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 – The Little Cherub – The Manchester Evening News – Monday 15th January 1906

A New Musical Play.

Elaborately produced, with the excellent taste and beauty of costume which characterise all Mr. George Edwardes’s productions, the new musical play, “The Little Cherub,” from the pen of that prolific writer, “Mr. Owen Hall,” enjoyed a most successful premiere at the Princes of Wales’s Theatre on Saturday night. The story deals with a sanctimonious peer, who is a most bitter opponent of the theatre and everything connected with it until he makes the acquaintance of a charming little actress. He then throws off his “once guid” character, and gives a grand supper to the whole theatrical company at an hotel where his own four daughters-happen at the same time to be rehearsing an amateur play entitled “The Little Cherub.” There are other complications, but the happy ending arrives with the actress accepting the peer’s proposal of marriage. The principals, Miss Evie Greene, Miss Zena Dare, Miss Gabrielle Ray, Mr. Maurice, Farkoa, Mr. Fred Kaye, and Mr. Lennox Pawle were all very good, and the music of Mr. Iran Caryll and the lyrics of Mr. Adrian Ross worthily sustain the reputations of than well-knows’ composers.


The Manchester Evening News – Monday 15th January 1906

June 10, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Thornton & Mawby (Rotary)


The Little Cherub (Rotary 4038 B) Advertisement

The Little Cherub (Rotary 4038 B)

June 8, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Advertisement, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 2956 A)


Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 2956 A)

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – A Girl on the Stage – Truth – Wednesday 9th May 1906





“The Little Cherub” has grown to be “A Girl on the Stage.” The girl has retained a good many of the attributes of the cherub, but whereas formerly there was no son to the Earl of Sanctobury, that peer of Exeter-Hall-cum-Tivoli propensities is now credited with a son and heir, who loves, becomes engaged to, and eventually marries Miss Molly Montrose. Mr. Owen Hall now makes the elderly peer wish to marry the maiden, and develops the cross-purposes of father and son, ending in a conflict between parental and amorous proclivities on the part of the former. Of course, Lord Sanctobury yields, and Miss Molly Montrose marries Mr. Lionel Mackinder.

The chief charm of Saturday evening last lay in the appearance of Miss Ruth Vincent as Molly Montrose. This lady showed us in “Veronique” that she could sing, could act, and withal foot it neatly, a happy result of the Savoy training, which showed itself clearly in the performance of the latest of the school. This became evident again with the singing of Mr. Ivan Caryll’s ”Rather Nice,” and in the duet of the second act with Mr. Mackinder. Miss Vincent quite won our hearts. Little did we think that those hearts were going so soon to be tried; little did we imagine as Miss Vincent prepared in the last act to sing of “Love and Laughter,” “the best things in the world,” that tears would flow instead. Yet at the very moment that the conductor’s wand awaited the first vocal note, with a tiny cry Miss Vincent fell back insensible on the stage. This was by far the most dramatic moment of the evening, and little attention was paid to the doings of Mr. Edouin, who came forward to continue the piece, until we had a message to say that it was only a fainting fit, and that Miss Vincent would be well enough to continue in a few moments. I shall not forget for a long while the emotion of that pretty blonde pierrette figure with “love and laughter” on her lips, and her audience hanging on these, suddenly, as it were, called back to the vale of tears and carried off the stage insensible. It was as if Nature had said: “I, too, can be dramatic, and I will show you my power in your own human play exactly at the dramatic moment.”

I must not dwell longer upon this incident, which closed so happily with the reappearance of Miss Vincent, hand-in-hand with Miss Zena Dare, herself the very spirit of girlish gaiety, and in the new play provided with an attractive song, “Cupid and the Pierrot,” which she delivers from the rostrum of a high-backed chair with great effect. Miss Gabrielle Ray’s piping treble echoes all through the play, and she, too, has a new song, “Merry-go-round,” which she sings in grey tights, with a background of purple-clad men. Mr. Willie Edouin played the part of the elderly peer with much punctilio, but I seemed to miss the merry twinkle and the apparent irresponsibility which has so often captivated me in this comedian. Mr. Berry, as Shingle, the valet, came out very strong in his topical song of the last act, and fairly won the house. He dealt with all manner of subjects, from the policy of the Government to the disaster at San Francisco, and his description of Signor Caruso seated clad only in his shirt in the garden of the tumbling hotel and singing “Blow, gentle breeze,” was in the best spirit of opera bouffe.

There are two girls less among the principals, but the great principles are maintained, and plenty of others newly and gorgeously attired are to hand, headed by Miss Dunbar, who sings of them as “Currants in a Bun,” “Dairy Maids,” “Bath Buns,” “Currant Buns,” “Girls Behind the Counter,” “On the Stage,” those who leave it to marry peers, etc. – one cannot walk a step without meeting them. But many petticoats do not make talent; that is always rare, though you will see both at the Prince of Wales’ Theatre when you see Miss Ruth Vincent.


Truth – Wednesday 9th May 1906


March 15, 2020 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Little Cherub – Truth – Thursday 18th January 1906






Mr. Owen Hall is said to have taken from the French play “Decore” the germ of “The Little Cherub,” but be that as it may, one can say with truth that little or nothing of French inspiration now pervades the piece to be discussed. The Earl of Sanctobury objects on principle to the stage, meets for the first time in his life an actress, is fascinated into following her to Dunbridge Baths, and concludes by marrying the lady. He has daughters whose private theatricals are abomination to him at first, but their chance discovery of their father at supper with the actress forces him to look leniently for the future on things theatrical: With this for central idea are connected an Indian Prince, various gentlemen of rank, friends of Lord Sanctobury, and the valet of that peer.

The play is of the musical comedy sort, consisting of trivial developments upon the above theme which serve as pegs on which to hang songs. Mr. Owen Hall’s book contains, as one expects from him, many witty and some mordant lines, such as this; “A good woman has nothing to confide in her husband, and a bad woman daren’t confide in him.” The best characterised personage is Shingle, Lord Sanctobury’s valet, which Mr. Berry made to stand out in relief against a dull background. His song, “A Gentleman’s Gentleman,” was one of the successes of the first act, and in the third act his political warble, “I Wasn’t Engaged for That,” a song with chorus, rightly captivated the audience. The fault of “The Little Cherub” seems to be that we are not sufficiently interested in the story, and the players for the most part fail to interest us themselves. The play suffered also from the slowness of the time at which the dialogue was taken. The utterance of puns and gibes and frivolities should be rapid, should have the crispness of farce. Miss Evie Greene, who played the actress Molly Montrose, was the chief sinner in this respect. She spoke her lines with a deliberation worthy of Epictetus, due, perhaps, to a difficulty in remembering them, or to nervousness, for this lady does not do herself justice at first performances. Her singing in some respects atoned for the monotony of the rest, and the air of her song “Experience” as of her song with the Rajah entitled “Pearls,” are likely to haunt the barrel-organs of the future. Where the chief woman’s part is taken with such gravity, the others perforce are also impeded in their progress, but Miss Zena Dare was an exception. As Lady Isabel, daughter of the Earl of Exeter Hall, she brought into her part some of that lightness and gracious vivacity which made her “Catch of the Season” a creation of its kind. Her singing and saying of the lyric “I should so love to be a boy” ending with the melon off the supper table turned into an impromptu football for Miss Ray to kick into the stage box, was a bright moment. Lady Isobel is accompanied in all her doings by three other young ladies, daughters of the Earl. Of these, Miss Gabrielle Ray, with her shrill treble voice, is the most prominent, and to her must be accorded the triumph of the evening. This was a song called “Cupid’s Rifle Range,” coming late in the last act. Habited as Cupid with a gun slung bandolier wise across her shoulder (of course, it should be a bow and arrows), attended by four tiny maidens, she sings to a melting melody and shoots as she sings at a row of marionettes pendent from a framework of flowers. A victim falls with each discharge. Mr. Adrian Ross and Mr. Frank Tours, the writers, and Mr. Ivan Caryll, the musician of this lyric, deserve credit for their performance. Of the other ladies, Miss Elise Claire as waitress at the hotel has a dance with Mr. Arthur Hope as the waiter, of which they make a success, and Miss Lily Elsie a song, “Baby Bayswater,” not without pungency, to which she adds grace.

Mr. Fred Kaye played with deliberateness the part of the Earl, and evoked a smile from time to time. But that deliberateness! Mr. Lennox Pawle, as the aristocrat chaperoning the daughters of the Earl to Dunbridge Baths, might, with advantage, appear less soused with less dirty water than in the beginning of Act 11. when he has saved a professional swimmer from drowning. The sight of him is not agreeable until he changes his clothes, but apart from this he has moments of humour and drollery in his diction. Mr. Maurice Farkoa, as the Rajah, is simply Mr. Maurice Farkoa. He warbles ditties of the girls to be taken out to tea, lunch, and supper, of the only girl he ever loved; he combines with Miss Ida Lytton in a duet that does credit to both: “The Invitation to the Waltz.” Mr. Farkoa imparts into his work that elegance, refinement, and lightness of touch which is the heritage of his race.

The curtain fell upon the “Little Cherubs” amid much applause, while with the applause was mingled the fog – horn of the first – nighter in the gallery. Mr. Adrian Ross, whose music deserved it, bowed thanks before the curtain. Mr. George Edwardes, in response to calls for a speech, also came before the curtain and saluted with the eloquence of silence.


Truth Thursday 18th January 1906


March 14, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Little Cherub – The Westminster Gazette – Monday 15th January 1906




The authors of the latest Prince of Wales’s piece, produced on Saturday under the title of “The Little Cherub” (book by Owen Hall, lyrics by Adrian Ross, and music by Ivan Caryll), acknowledge partial indebtedness to Meilhac’s “Decore,” but one must hold Mr. Owen Hall mainly responsible for this “musical play” as it stands, which, though not bad of its kind, would decidedly bear emendation in certain respects. For a beginning, of course, the piece is at present absurdly long. When the management changed the hour of commencement from 8.15 to 8 o’clock they acted wisely, but if they had made it 7 or 7.30 they would have been wiser still. As it was, Sunday morning was close at hand before we were released on Saturday, and the tokens of dissatisfaction which mingled with the cheering at the fall of the curtain were doubtless to a considerable extent connected with that circumstance. But this was certainly not the only cause. Much earlier in the evening symptoms of a critical spirit had declared themselves up aloft, and the wag in the gallery who took up Miss Evie Greene’s line “Let’s revive the piece” with a fervent “Hear, hear!” achieved thereby one of the happiest hits of the evening.

Yet there is no gainsaying the excellence of the material at the author’s command. Mr. Fred Kaye, for one, is an old favourite with musical comedy audiences, and he certainly makes the most of the comparatively limited opportunities which he is at present afforded. With his queer walk, his raucous voice, and dry staccato utterance, he cuts a diverting figure as the puritanical peer who, after chiding his daughters in the first act for getting up private theatricals, is discovered in the second entertaining a party of actresses at supper. Then Mr. Maurice Farkoa is another old favourite whose accomplishments are known to all. As the Rajah of Talcutta one had hopes at first of his breaking fresh ground and appearing for once in a way in a new guise. But, of course, it was quite a mistake to suppose that the canons of musical comedy could be so far outraged as to permit of a popular performer appearing in any part but that in which he has always been seen before. Man changes his sky, but not his soul; and so this Indian Rajah, in the choicest garb of Savile-row, with his delightful French accent and his Whistlerian white forelock, is an old friend under a new name who might have come straight from, let us say, a ballad concert platform. But under whatever name he appears, Mr. Farkoa is always a finished artist, and though he is probably as tired of playing the perpetual lady-killer as we are of seeing him in the part, he certainly does as much as anyone could to make it tolerable. He has many songs, all of precisely the same type, of which the most elaborate is one which sets forth, with pantomimic aid from various ladies of the chorus, the charms and characteristics of “The Supper Girl.” He also has a duet, which found a fair amount of favour, entitled “Pearls,” with Miss Evie Greene, who should have been mentioned earlier by rights, seeing that she was manifestly the main attraction of the piece for most. This was Miss Greene’s first appearance in London since her recent return from abroad, and her reception was a thing to remember. Her part also will doubtless undergo development and improvement in due course. As Miss Molly Montrose, the famous actress, she is called in to assist at the private theatricals of the Earl of Sanctobury’s skittish daughters, and ends, of course, by capturing the affections of their straight-laced sire. Miss Greene looks very handsome, and in her own characteristic style – which, it a little rough at times, is in grateful contrast to the more conventional methods of the average leading lady – does all that can reasonably be expected with the part. Her principal song – a curious ditty entitled “Experience,” in the style more of an old-fashioned ballad than of the ordinary musical-comedy kind of thing – was very well received, and will no doubt go even better a little later.

Of the other ladies the most important are the aforesaid daughters of the Earl of Sanctobury – a quartet of lively damsels, represented by Miss Zena Dare, Miss Gabrielle Ray, Miss Lily Elsie, and Miss Grace Pindar – who take in the kindliest possible manner to the high-kicking requirements of their theatricals, though their manners in general could hardly be said to proclaim the caste of Vere de Vere. Among other items, they have a rather original quartet, in which they lament the sports and pleasures denied them by their sex, which quite brought down the house, especially when Miss Gabrielle Ray, by a well-directed kick, sent a football, used to illustrate the final verse, into one of the stage-boxes. Miss Ray it was, too, who, in the attire of a Cupid, scored again later with a song and chorus “Cupid’s Rifle Range.” This, indeed – the music of which is by Mr. Frank Tours – is one of the prettiest numbers in the piece, a celesta being used in the orchestra with charming effect. The only other lady of the company who gets anything particular to do is Miss Elise Clare, as a skittish chambermaid, whose duet and dance with Mr. George Carroll, as a diminutive waiter who might pass as twin brother to Little Tich, was one of the very best things in the second act. One only regretted, indeed, that such amusing performers had not more to do. Mr. Carroll especially was infinitely entertaining whenever he got half a chance, and his part might well be elaborated. Another who does a good deal without much help from the author is Mr. Lennox Pawle as Algernon Southdown, an aristocratic stage manager of the “Johnny” type, while yet another is Mr. W. H. Berry as Lord Sanctobury’s valet, Shingle, whose songs went down as well as any. The political allusions of one of them were, however, ill-advised, as the manifestations from the gallery, and the cries of “No politics” quickly indicated. When will your musical comedy librettist grasp the elementary fact that political references are out of place on these occasions? Generally, however, it may be said that Mr. Ross’s lyrics serve their purpose well enough. As to Mr. Caryll’s music, it is of the kind which this facile composer has provided many, many times before. Indeed, the resemblance is so marked in one or two cases that if the composer were not pilfering from himself a charge of plagiarism would almost lie. But no one is likely to think any the worse of this song or that because it happens to be more or less like that one or this which they have enjoyed before. The piece has been most tastefully and lavishly mounted, and though, as it has been noted, a certain amount of good-natured booing mingled with the applause at the close, there need be little doubt as to its ultimate success.


The Westminster Gazette – Monday 15th January 1906


March 5, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Little Cherub – 1906

Music sheet cover for “The Little Cherub” Lancers, on melodies by Ival Caryll from the musical play of that name, arranged by Leonard Williams;

lithograph by H.G. Banks, London, from original artwork by Reginald Pannett (Reginald Joseph Pannett, 1875-1924) depicting members of the original cast of “The Little Cherub”

(produced at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, 13 January 1906), left to right: Lily Elsie, Gabrielle Ray, Fred Kaye, Zena Dare and Grace Pindar.

(Published by Chappell & Co. Ltd., 50 New Bond Street, London, W., and Melbourne, Australia, 1906)

Footlight Notes

February 23, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Little Cherub (Rotary 4024 W)

September 14, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Rotary, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Little Cherub – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 27th January 1906

June 16, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Girl on the Stage – Morning Post – Monday 7th May 1906






A Musical Play in Three Acts, founded on “The Little Cherub.”


Mr. George has accustomed the play going public to second editions of his musical comedies which have little left of the originals save the framework, but they have been invariably brought out at the end of long runs when the and dances and incidents which once pleased had become stale through repetition. It is a new departure for him to adopt such methods to a piece which is still at the beginning its career if  judged the usual runs of Mr. Edwardes’s musical pieces, but this is what he has done with “The Little Cherub,” for “A Girl on the Stage” cannot any stretch of imagination be called a new production. The plot, no doubt, has been altered somewhat, and the alteration is a decided improvement. Molly Montrose, the actress, is now really in love with Lord Congress, the Earl of Sanctobury’s son, a new character, who returns her love, and her rather pronounced flirtation with the old Earl has the laudable purpose in view of getting his consent to their marriage. The whole play is made pleasanter in consequence, and even the supper scene in the second act, if still a trifle wearisome and stagey, does not jar as it did in, places the first night. But the plot, everyone knows, is not of prime importance in musical comedies, and most of the scenes and the chief  incidents followed one another on Saturday night very much in the order of their original setting, although a careful discrimination has been used, and where alterations or additions have been made they have been almost invariably improvements.

A dozen new numbers have been added to the score, six of which are from the pen Mr. Ivan Caryll. Three of these occur in the first act, and all were received with favour. The most successful was perhaps one entitled “Rather Nice,” which was sung with great charm by Miss Ruth Vincent, who now plays the part of Molly Montrose. It was followed by a very pleasing dance executed by her with a delicacy and grace which made beautiful the simplest movements. A new duet “Love in a Cottage,” in which she shared honours with another newcomer, Mr. Lionel Mackinder, who plays the part of the newly-discovered son of Lord Sanctobury, was also enthusiastically received. Miss Vincent has not been seen London since she achieved such remarkable success “Veronique” and her reception was of the warmest and most friendly description. A delicacy and refinement of acting made her overtures to the old Earl appear quite charming, and much of the success of the performance Saturday evening must be placed to her credit. Mr. Willie Edonin has not quite warmed to his work as the new Earl of Sanctobury, but all parts grow in his hands, and it may safely be prophesied that he will be the life of the piece far as its comedy concerned before long. He is always particularly good in the little scenes byplay, backwaters the main stream, which he seems to create for himself, and some of these were received on Saturday with the heartiest favour. Many of the old favourites remain, among them Mr. G. Carroll, who was as droll as ever. His dance with Miss Doris Dene was one of the successes of the evening. Miss Zena Dare and that delightful dancer Miss Gabrielle Ray, who has deserted the Gaiety for the Prince of Wales’, made the most of their parts, and Mr. W. H. Berry was excellent as Lord Sanctobury’s valet.

Mr. Edwardes stands alone as regards stage decoration, but has surely beaten his own record the exquisite “Cupid and Pierrot” scone in the third act. He has made a daring experiment building his new piece on “The Little Cherub,” but if may judge its reception on Saturday night will be successful one.

Morning Post – Monday 7th May 1906


January 27, 2019 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment