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?'

Bessie Ray – The Belle of New York – Halifax Evening Courier – Tuesday 20th March 1900




A Crowded at the Grand last night to welcome a return visit of the musical comedy, “The Belle of New York.” The company (Mr. Ben Greet’s) is different in cast from the artistes who were last here, but on the whole the present one is somewhat superior, and from the frequent applauses the audience was perfectly satisfied with the efforts of each individual member. Principals and chorus all worked hard, and with deserved success. As Ichabod Bronson, Mr. Harry Gribben proved an undoubtedly versatile comedian, and acted with great gusto throughout, although suffering from a severe cold. Mr. D. O’Regan came well to the front as “Doc Skifkins,” and Mr. Peter H. Gardner put in some ludicrously droll eccentric work as Karl, the polite lunatic, while Mr. Mack Olive gave a smart rendering of the nondescript “Blinky Bill,” his whistling solo, its expressive pantomime action, being remarkable clever. Mr. Riley is also an admirable acrobatic dancer. Mr. James R. La Fane was quietly humorous the operatic low comedian Mugg and the fanny antics of the Bros Helm the twin Portuguese Counts pleased the house immensely. Mr. Charles Gervase made an acceptable Harry Bronson; he sung nicely, and his acting in the love scenes with Fifi were particularly good. Miss Daisy Baldry, who has a fine presence, made a brilliant appearance  as the prima donna Cora Angelique, and Miss B. Esse was a fresh and fascinating Kissie Fitzgarter. Miss Lucie Fitzroy acted with conspicuous ability as Violet Grey, the Salvation lassie, and presented a dexterous study in demure simplicity and engaging archness that was altogether delightful. She also slang with taste and refinement. Miss May Hellett played the lovesick Fifi Fricot with a dainty prettiness and teaching tenderness unusual in pieces of this character, and Miss Bessie Ray, a smart little comedian, worked hard and successful as Mamie Clancy, a Pell-street girl, her dancing being notably clever. The picturesquely attired chorus sang splendidly, and the staging is adequate in every degree.


Halifax Evening Courier – Tuesday 20th March1900


Bessie Ray – The Belle of New York – The Era – 1900


March 31, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Bessie Ray, Gabrielle Ray, Maimi, Social History, The Belle of New York, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray (Rapid 2158)

March 22, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rapid, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gabrielle Ray (Rapid 2109)

March 22, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rapid, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – See See – Truth – Wednesday 27th June 1906




French plays have taken to roosting in England. They are like a flock, not of rooks, but, say, birds of paradise – which, by the way, belong to the same ornithological group as do rooks, and thus my metaphor less forced than might appear. They flutter across Channel escorted by thievish jackdaws, and form a sort of paradisery in the West End, with, in many cases, “extensions” to the suburbs and provinces. They undergo considerable adventures, for the Lord Chamberlain is himself much interested in ornithology, and always pulls out some of their most startlingly gorgeous   plumes on their arrival, for which substitutes are supplied, in the case of “See-See” by the ingenious Mr. Charles Brookfield, whose libretto has many smart epigrams of true Britannic growth. Mr. Adrian Ross supplies a succession of dainty lyrics, which wed happily with the music of Mr. Sidney Jones, whose golden spurs were bound on by “The Geisha” herself. Here he does not disappoint us, and indeed shows in some respects an advance upon “The Geisha,” for the orchestration aspires rather toward the operatic than toward the mere titillation of the ear with catchy tunes; it is melodious rather than airified. “See-See” differs from many of its fellows in having a definite plot, which, although it develops slowly owing to the exigencies of individual artists, such as Mr. Huntley Wright, for whose delightful quaintnesses room must be found at all costs, culminates nevertheless in a real dilemma with a logical solution.

My readers have already had ample opportunity to acquaint themselves with the difficulties of Mr. Maurice Farkoa Yen, who falls in love with Miss See-See Orme, although he is already betrothed by his father to Miss Adrienne Augarde Lee, the daughter of an old friend. They doubtless know how Lee loves Hang-Kee Huntley Wright, a gentleman of pleasant wit and infinite resource, who arranges with his foster-sister, See-See, that she shall take Lee’s place, and that he shall personate Lee’s father, Mr. Hoang Emney, on their betrothal visit to that father’s friend, Mr. Cheoo Berry. Their amiable object in thus masquerading is to disgust Mr. Cheoo Berry with a lurid description of the unspeakable iniquities committed by his friend Mr. Hoang Emney in the course of amassing his vast fortune. Here we have a situation of amusing farcical comedy, for Mr. Cheoo Berry is altogether deceived as to the identity of his friend, whom he has not seen for years. He is reassured as to the great difference in height between the present and past Hoang Emney by Mr. Hang-Kee Huntley Wright’s lucid explanation that he had grown down in the interval. All seems plain sailing, and it must be easy to disgust the father of Yen with the narrative of Hoang Emney’s iniquities. But Cheoo Berry is neither surprised nor disgusted. Once he has made sure that the fortune is really there he looks upon the means by which it was acquired with indifference. It was all done in the way of trade, and is no concern of his. Mr. Berry and Mr. Huntley Wright are admirable in this scene, which perforce leads up to the shrew-taming episode of See-See’s forced marriage to Yen, whom she refuses to obey with a pretty petulance that soon melts before the masterfulness of Petruchio Yen Farkoa.

All these details and much beside must be familiar to many, but they should be advised to visit the Prince of Wales’s Theatre and see with their own eyes those beautiful harmonies of the cardinal colours, green and red, which dominate the Lotus Room in the Palace of Pearls, and to revel in the Asiatic opulence of Cheoo’s Garden, which is the scene of the other act, and the work of Mr. Hawes Craven, whom I have so often extolled in these columns. The first is to be credited to Mr. J. Harker.

The human accessories of the play manoeuvre with perfect elegance and precision, and in the unexpectedness of their groupings and windings in and out it is easy to trace the thought of Mr. Sydney Ellison. Among the episodes, boyish Miss Gabrielle Ray, habited marvellously in green or in pink, with a very becoming hat modelled on that of the classical Mercury, dancing directly into the favour of the audience, and singing thence of Chinese dollies, or joining in the “Bamboo” trio with that pretty treble of hers, remains most vivid in the memory. A patter quartet, “The Bill of Fare,” brings us down to culinary regions. See-See finds in Miss Denise Orme a singer of “Snowflakes and Roses,” and of another solo with chorus that took my fancy, “Won’t he be surprised?” I was not surprised but pleased, and I have no doubt that Miss Denise Orme and Mr. Maurice Farkoa will form a happy conjunction of stars when they have had time to settle down to their parts. The latter played his Petruchio scene for all it was worth, and acquitted himself well of his love songs in his own individual style, which has this quality of art that they do not vary, their outline is always the same, mutatis mutandis.  Mr. Huntley Wright’s song, “British Slavery,” has nothing to do with the play beyond being the greatest hit of the evening, and also a hit at a number of Western institutions.

Free, free is the happy Chinee,

But there, on that isle in the waves,

It’s the man with the hod who’s a little tin god,

And the people who pay are the slaves,

is a specimen from the varying chorus and a good sample of the whole. He and Mr. Berry chiefly provide the comic element, which they will doubtless develop yet further, as is the custom in these pieces. Their duet which deals with the farcical situation to which I have referred went very well on the first night, and is really amusing. I quote two couplets.

Huntley Wright Hang-Kee sings:

I have cheated, I have stolen, I have swindled,

And my wife has once performed on a trapeze.

H. Berry Cheoo replies:

But your wealth has grown although your virtues dwindled,

So we’ll say no more about it, if you please.

Well, I seem to have said a good deal about “See-See,” perhaps more than enough to send many of my readers to see See for themselves, but I observe the large eyes of Lee which seem to say, “You have said nothing about us.” Your “Butterfly” solo is a credit to you and to your musician, Mr. Frank Tours, Miss Adrienne Augarde Lee. We can never see too much of Lee when so much of Lee sees us.

Truth – Wednesday 27th June 1906

March 18, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, See See, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – A Girl on the Stage – Truth – Wednesday 9th May 1906





“The Little Cherub” has grown to be “A Girl on the Stage.” The girl has retained a good many of the attributes of the cherub, but whereas formerly there was no son to the Earl of Sanctobury, that peer of Exeter-Hall-cum-Tivoli propensities is now credited with a son and heir, who loves, becomes engaged to, and eventually marries Miss Molly Montrose. Mr. Owen Hall now makes the elderly peer wish to marry the maiden, and develops the cross-purposes of father and son, ending in a conflict between parental and amorous proclivities on the part of the former. Of course, Lord Sanctobury yields, and Miss Molly Montrose marries Mr. Lionel Mackinder.

The chief charm of Saturday evening last lay in the appearance of Miss Ruth Vincent as Molly Montrose. This lady showed us in “Veronique” that she could sing, could act, and withal foot it neatly, a happy result of the Savoy training, which showed itself clearly in the performance of the latest of the school. This became evident again with the singing of Mr. Ivan Caryll’s ”Rather Nice,” and in the duet of the second act with Mr. Mackinder. Miss Vincent quite won our hearts. Little did we think that those hearts were going so soon to be tried; little did we imagine as Miss Vincent prepared in the last act to sing of “Love and Laughter,” “the best things in the world,” that tears would flow instead. Yet at the very moment that the conductor’s wand awaited the first vocal note, with a tiny cry Miss Vincent fell back insensible on the stage. This was by far the most dramatic moment of the evening, and little attention was paid to the doings of Mr. Edouin, who came forward to continue the piece, until we had a message to say that it was only a fainting fit, and that Miss Vincent would be well enough to continue in a few moments. I shall not forget for a long while the emotion of that pretty blonde pierrette figure with “love and laughter” on her lips, and her audience hanging on these, suddenly, as it were, called back to the vale of tears and carried off the stage insensible. It was as if Nature had said: “I, too, can be dramatic, and I will show you my power in your own human play exactly at the dramatic moment.”

I must not dwell longer upon this incident, which closed so happily with the reappearance of Miss Vincent, hand-in-hand with Miss Zena Dare, herself the very spirit of girlish gaiety, and in the new play provided with an attractive song, “Cupid and the Pierrot,” which she delivers from the rostrum of a high-backed chair with great effect. Miss Gabrielle Ray’s piping treble echoes all through the play, and she, too, has a new song, “Merry-go-round,” which she sings in grey tights, with a background of purple-clad men. Mr. Willie Edouin played the part of the elderly peer with much punctilio, but I seemed to miss the merry twinkle and the apparent irresponsibility which has so often captivated me in this comedian. Mr. Berry, as Shingle, the valet, came out very strong in his topical song of the last act, and fairly won the house. He dealt with all manner of subjects, from the policy of the Government to the disaster at San Francisco, and his description of Signor Caruso seated clad only in his shirt in the garden of the tumbling hotel and singing “Blow, gentle breeze,” was in the best spirit of opera bouffe.

There are two girls less among the principals, but the great principles are maintained, and plenty of others newly and gorgeously attired are to hand, headed by Miss Dunbar, who sings of them as “Currants in a Bun,” “Dairy Maids,” “Bath Buns,” “Currant Buns,” “Girls Behind the Counter,” “On the Stage,” those who leave it to marry peers, etc. – one cannot walk a step without meeting them. But many petticoats do not make talent; that is always rare, though you will see both at the Prince of Wales’ Theatre when you see Miss Ruth Vincent.


Truth – Wednesday 9th May 1906


March 15, 2020 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Little Cherub – Truth – Thursday 18th January 1906






Mr. Owen Hall is said to have taken from the French play “Decore” the germ of “The Little Cherub,” but be that as it may, one can say with truth that little or nothing of French inspiration now pervades the piece to be discussed. The Earl of Sanctobury objects on principle to the stage, meets for the first time in his life an actress, is fascinated into following her to Dunbridge Baths, and concludes by marrying the lady. He has daughters whose private theatricals are abomination to him at first, but their chance discovery of their father at supper with the actress forces him to look leniently for the future on things theatrical: With this for central idea are connected an Indian Prince, various gentlemen of rank, friends of Lord Sanctobury, and the valet of that peer.

The play is of the musical comedy sort, consisting of trivial developments upon the above theme which serve as pegs on which to hang songs. Mr. Owen Hall’s book contains, as one expects from him, many witty and some mordant lines, such as this; “A good woman has nothing to confide in her husband, and a bad woman daren’t confide in him.” The best characterised personage is Shingle, Lord Sanctobury’s valet, which Mr. Berry made to stand out in relief against a dull background. His song, “A Gentleman’s Gentleman,” was one of the successes of the first act, and in the third act his political warble, “I Wasn’t Engaged for That,” a song with chorus, rightly captivated the audience. The fault of “The Little Cherub” seems to be that we are not sufficiently interested in the story, and the players for the most part fail to interest us themselves. The play suffered also from the slowness of the time at which the dialogue was taken. The utterance of puns and gibes and frivolities should be rapid, should have the crispness of farce. Miss Evie Greene, who played the actress Molly Montrose, was the chief sinner in this respect. She spoke her lines with a deliberation worthy of Epictetus, due, perhaps, to a difficulty in remembering them, or to nervousness, for this lady does not do herself justice at first performances. Her singing in some respects atoned for the monotony of the rest, and the air of her song “Experience” as of her song with the Rajah entitled “Pearls,” are likely to haunt the barrel-organs of the future. Where the chief woman’s part is taken with such gravity, the others perforce are also impeded in their progress, but Miss Zena Dare was an exception. As Lady Isabel, daughter of the Earl of Exeter Hall, she brought into her part some of that lightness and gracious vivacity which made her “Catch of the Season” a creation of its kind. Her singing and saying of the lyric “I should so love to be a boy” ending with the melon off the supper table turned into an impromptu football for Miss Ray to kick into the stage box, was a bright moment. Lady Isobel is accompanied in all her doings by three other young ladies, daughters of the Earl. Of these, Miss Gabrielle Ray, with her shrill treble voice, is the most prominent, and to her must be accorded the triumph of the evening. This was a song called “Cupid’s Rifle Range,” coming late in the last act. Habited as Cupid with a gun slung bandolier wise across her shoulder (of course, it should be a bow and arrows), attended by four tiny maidens, she sings to a melting melody and shoots as she sings at a row of marionettes pendent from a framework of flowers. A victim falls with each discharge. Mr. Adrian Ross and Mr. Frank Tours, the writers, and Mr. Ivan Caryll, the musician of this lyric, deserve credit for their performance. Of the other ladies, Miss Elise Claire as waitress at the hotel has a dance with Mr. Arthur Hope as the waiter, of which they make a success, and Miss Lily Elsie a song, “Baby Bayswater,” not without pungency, to which she adds grace.

Mr. Fred Kaye played with deliberateness the part of the Earl, and evoked a smile from time to time. But that deliberateness! Mr. Lennox Pawle, as the aristocrat chaperoning the daughters of the Earl to Dunbridge Baths, might, with advantage, appear less soused with less dirty water than in the beginning of Act 11. when he has saved a professional swimmer from drowning. The sight of him is not agreeable until he changes his clothes, but apart from this he has moments of humour and drollery in his diction. Mr. Maurice Farkoa, as the Rajah, is simply Mr. Maurice Farkoa. He warbles ditties of the girls to be taken out to tea, lunch, and supper, of the only girl he ever loved; he combines with Miss Ida Lytton in a duet that does credit to both: “The Invitation to the Waltz.” Mr. Farkoa imparts into his work that elegance, refinement, and lightness of touch which is the heritage of his race.

The curtain fell upon the “Little Cherubs” amid much applause, while with the applause was mingled the fog – horn of the first – nighter in the gallery. Mr. Adrian Ross, whose music deserved it, bowed thanks before the curtain. Mr. George Edwardes, in response to calls for a speech, also came before the curtain and saluted with the eloquence of silence.


Truth Thursday 18th January 1906


March 14, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Crippled Children Appeal – The Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) – Wednesday 25th September 1907




 The Daily Telegraph




To-day’s list of subscription to the Lord Mayor’s special appeal for £10,000 –  to complete the £60,000 required for his Cripples’ Home and College at Alton- again contains several children’s collections.

On the Lord Mayor’s table at the Mansion House lie letters in all styles of childish handwriting from willing helpers of tender years. Quaint epistles are some of these, deliciously unconventional in spelling, and unfettered by rules of grammar, but all breathe the same gracious, generous spirit of sympathy for the sufferers, and desire to relieve their distresses. It is good to see such sympathy. No better answer could be offered to those who regard the happiness of childhood as a form of merely physical wellbeing than the spectacle of these kind little hearts prompted by the divine touch of pity. Healthy and merry, as they run and sport by sea or hill or vale, the fortunate children of England may well pause to hear the appeal of those others, no older than themselves in years, but so much older in the awful knowledge of, searching pain, whose hopes of being able one day to run or climb or swim lie in the shillings that our boys and girls can send to the Lord, Mayor’s table.

Among the children’s letters that his lordship has already received is a touching revelation of a little one’s faith in the King. Little Eileen, having heard that his Majesty has always been a supporter of Sir William Treloar’s fund, wrote to the Sovereign as follows:

Dear King – I have been wanting to know if you know of any very poor children that have no mother or father.

And I have sent this money for them. – With love from Eileen.

Harry C. Nathan writes:

I have the honour to enclose your Lordship 10s 7d, which I have collected towards the Crippled Children’s Fund. I may mention that I am only ten years of age, and shall be pleased to hare another card if you will kindly allow me.

Here is another letter:

Dear Lord Mayor – I am sending you my card and portal order for 6s 5½ d. This makes £1 0s ld I have collected during my holidays for your Cripples’ Home. Hoping you will get all the money you want for the cripples. – Yours truly,

Nancy Janeman (aged 8 years)

It is a pleasure to note that Mr. Daniel Duff, jun., figures as a contributor; and the cheque sent by Lady Campbell Clarke for £50 is particularly welcome.

A first instalment from what promises to be a substantial source of revenue is to hand from Mr. W. Crichton-Higgs, who is making an original effort to augment the fund. Starting at Daly’s Theatre, he has secured autographed postcard portraits of Miss Lily Elsie, Miss Gabrielle Ray, and Mr. Joseph Coyne, which have been so readily sold that other leading artistes at the principal theatres, with the cooperation of the several managements, are to be invited also to assist the cause in a similar manner.

Donations, however small, may be seat to the Mansion House, or to The Daily Telegraph, Fleet-street, cheques and postal orders to be made payable to the Lord Mayor’s Cripples’ Fund, and crossed “and Co,” and the letters marked “Cripples’ Fund.”

Yesterday the Lord Mayor received C. Crichton-Higgs, Esq., Highbury (proceeds of sale of signed photographic postcards of Miss Gabrielle Ray, Miss Lily Elmo. and Mr. Joseph Coyne, at Daly’s Theatre, by kind permission of the manager)  £10 – 0 – 0

(Using the Historic inflation calculator the £10 – 10s raised has an equivalent spending power in 2020 of £1,239.37)


The Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) – Wednesday 25th September 1907



March 8, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Les Merveilleuses – The Globe – Monday 15th April 1907



Mr. George Edwardes is not the man to rest on his oars, or to be satisfied with any piece he produces if he thinks that, it can by any possibility be improved. On Saturday night he made some additions to that charming opera, “The Lady Dandies,” otherwise “Les Merveilleuses,” which give fresh opportunities to Miss Denise Orme and Miss Gabrielle Ray. For the first-named he has introduced a new song “The Little Bird of Blue,” to which she plays her own accompaniment on the harp. Miss Orme is a thoroughly accomplished musician. That she is a fine vocalist we have long been aware; in “The Little Michus” she showed us that she can play the violin like an expert, and now she proves her mastery over that graceful instrument, the harp. The new song, in which she was supported by a beautifully dressed chorus, was most heartily received. Miss Gabrielle Ray, who is rapidly winning her way to the front, has also been given a new song, which she shares with Mr. W. H. Berry, called “Etiquette,” and a new dance to follow it. Miss Ray sings with point, and her dancing is worthy of the very best traditions of Daly’s theatre, for it is absolutely effortless, and the embodiment of grace. Miss Evie Green’s fine person and splendid voice, Mr. Huntley Wright’s humour and energy, Mr. Evett’s beautiful singing, Mr. Louis Bradfield’s clever study of Lagorille, and the comicalities of Messrs. W. H. Berry and Fred Kaye, not to speak of the beauty and magnificent dresses of the chorus, all contribute to a delightful entertainment.


The Globe – Monday 15th April 1907


March 8, 2020 Posted by | Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Lady Dandies, The Merveilleuses, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – See See – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 7th July 1906



March 6, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, See See, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Little Cherub – The Westminster Gazette – Monday 15th January 1906




The authors of the latest Prince of Wales’s piece, produced on Saturday under the title of “The Little Cherub” (book by Owen Hall, lyrics by Adrian Ross, and music by Ivan Caryll), acknowledge partial indebtedness to Meilhac’s “Decore,” but one must hold Mr. Owen Hall mainly responsible for this “musical play” as it stands, which, though not bad of its kind, would decidedly bear emendation in certain respects. For a beginning, of course, the piece is at present absurdly long. When the management changed the hour of commencement from 8.15 to 8 o’clock they acted wisely, but if they had made it 7 or 7.30 they would have been wiser still. As it was, Sunday morning was close at hand before we were released on Saturday, and the tokens of dissatisfaction which mingled with the cheering at the fall of the curtain were doubtless to a considerable extent connected with that circumstance. But this was certainly not the only cause. Much earlier in the evening symptoms of a critical spirit had declared themselves up aloft, and the wag in the gallery who took up Miss Evie Greene’s line “Let’s revive the piece” with a fervent “Hear, hear!” achieved thereby one of the happiest hits of the evening.

Yet there is no gainsaying the excellence of the material at the author’s command. Mr. Fred Kaye, for one, is an old favourite with musical comedy audiences, and he certainly makes the most of the comparatively limited opportunities which he is at present afforded. With his queer walk, his raucous voice, and dry staccato utterance, he cuts a diverting figure as the puritanical peer who, after chiding his daughters in the first act for getting up private theatricals, is discovered in the second entertaining a party of actresses at supper. Then Mr. Maurice Farkoa is another old favourite whose accomplishments are known to all. As the Rajah of Talcutta one had hopes at first of his breaking fresh ground and appearing for once in a way in a new guise. But, of course, it was quite a mistake to suppose that the canons of musical comedy could be so far outraged as to permit of a popular performer appearing in any part but that in which he has always been seen before. Man changes his sky, but not his soul; and so this Indian Rajah, in the choicest garb of Savile-row, with his delightful French accent and his Whistlerian white forelock, is an old friend under a new name who might have come straight from, let us say, a ballad concert platform. But under whatever name he appears, Mr. Farkoa is always a finished artist, and though he is probably as tired of playing the perpetual lady-killer as we are of seeing him in the part, he certainly does as much as anyone could to make it tolerable. He has many songs, all of precisely the same type, of which the most elaborate is one which sets forth, with pantomimic aid from various ladies of the chorus, the charms and characteristics of “The Supper Girl.” He also has a duet, which found a fair amount of favour, entitled “Pearls,” with Miss Evie Greene, who should have been mentioned earlier by rights, seeing that she was manifestly the main attraction of the piece for most. This was Miss Greene’s first appearance in London since her recent return from abroad, and her reception was a thing to remember. Her part also will doubtless undergo development and improvement in due course. As Miss Molly Montrose, the famous actress, she is called in to assist at the private theatricals of the Earl of Sanctobury’s skittish daughters, and ends, of course, by capturing the affections of their straight-laced sire. Miss Greene looks very handsome, and in her own characteristic style – which, it a little rough at times, is in grateful contrast to the more conventional methods of the average leading lady – does all that can reasonably be expected with the part. Her principal song – a curious ditty entitled “Experience,” in the style more of an old-fashioned ballad than of the ordinary musical-comedy kind of thing – was very well received, and will no doubt go even better a little later.

Of the other ladies the most important are the aforesaid daughters of the Earl of Sanctobury – a quartet of lively damsels, represented by Miss Zena Dare, Miss Gabrielle Ray, Miss Lily Elsie, and Miss Grace Pindar – who take in the kindliest possible manner to the high-kicking requirements of their theatricals, though their manners in general could hardly be said to proclaim the caste of Vere de Vere. Among other items, they have a rather original quartet, in which they lament the sports and pleasures denied them by their sex, which quite brought down the house, especially when Miss Gabrielle Ray, by a well-directed kick, sent a football, used to illustrate the final verse, into one of the stage-boxes. Miss Ray it was, too, who, in the attire of a Cupid, scored again later with a song and chorus “Cupid’s Rifle Range.” This, indeed – the music of which is by Mr. Frank Tours – is one of the prettiest numbers in the piece, a celesta being used in the orchestra with charming effect. The only other lady of the company who gets anything particular to do is Miss Elise Clare, as a skittish chambermaid, whose duet and dance with Mr. George Carroll, as a diminutive waiter who might pass as twin brother to Little Tich, was one of the very best things in the second act. One only regretted, indeed, that such amusing performers had not more to do. Mr. Carroll especially was infinitely entertaining whenever he got half a chance, and his part might well be elaborated. Another who does a good deal without much help from the author is Mr. Lennox Pawle as Algernon Southdown, an aristocratic stage manager of the “Johnny” type, while yet another is Mr. W. H. Berry as Lord Sanctobury’s valet, Shingle, whose songs went down as well as any. The political allusions of one of them were, however, ill-advised, as the manifestations from the gallery, and the cries of “No politics” quickly indicated. When will your musical comedy librettist grasp the elementary fact that political references are out of place on these occasions? Generally, however, it may be said that Mr. Ross’s lyrics serve their purpose well enough. As to Mr. Caryll’s music, it is of the kind which this facile composer has provided many, many times before. Indeed, the resemblance is so marked in one or two cases that if the composer were not pilfering from himself a charge of plagiarism would almost lie. But no one is likely to think any the worse of this song or that because it happens to be more or less like that one or this which they have enjoyed before. The piece has been most tastefully and lavishly mounted, and though, as it has been noted, a certain amount of good-natured booing mingled with the applause at the close, there need be little doubt as to its ultimate success.


The Westminster Gazette – Monday 15th January 1906


March 5, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment