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?'

Mr Carl Hentschel – O.P. Club

Carl Hentschel

Mr Carl Hentschel (27th March 1864 – 9th January 1930)

Hetchel was the co founder of the Playgoers Club in 1883 with Heneage Mandell and claimed to have attended most of the first nights since 1879. In 1900 Hetschel left the Playgoers Club with several hundred other members on a question of policy, forming the O.P. Club.

The O.P. Club – The Stage Year Book – 1916


“Mr. Carl Hentschel. ” The Times. 10 Jan. 1930. The Times Digital Archive, Accessed 12th January 2014

January 12, 2014 Posted by | Social History, The Times | , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow Dinner – The Auckland Star – 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner - The Auckland Star - Saturday 20th March 1909


The Merry Widow at Dinner

 How Miss Lily Elsie was selected.

 “The Merry Widow” was the guest of the evening on January 31 at the Hotel Cecil, London, at a dinner given in her honour by the O.P. Club. Of all the occasions on which the club, founded, by Mr. Carl Hentschell, has played the part of host to theatrical celebrities, that night’s dinner, both in numbers and interest, was the most successful. The president of the club, Mr. Max Pemberton, presided, and Mr. George Edwardes, as the foster parent of the ”Widow,” was, of course, present, and responded to the toast of this “Hit of the Century.” He confessed he was shy. On first nights, the only time when he made speeches, what he said did not matter, because some kind friends In front were cheering and other kind friends were booing, and nobody heard a word, ‘He had had many experiences of girls—the “Shop Girl,” the “Gaiety Girl,” and others—’but this was his first widow, and would probably be the last. ‘Be confessed it was not an easy task to settle on the people to play the widow or her lover. Prima donnas for light opera had never, been plentiful in England. He had to choose a lady not so much for what the public had seen of her as for what he hoped, they would see her do. The lady he need not name. The authors and composer said: “Who is this lady? We have not heard of her.” He replied: -“Come and see her.” They came, and there was no more trouble.

Mr. Max Pemberton, who in the course of his speech had described musical comedy as a “secondary school for the instruction of peers” and “the simplest expression of elemental emotion,” was followed by Mr. Mostyn Pigott, who proposed continued prosperity to “The Widow,” a toast to which both Miss Lily Elsie and Mr. Joseph Coyne, responded. As a memento of the dinner, Mr. Plgott, on behalf of the O.P. Club, presented to Miss Elsie a silver Jewel casket with tortoise-shell top, and inlaid with silver.



January 12, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment