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 – A Girl on the Stage – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 12th May 1906


February 21, 2023 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – A Girl On Stage – The Referee – Sunday 6th May 1906



Of all the “Girls” of musical comedy, one of the brightest, prettiest “Girls” ever seen is “A Girl on the Stage.” Upon that point the audience at the first performance last night of the new play by Mr. Owen Hall were unanimously agreed. The new play at the Prince of Wales’s is not exactly a new play, for it is professedly founded by the author upon “The Little Cherub,” which has gone aloft; yet there is a great deal more of the spice of novelty in it than you may find in most new plays of the kind. The idea of turning an old play into a new play is not the only new idea which has struck the author of “A Girl on the Stage.” When all is said and done, one musical play is so much like another that the title sometimes seems to be the only thing that is changed; and “what’s in a name?” “The Girl on the Stage” by any other name would be just as attractive. Mr. Owen Hall knows as well as any man how to mix the salad of musical comedy, and in “A Girl on the Stage” he has given us a merry little play, with a plausible, intelligible story; simple and direct, as the story of a musical play should be, and not devoid of sense or form. The second act does net yet fulfil the promise of the lively, bustling first act; the ladies at the supper-party in the second act, and their host, seem strangely lacking in gaiety, but the piece recovers its spirit in the third act, which is, perhaps, the jolliest of the three.

In writing “A Girl on the Stage,” Mr. Hall has taken what is best from “The Little Cherub,” and he honestly acknowledges the obligations to his own earlier work with a frankness which exceeds that of some authors who borrow, not from themselves but from others. Mr. Hall has not helped himself too freely, and although the characters remain, only to a certain extent, the same, the plot in which they are engaged is different. The story of “A Girl on the Stage” turns upon the courtship of Molly Montrose, the actress, by the son of the Earl of Sanctobury, and the intrigue is complicated in a sufficiently ingenious manner by the old gentleman’s infatuation when he meets an actress for the first time his life. His experiences of the theatre, which involve him in queer adventures as the play proceeds, induce him to abandon his austere principles and to consent in the end to the marriage of his son and heir with the fascinating Molly. The proverbial obstacles in the course of true love are exemplified once more in scenes comic and sentimental, and the marriage of the heir to an earldom with an actress affords Mr. Owen Hall the occasion for the exercise of his gifts of wit and irony in a characteristic vein.

The best of the music of “The Little Cherub” has been carried over to “A Girl on the Stage,” but Mr. Ivan Caryll has contributed so many new numbers that the music comes as fresh as the story, and some of the things he has composed for “A Girl on the Stage” have a quality and a charm which have not been excelled by anything he has ever written.

In the first act Miss Vincent has a song which answers very well to its title, which is “Rather Nice,” and in the second act she sings with telling effect the pretty ballad “Experience,” and takes part in a duet, “Love in a Cottage,” with Mr. Lionel Mackinder. The return to the stage of Miss Ruth Vincent, who has not been seen in Loudon since she played in “Veronique,” was very cordially welcomed by the audience, whose sympathy was not diminished by the untoward accident in the third act, when she fainted on the stage. Happily, she recovered and was able to finish her part. Miss Vincent is a finished artist, whose refinement is strikingly contrasted with the dashing style of Miss Gabrielle Ray, a clever little lady with unmistakable talents. Miss Ray dances prettily and nimbly, and has a very fetching, saucy, assertive way of her own. Dressed as a buy, she cuts the very prettiest figure imaginable, and she enters heartily into the fun of the “Merry-go-round” song, which she sings with a chorus of men. She sings, as she speaks, with a twang, which, we believe, is accounted by some people as an extra charm, but we could wish her well rid of it. Another engaging little lady is Miss Zena Dare, whose “Pierrot” song in the third act is one of the plums of the piece, and Miss Doris Dene, who plays the part of the pert maidservant, is another young lady who can sing and dance and act with spirit. The young ladies, who are as beautiful as a bunch of roses, are more than ordinarily animated, and they make a fine show in the song, with chorus, “The Currants in the Bun” which is one of Mr. F. E. Tours’ most acceptable contributions to the music. “The Currants in the Bun” is very satirical at the expense of other musical plays, and although a first-night audience, always very knowing, may enjoy this sort of sport, we do not think the practice of poking fun in one musical comedy at another musical comedy is a practice to be encouraged.

In the character of the Earl of Sanctobury, Mr. Willie Edouin, who is left a little too much to his own resources, is not quite at his best. What an actor of Mr. Edouin’s comic talent can do, however, is seen in the second act when Lord Sanctobury is distressed by the loss of his collar stud. That man must have lost the faculty of laughter who can resist the drollery of such a scene. As the youthful hero, Mr. Lionel Mackinder spares himself no effort, and he sings his songs with point and flings himself energetically into his work. Mr. Lennox Pawle, as Algernon Southdown, avails himself of the license of a low comedian; Mr. Colin Coop contributes a clever little bit of character as a pompous mayor, with a rousing song, “The Self-made Man,” and the diminutive Mr. George Carroll plays the part of se impudent page-boy with a great deal of quizzical humour and takes part in a most amusing duet with Miss Doris Dene. There is music enough to go round, and the members are not only fairly distributed among the company, but are not so distantly related as usual to the business of the plot; an advantage this, which makes “A Girl on the Stage” seem ever so much more compact than the generality of musical plays.

If the music may be said to impart a piquant flavour to the salad, the “dressing” is certainly not the least important consideration in a musical play, and in this particular Mr. George Edwardes has prepared some agreeable surprises. Mr. Edwardes is, as usual, lavish, and lavish, as usual, without ostentation. The picture at the opening of the third act is one of the most beautiful, most elegant, most tasteful things we have ever seen. A feast of glowing colour, such as we have not had before, is presented in the grouping of the Pierrots and Pierrettes, in whose costumes an exquisite rose pink is the prevailing colour. Such a picture is exhilarating in itself, and the dresses of the ladies all through the piece are a thing of beauty, if not a joy for ever.


The Referee – Sunday 6th May 1906


February 19, 2023 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, 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

A Girl on the Stage – Morning Post – Monday 7th May 1906






A Musical Play in Three Acts, founded on “The Little Cherub.”


Mr. George has accustomed the play going public to second editions of his musical comedies which have little left of the originals save the framework, but they have been invariably brought out at the end of long runs when the and dances and incidents which once pleased had become stale through repetition. It is a new departure for him to adopt such methods to a piece which is still at the beginning its career if  judged the usual runs of Mr. Edwardes’s musical pieces, but this is what he has done with “The Little Cherub,” for “A Girl on the Stage” cannot any stretch of imagination be called a new production. The plot, no doubt, has been altered somewhat, and the alteration is a decided improvement. Molly Montrose, the actress, is now really in love with Lord Congress, the Earl of Sanctobury’s son, a new character, who returns her love, and her rather pronounced flirtation with the old Earl has the laudable purpose in view of getting his consent to their marriage. The whole play is made pleasanter in consequence, and even the supper scene in the second act, if still a trifle wearisome and stagey, does not jar as it did in, places the first night. But the plot, everyone knows, is not of prime importance in musical comedies, and most of the scenes and the chief  incidents followed one another on Saturday night very much in the order of their original setting, although a careful discrimination has been used, and where alterations or additions have been made they have been almost invariably improvements.

A dozen new numbers have been added to the score, six of which are from the pen Mr. Ivan Caryll. Three of these occur in the first act, and all were received with favour. The most successful was perhaps one entitled “Rather Nice,” which was sung with great charm by Miss Ruth Vincent, who now plays the part of Molly Montrose. It was followed by a very pleasing dance executed by her with a delicacy and grace which made beautiful the simplest movements. A new duet “Love in a Cottage,” in which she shared honours with another newcomer, Mr. Lionel Mackinder, who plays the part of the newly-discovered son of Lord Sanctobury, was also enthusiastically received. Miss Vincent has not been seen London since she achieved such remarkable success “Veronique” and her reception was of the warmest and most friendly description. A delicacy and refinement of acting made her overtures to the old Earl appear quite charming, and much of the success of the performance Saturday evening must be placed to her credit. Mr. Willie Edonin has not quite warmed to his work as the new Earl of Sanctobury, but all parts grow in his hands, and it may safely be prophesied that he will be the life of the piece far as its comedy concerned before long. He is always particularly good in the little scenes byplay, backwaters the main stream, which he seems to create for himself, and some of these were received on Saturday with the heartiest favour. Many of the old favourites remain, among them Mr. G. Carroll, who was as droll as ever. His dance with Miss Doris Dene was one of the successes of the evening. Miss Zena Dare and that delightful dancer Miss Gabrielle Ray, who has deserted the Gaiety for the Prince of Wales’, made the most of their parts, and Mr. W. H. Berry was excellent as Lord Sanctobury’s valet.

Mr. Edwardes stands alone as regards stage decoration, but has surely beaten his own record the exquisite “Cupid and Pierrot” scone in the third act. He has made a daring experiment building his new piece on “The Little Cherub,” but if may judge its reception on Saturday night will be successful one.

Morning Post – Monday 7th May 1906


January 27, 2019 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Girl on Stage – Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 7th May 1906

A Girl on Stage - Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Monday 7th May 1906

Mr. George Edwardes’s Wise Move.

This contretemps had, if anything, the effect of giving a sympathetic touch to the great favour with which the new piece, based on the old, was received last night. “The Girl on the Stage,” though it is nothing to gush over, is a decided improvement in taste and refinement on its predecessor. The characters remain much the same, but the songs, a good deal of the dialogue, and much of the business are different. The vocal hit of the present performance is made by Miss Gabrielle Ray, who, in “Merry-go-Round,” by a new composer, Mr. Jerome D. Kern, simply captivates the house. Miss Zena Dare is pretty, too, especially as a Pierrot in a wonderful scene in which rose-pink Pierrettes are grouped in lavish and beautiful profusion.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 7th May 1906

A Girl on Stage – The Times – 1906

January 23, 2017 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Girl on Stage – The Times – 1906

March 27, 2012 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, The Times | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment