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 – See See – Truth – Wednesday 27th June 1906

THE THEATRES.

 “SEE-SEE,” AT THE PRINCE OF WALES’S.

 

French plays have taken to roosting in England. They are like a flock, not of rooks, but, say, birds of paradise – which, by the way, belong to the same ornithological group as do rooks, and thus my metaphor less forced than might appear. They flutter across Channel escorted by thievish jackdaws, and form a sort of paradisery in the West End, with, in many cases, “extensions” to the suburbs and provinces. They undergo considerable adventures, for the Lord Chamberlain is himself much interested in ornithology, and always pulls out some of their most startlingly gorgeous   plumes on their arrival, for which substitutes are supplied, in the case of “See-See” by the ingenious Mr. Charles Brookfield, whose libretto has many smart epigrams of true Britannic growth. Mr. Adrian Ross supplies a succession of dainty lyrics, which wed happily with the music of Mr. Sidney Jones, whose golden spurs were bound on by “The Geisha” herself. Here he does not disappoint us, and indeed shows in some respects an advance upon “The Geisha,” for the orchestration aspires rather toward the operatic than toward the mere titillation of the ear with catchy tunes; it is melodious rather than airified. “See-See” differs from many of its fellows in having a definite plot, which, although it develops slowly owing to the exigencies of individual artists, such as Mr. Huntley Wright, for whose delightful quaintnesses room must be found at all costs, culminates nevertheless in a real dilemma with a logical solution.

My readers have already had ample opportunity to acquaint themselves with the difficulties of Mr. Maurice Farkoa Yen, who falls in love with Miss See-See Orme, although he is already betrothed by his father to Miss Adrienne Augarde Lee, the daughter of an old friend. They doubtless know how Lee loves Hang-Kee Huntley Wright, a gentleman of pleasant wit and infinite resource, who arranges with his foster-sister, See-See, that she shall take Lee’s place, and that he shall personate Lee’s father, Mr. Hoang Emney, on their betrothal visit to that father’s friend, Mr. Cheoo Berry. Their amiable object in thus masquerading is to disgust Mr. Cheoo Berry with a lurid description of the unspeakable iniquities committed by his friend Mr. Hoang Emney in the course of amassing his vast fortune. Here we have a situation of amusing farcical comedy, for Mr. Cheoo Berry is altogether deceived as to the identity of his friend, whom he has not seen for years. He is reassured as to the great difference in height between the present and past Hoang Emney by Mr. Hang-Kee Huntley Wright’s lucid explanation that he had grown down in the interval. All seems plain sailing, and it must be easy to disgust the father of Yen with the narrative of Hoang Emney’s iniquities. But Cheoo Berry is neither surprised nor disgusted. Once he has made sure that the fortune is really there he looks upon the means by which it was acquired with indifference. It was all done in the way of trade, and is no concern of his. Mr. Berry and Mr. Huntley Wright are admirable in this scene, which perforce leads up to the shrew-taming episode of See-Bee’s forced marriage to Yen, whom she refuses to obey with a pretty petulance that soon melts before the masterfulness of Petruchio Yen Farkoa.

All these details and much beside must be familiar to many, but they should be advised to visit the Prince of Wales’s Theatre and see with their own eyes those beautiful harmonies of the cardinal colours, green and red, which dominate the Lotus Room in the Palace of Pearls, and to revel in the Asiatic opulence of Cheoo’s Garden, which is the scene of the other act, and the work of Mr. Hawes Craven, whom I have so often extolled in these columns. The first is to be credited to Mr. J. Harker.

The human accessories of the play manoeuvre with perfect elegance and precision, and in the unexpectedness of their groupings and windings in and out it is easy to trace the thought of Mr. Sydney Ellison. Among the episodes, boyish Miss Gabrielle Ray, habited marvellously in green or in pink, with a very becoming hat modelled on that of the classical Mercury, dancing directly into the favour of the audience, and singing thence of Chinese dollies, or joining in the “Bamboo” trio with that pretty treble of hers, remains most vivid in the memory. A patter quartet, “The Bill of Fare,” brings us down to culinary regions. See-See finds in Miss Denise Orme a singer of “Snowflakes and Roses,” and of another solo with chorus that took my fancy, “Won’t he be surprised?” I was not surprised but pleased, and I have no doubt that Miss Denise Orme and Mr. Maurice Farkoa will form a happy conjunction of stars when they have had time to settle down to their parts. The latter played his Petruchio scene for all it was worth, and acquitted himself well of his love songs in his own individual style, which has this quality of art that they do not vary, their outline is always the same, mutatis mutandis.  Mr. Huntley Wright’s song, “British Slavery,” has nothing to do with the play beyond being the greatest hit of the evening, and also a hit at a number of Western institutions.

 

Free, free is the happy Chinee,

But there, on that isle in the waves,

It’s the man with the hod who’s a little tin god,

And the people who pay are the slaves,

 

is a specimen from the varying chorus and a good sample of the whole. He and Mr. Berry chiefly provide the comic element, which they will doubtless develop yet further, as is the custom in these pieces. Their duet which deals with the farcical situation to which I have referred went very well on the first night, and is really amusing. I quote two couplets.

Huntley Wright Hang-Kee sings:

I have cheated, I have stolen, I have swindled,

And my wife has once performed on a trapeze.

H. Berry Cheoo replies:

But your wealth has grown although your virtues dwindled,

So we’ll say no more about it, if you please.

Well, I seem to have said a good deal about “See-See,” perhaps more than enough to send many of my readers to see See for themselves, but I observe the large eyes of Lee which seem to say, “You have said nothing about us.” Your “Butterfly” solo is a credit to you and to your musician, Mr. Frank Tours, Miss Adrienne Augarde Lee. We can never see too much of Lee when so much of Lee sees us.

 

Truth – Wednesday 27th June 1906

 

 

March 18, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, See See, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – See See – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 7th July 1906

 

 

March 6, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, See See, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – See See (Rotary 2088 M)

Gabrielle Ray – See See (Rotary 2088 M)

February 23, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, See See, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 3998 Q)

 

See See (Rotary 4089 B)

September 22, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, See See, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – See-See – Sunday Times – Sunday 24th June 1906

PRINCE OF WALES’S: “See-See”

 

Expectations ran fairly high for Mr. Sidney Jones and Mr. Huntley Wright had rejoined their old commander, and the record of their passed association with Mr. George Edwardes was a good augury for the new piece. On the whole, anticipation was realised, for “See-See” was found possessed of very considerable attractions. In their dainty harmony of colour and in the grace of their groupings the stage pictures could not be bettered; quite a crowd of clever people were associated with Mr Huntley Wright in the cast; and there is a wealth of that mellifluous melody in which the soul of the musical comedy public delights. Whether, however, the fame of “the rarest and fairest “See-See” will travel as far as that of Mimosa San depends upon the results of that period of revision which is as inevitable and critical in the infancy of musical comedy as distemper is in puppyhood. At present the piece lacks vital interest and the champagne sparkle which is the charmed extra note of such work. As indicated above, the story is taken from a French farcical comedy, but it must have had more body in the original, for otherwise “La Troisième Lune” would not have made so considerable a success. In Mr. Brookfield’s version the real action does not begin till the first act is hall over, and is even then not clear and continuous. Probably we must not blame our author altogether, he had to conform himself to the necessities of the position’ to efface himself for the sake of the soloists and to make every possible opportunity for Mr. Huntley Wright’s quick-change comedy. Frankly, there is rather too much of the latter, and it is at times a little thin-spread, so that it can be advantageously compressed and more chance given to each a racy comedian as Mr. Fred Emney.

Mr. Jones’s score is quite the best thing he has given us. His numbers may be less “catchy” but are not less melodious than those of “The Geisha,” and have more refinement of phrase, while his orchestration marks a considerable advance in musicianship. There is, perhaps, no treat individuality about it, but it is pleasant even to the fastidious ear, and, it has many happy touches of humour. In the lyrics he had good material to work upon, for Mr Adrian Ross’s verses are not only bright and witty but are generally germane to the action. Perhaps an exception must be made in the case of the topical song “British Slavery,” but its impertinence may be freely forgiven, for the verses have a quite Gilbertain wit and ease of rhyme and the setting has a captivating lilt. It was quite the hit of the evening on Wednesday, and one dare prophesy that the encore verses will be exhausted nightly. Among the other numbers, “Chang Ho, long ago,” a very taking ballad effectively sung by Miss Amy Augarde See-See’s song. “Snowflake and Rose;” the waltz duet, “Doves,” sung by Miss Denise Orme and Mr. Maurice Farkoa, and “Chinese Dolls,” charmingly sung by Miss Gabrielle Ray with a child chorus, may be specially mentioned.

Mr. Huntley Wright, as I have already indicated is disposed to take a Catalani view of his importance to the show, and demands too much on the protean trick, but be works very hard and certainly makes things hum. A very diverting whimsy he introduces is a “tree of truth,” an apparently lifeless plant that has as uncomfortable habit of blazing up when its possessor isn’t a George Washington. The two inevitable lovers of the piece are Miss Denise Orme and Mr. Maurice Farkoa. Neither is one bit in the Oriental Picture, but Miss Orme moves gracefully through her part, and sings with some charm. His Chinese get up only serves to accentuate Mr Farkoa’s artificiality of style. Miss Gabrielle Ray cuts a very attractive figure as a Chinese boy. Miss Amy Augarde was admirable as the duenna and fortune-teller. Miss Adrienne Augarde was bright and piquant in the pert of See-See, and Mr. Fred Emney and Mr W. H. Berry made the most of their limited opportunities as two heavy fathers.

The verdict of the evening was enthusiastic approval, and calls galore followed the fall of the curtain, the curtain.

Sunday Times – Sunday 24th June 1906

May 19, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, See See, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

See See – Theatre Advert (Stafford & Co; Ltd)

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, See See, Social History, Theatre Adverts, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – See See (Rotary 2088 M)

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, See See, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gabrielle Ray – See See – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 14th July 1906

Miss Gabrielle Ray

Who appears as S0-Hie (See See’s boy attendant) at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, See See, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – See See – The Tatler – Wednesday 25th July 1906

Miss Gabrielle Ray

 

In the Chinese comic opera, “See-See,” at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre Miss Gabrielle Ray takes the part of the little boy attendant of the heroine. She has some pretty little songs, notably “See-See’s So-Hei” and “Chinese Dolls.” Her dances are charming.

The Tatler, Wednesday 25th July 1906

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, See See, Social History, The Tatler, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – See See – The Sphere – Saturday 11th August 1906

A pretty little scene from “See-See” at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre

 See-See, the beauty of Peking (Miss Denise Orme), is being made beautiful by her attendant, So Hei (Miss Gabrielle Ray), but she is sad. Her sister, Mai Yai (Miss Amy Augarde), is puzzled – “Why so discontented? Tell me little sister, what do you need?” It is the love of Yen (Mr. Maurice Farkoa), son of the merchant, Cheoo, but is only after many adventures that she realises her hopes.

The Sphere,  Saturday 11th August 1906

May 13, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, See See, Social History, The Sphere, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment