Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

George Edwardes – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – 1915

George Edwardes - The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News - 9th October - 1915

The Death of Mr. George Edwardes.

It is with deep regret we announce the death of this well-known and popular personality, so long among the heads of the theatrical profession and likewise a loyal supporter of the Turf. Born at Grimsby of Irish parents in 1853. Mr. Edwardes leaves a widow, one son, and three daughters.

In the world of sport, and especially in connection with horse racing and steeple chasing, he was immensely popular, and there was always a welcome ring about the many victories of his delicate turquoise and white cheveroned jacket. Although always fond of racing, it was not until 1897 that he came into the winning owners’ list. The first winner was Limestar, which he got from Mr. Arthur Yates. Then, leading up to the days of Santoi, came the more profitable Fairy Field, the chief contributor to his four-figure total in 1898, and it was that son of Scene Shifter and Wedding Eve who, with Poppits Robino, Country Bumpkin, Country Boy, and Eteocles the next three seasons gave a tone to the great things achieved by Santoi, without doubt the best horse ever to carry Mr. Edwardes’ livery. A lucky bargain was the 190gs. the deceased gave for this good-looking son of Queen’s Birthday and Merry Wife, and, with T. Loates in the saddle, he won the first of his four two-year-old races at Lingfield. For that he ran un-backed, but such was not the case a few weeks after at Gatwick. As a three-year-old, Santoi again won four races for Mr. Edwardes, and placed on his sideboard the deceased’s first racing trophy, the Brighton Cup but the sideboard the next season was more handsomely decorated. Allusion here is made to the Ascot Cup victory of 1901, and in addition to that there was the Kempton Park Jubilee and the Hurst Park Whitsuntide Handicap, while it was King’s Courier who stopped the Jockey Club Cup that year from going to Mr. Edwardes, while as a five-year-old William the Third was the bug bear to Santoi in his Ascot and Doncaster Cup races next season. Mr. Edwardes, always a good loser, was, however, very much disappointed at the defeat of Santoi by Epsom Lad in 1902 indeed, so much so that he offered to run Mr. Buchanan a match for £1,000 at the same weight the next week at Newmarket, with the condition that the winner should take the losing horse. Mr. Buchanan, who then raced as Mr. Kincaird, declined. At the stud Santoi has been a great success. In all he ran in one-and-thirty races, and won ten of the value of £11,255, and the best he ever sired perhaps stand at Santeve, Admiral Togo III., Santair, Shogun, China Cock, Kiltoi, Prince San, Dalys, Raytoi, Lady of Asia, Yentoi, and F i z Yama, the latter pair as Cesarewitch winners being, like their sire, rare stayers.

In the other sphere of his activities Mr. Edwardes leaves a gap which will not soon be filled. Like Charles Frohman, George Edwardes has now for ever ceased “to present.” He was like Frohman, too, in that he had a keen eye for what the public wanted; and in catering for his own particular group of the public he was a pioneer and remained supreme. It is stated that he started on musical comedy with the idea of doing away with the large and expensive choruses which presumably flourished in the days of Hollingshead and Gaiety burlesque but, as it turned out, he only began where Hollingshead left off. There was a certain air of complete luxury, regardless of expense, in everything he did. Nobody will claim that there was much originality in any of the long series of “Gaiety Girl” shows which he organised. It was a matter of getting together the cleverest dancers, the most popular comedians, and the prettiest chorus girls to be found and though imitators have run him close, there was always something distinctive about the splendour of his productions. The story of how he failed with Dorothy and H. J. Leslie made a fortune with it is one of the strangest of stage curiosities; and if he had musical ambitions, the loss of money over Veromque must have warned him of the financial danger of indulging them. There was, indeed, an occasion when, for a short time, he rose as high as L’Enfant Prodigue, but the venture was brief, though glorious. The rest of his history is a story of safe, sound, worldly, well-dressed, and lively nonsense, first at the Gaiety, then also at Daly’s, the Adelphi, gradually rising in the musical scale till it reached the Viennese valse tunefulness of The Merry Widow type of piece, which recent events have banished from our stage. He knew how to choose his players, and the successes of his plays were usually associated with the success of one of them, from the Lily Elsie, Gertie Millar, Teddy Payne of our own days, down a long list to the distant and affectionately remembered Fred Leslie and Nellie Farren. The inconsequence of musical comedy has suggested in its turn the still more reckless inconsequence of what is now for some obscure reason called “revue”; and no doubt there will always be managers in abundance to supply such form of entertainment for after-dinner use as will impose the slightest strain upon the intellect; but it will be long before there arises a figure so dominating as that of George Edwardes. Another landmark has gone from the theatre, perhaps swept away by the all-devouring war, for his detention in Germany doubtless told upon his health.

The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – 9th October – 1915

George Edwardes – The Times – 1915

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Daly's Theatre | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Betty – The Tatler – 1915

Gabrielle Ray has returned far more vital and alive than when she went away. She puts into her work a flair and a go which was never there in her former Gaiety days. And, if anything, she is more bewitching to look at than ever In the dainty, rather meaningless, dancing of musical-comedy she is still unapproached. Altogether her art has taken a new lease of v life, and Betty will certainly profit by her coming.

The Tatler, 10th November 1915

September 2, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, The Tatler, Betty | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Tatler – 1915

Gabrielle Ray - The Tatler - 1st December 1915


And as the war seems to have brought back to the stage a kind of rejuvenation of simple, irresponsible things, so, too, it has brought back old favourites whom the playgoing world adored years – well, the days of peace do seem like years and years ago. Lily Elsie in Mavourneen shows us that she is just as adorably sweet and dainty as ever; and Gabrielle Ray in Betty proves once more that, in spite of the strenuous style of the successful American revue artist, her kind of spoilt-child, wayward, careless, but distinctly personal charm is just as potent as ever.

The Tatler, 1st December 1915

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, The Tatler, Betty, Lily Elsie | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Betty – The Graphic – 1915

Betty - The Graphic - 6th November 1915


The return of Miss Gabrielle ray to the stage gives a new interest to “Betty” at Daly’s, where she plays Estelle. She has lost none of her old charm in her retirement from public life. Mr. Donald Calthorp still plays the wayward young earl, and in Mr. Huntley’s absence Mr. Tom Walls as Lord Playne, gets many a laugh with his droll drawl. The title-role of “Betty” remains in the charming keeping of Miss Barnes.

The Graphic, 6th November 1915

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, Betty, Daly's Theatre | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flying Colours – The Illustrated London News – 1916

Flying Colours - The Illustrated London News - 23rd September 1916

“Flying Colours,” at the Hippodrome.

The Hippodrome management has made a change in its chief comedian. In place of Mr. Harry Tate there comes Little Tich, figuring in a variety of disguises – now a jockey, now a toreador, now a Spanish dame – with plenty of occasions for drollery. Spain has its share in the scenario and a very beautiful background against which Mr. Bertrum Wallis sings a ballad in his best style. A dancing carnival provides an even more picturesque spectacle, though for popularity it will be run close by a most humorous and realistic trench-sketch, invented by Captain Bairnsfather and Mr. Macdonald Hastings, and produced quite in the sprit of the soldier-artist’s famous drawings. For the rest, we get an all – too – brief glimps of Miss Gabrielle ray, and some most spirited dancing from Netta Rianza.

The Illustrated London News – 23rd September 1916

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, Flying Colours, The Illustrated London News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flying Colours – The Sketch – 1916

London is glad to welcome Miss Gabrielle Ray back to the stage, the scene for her of many former triumphs. As a musical-comedy actress she had the distinction of being one of the most photographed of stage beauties. Now she has gone into revue, and, as our illustrations show, has lost none of her charm. In Flying Colours at the Hippodrome, she takes the part of the Milliner Maid in the Fashion Parade scene, and joins Little Tich (as the Manager) in a highly successful duet, “I Didn’t Believe You,” and another song, with chorus of milliners. In the Riding School,” she appears as the Poodle Clown.

The Sketch, 11th October 1916

Mr De Courville, writing in the Daily Mirror, “The Morning’s Gossip,” 2nd September 1916 asks the question, “has anyone seen Miss Gabrielle Ray’s poodle dog? Well, you will all be asking the question presently.”

August 29, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, The Sketch, Flying Colours | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stepping stones to beauty – The Tatler – 1916

Stepping stones to beauty _ The Tatler - 12th January 1916

Stepping Stones to Beauty (Rotary B.65-2)

This Palmolive advertisement was based on a Rotary postcard produced for The Sketch in 1915

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, Rotary, The Tatler, Advertisement | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Betty – The Sketch – 1915

Betty - The Sketch - 20th October 1915


The Sketch 20th October 1915

It was announced recently that Miss Gabrielle Ray, that popular musical-comedy actress and dancer, had decided to return to the scene of her former triumphs, the London stage. London, naturally, was very glad to hear the news. Miss Ray is due to appear on Wednesday of this week (October 20) in Betty at Daly s, whose highly successful run gives no sign of flagging. Her new part is that of Estelle the Court dressmaker’s head model, hitherto played by Miss Mabel Sealby. The latter, it may be mentioned, is joining the cast of the new piece at the Adelphi. Several new numbers are being introduced into “Betty,” along with Miss Gabrielle Ray’s appearance in the piece. Our readers will recall that she retired from the stage at the end of 1911. In a recent interview she said “Going back to Daly’s Theatre is almost like returning home after a long absence. The risk that I may be forgotten makes me nervous, but I have not forgotten the theatre, and I have not forgotten how to dance.”– [Photographs exclusive to The Sketch.” by Foulsham & Banfield Ltd.]

Unfortunately the page isn’t complete but the pictures in the article are as follows;

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary A.1103 – 4)

“A Naiad-like attitude. Miss Ray in a rural retreat.”

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary A.1104-4)

“I have not forgotten how to dance.”

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary A 296 – 1)

“The face at the window.”

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary B.66-1)

“Types of English beauty: Miss Ray and a very handsome friend.”

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary B.65-1)

“Crossing the brook”

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, Deltiology, Rotary, The Sketch, Betty, Daly's Theatre | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Betty – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – 1915

Betty - The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News - Saturday 4th December 1915

Miss Gabrielle Ray is here shown as Estelle in Betty at Daly’s Theatre. Estelle was formerly played by Miss Mabel Sealby. Miss Florence Smithson, who was for so long the “Beauty” at Drury Lane Theatre, is returning there on Boxing Day for the new pantomime, “Puss in Hoots.” Miss Marie Blanche was recently acting in “All Scotch” at the Apollo Theatre, and is now appearing in “Samples” the new revue at the Playhouse.

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Betty, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Betty – The Sketch – 1915

Betty - The Sketch - 10th November 1915

This week it was all musico-dramatic work. The first event was the return to the stage of Miss Gabrielle Ray, who appeared in “Betty,” at Daly’s Theatre, and took the part formerly played by Miss Mabel Sealby– not a very heavy part, perhaps. For the occasion there were new songs, dances, and dresses. Miss Ray has lost none of her charm and skill during her absence from the theatre, and it is almost needless to say her characteristic performance was received with genuine enthusiasm. This is not the only change in “Betty,” for Mr. Lauri de Frece now represents Achille Yotte, and Mr. Tom Walls appears in the place of Mr. G. P. Huntley. I am not going to draw anv comparisons, for, as we all know, comparisons are dangerous to those who make them. The methods of the newcomers differ no little from those of the old, but the result is the same hearty laughter. Who, then, shall say which is the better method Betty herself is still the original Betty that is to say, Miss Winifred Barnes, who is quite delightful and almost irreplaceable quite, so far as I know. And the company still contains the two recruits from the legitimate, Mr. C. M. Lowne and Mr. Donald Calthrop, whose skilful work is of great value.

August 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Actress, The Sketch, Betty | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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