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?'

Gladys Ray – Aladdin – Norwood News – Saturday 29th December 1906




Mr. Bannister Howard has more than fulfilled his promise, and given us a pantomime which ought to delight old and young alike. Produced for the first time on Christmas Eve it went with a smoothness and snap which augurs well for its future career; the shrieks of delighted youngsters, the more restrained but none the less evident enjoyment of the grown-ups, the catching up of popular refrains, and the numerous recalls, were plain signs of a real first-night success. That no expense has been spared on the scenery, mounting, and dresses is apparent to the eye; the dresses of Aladdin and the Princess are simply magnificent, and bewildering in their variety. All the others are equally good in proportion, and in the best of taste, while the scenery is a credit to the resident staff: the Market Place, the Cave, the Exterior of the Palace, and the Throne Room being capital examples of picturesque sets.

Mr. Fred Bowyer, who is responsible for the book, has followed the story of Aladdin sufficiently to make it quite intelligible. In the first scene the Fairy Queen calls on the Slave of the Lamp and Ring to help Aladdin then, in the Market Place of Pekin, the wicked magician Abanazar begins his little plans to obtain the treasures, and Aladdin and the Princess meet. The Bath Scene is certainly a variation on the original, but serves its purpose, and soon Aladdin and Abanazar reach the cave. The former enters, and, following the tale, is shut in by the latter and released by the Slave of the Lamp, and so the story goes on with the Flying Palace, the changing the old lamp for new, its recovery, and the final triumph of Aladdin in his union with the Princess. This is the groundwork; and embroidered with song and dance, fun and frolic, all in good taste without any touch of vulgarity, it is a show which will bear much seeing before tiring of it.

Then, as to the impersonation of the various characters, Mr. Bannister Howard is far too good a judge of people’s abilities to be far out in the allotment of parts. It may be news to some to know that Mr. Howard engaged Miss Lillie Lassah to play “Aladdin” after seeing her do a turn at the Cafe Chantant in the summer, he was rather laughed at for his choice, but we venture to think Mr. Howard was right, and the laughers wrong; the popular verdict will be that “Aladdin” is good; pretty and refined features, vivacity, clear speech and dainty dancing are all on the side of the lady, and as no one expects the highest style of singing in a pantomime, Miss Lassah’s will please, and her naive rendering of “Hello, Hello,” will be one of the hits of the piece. Miss Lily Gullick is well suited as the “Princess,” and acts well; her best song “I want a little man like you” was quite well done, so was her share in the “Snowflake” duet, and altogether the part is a success. Miss Josephine Sullivan is an imposing fairy queen, who speaks her lines remarkably well, and whose song “Moon, dear,” with its chorus sung behind is one of the most effective of the whole. And here a special word of praise should be given to the chorus for the generally melodious singing; the two unaccompanied choruses off the stage were really well done. The second boy and girl parts were in the hands of Miss Nellie Barnwell, as “Pekoe,” and Miss Gladys Ray (sister of the much-photographed Gabrielle) as “Pitty Sing.” Both did well, the former especially entering thoroughly into her part, and singing “My Little Hyacinth” with much taste. Miss Daisy Lake also had two songs with chorus, which were immensely popular, “My King and Country” and “I have built a bungalow for you,” a kind of “I wouldn’t leave my little wooden hut for you” sort of thing.

Then we get to the fun-makers in the persons of “Widow Twankey” and “Abanazar,” and when Mr. A. E. Passmore and Mr. Arthur Poole get on the warpath the fun is fast and furious, and their lead of the Sandow Suffragette Girls is something too funny. Mr. Poole has the topical song “Early in the Morning,” and apparently be will be required to provide any number of encore verses. Two on Monday evening quite took the house, the first relating to the train service from the Palace, and the second to the Lord Mayor and his Cripple’ Fund. Then, too, Mr. Frank Weir, as the “Mandarin Wisher-Washee” adds considerably to the hilarity, which is further increased by the whimsicalities of the Onda Bothers as comic policemen, but their great show is the horizontal bar speciality, when difficult feats are performed with an ease which makes them appear the simplest things in the world. The scene which will appeal most to the youngsters is something unique is the great trap act, when Mr. J. D. Cawdery, the “Slave of the Lamp” appears suddenly from below, springing high into the air and disappearing as suddenly to the intense astonishment of Abanazar, Widow Twankey and Wishee-Washee. Mention should also be made of the quartette of glee singers who rendered “Comrades in Arms” in capital style, and also of Miss Lottie Stone’s troupe of dancers, though we were not much smitten with their second effort; a graceful, dainty dance by ladies is much more satisfying than acrobatics. The pantomime finishes with a merry, bustling old- fashioned harlequinade, in which Mr. Cawdery is the clown, and his appropriation and division of the spoil is greeted with delight.

The music is a great feature of the pantomime, and Mr. Sainton, the musical director, has not only arranged and orchestrated it cleverly, but trained his chorus and band so well that it is a pleasure to listen to them, and he is to be congratulated on the result, and last, but not least, the greatest praise is due to Mr. Charles Lake the resident manager, for the perfect way in which he has produced the whole show.


Norwood News – Saturday 29th December 1906



June 13, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladys Raymond – The Music Hall and Theatre Review – Friday 16th March 1906

August 9, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Advertisement, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladys Raymond – The Music Hall and Theatre Review – Friday 9th March 1906

August 9, 2018 Posted by | Advertisement, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladys Ray – Florodora – The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Tuesday 7th November 1905




Spanish Dancers, Maudie Brock, Lilian Coe and Gladys Ray

The manufacture of that popular species of theatrical entertainment known as “musical plays” has the course of years become at last so entirely matter of rule of thumb that one has long ago given up the idea of looking for any sort of originality, either of musical or dramatic invention, in this particular class of entertainment. Thanks, however, to its composer, Mr. Leslie Stuart, the “Florodora” of Mr. Owen Hall proved a happy exception to the general run of “musical plays,” and thus merited its enormous popularity more than most things of its kind. The mere fact of the tunefulness of the “Florodora” music would, of course, in itself not differentiate it from a host other such pieces. The distinctive merit of Mr. Leslie Stuart’s melodies is the piquancy and often unexpected character of their rhythms and harmonisation, which lends quite an air of freshness and originality to music which is itself of the lightest and brightest nature. The most felicitous example of Mr. Stuart’s peculiar skill is undoubtedly the famous number, “Oh, tell me pretty maiden,” which proved as popular as ever last night, but there are other numbers in “Florodora” which also happily reveal the composer’s knack as melodist. It is some time now since this entertaining little play was last seen here, but judging reception it received last night Mr. J. Bannister Howard was wisely prompted in getting together a new company for a revival of the piece the provinces. The performance last night was enjoyable and attractive, principals and chorus alike working with a will for the success of the whole, while the mounting of the play left little to be desired.


The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Tuesday 7th November 1905

November 26, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladys Ray – Aladdin – The Era – Saturday 22nd December 1906

Gladys Ray – Aladdin – The Sporting Life – Tuesday 25th December 1906

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Aladdin, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Pantomimes, Social History, The Era, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladys Ray – The Stage – Thursday 31st January 1907

Benefits are the order of the night at the Crystal Palace this week. On Monday Mr. A. E. Passmore , the Widow Twankey, had a benefit; Tuesday was devoted to Miss Lily Gullick, Wednesday to Miss Lillie Lassah, while this afternoon (Thursday) Miss Nellie and Miss Gladys Ray will share, Mr. Arthur Poole being the beneficiary in the evening. The Onda Brothers claim the Friday evening.

The Stage – Thursday 31st January 1907

Gladys Ray – Aladdin – The Era – Saturday 29th December 1906

October 14, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladys Ray – Aladdin – The Era – Saturday 29th December 1906

September 12, 2017 Posted by | Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Pantomimes, The Era | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gladys Ray – Aladdin – The Sporting Life – Tuesday 25th December 1906





One could hardly realise that he was witnessing the first performance of the pantomime at the Crystal Palace yesterday, so well did those engaged fall into their various parts. This year “Aladdin” has been chosen by Mr J. Bannister Howard as the subject, and with the assistance of Mr Fred Bowyer to furnish the book and lyrics, a very entertaining piece is the result. The story runs upon the old, old lines which have been so familiar for years.

From the first scene – there are a dozen in all – to the last, all are exceedingly pretty. Many clever changes take place, all being smartly managed. Of course, the cave is about the best, though the Throne Room in the Emperor’s Palace runs it close for effect. Quite up-to-date too are some of the ideas introduced, for in one scene the career of a motor car is shown by means of the cinematograph.

To Miss Lillie Lassah is entrusted the port of Aladdin and as she is possessed of a fine voice and the ability to dance, one could hardly wish for a better interpreter of the part. As the Princess, another clever principal is found in Miss Lily Gullick, who also sings and dances well. The comedians evidently intend that the piece shall not lack in fun. As Abanazar, Mr Arthur Poole has a fine part, in which he brings out all the points possible, his by-play and gag being especially good. Mr A. E. Passmore, in the character of Widow Twankey, revels in his part, and two splendid artists of the knock-about order are the Brothers Onda. Their performance on the horizontal bar stamps them gymnasts of no mean order. Other parts are in the hands of Miss Nellie Barnwell (Pekoe), Miss Gladys Ray (Petti-Sing), Mr Prank Weir (Wishee-Washee), Mr E. Oxlee (Emperor), while several excellent glees are rendered by the XL Quartette.

Sporting Life – Tuesday 25th December 1906


September 12, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Aladdin, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gladys Ray – Robinson Crusoe – The Era – Saturday 13th February 1897



 GAIETY THEATRE. — Managing Director, Mr George Gaze. — Mr J. B. Mulholland’s successful pantomime Robinson Crusoe was brought here on Monday, and attracted a well-filled house. Miss Chummie La Mara sustained the title-role with marked ability, and secured rounds of applause for her songs. Mliss Eva Hamblyn as Polly Perkins acted prettily and sang pleasingly, though suffering from a slight hoarseness. Mr Charles Gardener was deservedly applauded for his clever business as Dame Crusoe. Mr Gus Wheatman gave a grotesquely humorous performance as Captain Spanker, whose mate, Jack Mainbrace, had a sprightly exponent in Miss Rose Hamilton. Mr George Fisk played with much energy as the Cannibal King. His daughter, the Princess, was pleasingly acted by Miss Lillie Comyns. Mr Joe Ellis was a good Man Friday. The Grovini Troupe are clever acrobats. Mr H. Mansfield as Vanderdecken was well appreciated for his singing. Miss Lily Twyman was a pleasing Fairy. Some good dancing was exhibited by the Misses Nita St. George, Lavurnan, Lily Piercy, Gladys Ray, Claire Tenson, Flo White, and Sisters Wilkinson. A strong and well-balanced chorus sang effectively. The scenery is very pretty, and the dresses and appointments harmonise well.


The Era – Saturday 13 February 1897

September 3, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gladys Raymond – Aladdin – South London Chronicle – Friday 19 October 1906



It is welcome news to learn that Mr. Bannister Howard intends to revive old-fashioned pantomime at the Crystal Palace Theatre. That style of entertainment which has been called pantomime during the past few years has become rather boring, and has not been particularly amusing, either to grown-up people or children. Any effort, therefore, to return to the rollicking performances of bygone days deserves to be supported, and no doubt Mr. Howard’s enterprise will be crowned with success. The subject of the pantomime is the old favourite story of “Aladdin,” and in the hands of so experienced a pantomime writer as Mr. Fred Bowyer, great things may be expected. No expense is to be spared, and an excellent company has been secured. Miss Lillie Lassah will impersonate Aladdin; Miss Lillie Gallick; the Princess; Mr. Arthur Pool, Abanazar; Mr. A. E. Passmore, Widow Twankey; the Ongar Brothers, the Policemen and Speciality turn; Miss Nellie Barnwell; Second Boy; Miss Gladys Ray (a sister of Miss Gabrielle Ray, who was originally brought out by Mr. Howard), Second Girl; Miss Josephine Sullivan, a Fairy; and Mr. J. D. Cawdery, Demon and Clown, who will also work the traps. He was at one time with Conquest, and is one of the oldest trapworkers left. The Harlequinade and Shadow Pantomime will be a strong feature of the entertainment. The Pantomime will be produced by Mr. C. Lake, and Mr. Joseph Sainton will compose and arrange the music. Mr. W. E. Sharpe will still continue to actively manage the front of the theatre.

South London Chronicle – Friday 19th October 1906

Note; The review of Aladdin shows Miss Ray’s sister Gladys Raymond referred to as Gladys Ray rather than Gladys Raymond, I’m not sure whether this is a misprint or whether she performed under this name as well

August 24, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Aladdin, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment