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 | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment