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 Gaiety Theatre – London Daily News – Friday 3rd July 1903


So great is the affection which the old Gaiety Theatre has won from the hearts of London playgoers that it may well be surmised that sentiment has had as much to say to the enormous demand for seats on July 4th as the desire for amusement. That Mr. George Edwardes evidently realise this can be seen from the programme which he has prepared. In addition the second act of “The Toreador” and “The Linkman,” which will cater for the one feeling, a farewell speech is to be delivered Sir Henry Irving, and “Auld Lang Syne” is to be sung by Miss Florence St. John, the chorus being taken all old Gaiety favourites past and present, who will assemble together on the stage for the last time. And no doubt Mr. George Edwardes will be neither surprised nor annoyed find the whole audience rise in their places and join in a last goodbye to the stage which has served them so well.

London Daily News – Friday 3rd July 1903


July 29, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Gaiety Theatre, The Linkman, The Toreador, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mr George Edwardes (Tuck 5066)

Mr George Edwardes (Tuck 5066) 1904

January 27, 2016 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Tuck, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

George Edwardes – 1914

George Edwardes - 1914

George Edwardes – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – 1915

October 7, 2015 Posted by | Daly's Theatre, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

George Edwardes – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – 1915

George Edwardes - The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News - 9th October - 1915

The Death of Mr. George Edwardes.

It is with deep regret we announce the death of this well-known and popular personality, so long among the heads of the theatrical profession and likewise a loyal supporter of the Turf. Born at Grimsby of Irish parents in 1853. Mr. Edwardes leaves a widow, one son, and three daughters.

In the world of sport, and especially in connection with horse racing and steeple chasing, he was immensely popular, and there was always a welcome ring about the many victories of his delicate turquoise and white cheveroned jacket. Although always fond of racing, it was not until 1897 that he came into the winning owners’ list. The first winner was Limestar, which he got from Mr. Arthur Yates. Then, leading up to the days of Santoi, came the more profitable Fairy Field, the chief contributor to his four-figure total in 1898, and it was that son of Scene Shifter and Wedding Eve who, with Poppits Robino, Country Bumpkin, Country Boy, and Eteocles the next three seasons gave a tone to the great things achieved by Santoi, without doubt the best horse ever to carry Mr. Edwardes’ livery. A lucky bargain was the 190gs. the deceased gave for this good-looking son of Queen’s Birthday and Merry Wife, and, with T. Loates in the saddle, he won the first of his four two-year-old races at Lingfield. For that he ran un-backed, but such was not the case a few weeks after at Gatwick. As a three-year-old, Santoi again won four races for Mr. Edwardes, and placed on his sideboard the deceased’s first racing trophy, the Brighton Cup but the sideboard the next season was more handsomely decorated. Allusion here is made to the Ascot Cup victory of 1901, and in addition to that there was the Kempton Park Jubilee and the Hurst Park Whitsuntide Handicap, while it was King’s Courier who stopped the Jockey Club Cup that year from going to Mr. Edwardes, while as a five-year-old William the Third was the bug bear to Santoi in his Ascot and Doncaster Cup races next season. Mr. Edwardes, always a good loser, was, however, very much disappointed at the defeat of Santoi by Epsom Lad in 1902 indeed, so much so that he offered to run Mr. Buchanan a match for £1,000 at the same weight the next week at Newmarket, with the condition that the winner should take the losing horse. Mr. Buchanan, who then raced as Mr. Kincaird, declined. At the stud Santoi has been a great success. In all he ran in one-and-thirty races, and won ten of the value of £11,255, and the best he ever sired perhaps stand at Santeve, Admiral Togo III., Santair, Shogun, China Cock, Kiltoi, Prince San, Dalys, Raytoi, Lady of Asia, Yentoi, and F i z Yama, the latter pair as Cesarewitch winners being, like their sire, rare stayers.

In the other sphere of his activities Mr. Edwardes leaves a gap which will not soon be filled. Like Charles Frohman, George Edwardes has now for ever ceased “to present.” He was like Frohman, too, in that he had a keen eye for what the public wanted; and in catering for his own particular group of the public he was a pioneer and remained supreme. It is stated that he started on musical comedy with the idea of doing away with the large and expensive choruses which presumably flourished in the days of Hollingshead and Gaiety burlesque but, as it turned out, he only began where Hollingshead left off. There was a certain air of complete luxury, regardless of expense, in everything he did. Nobody will claim that there was much originality in any of the long series of “Gaiety Girl” shows which he organised. It was a matter of getting together the cleverest dancers, the most popular comedians, and the prettiest chorus girls to be found and though imitators have run him close, there was always something distinctive about the splendour of his productions. The story of how he failed with Dorothy and H. J. Leslie made a fortune with it is one of the strangest of stage curiosities; and if he had musical ambitions, the loss of money over Veromque must have warned him of the financial danger of indulging them. There was, indeed, an occasion when, for a short time, he rose as high as L’Enfant Prodigue, but the venture was brief, though glorious. The rest of his history is a story of safe, sound, worldly, well-dressed, and lively nonsense, first at the Gaiety, then also at Daly’s, the Adelphi, gradually rising in the musical scale till it reached the Viennese valse tunefulness of The Merry Widow type of piece, which recent events have banished from our stage. He knew how to choose his players, and the successes of his plays were usually associated with the success of one of them, from the Lily Elsie, Gertie Millar, Teddy Payne of our own days, down a long list to the distant and affectionately remembered Fred Leslie and Nellie Farren. The inconsequence of musical comedy has suggested in its turn the still more reckless inconsequence of what is now for some obscure reason called “revue”; and no doubt there will always be managers in abundance to supply such form of entertainment for after-dinner use as will impose the slightest strain upon the intellect; but it will be long before there arises a figure so dominating as that of George Edwardes. Another landmark has gone from the theatre, perhaps swept away by the all-devouring war, for his detention in Germany doubtless told upon his health.

The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – 9th October – 1915

George Edwardes – The Times – 1915

September 3, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow – Theatre Advert – 1909

June 27, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Theatre Adverts, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

George Edwardes – “The Guv’nor”

George Edwardes - The Guv'nor

June 20, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dollar Princess – Programme – February 1909


This production of “The Dollar Princess” was performed at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow from Monday 8th February 1909 for six nights.

April 30, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Social History, The Dollar Princess, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

George Edwardes – Vanity Fair – 1911

 George Edwardes - Vanity Fair - 1911

March 14, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

George Edwardes (Rotary)

George Edwardes (Rotary)

March 3, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Betty – Daly’s Theatre – 1915

“Betty” Opened at Daly’s Theatre 24th April, 1915 for a run of 391 performances closing 8th April, 1916.

Miss Ray replaced Mable Selby as “Estelle” joining the production on Thursday 29th October 1915

  • Betty – The Times – Tuesday 2nd November 1915

“Miss Gabrielle Ray quickly proved that she has lost none of the attractiveness which made her so popular in the past…. Mr. Lauri de Frece, as “Jotte,” who was most amusing and entertaining, pleased the house immensely.”

“Miss Gabrielle Ray has gained in her art: both her singing and speaking voice has improved in quality. Her rentrée was a real success.”

“The whole production is delightfully gracious and debonair, and there are enough pretty scenes and prettier faces to rout the biggest battalion of war worries that ever besieged even the pessimist.”

“With all the new things put into it “Betty” seems likely to continue its success indefinitely.”


  • Liverpool Echo – Tuesday 23rd March 1915

Royal Court Theatre.

There would seem to be no end to the public appetite for musical comedy. The latest of Mr George Edwardes’s productions is “Betty,” and she is neither better nor worse than her numerous predecessors. The piece, however, provides a welcome relaxation at this time, and there are several old favourites in the cast. Miss Nellie Taylor, in the title role, is particularly charming, and possesses a singularly sweet voice, while she is ably supported by Miss Mary Ridlley and Miss Annie Kelham; The humour is divided between Mr Mark Lester and P.A. Gawthorne gives a perfect representation of a lordly snob.


  • Reading Mercury – Saturday 8th April 1916

 A successful musical comedy

“Betty” is being taken off the boards of Daly’s Theatre after tonight, so those who have not seen this charming and successful musical play should take the opportunity of visiting the Royal County Theatre Reading tonight where George Edwardes’ powerful company is appearing once nightly. “Betty” is not the least worthy of the long series of productions which has been associated with the name of George Edwardes and coming under such auspices success is assured. The play contains many of the features which belong to the modern musical comedy. They are all more or less variations on the same themes. Nevertheless, its central idea is not without a touch of novelty. Betty is charming, almost mid-Victorian, in her retiring and unobtrusiveness amid the gay and frivolous life by which she is surrounded. “The blushing beauties of a modest maid,” however, still have power to captivate and the last incident in a play brimful is the capitulation of the Earl of Beverley, her husband in name though not in fact. Paul Rubens has composed some delightful music, and the play is one of the best that has appeared in Reading.


October 17, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Betty, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments