2 OCTOBER 1852, Page 10

(Or (Orem.

The capital of the theatrical empire is still Byzantium; in other words, Sadler's Wells is still, in point of productiveness, the most important of London playhouses. The version of Messinger's City Madam which was played some years ago, and which is distinguished both from the original and the adaptation called _Riches by the penitence of Luke, has been judi- ciously revived. Although this play, like most of Massinger's, is dis- agreeable enough, Luke is still a grand personage; and by driving him into penitence, Mr. Phelps gains in pathos what be loses in sublimity, the pathetic being always Mr. Phelps's most congenial atmosphere. On the other hand, the revival of Lillo's Arden of Yeversham was a mistake. The piece has not the slightest claim to public favour, and is only distinguish- able from the vulgarest dramas of the Victoria school by superiority of dulness and the absence of striking effects. As folks knew nothing about it beyond its name, and as there has been a theory afloat that Shakspere TM, in some way or other, its pristine author, it had slumbered in a tolerably honourable grave, embalmed by the moral encomiasts of George Lillo. The unrolled mummy, however, did not answer expectations, and the disinterment was followed by a speedy reburial.