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 (Rotary 479 P)


June 13, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladys Ray – Aladdin – Norwood News – Saturday 29th December 1906




Mr. Bannister Howard has more than fulfilled his promise, and given us a pantomime which ought to delight old and young alike. Produced for the first time on Christmas Eve it went with a smoothness and snap which augurs well for its future career; the shrieks of delighted youngsters, the more restrained but none the less evident enjoyment of the grown-ups, the catching up of popular refrains, and the numerous recalls, were plain signs of a real first-night success. That no expense has been spared on the scenery, mounting, and dresses is apparent to the eye; the dresses of Aladdin and the Princess are simply magnificent, and bewildering in their variety. All the others are equally good in proportion, and in the best of taste, while the scenery is a credit to the resident staff: the Market Place, the Cave, the Exterior of the Palace, and the Throne Room being capital examples of picturesque sets.

Mr. Fred Bowyer, who is responsible for the book, has followed the story of Aladdin sufficiently to make it quite intelligible. In the first scene the Fairy Queen calls on the Slave of the Lamp and Ring to help Aladdin then, in the Market Place of Pekin, the wicked magician Abanazar begins his little plans to obtain the treasures, and Aladdin and the Princess meet. The Bath Scene is certainly a variation on the original, but serves its purpose, and soon Aladdin and Abanazar reach the cave. The former enters, and, following the tale, is shut in by the latter and released by the Slave of the Lamp, and so the story goes on with the Flying Palace, the changing the old lamp for new, its recovery, and the final triumph of Aladdin in his union with the Princess. This is the groundwork; and embroidered with song and dance, fun and frolic, all in good taste without any touch of vulgarity, it is a show which will bear much seeing before tiring of it.

Then, as to the impersonation of the various characters, Mr. Bannister Howard is far too good a judge of people’s abilities to be far out in the allotment of parts. It may be news to some to know that Mr. Howard engaged Miss Lillie Lassah to play “Aladdin” after seeing her do a turn at the Cafe Chantant in the summer, he was rather laughed at for his choice, but we venture to think Mr. Howard was right, and the laughers wrong; the popular verdict will be that “Aladdin” is good; pretty and refined features, vivacity, clear speech and dainty dancing are all on the side of the lady, and as no one expects the highest style of singing in a pantomime, Miss Lassah’s will please, and her naive rendering of “Hello, Hello,” will be one of the hits of the piece. Miss Lily Gullick is well suited as the “Princess,” and acts well; her best song “I want a little man like you” was quite well done, so was her share in the “Snowflake” duet, and altogether the part is a success. Miss Josephine Sullivan is an imposing fairy queen, who speaks her lines remarkably well, and whose song “Moon, dear,” with its chorus sung behind is one of the most effective of the whole. And here a special word of praise should be given to the chorus for the generally melodious singing; the two unaccompanied choruses off the stage were really well done. The second boy and girl parts were in the hands of Miss Nellie Barnwell, as “Pekoe,” and Miss Gladys Ray (sister of the much-photographed Gabrielle) as “Pitty Sing.” Both did well, the former especially entering thoroughly into her part, and singing “My Little Hyacinth” with much taste. Miss Daisy Lake also had two songs with chorus, which were immensely popular, “My King and Country” and “I have built a bungalow for you,” a kind of “I wouldn’t leave my little wooden hut for you” sort of thing.

Then we get to the fun-makers in the persons of “Widow Twankey” and “Abanazar,” and when Mr. A. E. Passmore and Mr. Arthur Poole get on the warpath the fun is fast and furious, and their lead of the Sandow Suffragette Girls is something too funny. Mr. Poole has the topical song “Early in the Morning,” and apparently be will be required to provide any number of encore verses. Two on Monday evening quite took the house, the first relating to the train service from the Palace, and the second to the Lord Mayor and his Cripple’ Fund. Then, too, Mr. Frank Weir, as the “Mandarin Wisher-Washee” adds considerably to the hilarity, which is further increased by the whimsicalities of the Onda Bothers as comic policemen, but their great show is the horizontal bar speciality, when difficult feats are performed with an ease which makes them appear the simplest things in the world. The scene which will appeal most to the youngsters is something unique is the great trap act, when Mr. J. D. Cawdery, the “Slave of the Lamp” appears suddenly from below, springing high into the air and disappearing as suddenly to the intense astonishment of Abanazar, Widow Twankey and Wishee-Washee. Mention should also be made of the quartette of glee singers who rendered “Comrades in Arms” in capital style, and also of Miss Lottie Stone’s troupe of dancers, though we were not much smitten with their second effort; a graceful, dainty dance by ladies is much more satisfying than acrobatics. The pantomime finishes with a merry, bustling old- fashioned harlequinade, in which Mr. Cawdery is the clown, and his appropriation and division of the spoil is greeted with delight.

The music is a great feature of the pantomime, and Mr. Sainton, the musical director, has not only arranged and orchestrated it cleverly, but trained his chorus and band so well that it is a pleasure to listen to them, and he is to be congratulated on the result, and last, but not least, the greatest praise is due to Mr. Charles Lake the resident manager, for the perfect way in which he has produced the whole show.


Norwood News – Saturday 29th December 1906


June 13, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment