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The Story of the Scots Stage
Chapter VI - The Arbroath and Dundee Stage


ARBROATH has always proved so tender-hearted a nurse to the Drama that, although the busiest part of its theatrical history took place after the founding of touring companies, it is worth recording a few of the incidents in its early career. For those who desire fuller details I can recommend no more enthusiastic guide than P. Charles Carragher, whose Fairport from the Footlights (1906) affords a dramatic epitome of its variegated story. To Sir Walter Scott in The Antiquary (circa 1750) we are indebted for a clue to Arbroath's share in theatrical history. Speaking of his fellow-traveller to the North, Monkbarns, he considers the possibility of Lovel being a young actor on the way to the opening of "the little theatre at Fairport." As Scott gives some details which might well pass for a description of the new place of entertainment at Horner's Wynd, it may be assumed that the novelist had sat as an auditor in the old play-house. Prior to this there is no evidence, beyond the tradition, of the monks having played their Morality and Miracle-plays within the great Abbey, or upon the Abbey Green at Arbroath.

Unluckily, historians, English as well as Scots, regarded the drama as the poor "peelywaly" forbidden thing, so that even in Hay's History of Arbroath the principal theatrical event we learn is that King Lear was produced for the first time in the town, at the "New Theatre" on 21st May, 1793. It looks then as if Arbroath shared with Aberdeen its honour of first erecting a temple to Thespis, the Aberdeen record placing 1751 as its date.

The "New Theatre," Arbroath, whose lessee was a Mr. Hamilton, had been built complete with stage fittings and scenery, and probably was equipped on the model of the Edinburgh Theatre, erected twenty-four years before.

As the step-bairn of the Arts, the Drama must give way to the sterner demand of commerce, and so, when they wanted a stable at the George Inn, the theatre site had to be moved across the street. The tenement, of which this theatre formed part, afterwards became a tobacconist's shop.

In the second decade of the nineteenth century, Arbroath commenced to savour the pleasures of regular drama. Arbroath was favoured with long visits from various stock companies: their stays were necessarily lengthy because of the difficulties of transport, of baggage, scenery, and other impedimenta, including the players. Old Ryder included Arbroath in his northern circuit. Having produced Rob Roy at Perth on 22nd June, 1818, Corbett Ryder, after touching Dundee, brought his company to Arbroath. The Diana of that performance was Mrs. Ryder, and Martha was played by the daughter of his scene-painter. The lady in question was better known afterwards as the wife of Macready. The Bailie was enacted by the famous Mackay.

The appearance of Chippendale in The Rivals is also recorded in 1819. Pritchard and Edmund Glover were some of the older stars who appeared at Arbroath, while in later years such stars as Miss Heath, Miss Isabel Bateman, Mrs. Siddons, Sheil Barry, Henry Talbot, Wilson Barrett, and Osmond Tearle appear among the records of the Arbroath Theatre.

These performances were held in the old Trades Hall, which, built in the year of Waterloo, ultimately became the successor to the Arbroath Theatre.

Dundee has always had a living interest in drama, and it will not be amiss if we summarise some of the leading events in its theatrical history. Strolling players frequently visited there, but they were stolen visits, frowned upon; by those in authority. Dundee may pride itself upon the fact that it produced the dramatist, James Wedderburn, who was the son of a merchant in the West Kirk Stile. Wedderburn had imbibed the new learning, having been educated in France, and was author of tragedies and comedies in the vernacular, the main trend of which was to satirise the doings and teachings of the clergy. His tragedy, John the Baptist, was played at the West Port about 1540, and there is a record of his comedy entitled Dionysias the Tyrant having been performed in the Playfield, which may be located somewhere near the rising slope known as The Witches' Knowe.

The Lawrence Fletcher company, which included among its partners both William Shakespeare and Richard Burbage, was sent to Aberdeen by the King in 1601, an incident referred to in the chapter on Aberdeen, and it is thought that probably this same company gave a performance in Dundee on its way northward. But there exists no record, and probably the local historian of that date, if he were a good citizen, would expunge the disgraceful item from his book. Later Dundonians, of a different and broader calibre, would fain believe that Shakespeare was of this memorable company, and try to relate the subsequent production of Macbeth (1605) to "the Bard's`` absorption of local colour on that visit.

The Scottish clergy endeavoured later on to blot out the accursed thing as the enemy of all morality and religion, and they succeeded for many years until the Restoration came to set the drama on its way again, letting loose the frank, virile, unashamed stream of wine-house wit, bawdy humour, and brilliant satire.

Dundee depended upon Edinburgh for its representations of drama. Edinburgh, as the religionists of the time would say, set the bad example, for, at Allan Ramsay's instigation, Dundee had a company of players visiting them in 1734.

How welcome the players were may be judged by the fact that the townsfolk made it a fete day! The players secured the patronage of the Freemasons who, according to the old record, marched in procession to the playhouse in their proper apparel, with hautboys and other music playing before them."

The theatre was probably a temporary erection, and the dramatic fare provided included Jubilee and the famous farce, The Devil to Pay, or the Wives Metamorphosed. Between this and the next Dundee theatrical performance there is a gap of twenty-one years. Allan Ramsay, the pioneer of Edinburgh drama, had been badly beaten in his attempt to keep the theatrical flag flying, and, as is shown in the story of the Edinburgh stage, the theatrical folks led a furtive life, the most favoured way of evading the law being to produce a stage-play under the pretence that it was a concert of music, a ruse that the acting fraternity bad picked up from their London brethren, as witness Giffard's announcement of 15th October, 1740 (Goodman's Fields Theatre): "A Concert of Vocal and Instrumental Musick in 2 Parts. Between the Parts of the Concert will be presented gratis a Comedy called 'The Stratagem ' by Persons for their diversion."

Despite these depressing circumstances, a company of players set up a season in the Town House during the months of May and June, 1755.

The programme is presented as a curiosity. It will be noted that the Comedy and the Farce, which represented the major part of the show, were presented gratis and sandwiched between the first and last parts of the concert programme.

Cynical readers, who complain of modern British Bumbledom in regard to licensing restrictions, will note that the modern official follows out hereditary instincts—as also do the various managements who, during the past decade, have formed ways and means of evading the law, particularly in the Metropolitan area.

Among the plays performed by the company were George Barnwell, The Foundling, The Beggar's Opera, and Don Quixot in England. The comedian, Lancashire, a great favourite in Edinburgh, was the draw of the show. He kept a public-house in Edinburgh, and, as his historian writes, "He drank and joked with his customers: laughed and grew fat: and at length died, respected by many and with the good word of all."

The next company appeared in 1767 at the Town Hall--a "Company of Comedians from Edinburgh Theatre Royal," and they confined their performances to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

One of their announcements read:--"There will be presented a celebrated and historical Tragedy called Jane Shore (written in imitation of Shakespeare's stile, by N. Rowe, Esq.), the entertainment to conclude by desire with the farce, Lethe, or Æsop in the Shades."

The Trades Hall harboured several companies, the first of which played in the large room of the building, and was under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, Edinburgh Theatre favourites. Mr. Frank Boyd, who wrote that liveliest of stage records, The Dundee Stage, pictures to us very succinctly the Dundee playgoers of those days.

"One likes to imagine seeing the inhabitants of those days, the men roofed with their perukes, and in their square-cut coats, plush breeches, and silk stockings, and the ladies in hoops and dresses stiff with embroidery, figuring as spectators in the play, and returning home in the sedan by torchlight, or in stately procession, first coming the maid, bearing a tall lantern with mould candle; behind marching the mistress, or, perchance two or three ladies, all holding up calashes (resembling the canopy of a gig) to guard their head gear. Maid and mistresses alike wore pattens that lifted them above whatever pools or kennels lay in their way."

In 1784, the Edinburgh Theatre Company announced a forthcoming performance in Dundee, whereat the Town Council, greatly perturbed, passed the following resolution, at the Council meeting on 9th August: —

"The Council and Trades, being informed that Mr. Jackson, Manager of Edinburgh Theatre, and his company intend to perform plays in this Burgh, they are of opinion that exhibiting plays here is not authorised, but in direct opposition to the laws of the country and prejudicial in many respects to the interests of Society."

Wherefore the Council took legal means to prevent the performance, and Jackson's company were banned from entering the Burgh. A pause of thirteen years had worn the rough edges off that prejudice, for in 1797 theatrical performances were given in the town without any opposition being raised.

The celebrated playwright, Mrs. Inchbald, was a member of one company, for she is described at her benefit as giving "a dramatic entertainment, interspersed with theatrical and provincial anecdotes, and imitations humourous, vocal, and rhetorical in four parts called 'The World as It Goes.' " Mrs. Inchbald also delivered her " New Embellished Lecture on Hearts."

In Dundee at length the theatre idea had evolved into a habit sufficiently strong to demand a permanent building. At least Moss and Bell, the proprietors of the regular Dundee Theatre, thought so, and were courageous enough to erect one at Yeaman Shore in 1800. The edifice, which was "fitted up in a very elegant and superior style," was opened with a performance of The Merchant of Venice, the prologue being written by "a gentleman of Dundee." Moss played Shylock to the entire approbation of the audience; indeed, his performance was regarded as the best of its day. Moss was a pupil of the then famous Shylock, Macklin, and his conception of the part was founded on that of his illustrious master, whose creation had received Pope's imprirnatur: --

This is the Jew
That Shakespeare drew."

Moss earned for himself a niche in the gallery of character creators of this period. Dublin and Edinburgh having acclaimed his Shylock, his fame travelled to London, and he was engaged for the Haymarket Theatre.

Until 1803, Moss appeared periodically at the Yeaman Shore house. As far as the evidence goes, the Dundee house was not an overwhelming financial success, for two years later we find Moss acting as manager to the Dumfries Theatre. While performing at Dumfries Theatre, the story goes that a certain youthful low comedian of the company exclaimed "If ever I should play Shylock, it shall be after the style of Mr. Moss." Nine years afterwards, that youth achieved his wish—at Drury Lane--when his name headed the bill as that famous star, "Edmund Kean."

A "comic interlude" written by "a gentleman of this town," and entitled The Pretty Girl of Dundee was announced for performance in 1802.

Mr. Beaumont next took up the lease of the Yeaman Shore house—his wife being a favourite Scottish actress----and the succeeding years show that such famous players as John Kemble, Edmund Kean, Henry Johnston, Dowton, and others appeared for short seasons, the variety performances including Sexti, a famous tightrope dancer, known as the "Little Devil," Belcher and Mendoza, the prize fighters, in boxing exhibitions, and various other varieties. Latterly, the house had to close its doors, and during the thirty years that followed the Yeaman Shore Theatre was used as a storehouse.

Theatrical performances were also given in Dundee near the top of New Inn entry, in a former place of religious worship, which, when the Theatre Royal was built, "reverted to its original purpose."

It dawned upon the stage folks that, if they wanted to hold Dundee for the drama, they would have to present it in a more attractive place than the Yeaman Shore Theatre had ultimately proved to be.

Accordingly, the new Theatre Royal was opened up in Castle Street on June 7, 1810, with a miscellaneous concert given for the benefit of the funds of the Western Regiment of Forfarshire Local Militia.

The first dramatic performance was presented on 13th August, when the Edinburgh Theatre Royal Company appeared in Cumberland's comedy, The West Indian, and the farce of Fortune's Frolic, the manager of the new house being Mr. Henry Siddons, the patentee of the Edinburgh Theatre. Mrs. Henry Siddons, a clever actress of that period, appeared a fortnight later as Juliana in The. Honeymoon. The leading man of the company was Daniel Terry, a versatile actor and man of parts, who enjoyed the intimacy of Sir Walter Scott's friendship.

Stephen Kemble is noted as appearing on September 3rd as Falstaff in King Henry IV. Kemble has gone down the theatrical ages chiefly as the Falstaff who required no stuffing. This is unjust to his memory, as he was a tragedian of some standing.

Mr. W. H. Murray, a capable actor, who was about this time one of the members of the visiting companies, had taken over the reins of management of the Edinburgh Theatre Royal after the demise of Henry Siddons, who. left behind a heritage of debt. He opened the Dundee house for several short seasons, but relinquished management with the performance announced for his benefit on October 4th, 1816. The programme included, besides a comedy and farce, an entertainment, including singing, dancing, etc., and a grand naval and national selection of ballads, called "British Tars, or, Saturday Night at Sea," the last scene of which represented a grand panoramic view of the city of Algiers with the destruction of the fleet and batteries by the Allied Squadrons. The "positively last night" of the company came on 25th October.

A waxwork show followed the "Man Salamander"'s performance, and then a tenantless gap, when we find an auctioneer's notice announcing for sale one-fourth share of the property, "consisting of four excellent shops with vaulted roofs on the ground storey, and two stores above occupied as a Theatre."

Mr. Corbett Ryder's Aberdeen company re-opened the house in August, 1818, with "the new and justly celebrated national play; of Rob Roy Macgregor, or Auld Langsyne." Ryder was the original Rob and the most famous delineator of the part, while the Bailie Nicol Jarvie was the great Mackay. Later on, Guy Mannering was produced with Mackay in the cast, the Dominic Sampson being played by Terry.

Mathews, "the celebrated Irish comedian," appeared in January, 1819, in his one-man entertainment, which consisted of a melange of English, Irish, and Scottish recitations, with appropriate original comic and serious songs. In May, Miss Duncan, a comedienne of the principal London theatres, appeared with Ryley, the author of The Itinerant, for a few nights, while, in October, Matthews at Home and Matthews in his Trip to Paris was presented by Mathews the elder. On November 3rd, the ineffable "Mr. M'Roy, late of the Greenock, Ayr, Dumfries, and Berwick - upon - Tweed Theatres," presented his "brilliant" (sic) company in Cherry's Soldier's Daughter, with a son of the author as the principal character, but although, according to M'Roy, it was, with the exception of Edinburgh, "the

best company in Scotland," the Dundonians were evidently not of that opinion, for they failed to turn up in numbers sufficient to make it a financial success.

Corbett Ryder again opened up a season early in 1820, presenting Harry Johnston, the Scottish Roscius, and the favourite young Norval of Home's Douglas.

On July 17th, the infant prodigy and liliputian wonder, Miss Clara Fisher, who had enacted the crook-back tyrant at six and a half years at Drury Lane and was now nine years old, appeared in the parts of Richard III., Falstaff, and Dr. Pangloss. Local critics, it is said, went into raptures about her performances. Evidently they believed in being kind to the bairns.

Charles Mayne Young, of Covent Garden Theatre followed in Hamlet, but none of these attractions managed to provide a paying season.

Macready was announced for August 23rd, making his first appearance at Dundee in a four night engagement, playing Virginius, Macbeth, Coriolanus, and Sir Charles Racket—an attraction which served to close the summer season.

It is worth noting that Ryder's own company then contained such embryo "stars" as Tyrone Power, the most clever of stage Irishmen, Chippendale, who had been partly educated at the Edinburgh High School, and the singing man, Paddy Weekes, who soon after became famous for his delineation of Irish characters.

After closing for a few weeks, for re-decorations and repairs, Ryder advertised the revival of Rob Roy (its 129th performance), in which Mackay was again the Bailie. Calvert came from Edinburgh, the tragedian Calcraft appeared for a few nights, and then came the production of King Henry VIII. on an unprecedented scale of splendour. But the season was evidently a very bad one for Ryder, for it was not till February, 1822, that we find another legitimate company occupying the boards, when E. Crook brought the Pantheon Company from Edinburgh, among the most notable nights of their season being the special one-night-only engagement of Dowton, the comedian, in Bickerstaffe's The Hypocrite.

In August, Ryder had a final shot for Dundee favours, bringing along an excellent company, which failed to make a prolonged stay worth while.

For several years the theatrical banner ceased to fly at the Theatre Royal, and it was not till September of 1824, if we except several scratch performances by M. Alexandre, the famous ventriloquist, that Ryder thought fit to try his Dundee fortunes again. On this occasion, he announced the special engagements of the well-known vocalists — Sinclair, the original Francis Osbaldistone and the Henry Bertram of Guy Mannering (Covent Garden production), and Miss Halland. Sinclair was somewhat irascible, and as things failed to go well with him one night in performing in The Siege of Belgrade, he abruptly stopped, and the curtain was brought down.

The season had certainly opened badly, but Ryder struggled on, bringing Paddy Weekes and Mrs. Faucit (mother of Helen Faucit) to Dundee, but still failing to draw the crowds, he returned to Edinburgh to open up a season at the Caledonian Theatre.

Bass was the next tenant to try his luck at the Theatre Royal, opening up in May, 1826, unfortunately, during the Sacramental Fast Week. Pritchard was the star, but the company's stay was brief. In October, Bass, having taken up the lease, gave a revival of The Merchant of Venice and Rosina. The theatre was done up afresh, and Bass introduced monthly box tickets, but that innovation did not prove a success. Bas was a capable actor, and his wife, Miss Munday, soon became popular. Pritchard was again put in the bill, and the low comedian Frimbley became a huge favourite. Miss S. Booth, granddaughter of the great Barton Booth scored a notable success as Rosalind, and Corbett Ryder was induced to stop at Dundee and give a revival of Rob Roy prior to his Aberdeen engagement.

Guy Mannering was played for a short run in January, 1827, with the popular Scottish vocalist, Melrose, as the star. Lara, a new play written by Bass, which was afterwards performed at Drury Lane, was "tried out" at Dundee.

Bass considered his prospects in Dundee good enough to risk taking up the lease of the Perth Theatre. With a return visit of Rob Roy, Pritchard and Mackay being in the cast, and a visit from the renowned Knyvett, Vaughan, and Bellamy concert party, the Bass season ended in February.

Vandenhoff, the elder, tried a five nights' "stand" in March, 1828, but played to empty houses, and even T. P. Cooke, the model exponent of the British tar, who succeeded him, met with little better success.

A new notion for Dundee was tried when they re-opened on 28th October, Thursdays being advertised as fashionable subscription nights. Rob Roy again came as the initial performance, with Mackay as the Bailie and Miss Noel as Diana Vernon.

The next year (1829) Bass took up a five years' lease, and re-opened the Iegitimate business on November 23. Among the features of that season were the introduction of Lloyd, "a little conjuror," according to a Dundee critic, "with the blended powers of Liston and William Murray," and Vandenhoff and Miss Jarman, who had played Desdemona to the Othello of Edmund Kean.

The great Braham proved the piece de resistance of the season, appearing in February for five nights in Guy Mannering, The Slave, The Siege of Belgrade, and The Duenna.

Plucky as he had been, Bass was compelled to face the inevitable in 1830, when, finding himself in money troubles, he started to economise, with the usual result. The regular drama declined. One night in November, 1830, they presented Master David Bell, aged thirteen, a native prodigy, who seems to have acquitted himself very creditably in the part of Young Norval.

The proprietors of the theatre tried their luck with a stock company in the following year (1831), when the leading lady was Miss Estcourt Wells, but the experiment proved a failure. In the three years that followed, the Royal stage harboured a few miscellaneous entertainments, including "Yates' Reminiscences" by Yates, the father of the late Edmund Yates of The World.

Incidentally, Paganini should have appeared at the Royal, but a dispute between Bass, the lessee, and the proprietors, had the effect of transferring his two evening concerts to another place in the town.

The next lessee of the Royal, Mr. W. Burroughs, brought Henry Johnston, Eliza Paton, and a good company to the theatre on December 31st, and subsequently produced the first regular pantomime in Dundee—all to no purpose, the people preferred Ord's Circus, then performing in The Meadows.

The visit of Charles Kean, supported by the great Mackay, for three nights beginning February 17, 1835, failed to draw, and the theatre had to he closed in March.

Burroughs ought to go down to history as a public benefactor, for his company included a painstaking actor called Samuel Phelps, who was afterwards to become famous, and who owed his success in the big parts of James VI. and Sir Pertinax MacSycophant to the command of the Scots dialect lie had acquired in the Dundee Theatre. Two years later, he made his debut as Shylock at the London Haymarket.

For nearly two years Dundee stage history had been a blank, when Thomas Ryder opened up a season in November, 1837, under the direction of his father, Corbett Ryder, when they were favoured with unusually good business. A second season in the September of 1838 brought attractions like the Misses Smith, vocalists, Paumier, the tragedian, Madame Chevallier, the ballet dancer, and the great Mackay. It is worth recording that some Dundonians believed enough in the play to attempt the erection of a new theatre, but the proposed issue of £5 shares failed to mature.

Sheridan Knowles, supported by Miss Elphinstone and the Aberdeen company, reopened the Theatre Royal for a seven-night season, apparently with success, for Thomas Ryder again ventured a season in November and December.

It was at the Thistle Hall that Ira Alridge, the African Roscius, elected to appear in March, (840, in the role of Othello, without make-up. Aldridge, the descendant of a West African prince, was educated in New York for the church, but as the "colour line" affected his success in America, he migrated to this side, and made a good many successful British tours. Besides Othello, his favourite parts included Shylock and Macbeth.

A rival to the Theatre Royal lessee appeared in the person of Langley, who opened up the Thistle Hall as a theatre in July, 1841.

A month later, Ryder brought his company, along to the Royal, with Mr. and Mrs. Crisp and Mr. and Mrs. Power in leading parts. Then followed a competition for audiences and a division of the already scant possibilities among Dundee theatre-goers. The Royal presented C. D. Pitt and the Irish comedian Daly, when the Thistle was offering as attraction that erratic genius, Gustavus Vaughan Brooke. Brooke's appearance was announced as for six tights, "previous to his engagement with Mr. Macready at Drury Lane." An accident in the duel scene of Richard III., at the Dundee performance, laid him up for some weeks.

Courlay, regarded as "the best Bailie bar Mackay," was engaged to appear at the Royal as the "Dancing Scotsman," after which the Thistle closed its doors.

The Royal followed suit a few weeks later in November.

Langley, who had been in Ryder's company, did not give up Dundee as hopeless, for the Yeaman Shore Theatre having been again refitted, he brought a stock company there in the spring of 1842, with Mrs. Greig (Miss Maria Tyrer) as the leading lady.

Among the extra attractions offered was a performance by Gouffe, the famous man monkey, who appeared in Langley's great Christmas spectacle. Still misfortune followed Langley's footsteps, and the Yeaman Shore Theatre had to be closed.

In March, 1843, J. Daly opened the Castle Street house, and although he brought an exceedingly strong stock company, including Johnston, Brooke, Gouffe, Lloyd, and Mrs. Leigh, he lost heavily, and three months later we find him figuring as the lessee of the Dumfries Theatre.

Hope, evidently, springs eternal mostly and chiefly in the breasts of mummers, for Langley again turned up at the Yeaman Shore Theatre, re-opening in the spring of 1844, and subsequently introducing Helen Faucit to Dundee playgoers. For twelve months both Dundee theatres stood without a tenant, till Langley made another trial in March, 1845, but poor business was his saddening experience.

The drama in Dundee then literally went to the dogs, for, in November of this year, we find Henry Smith occupying the stage with his dogs, Bruin and Hofer. This was an echo of the dog-drama craze in London, which started at the Royal Circus there, where a play had been expressly written to display their talents. Even Drury Lane had its dog-drama and managed to save Sheridan from bankruptcy, when Kemble and Siddons had failed to draw the town.

On February 3rd, 1846, one of the stock company, Ellenden, took his benefit, the lessee presenting Ellenden's new drama, Grizzel Iamphray, the last of the Witches; or, The Sea Captain of Dundee, with a full complement of local scenery.

A novelty in quintuple representation was introduced on the 23rd of June, when the part of Richard III. was sustained by five actors in succession. Langley took the first act, Coleman the second, Murray the third, Ellenden the fourth, and Tom Powrie, then a youngster, the fifth act. The farce was Do You ever Take your Wife to Broughty Ferry? evidently a localised version of Did You ever Take your Wife to Camberwell Green?

Mr. and Mrs. Pollock were afterwards engaged, the latter a favourite at the Old Aberdeen Theatre Royal, and formerly the wife of Corbett Ryder.

December saw the stage given over to Professor Heller and his troupe in "Les Poses Plastiques," and then came the Aldridge family including Miss Aldridge, the tight-rope walker.

This was the last season of the Yeaman Shore Theatre. It is rendered notable by the fact that it presented to the public two famous figures in Scottish dramatic history, Tom Powrie and Edmund Glover.

Powrie was born in Dundee on 28th February, 1824, and from his earliest days had been stage struck, holding his first performances in a stable in Tay Street, where, with his own company of juvenile actors, he used to enact the stirring melodrama, M`Glashan.

The starting price was three pins a head; when the actors had acquired some real properties, such as "red paint" and a real sword, the price of admission had to be increased.

Miss Helen Faucit, supported by Mr. Adam's company, appeared at the Theatre Royal as Juliet to the Romeo of Barry Sullivan, on 31st May, 1845. The Wizard Professor Anderson gave a series of entertainments in December, and the theatre remained closed for many months. As we do not propose to follow up its theatrical progress further, we must take a reluctant leave of Dundee, with a word of commendation to the long line of playgoers who have made it possible to maintain therein the stage traditions.

Just one reference may be permitted to a minor house, evidently a wooden booth which, was set up in the Meadows, and rejoiced in the name of the Royal Victoria Theatre. The proprietor and manager was dubbed "Wee Scott," and he managed to wile some of the Yearnan Shore company to his establishment. EIlenden, Mr. and Mrs. M`Gregor were of the company, and the leading lady was Mrs. Dunsmore. Apparently, Wee Scott was the pioneer of the two-houses-nightly theatre principle, for this was the special feature of his management, as well as popular prices, which, in contemplating modern theatre changes, simply emphasises the, proverb, "The more a thing changes, the more it is the same."


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