallery of theSimplon to Lego Maggiore, studded With the magnifi- cent cluster of islands named after the Borromean Family ; the effects of moonlight and mid-day, snow and storm, successively varying these stupendous and beautiful scenes. It is an exhi- bition of itself; and throws the' performances into the shade, so that we can hardly admire the splendid motley suit of the Harlequin. We do not wonder at Mr. BARRYMORE'S jealousy of the diorama. The principal novelty at Covent Garden con- sisted in a speakiAg opening and an Irish Harlequin played by POWER; but, independently of the impertinence of speech in a pantomime, there ;Was no point in the dialogue. The scenery in the opening was Aplendid and effective, but the attempt at a dio- rama was a fai)fire. Some of the tricks were clever ; and the scene of the intended Guildhall festivity, disturbed by the entrance of Gog and Magog, was amusing. Mr. BOOKSTORE has got up the Adelphi pantomime, called Grimalkin, the King of the Cats, very effectively ; the opening with the feline personages was capital, and the tricks and feats of strength in the harlequinade were,nu- merous and excellent. We were more pleased with it than with either of the others. One trick in particular, by which wine is made to vanish out of glasses and decanters, is unique. We are mak- inn. up our minds to see the" old original Mother Goose" newly revived at Sadler's Wells ; its fame is worth a journey to the dis- tant shores of the New River.