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?'

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 »

  1. […] Marie Studholme – The Nottingham Evening Post – Saturday 21st March 1908 […]

    Pingback by Phyllis Dare – The Dundee Evening Telegraph – Wednesday 13th May 1914 « Gabrielle Ray | May 6, 2022 | Reply

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