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?'

This Was The “Gaiety” – Liverpool Echo – Thursday 24th November 1949

 

ECHO BOOKSHELF

 This Was The “Gaiety” Girls And Glamour

 

So the famous Gaiety Theatre, in the Strand, is to be reopened. Shades of stage-door johnnies; supper at Romano’s – now no more – and Rules (behind the Adelphi, where Cochran ran two years with “Bless the Bride” and followed it with the less successful “Tough at the Top,” and which still remains pretty much the same); of champagne drunk from a chorus girl’s slipper – and it did happen; and the glamour girls who smiled, sang or danced their way into jewels, wealth and the peerage. Thus, at what the young reporter would call the psychological moment, comes “Gaiety, Theatre of Enchantment” (W. H. Allen, 20s), by that grand historian of the stage. W. Macqueen Pope, himself a figure in many theatrical enterprises through the years.

John Hollingshead, who founded the Gaiety, may be just a name, but the matinees he started became world-famous, and he made the theatre part of London’s gaiety itself. George Edwardes, who first joined him later took over, fathered the Gaiety Girl, is still remembered as a fabulous figure surrounded by beauties whose curves and smiles decorated millions of picture postcards, and made some men feel far too young. What oldster doesn’t remember Gertie Millar (later a countess), Marie Studholme (my own young dream), Margaret Bannerman, Belle Bilton, Rosie Boote (who became a marchioness), Camille Clifford, Constance Collier, Ada Reeve, Evie Green, Lily Elsie, Ellaline Terriss, Isobel Elsom, Gaby Deslys (said to have “dethroned” a king), Mabel Love, Kate Vaughan, Nellie Farren, Sylvia Storey (another countess), Edna May, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Cooper, Phyllis and Zena Dare – even schoolboys collected their pictures.

Pope has stories of them all and of the great actors and comedians, the managers, the authors and composers. Stars have their moments now, but their glamour is mostly on celluloid and bobby-soxers and hysterical young women get their clothes torn to get near their favourites (mostly women) when they “appear in flesh.” Compared with these ebullitions the stage-door johnnies were just odd men on a desert island. This is a grand book – 500 pages of stage cavalcade, with 100 pictures (and how queer some of the fashions look).

Liverpool Echo – Thursday 24th November 1949

 

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October 7, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Gaiety Theatre, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment