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 Merry Widow – Hull Daily Mail – Monday 2nd August 1909

“Merry Widow” Waltz:

Seven Encores.

 “The Merry Widow” made her last bow to a London audience at Daly’s Theatre on Saturday night, and thousands of her admirers tried to be present at her good-bye performance. A few hundreds succeeded.

The first enthusiast arrived at half-past five the morning, and settled down to wait for fourteen hours and a half.

The theatre was gaily decorated without and within with flags and flowers. The whole place seemed to be smothered in roses, and inscribed with flowers over the proscenium arch was Juliet’s phrase, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

The afternoon performance was given to a packed house, but the best enthusiasm was kept for the evening. For days reserved seats had been at a premium, and all were sold. Fabulous sums were offered for all the standing room, but the regulations as to keeping gangways clear are relentless, even on such occasion.

The final burst of enthusiasm began with the arrival of the orchestra, and increased in intensity during the evening. Everything was encored, says the “Daly Graphic.” Most things were wanted more than once; everyone was cheered, but Miss Lily Elsie and Mr Joseph Coyne had more cheers than any other two players to divide between them. They had to go through the famous “Merry Widow” waltz seven times before the audience reluctantly consented to allow the piece to proceed, and the flowers handed up the people’s favourites were in quantities sufficient to stock half the florists in the West End.

The curtain rose again after the end of the play to disclose the whole of the company on the stage; and above the cheers, with which the theatre echoed, could be heard cries of “Speech! Speech!” At last Mr George Edwardes came forward, and after the special round of cheers for him had died down he thanked everyone for their enthusiastic demonstration. “We on this side of the curtain,” he said, “are just as sorry as you are to part with ‘The Merry Widow.’” He added that he hoped “The Dollar Princess,” which is due at Daly’s next month, would prove a worthy successor. And then, after few more cheers, the people consented to go away.

“The Merry Widow” was first produced in London on June 8th, 1907. It has been played for 778 times, seen by 1,100,000 people, and has netted in receipts £216,000.


The Hull Daily Mail – Monday 2nd August 1909


With inflation averaged 4.4% a year this equates to £25,256,084.21 in 2018


April 29, 2019 - Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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