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 – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 22nd November 1902




THE long talked-of three-act musical play, The Girl from Kay’s, was produced at the Apollo Theatre on Saturday last under the direction of Mr. George Edwardes and in the presence of a crowded audience. Before getting into the theatre it found its way into the Law Courts, its original title having been the cause of offence to an eminent firm not altogether unknown in the world of fashion. It has exercised more wits than any other piece of its class, for, although it is announced as by Owen Hall, it is stated also that Messrs. Adrian Ross, Claude Aveling, Charles Taylor, and Bernard Rolt, with Miss Kitty Ashmead, are responsible for the lyrics, and no fewer than nine composers have had something to do with the music, the list including Messrs. Ivan Caryll, Lionel Monckton, Howard Talbot, Edward Jones, Bernard Rolt, Cecil Cook, Meyer Lutz, and A. D. Cammeyer, with Miss Ashmead again to complete the roll. The reader may be disposed to quote the ancient adage which hath it that “too many cooks spoil the broth,” and possibly the irrepressible joker will reply that there is only one Cook in the company referred to. Still it has to be said that the spoiling, in the opinion of many, had been done, and that considerable revision and cutting and “pulling together” will have to be effected if the piece is to he made thoroughly acceptable. Mr. Owen Hall has, as usual, exhibited a good dual of wit and caustic humour; there is ail abundance of tuneful and catchy music; the scenic artist and the costumier have worked wonders, and the company is composed of clever people, whose popularity has been well won and well deserved; but on the first night of representation the audience seemed to realise the fact that in certain scenes there was a lack of freshness, and that, particularly in the introduction of the Salvation Army business, there had been an attempt to extract good material from a mine that had been worked to the point of exhaustion. And thus it happened at the end that with the cheers of those who were satisfied, or pretended to be, there were mingled sounds that made discord for those behind the curtain.

The girl of the title is Winnie Harborough. She is a saucy little milliner, who arrives on the scene with the new hat for which Norah Chalmers is waiting in order that she may start on her honeymoon trip with young Harry Gordon, who has just made her his wife. It is seen at once that Harry and “the girl from Kay’s” are on a familiar footing, and it is evident, too, that Winnie has attracted the admiring attention of Max Hoggenheimer, the vulgar millionaire, who presently carries her on his motor-car to Flacton on-Sea, where the honeymoon is to be spent, and where are assembled not only Norah’s bridesmaids but some half-dozen of the prettiest of the assistants from the famous millinery establishment that furnished the bride’s going away hat. Trouble arises when Harry Gordon is by his new wife found kissing his old sweetheart, with whom he bolts back to London for a little dinner at the Savoy, where the other characters, including the millionaire and the milliner, of course, put in an appearance to make things as lively as possible. The bridegroom’s action, however, is only the outcome of his anger under reproach, and he quickly comes to the conclusion that, while Winnie is all very well for a flirtation, there is nobody like Norah for a wife. Reconciliation follows easily, and nobody who makes her acquaintance will be surprised to find that the dashing Winnie makes a dash for the man with the millions and carries him away captive.

This millionaire was represented by Mr. Willie Edouin, who may be trusted to work up the part, and to make much of it. The bride and bridegroom were well portrayed by, respectively, Miss Kate Cutler and Mr. Louis Bradfield, and Mr. Aubrey Fitzgerald made much of the role of the noodle secretary, the Hon. Percy Fitzthistle. Mr. E W. Garden, Mr. Fred Emney, and Mr. W. Cheesman also gave useful and diverting support. The audience gave a very hearty welcome to Miss Letty Lind on her reappearance, and all were delighted with her singing and dainty dancing in the character of Ellen, the lady’s-maid. The title part was filled with much animation and ability by Miss Ethel Irving. Those who see The Girl from Kay’s will probably come away from the theatre talking with admiration of “Mrs. Hoggenheimer of Park Lane”  – the song so spiritedly sung by Miss Irving in the closing act.


The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 22nd November 1902

July 5, 2021 - Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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