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 Girl from Kay’s – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 22nd November 1902

APOLLO THEATRE.

“THE GIRL FROM KAY’S”

 

THE long talked-of three-act musical play, The Girl from Kay’s, was produced at the Apollo Theatre on Saturday last under the direction of Mr. George Edwardes and in the presence of a crowded audience. Before getting into the theatre it found its way into the Law Courts, its original title having been the cause of offence to an eminent firm not altogether unknown in the world of fashion. It has exercised more wits than any other piece of its class, for, although it is announced as by Owen Hall, it is stated also that Messrs. Adrian Ross, Claude Aveling, Charles Taylor, and Bernard Rolt, with Miss Kitty Ashmead, are responsible for the lyrics, and no fewer than nine composers have had something to do with the music, the list including Messrs. Ivan Caryll, Lionel Monckton, Howard Talbot, Edward Jones, Bernard Rolt, Cecil Cook, Meyer Lutz, and A. D. Cammeyer, with Miss Ashmead again to complete the roll. The reader may be disposed to quote the ancient adage which hath it that “too many cooks spoil the broth,” and possibly the irrepressible joker will reply that there is only one Cook in the company referred to. Still it has to be said that the spoiling, in the opinion of many, had been done, and that considerable revision and cutting and “pulling together” will have to be effected if the piece is to he made thoroughly acceptable. Mr. Owen Hall has, as usual, exhibited a good dual of wit and caustic humour; there is ail abundance of tuneful and catchy music; the scenic artist and the costumier have worked wonders, and the company is composed of clever people, whose popularity has been well won and well deserved; but on the first night of representation the audience seemed to realise the fact that in certain scenes there was a lack of freshness, and that, particularly in the introduction of the Salvation Army business, there had been an attempt to extract good material from a mine that had been worked to the point of exhaustion. And thus it happened at the end that with the cheers of those who were satisfied, or pretended to be, there were mingled sounds that made discord for those behind the curtain.

The girl of the title is Winnie Harborough. She is a saucy little milliner, who arrives on the scene with the new hat for which Norah Chalmers is waiting in order that she may start on her honeymoon trip with young Harry Gordon, who has just made her his wife. It is seen at once that Harry and “the girl from Kay’s” are on a familiar footing, and it is evident, too, that Winnie has attracted the admiring attention of Max Hoggenheimer, the vulgar millionaire, who presently carries her on his motor-car to Flacton on-Sea, where the honeymoon is to be spent, and where are assembled not only Norah’s bridesmaids but some half-dozen of the prettiest of the assistants from the famous millinery establishment that furnished the bride’s going away hat. Trouble arises when Harry Gordon is by his new wife found kissing his old sweetheart, with whom he bolts back to London for a little dinner at the Savoy, where the other characters, including the millionaire and the milliner, of course, put in an appearance to make things as lively as possible. The bridegroom’s action, however, is only the outcome of his anger under reproach, and he quickly comes to the conclusion that, while Winnie is all very well for a flirtation, there is nobody like Norah for a wife. Reconciliation follows easily, and nobody who makes her acquaintance will be surprised to find that the dashing Winnie makes a dash for the man with the millions and carries him away captive.

This millionaire was represented by Mr. Willie Edouin, who may be trusted to work up the part, and to make much of it. The bride and bridegroom were well portrayed by, respectively, Miss Kate Cutler and Mr. Louis Bradfield, and Mr. Aubrey Fitzgerald made much of the role of the noodle secretary, the Hon. Percy Fitzthistle. Mr. E W. Garden, Mr. Fred Emney, and Mr. W. Cheesman also gave useful and diverting support. The audience gave a very hearty welcome to Miss Letty Lind on her reappearance, and all were delighted with her singing and dainty dancing in the character of Ellen, the lady’s-maid. The title part was filled with much animation and ability by Miss Ethel Irving. Those who see The Girl from Kay’s will probably come away from the theatre talking with admiration of “Mrs. Hoggenheimer of Park Lane”  – the song so spiritedly sung by Miss Irving in the closing act.

 

The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 22nd November 1902

July 5, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Girl from Kay’s – The Sleaford Gazette – Saturday 26th February 1916

Chatting about her career, Gabrielle Ray, the well-known actress, said that her first chance came when she had been under studying Miss Letty Lind in “The Girl from Kay’s” and Miss Lind, having to take a holiday, Mr. Edwardes said Miss Ray could have her dance, and he would come to the Apollo Theatre to see what she made of it. He sat in the back row of the dress circle and watched her come on. She was a complete contrast to Miss Lind, but she walked on with a show of confidence, and in three minutes received a storm of applause, in which her manager joined.

 

The Sleaford Gazette and South Lincolnshire Advertiser – Saturday 26th February 1916

February 12, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Girl from Kay’s – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 19th September 1903

The Girl from Kay’s (Rotary 1677 E)

The Girl from Kay’s – Programme – 1903

February 5, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Tatler – Wednesday 11th November 1903

 

Dramatic and Musical Gossip of the Week.

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 9, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Belle of New York, The Casino Girl, The Gaiety Theatre, The Orchid, The Tatler, The Toreador, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Girl from Kay’s – Programme

The Girl from Kay’s

July 17, 2012 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, Theatre Programme | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Girl from Kay’s

[1]

“The Girl from Kay’s” is an English musical comedy with music by Ivan  Caryll, Paul Rubens, Wilhelm Meyer Lutz and Edward Jones; lyrics by Adrian Ross, Claude Aveling [2] and Owen Hall. Cecil Cook’s book was said to be based on Leon Gandillot’s “La Mariee Recalcitrante” Ganzl, wrote that the libretto of “The Girl from Kay’s” was professedly based on a French farcical original but that original was never credited.[3] Gandillot subsequently sued for unauthorised adaptation but lost.[4]

[5]

The play opened at the Apollo Theatre under the management of George Edwards on 15th November 1902 closing on 23rd January 1904 after a run of 432 performances.[6] Despite keeping London entertained for over a year the expenses for the production resulted in a loss of £20,000 at the end of its run. A comparable run with such a loss was unheard of. A series of successful tours helped to restore the balance and the show was sent soaring into profit by the amazing reception of its American production. [7] The American production ran for 223 performances beginning 2nd November 1903 at the Herald Square Theatre, New York and a short run of 18 performances at the same theatre finally closing 3rd September 1904. [8] [9]

[10]

Gabrielle Ray took over from Letty Lind in the role of “Ellen” near the end of the original run. [11]

[12]

The original title was to have been “The Girl from Jay’s” however once Hall had announced the title he was immediately summoned by Jay’s Ltd; the Bond Street millinery firm. Far from being pleased at the publicity, they feared their exclusive image might be smirched by a possible association with the events in Hall’s play. Hall altered his shops’ name to “Kay’s” but nobody was fooled, and the touchy proprietors must have felt regret when the show became an enormous hit both sides of the Atlantic. [13]

The attitude of Jay’s wasn’t unusual, some designers were concerned that their society clients might be unwilling to patronise a couture house connected with actresses. A number of well-known London dressmakers gave up their stage work after they received the “Drawing Room Commissions that enabled them to call themselves “Court Dressmakers”. [14]

Hall also received a complaint from the church after Nora and Harry’s bridesmaids were christened with the name of an Anglican bishopric – Miss Ebor, Miss Ely, Miss Cantuar and Miss Sarum. The archbishop, having apparently no more wish for publicity that Jays Ltd. Had made a polite complaint and the bridesmaids became prosaically, Misses Racine, Hildesley, Mayen and Leslie. [15]

[16]

References;     

[1]   Colin Johnson’s Victorian and Edwardian Musical Shows http://www.halhkmusic.com/castlists/girlfromkays.html (accessed 15th June 2012)

[2]  Wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Girl_From_Kays (accessed 15th June 2012)

[3]   Ganzl, K. (1987) “The British Musical Theatre” Volume 1, 1865 – 1914, The Macmillan Press Ltd; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire. (p 818)

[4]   Ganzl, K. (1987) “The British Musical Theatre” Volume 1, 1865 – 1914, The Macmillan Press Ltd; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire. (p 802)

[5]   The Times – 17th November 1902

[6]   Ganzl, K. (1987) “The British Musical Theatre” Volume 1, 1865 – 1914, The Macmillan Press Ltd; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire. (p 818)

[7]   Ganzl, K. (1987) “The British Musical Theatre” Volume 1, 1865 – 1914, The Macmillan Press Ltd; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire. (p 804)

[8]   Wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Girl_From_Kays (accessed 15th June 2012)

 [9]   Ganzl, K. (1987) “The British Musical Theatre” Volume 1, 1865 – 1914, The Macmillan Press Ltd; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire. (p 819)

[10] The Times – 10th September 1903

[11]  Wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Girl_From_Kays (accessed 15th June 2012)

[12]   The Times – 29th September 1903

[13]  Ganzl, K. (1987) “The British Musical Theatre” Volume 1, 1865 – 1914, The Macmillan Press Ltd; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire. (p 802)

[14]   Berlanstein, L; Schweitzer, M; Stowell, S; (2012) “Staging Fashion 1880 – 1920, Jane Harding, Lily Elsie, Billy Burke” Yale University Press, New Haven / London (p 30)

[15]   Ganzl, K. (1987) “The British Musical Theatre” Volume 1, 1865 – 1914, The Macmillan Press Ltd; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire. (p 803)

[16]   Ganzl, K. (1987) “The British Musical Theatre” Volume 1, 1865 – 1914, The Macmillan Press Ltd; Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire. (p 818 – 819)

June 28, 2012 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Plays, Social History, The Girl from Kay's, The Times, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments