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?'

Gabrielle Ray – See-See – Sunday Times – Sunday 24th June 1906

PRINCE OF WALES’S: “See-See”

 

Expectations ran fairly high for Mr. Sidney Jones and Mr. Huntley Wright had rejoined their old commander, and the record of their passed association with Mr. George Edwardes was a good augury for the new piece. On the whole, anticipation was realised, for “See-See” was found possessed of very considerable attractions. In their dainty harmony of colour and in the grace of their groupings the stage pictures could not be bettered; quite a crowd of clever people were associated with Mr Huntley Wright in the cast; and there is a wealth of that mellifluous melody in which the soul of the musical comedy public delights. Whether, however, the fame of “the rarest and fairest “See-See” will travel as far as that of Mimosa San depends upon the results of that period of revision which is as inevitable and critical in the infancy of musical comedy as distemper is in puppyhood. At present the piece lacks vital interest and the champagne sparkle which is the charmed extra note of such work. As indicated above, the story is taken from a French farcical comedy, but it must have had more body in the original, for otherwise “La Troisième Lune” would not have made so considerable a success. In Mr. Brookfield’s version the real action does not begin till the first act is hall over, and is even then not clear and continuous. Probably we must not blame our author altogether, he had to conform himself to the necessities of the position’ to efface himself for the sake of the soloists and to make every possible opportunity for Mr. Huntley Wright’s quick-change comedy. Frankly, there is rather too much of the latter, and it is at times a little thin-spread, so that it can be advantageously compressed and more chance given to each a racy comedian as Mr. Fred Emney.

Mr. Jones’s score is quite the best thing he has given us. His numbers may be less “catchy” but are not less melodious than those of “The Geisha,” and have more refinement of phrase, while his orchestration marks a considerable advance in musicianship. There is, perhaps, no treat individuality about it, but it is pleasant even to the fastidious ear, and, it has many happy touches of humour. In the lyrics he had good material to work upon, for Mr Adrian Ross’s verses are not only bright and witty but are generally germane to the action. Perhaps an exception must be made in the case of the topical song “British Slavery,” but its impertinence may be freely forgiven, for the verses have a quite Gilbertain wit and ease of rhyme and the setting has a captivating lilt. It was quite the hit of the evening on Wednesday, and one dare prophesy that the encore verses will be exhausted nightly. Among the other numbers, “Chang Ho, long ago,” a very taking ballad effectively sung by Miss Amy Augarde See-See’s song. “Snowflake and Rose;” the waltz duet, “Doves,” sung by Miss Denise Orme and Mr. Maurice Farkoa, and “Chinese Dolls,” charmingly sung by Miss Gabrielle Ray with a child chorus, may be specially mentioned.

Mr. Huntley Wright, as I have already indicated is disposed to take a Catalani view of his importance to the show, and demands too much on the protean trick, but be works very hard and certainly makes things hum. A very diverting whimsy he introduces is a “tree of truth,” an apparently lifeless plant that has as uncomfortable habit of blazing up when its possessor isn’t a George Washington. The two inevitable lovers of the piece are Miss Denise Orme and Mr. Maurice Farkoa. Neither is one bit in the Oriental Picture, but Miss Orme moves gracefully through her part, and sings with some charm. His Chinese get up only serves to accentuate Mr Farkoa’s artificiality of style. Miss Gabrielle Ray cuts a very attractive figure as a Chinese boy. Miss Amy Augarde was admirable as the duenna and fortune-teller. Miss Adrienne Augarde was bright and piquant in the pert of See-See, and Mr. Fred Emney and Mr W. H. Berry made the most of their limited opportunities as two heavy fathers.

The verdict of the evening was enthusiastic approval, and calls galore followed the fall of the curtain, the curtain.

Sunday Times – Sunday 24th June 1906

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May 19, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, See See, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment