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 Girl From Kay’s – (David Allen & Son Ltd)

February 27, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Advertisement, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daisy Irving – The Merry Widow – The Tatler – Wednesday 10th July 1907

The Talk of the Town



This scene, the most important of the second act, sees the delightful waltz which from the first performance has evoked scenes of extraordinary enthusiasm on the part of the audience




Mr. Graves’s sayings throughout the piece are irresistible and evoke roars of laughter.

Seated on his right are: Frou-Frou (Miss Daisie Irving), Margot (Miss Margot Erskine),

To-To (Miss Mabel Munroe), and on his left Jou-Jou (Miss Dolly Dombey)


In “The Merry Widow” Mr. George Edwardes has found a comic opera which will fill Daly’s Theatre for many months to come. In every way in music, in lyrics, in acting a genuine success has been found, and it is hard to say to whom should he awarded the honours of the occasion. Never have the famous band of drolls Mr. Joseph Coyne, Mr. George Graves, Mr. W. H. Berry, and Mr. Fred Kaye acted better, and if only for the introduction of Miss Lily Elsie is Mr. Edwardes to be cordially thanked for “The Merry Widow.”

The whole town is now ringing with the haunting strains of the beautiful dance in the second act of “The Merry Widow,” charmingly interpreted by Mr. Coyne and Miss Elsie, and the music which has delighted a continent is giving equal delight here. In M. Franz Lehar is the true successor to Offenbach, and it is to be hoped that London will soon see further examples of his true musical talent. A word is due to our contributor, Mr. Adrian Ross, for his very pleasing lyrics for this most successful piece.




The names of the characters, reading from left to right, are: Nisch, messenger to the legation (Mr. W. H. Berry); Sylvaine (Miss Irene Desmond);

M. de St. Brioche Mr. Gordon Cleather); Natalie, wife of Baron Popoff (Miss Elizabeth Firth); Baron Popoff (Mr. George Graves); Prince Danilo (Mr. Joseph Coyne);

Sonia (Miss Lily Elsie); General Novikovich (Mr. Fred Kaye); Olga, wife of Novikovich (Miss Nina Sevening)

M. Khadja (Mr.V. 0’Conncor and the Marquis de Cascada (Mr. Lennox Pawle)


The Tatler – Wednesday 10th July 1907


Daisy Irving – The Tatler – Wednesday 24th July 1907

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Daisy Irving – The Tatler – Wednesday 24th July 1907

In June 1907 Daisy Irving created the role of Frou Frou in The Merry Widow at Daly’s when Gabrielle Ray, for whom the role of Frou Frou was intended, was taken ill. She reverted to a slightly smaller role of Lo-Lo when Gabrielle Ray had recovered, then briefly played the title role in 1909

Frost, C. (2016) “The Female Stars of Musical Theatre in Edwardian England,” The
Lavenham Press, Lavenham, Suffolk. (p 161)


Daisy Irving – 1910

February 23, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, The Tatler, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gabrielle Ray – Oval Beauties Rare – The Daily Mirror – Tuesday 29th August 1911


Round Face Becoming the Type of English Loveliness.



There are signs that efforts are being made to establish the “round” face as the true type of English beauty and to condemn the “oval” face, which has for generations been the inspiration of poets and painters alike.

The leaders of the campaign in favour of the round face, according to a well-known male novelist, are to be found chiefly in the ranks of the women novelists, who invariably make their heroines round-faced and describe them as “sweetly pretty” and as preserving “a girlish charm.”

In the course of a letter to The Daily Mirror attacking this new cult, the author, with some temerity, gives a list of popular musical comedy favourites, who represent, he says, the apotheosis of the round-face type.



The following list – in the order of the popularity of their photographs – of ladies of the stage of the round-face type was supplied yesterday to The Daily Mirror by a prominent photographer of London actresses:-

  1. Lily Elsie.
  2. Gabrielle Ray.
  3. Gertie Millar.
  4. Lily Brayton.
  5. Constance Collier.
  6. Marie Studholme.
  7. Tessie Hackney.
  8. Norah Kerin.

“I grant,” writes the novelist, “that they are pretty, winsome, attractive and charming, but they are not beautiful in the sense that the old masters regarded beauty nor as the leading modern artists regard it either.

“The truth of the matter is that round faces are becoming more and more common in Great Britain, and they are now in such a great majority that they are able to take up and popularise the fashions of dress, millinery or hairdressing that best suit their own type of beauty, and the rare oval-faced beauties are forced by fashion to follow them, greatly to their own disadvantage.

“Modern hats, modern hairdressing and modern clothes are all in favour of the round-faced girl, and she has won thereby a purely fictitious reputation for beauty.”

Miss Ivy Lilian Close, adjudged in The Daily Mirror beauty competition to be the most beautiful woman in England, is a striking example, however, of the English admiration for the round-face type.

America, on the other hand, still clings to the oval face type of beauty, the artistic type, the type beloved of the old masters, as is instanced in the case of Miss Katherine Frey, judged to be the most beautiful woman in America.



 “La Gioconda” is yet again another instance of admiration for the long-recognised type of beautiful face – the oval, delicate, finely-chiselled and spirituelle features always given by painters to beautiful women of other days.

That this type of face still has its admirers in England was also instanced by the same photographer who supplied another list of actresses of the oval-face type, the names, as before, being given in the order of the popularity of their photographs:-

  1. Phyllis Dare,
  2. Julia Neilson.
  3. Neilson Terry.
  4. Pearl Aufrere.
  5. Marie Wilson.
  6. Gaby Deslys.
  7. Evelyn Millard.
  8. Grace Lane.

Mr. George Henry, A.R.A., told The Daily Mirror yesterday that the delicate oval face is still the recognised type of beauty in artists’ studios.

“It was also the recognised type in Japan when I was there some years ago,” he said, “and although I only saw two women who possessed the true oval face, all the round-faced women insisted upon their pictures being painted as if they were of the oval type of beauty.”


The Daily Mirror – Tuesday 29th August 1911


February 23, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Wedding – The Newmarket Journal – Saturday 9th March 1912



Miss Gabrielle Ray, the musical comedy actress, whose wedding was at the last moment postponed on Thursday, was quietly married on the following day to Mr. Eric Loder, at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Edward, Windsor.

Nothing was known of the ceremony in the town until it was nearly over, and the only people present in the church were the registrar, the organist, the choir boys, and the head-mistress, teaching staff, and some of the girl pupils of St. Edward’s School.

The bride was dressed in a costume of cream serge, trimmed with braid, with a mauve slouch hat and a large fur. She carried a shower bouquet of Parma violets.

The names of the bride and bridegroom we entered in the register as “Eric Raymond Loder, twenty-three, independent means,” and “Gabrielle Elisabeth Clifford Cooke, twenty eight, spinster.”


The Newmarket Journal – Saturday 9th March 1912

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Marriage, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 1677 B)

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Gabrielle Ray – The Casino Girl – The Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette – Friday 1st November 1901


 Mr. Ben Greet’s “Casino Girl” Company pays a welcome visit to the New Theatre next week. The personal abilities of the leading artistes in “The Casino Girl” -Mesdames Isa Bowman, Gabrielle Ray, etc., and Messrs. Joseph Wilson, Max Copland, Little Ganty, Stanley White, etc. – are in themselves sufficient to make even a dull play lively. When, however, they have scope in a play like “The Casino Girl,” with its smart dialogue and flowing lines wedded to tuneful airs and ludicrous situations, it affords an evening’s entertainment of special acceptability to Oxford.


The Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette – Friday 1st November 1901

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marie Studholme – The Nottingham Evening Post – Saturday 21st March 1908

The Humours of Stage Life.



An actress is, perhaps more than anyone else, before the public, and it not surprising that she has many interesting experiences that not fall to the lot of people in less conspicuous positions. I myself for instance, receive shoals of letters from autograph-hunters, would-be admirers, and other people who would not take the slightest interest in me if I were not on the stage. Of course these letters are frequently amusing and interesting, but I much prefer myself, the letters that sometimes come in serious appreciation my work.

I once received a letter from someone in New Zealand enclosing a photograph of myself, which he wished to have signed. Somehow it was mislaid and six months afterwards I received another letter asking for return the photograph, since he could not get another copy of it, and offering to send two guineas for a charity. Of course I wrote back accepting the offer, and signed the photograph. The reader may judge of my surprise when I received another letter some time afterwards complaining that the photograph had not arrived, increasing the offer to five guineas. A through search revealed the photograph at the bottom of a drawer, but I suspected that we had not yet got the bottom of my correspondent’s generosity, and I did not reply until I received yet another urgent letter, this time enclosing ten guineas.

I am constantly getting letters, again, from a man who, I am sure, must be mad. Last leap year he wrote to telling me be was a married who had lost his wife for a long while, and recently found her in the chorus of the Gaiety. Then, immediately after this statement, went on to ask if I knew of any nice young ladies who would like to propose to him, since it was leap year. He was, he assured me, an eligible young. But this was not all. He then proceeded to say that it was the ambition of his life to motor me down that steep and crowded thoroughfare, Wellington street, Strand, and this he followed up by remarking that I should be grieved to hear the German Empress had cold in her head, and had asked the Czar’s advice about it. I can assure you I have no need apply to the comic papers for light reading of humorous kind.

Another experience I once had was more troublesome. A typewritten latter came for me from a provincial town, in which the writer vowed that he intended to marry me, with my consent or without it. He then made an appointment at Charring Cross Station a week later, and warned that undesirable consequences would follow if I did not keep it. At first I was inclined to laugh off the matter and take no notice of it, but I got more frightened the day before that fixed for the appointment when I received long and very menacing telegram.

I at once consulted my solicitors, and by their advice went to keep the appointment. They, however went with me and remained some little distance apart. I had not long wait before a middle aged appeared and insisted I should go with him to church and be married immediately.

I went with him out of the station, my solicitors following, and the four us got into the four-wheeler we had provided, my would-be husband indignantly protesting against my friends’ entrance. Needless to say, it was not to a church we drove but to a police-station, and I only realised what a dangerous situation had been in when we discovered that my tormentor had a loaded revolver in his pocket.

Some other attentions I receive are almost as extravagant, though not quite so terrifying. There is one man who tramps several miles every night for no other purpose than to see me into my cab. He never addresses me, and in fact does nothing but touch his hat most respectfully me. He has performed this duty regularly for quite long time past, and 1 should quite miss him now if he failed turn up.

Many amusing incidents have happened on the stage during my connection with the Gaiety. I remember one occasion when was still in my dressing-room, when the orchestra struck up the air of one of my principal songs. The other girls taking part in it once took their places on the stage without noticing I was not there. It seemed for time as though there would be a long wait, when Mr. Edmund Payne ran on and shouted to them, “What are you all doing here? Get out!” The audience, of course, roared, and off they marched, returning again with me as soon as I got downstairs.

In another performance a cue was given in the first scene which belonged in reality to the second, so that I and several others who appeared in the scene went the wrong time. Someone fortunately gave the second scene cue for the music to the orchestra, so that the book and the music were quite in keeping, bat the whole plot of the play was spoiled, of course, since we had through the second scene twice over and – to add the confusion – we were supposed to unmarried in the first scene and married in the second. How the audience unravelled the tangle I must confess myself unable to say.

It was interesting to observe what would not probably be expected to be the case, that whenever a piece has long runs, the taste of the audience seems to vary with every performance. One evening it is the songs, and another the dialogue, that catch the fancy; in fact, they never seem to like the same thing two nights together.

One of the most annoying things in my life is the importunity of girls who want to get on the stage. Many have about as much chance of succeeding on the stage as they have of flying, and yet they confidently expect that they will be the top of the tree before they hare been the boards week. They seem to imagine that nothing is necessary for success as actress but the most blatant assurance.


Miss Marie Studholme has long occupied an enviable position in public favour. She is one of the reigning beauties of the day, and her appearances in musical comedy are always eagerly looked for by audiences all ever the country. Miss Studholme hails from the county Broadacres, having been born near Skipton, Yorkshire, and one of her earliest appearances on the stage was made among the bevy of fair ladies who adorned “The Gaiety Girl” at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre in London. Afterwards Miss Studholme was given a number of principal parts at Daly’s and other of Mr. George Edwardes’s Theatres, she played Daisy Vane in “An Artist’s Model,” and other characters, with unfailing success. In Nottingham Miss Studholme is highly popular. She played the title role in “San Toy” here several times, and has also been seen at the Theatre Royal as Lady Betty Clarridge in “Lady Madcap,” Joy Blossom in “My Darling,” and Sally Hook In “Miss Hook of Holland,” the visit last referred to taking place only three weeks ago. The beautiful actress still the most photographed of all the stars of stageland and her picture post-cards sell by the thousand. She has one or two very fine Japanese spaniels and is one of the few artistes who always send their autograph whenever it is asked for. At the same time she encloses request for a small subscription to a Cripples Home in London in which she is interested, but the autograph sent in any case.


The Nottingham Evening Post – Saturday 21st March 1908

Autograph Hunters – The Era – 1909 / 1934

The Postcard Fiend – 1909

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Autograph, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Girl from Kay’s – The Sleaford Gazette – Saturday 26th February 1916

Chatting about her career, Gabrielle Ray, the well-known actress, said that her first chance came when she had been under studying Miss Letty Lind in “The Girl from Kay’s” and Miss Lind, having to take a holiday, Mr. Edwardes said Miss Ray could have her dance, and he would come to the Apollo Theatre to see what she made of it. He sat in the back row of the dress circle and watched her come on. She was a complete contrast to Miss Lind, but she walked on with a show of confidence, and in three minutes received a storm of applause, in which her manager joined.


The Sleaford Gazette and South Lincolnshire Advertiser – Saturday 26th February 1916

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Gabrielle Ray – The Western Evening Herald – Saturday 12th June 1920

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