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?'

Little Bradford Mites on a London Stage

Little Bradford Mites on a London Stage

 A Brief and Joyous Sequel to Pantomime.

London, Tuesday Night.

Following Miss Gabrielle Ray through a labyrinth of passages behind the scenes at the Palladium, this afternoon, I came upon a sight which seldom meets the eye in a theatre.

Ten little girls were busily munching buns and drinking tea.

They were some of the little ones who did so well in the Bradford Prince’s Theatre pantomime that Miss Ray has brought them to London, partly as a treat, and here they are winning hearts at the Palladium, as they did in Bradford.

You have not much time to spare when you are “working” at the Palladium. There is a matinee every day, and two “houses” a night. So one was not surprised to see the Bradford kiddies feeding away with the make-up on their cheeks.

A merry party they were, shouting and laughing to the distraction of their kind-hearted “matron,” who confessed that her charges are a real handful. Eight of them are “pure Bradford,” born and bred, and have never seen London before. They are staying until Sunday week, they told me in chorus.

“Then where are you going?” I asked. Faces fell. Evidently it is not a popular prospect. The reply was still in chorus, but pianissimo, “Back to Bradford.”

The children are staying in a comfortable hotel, not very far from the theatre, and some of them say they know the way there alone already. In the morning they have to concentrate, as much as they can in their whirl of excitement, upon the awful nuisance of “lessons.” In the afternoon they do their little song and dance, then have tea and then more lessons. In the evening the song and dance come on twice, once at each performance, but by ten o’clock they are in bed.

I believe there was some heart searching when the time came to select from Mr. Francis Laidler’s Bradford troupe of “Sunbeams” who were to come to town; and from what she tells me, Miss Ray had a difficult task in making the choice. The lucky ones are really having a huge treat. They opened big eyes at the sight of so many people; in fact the streets are a source of never ending wonder to them. They are going to be taken to the Zoo, where already in imagination there are all sorts of animals so wonderful that even the Brontosaurus seems as ordinary as the house cat.

And when they get back home? I asked them about that. The little mites seemed rather doleful, for there will be no pantomime. But there is a good deal of philosophy in their little hearts, and they have decided that the only thing to do is look forward to the next one.


Yorkshire Evening Post, Wednesday 24th March 1920

April 16, 2017 - Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Palladium, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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