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A Review of 'Follow Through'

The opening production at the Dominion Theatre, London

From the Times Newspaper, 4th October 1929 - Along with the full programme

A programme for 'Follow Through', the Opening production at the Dominion Theatre on the 3rd of October 1929. Musical comedy, like all other amusements, has its fashions, but is unconscionably slow to discard the old for the new. Once the fascination of the Rocky Mountains has seized the mind of producers it seems that we must spend the rest of our days listening to the songs of the lumbermen and staring at the lighted hut in the blue haze of the pinewoods. Then unexpectedly some irrepressible rebel, having caught perhaps the secret murmurings of the crowd, achieves a startling triumph which analysis shows to have depended on a grouping of c**ns in the cotton fields. For some months, perhaps for years, c**ns are indispensable to each new show. Where now are those indispensables? Hold Everything was a musical comedy of the boxing ring, and with it, apparently, the reign of sport began.

Right - A programme for 'Follow Through', the Opening production at the Dominion Theatre on the 3rd of October 1929.

Obedient to fashion, Follow Through, the entertainment chosen to warm the great new theatre in the Tottenham Court-road, has taken up golf. What opportunities the game gives the chorus may be imagined. If only they were under the necessity of keeping their eyes on the ball it would be a mournful reflection that a little drilling seams to have given these young ladies what many men in the audience have failed to acquire alter years of practice - an easy swing and no uncertain follow through. Some, but not all, of the jokes for which the game is a pretext may also be imagined. Not all, for the best jokes in the piece are neither spoken nor sung; they are to be found at play upon the comic mask of Mr. Leslie Henson's face, which sometimes resembles the face of a chameleon, sometimes (when it is disdainfully observant) the face of a Pekingese dog, sometimes wears the expression of a startled goldfish, and in its more human moments may be the face of a cheerful idiot inspired by some whimsical imp. What, would the piece be like without this richly comic mask? For it seems to have been found impossible to invent a story to carry this musical tribute to golf. There is, of course, much love-making, but we follow it with as little excitement as we would follow a set of lancers; and now and then somebody attempts to recover an heirloom which he has thoughtlessly bestowed upon a lady at a masked ball. But, whether disguised as a plumber and rejoicing in the licence that ladies of the club-house are used to accord to a "mere workman," or in the fine anguish of addressing the ball, or in full cry after the not very elusive ring, Mr. Henson, aided and abetted by Mr. Mark Lester, is the mainstay of the piece...

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...The singing rather than the dancing is the chief charm of the rest of the entertainment, though Miss Ivy Tresmand and Miss Elsie Randolph dance charmingly, and Mr. Henson himself ventures on some very fleet and intricate footwork in partnership with Miss Ada May, a sprightly and accomplished purveyor of American light humour. "Button up your overcoat" and "I can give up anything but you," two duets by Miss May and Mr. Henson, and Mr. Bernard Clifton's "Lucky Star" are good examples of the spirited and tuneful songs which are likely to spring up when you have begun to lament the thinness of the soil. Miss Tresmand, Mr. Clifton, Miss Rita Page, and Mr. Harry Pelissier handle the lovemaking and the burlesque of love-making with skill and delicacy. The scenery is admirable and, during the golf match, it becomes realistic. Some parts of the play are so good, it seems a pity that the whole should be rather disappointing.

Review from the Times Newspaper, 4th of October 1929. Programme from my own collection.

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