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 – Robin Hood, Or Babes in the Wood – The Dalkeith Advertiser – Thursday 5th January 1922


August 5, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Pantomimes, Robin Hood or Babes in the Wood, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Robin Hood, Or Babes in the Wood – The Dalkeith Advertiser – Thursday 22nd December 1921

August 5, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Pantomimes, Robin Hood or Babes in the Wood, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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


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

June 26, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Aladdin, Gabrielle Ray, Gladys Ray, Gladys Raymond, Pantomimes, Social History, The Era, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Mother Goose – Manchester Evening News – Tuesday 15th February 1921

The “Royal” Goose.


If you want to see a fine goose, a real human goose that will divert you when either humour or dancing or other things old fashioned and spectacular may have failed -now is the time to see this year’s Manchester “Royal” panto. Fred Conquest must have studied geese and their ways from prehistoric times.

Dan Lenny junr., is now at the top of his bent as Mother Goose, and Miss Gabrielle Ray continues to have her own special charm – very dainty and self-confident in every turn and gesture.

Manchester Evening News – Tuesday 15th February 1921

December 27, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Mother Goose, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mother Goose – The Manchester Evening News – Friday 24th December 1920


 A Bird that Will Not “Get the Bird.”


Four Hours of Fun that Tired None.


“Mother Goose” made an auspicious first appearance at the Theatre Royal last night. The goose proved such a delectable bird that very many weeks will pass before the appetite of Manchester audiences is satiated. There was, perhaps, trifle too much stuffing, but the head chef will quickly make that all right. No finer tribute could be paid than to record the fact that after four hours the audience was still enthusiastic.

In theatrical parlance “Mother Goose” is a bird that will not get “the bird.”

The story is neither here nor there. There was probably never any serious intention to recount the somewhat vague wanderings of the goose that laid the golden eggs. When Mr. Fred Conquest waddles on to the stage with the solemn gait of that stupid bird the joy of the audience was complete, and the story didn’t really matter.

Caleb Plummer never got so “near to nature” as did Mr. Conquest, and his work is surely the last word in impersonation.

One is truly spiteful for the many beautiful stage settings, notably the Magic Vine and the Squire’s Garden Pets. The artists have conceived their pictures in subdued tones, so that instead of headache one finds rest and enjoyment in contemplation of their work.



But after all what would a pantomime be without the comedians?  Mr. John Hart has gathered around him a notable company of laughter makers who provide a very remarkable study in the contrast of styles. There is, for instance, Den Leno, Junior (shades of the past), whose quaint, jerky methods and peculiar shuffling of the feet betray his origin. As the dame who sought to regain her youth and beauty he displays histrionic gifts of no mean order.

Mr. Fred A. Leslie, solemn and restrained, at once established himself a favourite. The “Chicken Reel” dance with the goose was only one of a score of good things to the account of this comedian. Mr. J. H. Wakefield is robust and full of confidence. He has a quick wit, and when a bell rang “off “ at the wrong moment he turned it to good account, and at once the right atmosphere was created between audience and players.

With memories of the pantomimes of one’s youth there may have been a little regret that the wicked magician was such a very pleasant fellow. Red and green limelight fail to make him anything else, and one feels confident that whatever happens he would never exceed the bounds of good taste. He sang an excellent song “The Great Wide Road” with a charm that would have done credit to musical comedy hero.

Miss Gabrielle Ray, who must have discovered the secret of eternal youth, looked like a piece of Dresden china. She danced and sang with great charm, and her youthful assistants were as graceful and dainty as thistledown. Miss Madge White the attributes of a successful principal boy. She emerges as a singer of character songs, and “Swanee” in particular will be taken up by the boy in the street.

Mr. Alex Flood, under whose stage direction the pantomime is produced, must have been a very happy man to see the fruits of his labour turn out so successfully. “Mother Goose” deserves well of the public, and is a sure winner.


The Manchester Evening News – Friday 24th December 1920


December 3, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Mother Goose, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Babes in the Wood (David Allen & Son Ltd)

August 6, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Advertisement, Babes in the Wood, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Pantomimes, Social History, Theatre Adverts, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bessie Ray – Little Red Riding Hood – The Referee – Sunday 13th January 1895


After “coining money” at Richmond with “Little Red Biding Hood,” Mr. George B. Phillips has shifted that pantomime and his capitally organised company to the Lyric Hall, Ealing, where it is likely to attract and delight large audiences until Saturday next. The panto, written by Victor Stevens, is one of the brightest this Christmas season has brought forth. The libretto sparkles with wit; the music and songs are of the order A1; the scenery, by E. G. Banks, is picturesque; the costumes are pleasing to the eye, and every member of “the crowd” is well up to his or her work. At the head of the favourites stands Miss Lottie Brooks, whose Red Biding Hood is positively captivating. Miss Hettie Peel makes a fine “principal boy” as Prince Amoroso, and brings down the house with her song, “Best friends of all.” The house has been roaring since Monday at Mr. Benson’s serpentine dance, and everybody has been delighted with Little Bessie Ray as Cupid. The Three Rennies score well with their grotesque and agile antics. My happiness while sitting out “Little Red Riding Hood” was marred only by the coldness of the hall. The proprietor will be wise if he makes haste to prevent his patrons from shivering.

The Referee – Sunday 13thJanuary 1895

May 30, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Bessie Ray, Gabrielle Ray, Little Red Riding Hood, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Little Red Riding Hood – Middlesex & Surrey Express – Friday 2nd January 1903


The pantomime season is now in full swing and the various fairy tales are being presented at most of the London and out-lying theatres. One need not travel further than the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, to see the old favourite children’s story of “Red Riding Hood” illustrated with mirth and merriment. The joint authors are Messers Brian Daly and J. M. East, who have written six previous pantomimes for this theatre. The music is by Mr. Henry W. May and the scenic effects by Mr. Herbert Wallis. The plot shows that Little Red Riding Hood (the handsome foster daughter of Dame Hood) is beloved of her companions, Bo-Peep, Boy Blue and all the children of the village. Prince Sylvanus, ruler of Merryville, is in love with Red Riding Hood, as also is Baron Lionel de Lupus, a bold bad old man, who changes to a wolf upon the slightest provocation, and tries his utmost to frighten and entice away the pretty Red Riding Hood, but was eventually found in his wolf’s disguise, as Prince Sylvanus and the villagers appear on the scene and save her from the wicked baron. The scene of Dame Hood’s village school (licensed for larks) is a very amusing one, and introduces the celebrated Olive Trio in their impersonation of dolls. The old dame, with her many peculiar questions to her scholars, and the various punishments they have to undergo for inefficiency in answering cause roars of laughter. Rex Fox, the celebrated wire walker, who appears in the scene at the festivities at the king’s palace, is an exceedingly clever artiste, and his daring performance on the wire on roller skates and stilts elicits well deserved applause. The comic element is in the hands of Mr. Harry Buss (Dame Hood) and Mr. Arthur Watts (Simple Simon), whose sayings and comicalities provoke great hilarity. The character of Rest Riding Hood is ably represented by Miss Gabrielle Ray, a juvenile actress of considerable talent, whose singing and dancing is greatly admired. Miss Gracie Whiteford, as Prince Sylvanus, played with a briskness which is well suited to the character, and in her song, “Sweet Susanne,” she was twice recalled. The production throughout is admirably mounted, as there are eleven scenes, all of which are tastefully designed, especially the transformation scene, “The four elements.” Lively music, pretty costumes, popular songs, and good dancing make the Lyric pantomime one of the successes of the season.


Middlesex & Surrey Express – Friday 2nd January 1903


March 18, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Little Red Riding Hood, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Little Red Riding Hood – Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) – Friday 26th December 1902



If the residents of Hammersmith are at all dissatisfied with the Yuletide entertainment provided for them they must be extremely difficult to please. Mr. Acton Phillips, who has received the warm congratulations of his theatrical friends upon attaining the mayoral dignity in the riverside borough, presented his twelfth annual pantomime to a large and enthusiastic audience at the Lyric Opera House on Christmas Eve. It was an artistic production, full of glow and colour, and promises to be as bright and exhilarating as any of its predecessors. Upon Red Riding Hood the Broadway management rely for inspiration on the present occasion, and Mr. Brian Daly and Mr. John M. East, experienced hands at this class of work, have furnished a “book” which deftly mingles the traditional story with topics of the moment, and supplies numberless stage pictures of considerable effectiveness and beauty. The topical allusions were apt and up-to-date, and the local hits in particular were instantly caught up by the audience, evoking the heartiest merriment. Imperial politics were, of course, touched upon, and the spectators cheered to the echo the references to Mr. Chamberlain and his mission to South Africa, as well as to the plight of our gallant Reservists. When one the characters exclaimed, “That’s the way we treat our heroes!” the applause demonstrated where the sympathy of the audience lay. The subject of Red Riding Hood lends itself to generous stage treatment, but, besides being tastefully mounted, the pantomime was capitally interpreted by a band of capable artists. Miss Gabrielle Ray proved a dainty and sprightly heroine, and at once captivated all hearts by her singing and dancing. Her honours, however, were fairly by Mr Gracie Whiteford, who brilliantly sustained the part of Prince Sylvanus. To say nothing of a comedy presence, Miss Whiteford possesses a charming voice, and knows how to use it; and it may be justly declared that between them these young ladies did much to secure unqualified excess for the Lyric pantomime. Miss Edwards and Miss Lucia Edwards were acceptable as Bo-Peep and Boy Blue. Among the mole characters the palm was carried off by Mr. Harry Buss. Dame Hood is a part which requires judicious handling, and the acting of her impersonator was humorous and in good taste throughout. Mr. John Gourlay ran him close with an admirable portrayal of the Baron de Lupus, “a bold, bad man, who changes to a wolf on the slightest provocation.” Messers Baroux and Bion were knockabouts who created endless amusement by their antics, while the facial contortions of Mr. Arthur Watts as Simple Simon were something to be remembered. Among the “selected spirits” who did real service were Miss Vera Schlesinger as the Fairy of Progress, and Mr. George Traverner as the Demon. A doll dance by the Olive Trio was undoubtedly one of the features of the evening, but it was quite equalled, if not actually surpassed, by a Dense Japonaise in the Bat Masque at the Royal Palace to celebrate the union of the hero and heroine. This, in accordance with pantomime law, led the way to the transformation scene, entitled “The Four Elements – Earth. Air, Fire, and Water,” which deservedly won the admiration of the house.  “Red Riding Hood,” in fact, starts upon her journey at Hammersmith with the fairest hopes.


Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) – Friday 26th December 1902


March 16, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Little Red Riding Hood, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment