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?'

The Girl from Kay’s – The Referee – Sunday 13th September 1903


The Apollo Theatre was crowded on Wednesday evening to welcome a second edition and the three-hundredth representation of

“The Girl from Kay’s.”

The girl is a pretty girl and a nice girl. True, she is a bit artful, but – as the chief victim of her fascinations, the vulgar Mr. Hoggenheimer, would say – her art is in the right place. The alterations that have been made in the piece since its original production are decided improvements, but only those who have seen the performance repeatedly will easily detect where they come in. Here is proof positive of the fact that the management attaches proper value to the wisdom of the policy of letting well alone. Certainly, with a second edition, the many admirers of Miss Letty Lind might have looked for some additional opportunities for the exercise of her ability, but they had to cry content with Letty’s new song, “The Penny ‘Bus,” and to find their enjoyment in her dainty and delightful dancing. The place first filled by Miss Ethel Irving as Winnie Harborough has for some time been taken by Miss Millie Legarde, who is winsome and charming in every scene in which she has a share. On Wednesday she fairly brought down the house with “The Customers at Kay’s,” in which she was encored some five or six times. Miss Kate Cutler’s impersonation of the wilful little wife of Harry Gordon is as fascinating as ever, and poor Harry, who has to mourn because “everybody seems to he enjoying my honeymoon more than I am,” continues to find in Mr. Louis Bradfield a sprightly representative. One of the brightest and cleverest of the late comers to the company is pretty Miss Gabrielle Ray. Her coon song, “Smiling Sambo,” with dance to follow, is keenly appreciated by all patrons of the Apollo. Mr. Willie Edouin in his droll portraiture of Max Hoggenheimer has introduced a few up-to-date topical “wheezes,” but it is not easy to indicate how be could improve upon his original impersonation. Mr. Fred Emney’s hotel porter and Mr. W. Chessman’s Theodore Quench, K.C., are still popular features of the production.

*   *   *

 The great success which has attended “The Girl from Kay’s” at the Apollo seems likely to attend that piece when played on tour by the two companies just formed for the purpose by Mr. George Dance – that is, if the merit displayed by the company which made its first appearance at the Kennington on Monday counts for anything. The performance was received with rapture throughout, and the honours of this happy result may fairly be divided between the author and the players – with, of course, a modicum of praise to the lyrists and composers concerned. If acting be, as some hold, merely

The Art of Mimicry Writ Large,

then assuredly Mr. H. C. Barry, who played Hoggenheimer at Kennington, may be said to score in a double sense. I have long known Mr. Barry to be a good comedian on his own, but it this case he is Edouin to the very eyebrow. Indeed, he was even more like Willie than the charming Lydia Flopp, so cleverly played Sister Letty Lind’s character, was like Letty. As Winnie Harborough Miss Simeta Marsden (an old favourite at Kennington) made an unmistakable hit.

*   *   *

 It may be remembered that in the original production mans of the Kay Girls bore the names of Bishops. Some of these names were subsequently altered. The military names allotted to the other girls were retained. I think, however, that while such  “general” names as French, Powell, Methuen, Roberts, and so on might remain, the author should remove the name of a brave soldier who recently died under very painful circumstances.

*   *   *

The above-mentioned “Girl from Kay’s” company will to-morrow start a week at the King’s, Hammersmith.


The Referee – Sunday 13th September 1903


The Girl from Kay’s

May 22, 2018 - Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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