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 – Mother Goose – Alderley and Wilmslow Advertiser – Friday 21st January 1921

June 26, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Mother Goose, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Mother Goose – Sunday Pictorial – Sunday 19th December 1920

May 28, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Mother Goose, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Babes in the Wood – Sunday Mirror – Sunday 2nd November 1919


Babes in the Wood (J. Beagles 701 O)

May 27, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Babes in the Wood, Gabrielle Ray, Pantomimes, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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