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?'

Amy Webster – Cunard R.M.S. Royal George at Quebec

The ship that took Amy Webster to America in 1919

Amy Webster – Great Northern Hotel, New York

December 21, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amy Webster – Great Northern Hotel, New York


A notelet from the Great Northern Hotel

Amy Webster – Great Northern Hotel, New York

December 13, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amy Webster – Great Northern Hotel, New York

Hannau Color Productions, 475 5th Ave., New York, 17, N.Y.

The Great Northern, 118 West 57th Street – New York City 19

A few steps to the new Coliseum. Off Central Park and Carnegie Hall, close to Radio City, The United Nations, Theatres and Fifth Avenue Shops.

400 tastefully decorated rooms with private bath, radio, television and air-conditioning. Air-conditioned Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge.

Cable Address: “NORTHOTEL” Telephone Circle 7-1900

The Great Northern Hotel was the address recorded as Aimee Grisewood’s residence on her immigration form when entering America in 1919.

December 13, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Amy Webster – £150 – The Era – Wednesday 23rd May 1917


The Ambassadors.


“£l5O” was withdrawn from the Ambassadors on Saturday. Towards the end of next month the Ambassadors stage will be taken by new operetta, entitled “Carmenetta,” adapted from the French by Walter Hackett, in which Mme. Delysia and Morton will figure. Meanwhile Morton will appear in a new sketch entitled “Hello, Morton!” at the Coliseum.


The Era – Wednesday 23rd May 1917

November 29, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Era, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amy Webster – £150 – The Stage – Thursday 26th April 1917

“£150” and “Cheep!”


The new revue, entitled “£150,” is now announced for production at the Ambassadors’ on Monday, at 7.45. The author is Walter Hackett, the lyrics are by Douglas Furber, and the music is a trio of composers – Silesu, Emmett Adams, and Fred Sparrow. The principle, Mile. Madeleine Choiseulle, and M. Leon Morton, will be supported by Messrs. Alec S. Clunes, Rube Welch, J. M. Campbell, Murri Moncrieff, and Douglas Furber, and Misses Sheila Hayes, Vera Neville, Binnie Hale, and Daisy Burrell.


The Stage – Thursday 26th April 1917


November 19, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

£150 – The Bystander Wednesday 16th May 1917


“£150” at the Ambassadors Theatre



THE title of this “war economy” revue is supposed to represent the cost of its production. Mr. C. B. Cochran has since admitted that at the last moment he was obliged to lay out an additional sum of £4 15s., but did not consider this extra outlay justified any alteration in the title in question. I should not be surprised to hear that when the accounts are finally audited it will be found that there is a further threepence or so unaccounted for, and if that should prove to be the fact, I am sure Mr. Cochran will hasten to announce it. I mean, in these matters we ought to be as exact as possible. THE first half of this jovial entertainment is mostly occupied with caricatures of rival revues. Some times I think this idea is not always a safe one, because it assumes that everyone is familiar with the entertainments burlesqued, and that is not always the case. To take the not particularly humble instance of myself, two of the burlesques dealt with meant little to me, because I had not seen the originals; and I am not vain enough to believe that I am a special creation. But the rest of the revue is crowded with rich and rollicking fun that must be good for everybody. A pathetic little incident shows how the far-reaching Defence of the Realm Act affects even obscure individuals who had asked for nothing more than to be left in their agreeable obscurity. Two young people were at supper in a private room of a restaurant. They were just beginning to get along together quite nicely, when the fatal hour of nine-thirty struck The waiter, who always does come in at the wrong moment in these cases, dashed into the room in order to remove the drinks according to law, and, as they say in the papers, the meeting then broke up in disorder.

THEN the temptation of the modern sweet shop is ruthlessly exposed. It seems that what with the general rise in prices, and one thing and another, the dear girls simply cannot afford to buy for themselves the delicately frilled goods their hearts desire. The makers of expensive chocolates, whose occupation is now gone, have, consequently, hit upon the enterprising idea of filling their decorative boxes with more fanciful wares. So that when your best girl asks you to buy her a box of chocolates, and you find you have to pay three guineas for the privilege, you may reasonably conclude that there is more in it than is designed to meet the eye. The scheme is new to me; but one is never too old to learn the things one ought not to know.

THE life and soul of the production is, of course, the désopilant  Leon Morton, who seems to be the one real laughter-maker left in a jaded world. One of his best scenes is concerned with a lady who has been “godmother” to the usual lonely soldier. The lonely soldier has written after many days to say he is calling to see her but instead of a young and handsome fellow in a trench-stained uniform, the “lonely soldier” turns but to be an immaculately dressed old gentle man of the kind usually, I believe, described as a blasé roué.  He explains that he does really well out of this lonely soldier business, as his “god mothers” send him all the champagne and smokes he requires for his simple needs. Morton is quite great as the sinful old gentleman. When his indignant “godmother” orders him out of the house he commences to make gentle overtures to her maid, and sets the house roaring by observing with a fine philosophy, doubtless born of long experience, “Si on ne pent pas avoir la peche, il faut

secontenter dei’’oignon.” What?

An amusing scene is that which shows the interior of a big West End shop before and after the war. Here Morton, who is sometimes the shopwalker and sometimes the commissionaire, is very droll; and the whole scene is very well conceived. The principal lady, the delightful Mlle. Madeleine Choiseulle, is well supported by Miss Daisy Burrell, who sings well and is sprightliness itself. “£150” is full of good things from first to last, and should keep the Ambassadors Theatre busy for many months to come.



The Bystander – Wednesday 16th May 1917


September 16, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Bystander, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aimee Webster – Hello! Morton – The Stage – Thursday 7th June 1917






On Monday, June 4, 1917, was produced here a revuette, compiled by Douglas Furber, entitled, “Hello! Morton.”

The many admirers of Leon Morton, the droll revue comedian from the Ambassadors, were disappointed at the London Coliseum on Monday afternoon. The piece in which he appears has been compiled by Douglas Furber from certain Harry Grattan-Walker Hackett episodes from the long string of revue successes at Charles B. Cochran’s cosy little theatre, but most of the business, it must be confessed, runs to something like seed in the auditorium of the St. Martin’s Lane house. Nor have the excerpts themselves been wisely chosen; it would be easy to name several other items from the Charles Cochran revues better suited to the general variety purposes of the French comedian. No doubt better selections will be made in due course, and, in view of other surroundings, a proper disregard exercised in regard to the theatre intime atmosphere in which most of them have been conceived. The present business shows Morton being used as a war map, a device which has already lost its novelty; as the would-be reciter, with interruptions of a dramatic poem; and as the Highland soldier in the wordless episode called “A Highland Soldier’s Dream.” In each item he has the assistance of Douglas Furber, James M. Campbell, Sylvia Dancourt, and a company of ladies including Peggy Connor, Dolly Cullin, Joan Emney, Mona Fraser, Ann Furrell, Aimee Webster, Kathleen Maude, Irene Russell, Siddons Saharet, Ena Strange, Maisie Walsh, and Evelyn Wells.

George Graves’s sketch, “What a Lady!” has wisely benefited by criticism, the result being a succession of laughs. Myra Kenham now plays the part originated by Winifred Wing. Mabel Mann’s resonant contralto is well suited to the house; and warm hearted applause greets the musical interlude by Julien Henry and company, although its dialogue, which is weak, should be discarded. Bruett, the French poilu, sings in French and English, is a great favourite for a most acceptable act, his Entente cordiale business with a British Tommy being not the least attractive feature of a thoroughly attractive and topical turn. Other items on the programme are by the Five Jovers, in an acrobatic act; Jack Pleasants, the shy comedian; Grock, the inimitable French clown; Coram, an established favourite;  and Dainty Doris, a charming comedienne and graceful dancer, who should figure more frequently in the West End bills.


The Stage – Thursday 7th June 1917

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aimee Webster – Daughter’s birth certificate 29th September 1912

It’s interesting to note that a surname hasn’t been added to the birth certificate, Josephine’s mother is shown as Aimee Greaves, otherwise Webster, divorced 1909, with no occupation recorded, the father George Grisewood has his occupation recorded as a Stock Broker’s Clerk, the addresses of the mother is shown as 10 Russell Square and the father 8 Stafford Mansions, Westminster.

September 10, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aimee Webster – £150 – The Sketch Wednesday 16th May 1917









The new “war economy revue,” at the Ambassadors’, “£150,” was so named because that was the limit set by Mr. Cochran to the cost of production. In a slip inserted in the programme on the first night, he facetiously apologised for having exceeded the estimate by £4 15s.! The acting of M. Leon Morton is the chief feature of the new show; indeed, one critic, Mr. Herbert Farjeon, goes so far as to say that “any revue with Morton in it is better than any revue without Morton.” We illustrate here three of the scenes. On the left-hand page he is seen as a Scottish soldier– a “Jock,” in the popular phrase – “journeying from the trenches to his home among the heather” (in the words of the programme) in a scene curiously called “an Allegorical Pantomime.” The first photograph shows him among the Flappers (Misses Elsie Gregory, Kathleen Maude, Joan Emney, and Elaine Wells) the second, with the Fisher Girls (Misses Ena Strange, Siddons Saharet, Dolly Cullin, and Maisie Walsh); the fifth, among the Nurses (Misses Irene Russell, Mona Fraser, Ann Furrell, and Aimee Webster). In the fourth photograph (lower left) are, from left to right M. Morton, Mile. Madeleine Choiseulle as His Highland Lassie, and Mr. J. M. Campbell as An Elder. It represents the soldier’s dream of finding his girl as another man’s bride at the kirk door. On the right-hand page the upper photograph shows the scene entitled “The Temptations of the Modern Sweet-Shop.” Here are sold ostensible chocolate-boxes which gallant swains may buy for their lady friends. In reality they contain articles of lingerie. The scene called “A Dream of the Past and the Future, showing the interior of a great shop” is in two parts, before and after the war. The lower photograph shows the second part, when the military spirit is supreme. The staff are all retired Colonels and so on, and the Commissionaire, covered with medals, shoots off a button with the aid of his revolver.

The Sketch – Wednesday May 16th 1917

August 27, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Social History, The Sketch, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment