THE PRIMROSE LEAGUE ENTERTAINMENT.


The Amateur Dramatic Entertainment given by the Primrose League at their

annual meeting on Thursday last seems to demand something more than the

usual passing notice, partly because it is a new departure for the League

and partly because of the social position of the actors.


The Chairman (MR. BAIN) explained that as the meeting was the annual one of

the League, it was necessary that the formal business of appointing the

Ruling Councillor and other officials should be gone through, and this was

accomplished with the least possible delay. There was no speech-making and

no address, as has usually been the case, and no statement of the position

of the League.


It is open to question whether this is the best course to pursue, having

regard to the interests of the cause. No doubt entertainments, concerts,

dramatic performances, and pleasant gatherings are powerful weapons of the

cause, and when they can be made the means of bringing together a good

audience to listen to a good practical address sandwiched between the

performances, they are quite justifiable, but if this is omitted there seems

to be some danger of the League going to pieces.


It is essentially a fostering and educating medium, and if it loses this

quality it will have outlived the reason for its existence and cease to be,

as it has been, a useful adjunct to the Conservative cause.


The meeting, in my opinion, would have been more successful and certainly

more enjoyable if there had been only two performances and a good political

speech in between them. As a rule, a little of amateur theatricals goes a

long way, and a whole night devoted thereto is rather apt to pall on those

who are not the personal friends of the performers, and there can be no

doubt that in this case the performance was too long, although taken as a

whole it was far above the general run.


In criticising the actors, praise must be given and fault also recorded, but

it is to be understood that any fault-finding is not conceived in the

captious or hostile spirit. Wholesale praise does a great deal of harm,

especially when speaking of educated and intelligent performers. They

either resent it or take no notice of such criticism.


Those who seek to understand their parts and present them skilfully, will,

as a rule be thankful for honest but not ungracious criticism, and this is

supplied in another column at the hands of a valued friend and

correspondent.


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