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 – The Merry Widow – Daily Record Monday 7th December 1908

The Merry Widow’s Popularity.


At Daly’s Theatre last night three members at the original company—Messrs. J. Coyne, W. H Berry and F. Kay – rejoined the cast of “The Merry Widow,” which seems to increase in popularity daily. Mr. Berry takes part in on Apache dance with Miss Gabrielle Ray (that threatens to become as popular as the famous so waltz so gracefully and seductively danced by Miss Lily Elsie as the Widow) and Mr. Coyne. A further attraction will he added to the piece early in January by M. Georgie Mahrer a wonderful waltz dancer, whose performances have become the talk of Paris. He will be given a free rein is the scene at Maxim’s in the third act.

Daily Record – Monday 7th December 1908

July 6, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Lady Dandies – The Weekly Journal (Hartlepool) – Friday 19th April 1907

Stage & the Drama


It is interesting to learn that Mr George Graves, who has returned from America, is to find a in the cast of “The Gay Widow” when that piece succeeds “The Lady Dandies” at Daly’s Theatre. Mr Graves, who had his first chance in London in “The School Girl” four or five years ago, has since won for himself a considerable popularity, first by his humorous reading of the part of Coquenard in “Veronique,” and later as a most diverting General Des Ifs in “The Little Michus.” Plans are being made for sending “The Lady Dandies” on tour, with many of the original company, including Miss Evie Greene, Miss Demise Orme, and Miss Gabrielle Ray. The piece, however, is still proving attractive at Daly’s Theatre.


The Weekly Journal (Hartlepool) – Friday 19th April 1907

May 28, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Lady Dandies, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Betty – The London Daily News – Saturday 30th October 1915



Those who have not yet seen “Betty,” or intend to see it again, may rest assured that the alterations in the east, made by the musical play to be produced the Adelphi Theatre, have not detracted from the sprightliness and humour of the piece.

Mr. Lauri de Frece, whose methods are in direct contrast with Mr. W H. Berry’s, is a most entertaining Achille Jotte. That Court dressmaker’s head model is now played by Miss Gabrielle Ray, who dances as gracefully as ever. The audience at Daly’s Theatre last night gave her a great welcome on her return to the stage. There are some other alterations in the cast, the most noticeable being Mr. Tom Wallis in Mr. G. P. Huntley’s old part.

It is very easy to imitate Mr. Huntley but difficult to follow him; but Mr. Wallis was successful. Several additions to piece have been made to its advantage. Miss Winifred Barnes is still the Betty, and is more charming than ever. An animated Greuze, she sings as prettily as she dances.


The London Daily News – Saturday 30th October 1915


May 12, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Betty, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emmy Wehlen – The Merry Widow – The Sketch – Wednesday 31st March 1909


When last we published some portraits of Miss Wehlen it was uncertain when Londoners would see her. The uncertainty no longer exists, for the young actress is playing Sonia, Miss Lily Elsie’s part, in “The Merry Widow,” at Daly’s. Miss Elsie is out of the cast for a fortnight, that she may have opportunity to recover from a sharp attack of “flu,” and Miss Wehlen is appearing in her stead for that time. On Miss Elsie’s return Miss Wehlen will understudy her. The new Merry Widow was born at Mannheim, has acted with much success in musical plays at Munich and other places on the Continent, and made her greatest “hit” as a comedienne in “Mitternachtsmadchen.” In five months she has learned to speak English well.


The Sketch – Wednesday 31st March 1909




Emmy Wehlen – c1910

April 6, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Social History, The Merry Widow, The Sketch, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dollar Princess – 1909



The Dollar Princess is a musical in three acts by A.M. Willner and Fritz Grünbaum , adapted into English by Basil Hood (from the 1907 Die Dollarprinzessin),

with music by Leo Fall and lyrics by Adrian Ross. It opened in London at Daly’s Theatre on 25 September 1909, running for 428 performances.

 British Musical Theatre

I wouldn’t normally buy a musical score but the cover looked amazing and Miss Ray is shown in the cast as Daisy

March 5, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Social History, The Dollar Princess, 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

February 24, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Social History, The Merry Widow, The Tatler, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 – The Dollar Princess – The Evening News (London) – Monday 27th September 1909

I’m constantly looking through the News Archive for snippets about Miss Ray and the piece below came up, what was interesting was the descriptions of the costumes worn by Lily Elsie, Emmy Wehlen and Miss Ray. Often there aren’t any illustration to accompany the piece but this had two, checking my collection I found two, one of Lily Elsie and one of Miss Ray that correspond with the descriptions, Emmy Wehlen I didn’t have any as she isn’t someone who’s cards I collect. I have added the images below along with the article.





Brilliant schemes of colour allied to the fascinating modes of today may be said to be the leading notes struck by the wonderful display of dress in Mr. George Edwardes’s new production, “The Dollar Princess,” at Daly’s Theatre. As usual, Miss Lily Elsie presents a series of the most lovely stage pictures in her character of the Dollar Princess, and the colours and fashion of her gowns accentuate the alluring charm of her own personality.

A Scheme of White, Blue, and Pink.

White, pale blue and pale pink have always been the three hues chosen as the fitting background of a pink and white skin, blue eves and golden brown hair, and it is noticeable that this charming trio appear in some form in every dress worn by Miss Lily Elsie. In the first act, this popular actress presents the striking silhouette demanded by the mode of the moment, and materialised in a straight tunic of soft white silk, slashed open at either side over it narrow scant underdress, and caught together by broad pocket-like plaques of Wedgwood blue silk embroidered in white.

The Piquant Tennis Dress.

Again the note of blue is struck in the wonderful tennis frock worn in the second act. The laveuse tunic of softest blue silk is turned up in the correct manner over an ethereal underdress of white de mouseeline de soir with entredeux of lace posed above draperies of palest pink chiffon, which give a lovely tint to the muslin. Very piquant is the fashion in which the tunic at the back is formed into a very fascinating sash drapery fringed deeply at the end. A corsage bouquet of pink roses and a most fascinating cabriolet hat of shot-blue satin with narrow velvet strings framing the pretty face and a knot of pink roses nestling at the left side still further carry out this colour scheme of pale-blue and pink.

A Gown of Dazzling Glitter.

Brilliantly scintillating is Miss Lily Elsie’s second gown in the same act, composed as it is of an exquisitely lovely underdress of soft lace, festooned with trails of button pink roses and horizontal bands of pale blue ribbon, worn beneath a glittering fringed stole of diamante chiffon and a long tunic of the like fabric. Draped from both arms and suspended partially from the shoulders is a lovely scarf of pink chiffon fringed with crystal and paste drops. The whole affect is one of dazzling beauty, and successfully conveys the sense and atmosphere of a multi-millionaire princess.

Wedgwood Blue Straw and Blue Roses.

The last act reveals Miss Lily Elsie in a long motor coat of white cloth with roll revers of white silk and a piquant bonnet of Wedgwood blue straw trimmed with a knot of pink roses. The coat is worn above a striking dress, showing the modish cuirass bodice of palest pink mousseline de sole, with a flounce of soft silk and revealing beneath the cuirass a broad band of pale-blue silk, which trims the underdress of chiffon. Again a graceful chiffon scarf of palest pink is knotted round the arms, giving another charming note to this pretty frock.

Pervenche Chiffon Velvet.

Very striking, also, are the gowns worn by Miss Emmy Wehlen. The first dress, of pervenche chiffon velvet, with its sash drapery arranged just below the knees and it’s guimpe of pervenche embroidered lace, is worn with a becoming hat of pervenche satin, trimmed with lovely beige-coloured plumes. In the tennis scene Miss Wehlen first appears in a tunic of pale blue chiffon garlanded with pink roses over a soft blue silk tunic, and a large white feather toque. This is exchanged for a most fascinating evening gown of white silk, with the corsage and panel embroidered in coral and gold, and a most effective touch is given by the striking draperies of black and silver tulle caught in from the shoulders to the arms, and matching the black and silver scarf swathed round the coiffure.

A Picturesque Evening Cloak.

Everyone will admire the picturesquely draped olive green velvet cloak trimmed with gold ornaments worn in the same scene by Miss Wehlen above an exquisitely fitting frock of palest grey-green satin charmeuse with a hint of pink. No will Miss Gabrielle Ray’s coat of pink satin be forgotten, worn above a white chiffon petticoat trimmed with medallion shaped ruches encircling Empire baskets of chiffon roses, and accompanied by the most fascinating Revolution bonnet of gold coloured straw trimmed with a tiny wreath of roses for which a net is substituted afterwards.

The Evening News (London) – Monday 27th September 1909

January 26, 2021 Posted by | Daly's Theatre, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Rotary, Social History, The Dollar Princess, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Betty – Reynolds’s Newspaper – Sunday 24th October 1915

Miss Gabrielle Ray makes her first appearance in “Betty” at Daly’s one day this week, when she will take up the part of Estelle; Ivy Shilling and Mr. Lauri De Frece will also join the cast in the roles of Chicquette and Jotte respectively. Among the new numbers introduced will be a song for Miss Ray, “Harlequin”; one for Miss Winifred Barnes, “Goodbye”; and a duet for Miss Ray and Mr. De Frece, “Don’t Be Silly.”


Reynolds’s Newspaper – Sunday 24th October 1915


December 29, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Betty, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Betty – Reynolds’s Newspaper – Sunday 31st October 1915



That charming modern version of Cinderella, known “Betty,” entered on a new edition here Friday night, when, in addition to some very taking new numbers, Miss Gabrielle Ray took up the part of Estelle, with new songs and dances. It goes without saying that she was rapturously welcomed after her long absence from the stage, and she very soon proved that she is lithe, graceful, and attractive as though she had never quitted it. Mr. Lauri De Frece is now the Jotte, and plays so as to get plenty of laughter without ever overdoing it, and Mr. Tom Walls, replacing Mr. G. P. Huntley, made a well-merited hit. Miss Winifred Barnes is captivating as ever in the name part, and her new song, “Good-bye,” is very pretty and very prettily sung. The excellent work of that accomplished actor. Mr. C. M. Lowne, of Mr. Donald Calthrop, and the rest of the cast, makes “Betty” as bright and artistic an entertainment as can wish for.


Reynolds’s Newspaper – Sunday 31st October 1915


December 11, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Betty, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment