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?'

The Casino Girl – Huddersfield Daily Examiner – Tuesday 21st October 1902





Under the direction of Mr. J. Bannister Howard, Mr. Ben Greet’s company on tour performing “The Casino Girl” commenced a week’s engagement at the Theatre Royal last night. The piece is described as a musical farce in two acts, written by Harry B. Smith, music by Ludwig Englander. As a fact the piece is nearly as much a pantomime as a farce, it is built up on the flimsiest pretence of a story, and the music, though bright, tuneful, and spirited, and containing two or three expressive songs, and one or two choruses of some distinctive character, is mainly of the music hall song and dance tape, leaving no impression on the memory.

The piece contains plenty of opportunity for making fan, mostly of the frivolous order, and the company take the utmost advantage of this, as that, with songs, choruses, and dances, and plenty of “go,” attention is secured, the ear tickled, and the risible faculty kept on the alert from beginning to end of the performance. But beyond this there is mach to gratify the sight. With the scenes of the two acts representing respectively “A Street in Cairo” and “The Pasha’s Palace,” splendidly painted and set, with a very large company of ladies personating American tourists, members of a stranded English opera company, wives of the pash, dancing girls, odalisques, slaves etc in charming costumes of many types and a variety of colours more brilliant and beautiful than we have men in Huddersfield for a very long time, and with men in the uniform of Turkish soldiers, spectacle follows spectacle with almost dazzling effect in their kaleidoscopic picturesqueness. Thus an entertainment is provided which, although light and frivolous, is very mirthful, bright, and satisfying while it lasts. Laura Lee, formerly of the New York Casino Company, known as Mille. Estelle, a French milliner, whom we suppose is the Casino Girl, has a delightful exponent in Miss Maud Darling, who has a soprano voice of beautiful quality, sings artistically, dances with sprightliness, and plays her part with remarkable piquancy and finish. Pilsener  Pasha, who obtained his title by introducing beer into Egypt, has in Mr, J. E. Sullivan an extremely comical representative, who excites frequent peals of laughter by the volubility of his broken German-English and carious modes of expression, and by his very funny acting, singing, and dancing. Mr. Eardley Turner shows himself to he a clever actor as J. Offenbach Gaggs known as Signor Hasbeeni, an operatic tenor, whose company has got into financial difficulties in Cairo. His burlesque is exceedingly good, not being too extravagant, and having the merits of truth and finish about it, especially in his clever caricature of Sousa conducting his hand, in which he poses with one leg bent and plays tricky variations with the baton very true to the style of the celebrated conductor. Mr. Turner was good in the delivery of his lines, and his recital rather than singing of the doleful song, “Nothing New,” to band accompaniment, was most amusing. Percy Harold Ethelbert Van Stuyvesant, a New York doctor in love with the Casino Girl, who gets arrested in mistake for Ben Muley, chief of a gang of thieves, but is ultimately released by the help of the Casino Girl, to whom he becomes united, is remounted admirably by Mr. Laurence Wensley, who plays his part with naturalness and finish, dances gracefully, and sings with excellent voice and taste, especially the song, “”I love my love in the springtime.” Miss Connie Leon is very smart as Miss Roxana Rocks, an heiress from Chicago, and she sings with good voice and artistic method. Miss Gabrielle Ray is a charming figure as Dolly Twinkle, leading dancer of the opera company, and she is sufficiently pert, dances admirably, and sings nicely considering the smallness of her voice. Miss Madge Cleaver makes the best of her part of Mrs. H. Malaprop Rocks, the better half of a Chicago pork packer, though many of the wrong words put into the mouth of this Yankee version of our own Mrs. Malaprop are by no means mistakes which an uneducated woman would naturally fall into. Ben Maley, the real chief of the gang of thieves, and Postage, his lieutenant, are most cleverly represented by Mr. Stanley White and Mr. Walter Freear, two panto mimic knockabouts of the very best “long and short of it” type, whose antics, especially those of Mr. Freear, the cheeky little bandit, are extremely comical and provocative of laughter. Misses Annie Johnson, Bessie Middleton, and Rosie Clare are exceedingly sprightly, elastic, and graceful principal dancers. The chorus singing is remarkable for the fullness and freshness of the voices and for unity, tunefulness, and taste; and the band parts, which have no particularly distinguishing features, are well played. The nearest approach to mode of operatic character is reached in the Egyptian choruses, in which there is some local colour, and in the finale to the first act, a very well-written number, which was worked up effectively, alike from musical, dramatic, and spectacular points of view.


Huddersfield Daily Examiner – Tuesday 21st October 1902


February 1, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray as “Dolly Twinkle” in “The Casino Girl”

The Casino Girl (Rotary 1677 R)


September 14, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Casino Girl – The Bournemouth Guardian – Saturday 26th October 1901





The “Casino Girl” at the Theatre Royal this week is a brilliant and dashing musical farce, and goes with a great swing. There was a crowded house on Monday, and, no doubt, the attendances will be equally satisfactory every evening. The play is supposed to be a scene in Cairo. The first set is in a street in that city, and the second a scene in the Pasha’s Palace. Mr Max Copland, as Pilsener Pasha, whose introduction of beer into Egypt won for him this title, sustains his role in a manner which causes great merriment, and when he acts in the capacity of judge at the trial of Percy Harold Ethelbert Van Stuvyesant (Mr Cecil Curtis), an American doctor, who is arrested as the robber of the Palace Ben Maley, the laughter is unrestrainable. J. Offenbach Gaggs (Mr Joseph Wilson), a grand opera tenor, who takes a company to Cairo and meets with nothing but reverses, is heard to good effect in his song, “Nothing new.” Mr Stanley White, as the real Ben Muley, and his lieutenant, Postage (Mr Little Ganty) gave a splendid knock-about performance. Miss Isa Bowman (Laura Lee), formerly of the New York Casino Co, known in Cairo as Mille Estella, a French milliner, is an able dancer, and thoroughly deserved the encore which was accorded her for the singing of “Ma Blushin’ Rosie.”  Dollie Twinkle, Miss Gabrielle Ray, is another charming dancer, and twists the Pasha round her thumb in a most amusing manner. Odaliska (Miss Millie Sylvestre) is seen to good advantage as the Pasha’s favourite. All the other parts are in capable hands, and receive the best possible portrayal. The dresses are charming, and all the songs have a good chorus, which were done full justice to. The dancing is captivating, and the play throughout goes splendidly together, and make up an entertaining whole. The performance is to be repeated to-night (Saturday), and at a matinee this afternoon.

The Bournemouth Guardian – Saturday 26th October 1901


June 10, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bessie Ray – Casino Girl – Music Hall and Theatre Review – Friday 26th July 1901

MR. BEN GREET’S “Casino Girl” Company is meeting with a hearty welcome on tour. Four of the principal performers, Miss Isa Bowman, who plays the title role, Mr. Joseph Wilson, Mr. Max Copland, and Little Ganty, have recently been appearing with success on the London music halls, and they, in conjunction with a sweetly pretty little lady who used to be known as Miss Bessie Ray, but who has now adopted the Christian name of Gabrielle, form the nucleus of a very strong company. The production is beautifully dressed by Messrs. Rayne.

Music Hall and Theatre Review – Friday 26th July 1901

May 29, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Bessie Ray, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Casino Girl (Rotary 1677 S)

The Casino Girl (Rotary 1677 S) uses the same Rotary number but the cropping is slightly different

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Casino Girl – Dublin Evening Telegraph – Saturday 14th September 1901

The musical farce, in two acts, from the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, entitled “The Casino Girl, will be presented at the Theatre Royal on Monday evening for the first time in Dublin by Mr Ben Greet’s company. A strong cast has been engaged. Mr. Joseph Wilson, who will be remembered here as having played in the Theatre Royal pantomime “Cinderella,” scores as “J. Offenbach Gaggs.” The title role will be played by Miss Isa Bowman, who is well and favourably known in Dublin. Miss Gabrielle Ray, late the “Mamie Clancy,” of “The Belle of New York” Company, a sprightly dancer and a most charming actress, has everywhere scored with success as “Dolly Twinkle.” We are informed that it is a very bright and mirthful piece, full of good songs and pretty dances. The magnificent scenery and dresses are an exact replica of the original London production at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Dublin Evening Telegraph – Saturday 14th September 1901

December 23, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Orchid – The Tatler – Wednesday 11th November 1903

A Charming Dancer. –  Miss Gabrielle Ray as Thisbe at the new Gaiety gives promise of qualifying to win a place in the long roll of famous dancers. She has been five years in musical comedy, having made a beginning as Mamie Clancy in The Belle of New York with a company toured by Mr. Ben Greet. Then followed two years in his Casino Girl company as Dolly Twinkle, the part originated it the Shaftesbury by Miss Marie George. Four years previous to her engagement by Mr. Ben Greet Miss Ray had appeared as a child actress in a drama called Proof at the Elephant and Castle, and several pantomime parts in the provinces followed. A year ago she went to the Gaiety to under study Miss Gertie Millar in The Toreador, and from there went to the Apollo, where she has played Miss Letty Lind’s and Miss Ella Snyder’s parts without suffering by comparison. Miss Ray is neither French nor American as is surmised but comes from Lancashire.

The Tatler – Wednesday 11th November 1903


December 3, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, The Gaiety Theatre, The Orchid, The Tatler, The Toreador, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Casino Girl (The Royal Magazine Vol 11) 1904

The Casino Girl (J. Beagles 77 O)

October 14, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Casino Girl – Brighton Gazette, Hove Post, Sussex & Surrey Telegraph – Thursday 31st July 1902


“The Casino Girl” is quite as fascinating as her many prototypes, and her second visit to the Theatre Royal this week finds her more popular than before. The Ben Greet Company contains many other girls besides the vivacious French milliner of the title role, and the chief characteristics of the musical comedy are pretty dances and faces, and handsome costumes. These, together with the irresistible humour of Mr J. E. Sullivan as Pilsener Pasha – his original part at the Shaftesbury Theatre – are the chief factors in the success of the play. Mr Ludwig Englander’s music contains a good many catchy selections, including a spirited Sousa parody, the topical song “it’s a habit they’ve got,” and a couple of sentimental items, all of which fetched double encores on Monday night. Miss Maud Darling is excellent in the title role as Laura lee, an ex-Casino actress, with a tricky French style and a pleasant voice. She was repeatedly encored for her singing and dancing, and the song, “I love my boy,” followed by a graceful dance, was a very popular item. Mr Sullivan’s fund of humour is quite irresistible. Those who saw him as the “polite lunatic” in “The Belle of New York” will know that he has an original vein of humour, upon which his part as the eccentric Pasha makes great demands. He was, however, quite equal to the occasion, and it was impossible to keep a straight face with him on the stage. He had a strong supporter in Mr Eardley Turner as the picturesque vagabond Gaggs. Mr Turner is a character actor of conspicuous ability, and made the most of a genuinely funny part. His rendering of the humorous song, “Same old story; nothing new,” was quite one of the features of the performance, and met with an enthusiastic reception. The comic element is also well sustained by Mr Stanley White and Mr O. E. Lemmon, as Ben Muley, the chief of a gang of thieves and his lieutenant respectively. The couple are excellent dancers, and Mr Lemmon’s acrobatic eccentricities afforded a great deal of amusement. Then Miss Madge Cleaver as Mrs H. Malaprop Rocks, the elderly American whose knowledge of the language is elementary and remarkable, is responsible for a good many hearty laughs. An attractive dancer and vocalist is Miss Gabrielle Ray, who as Dolly Twinkle, the leading artiste of Gaggs opera company, introduced some very popular items, and was frequently encored. Miss A. Poole was also very fascinating as Lotta Rocks, and is a dainty little dancer. The only sentimental part is in the hands of Mr Walter Balfour, a Young English doctor in love with the Casino Girl. He has a very fine voice, and his solo, “I love my love in the springtime,” was admirably rendered, but he never seemed quite at home in his acting. The chorus is particularly strong and well dressed, and many charming stage pictures are seen. On Monday night the audience were most enthusiastic, and with the exception of one or two periods in which the play drags a little “The Casino Girl” is exceedingly bright and attractive.

There is to be a Matinee performance to-day (Thursday) at 2 p.m.

Brighton Gazette, Hove Post, Sussex & Surrey Telegraph – Thursday 31st July 1902

August 19, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 2878 C)

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 2878 C)

The Casino Girl (Rotary 1677 O)

April 8, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, Social History, The Casino Girl, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment