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?'

£150 – The Bystander Wednesday 16th May 1917

 

“£150” at the Ambassadors Theatre

BY “JINGLE.” ILLUSTRATED BY NORMAN MORROW

 

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.

 Jingle

 

The Bystander – Wednesday 16th May 1917

 

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

Gay Gordon Weds Guardsman – The Bystander – Wednesday 29th January 1908

Miss Barbara Deane

Of The Gay Gordons at the Aldwych, and one of the three ladies of the company whose marriage was announced last week.

Mr. Basil Loder

Of the Coldstream Guards, whose marriage to Muss Barbara Deane was announced last week.

 

The Bystander – Wednesday 29th January 1908

July 7, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Basil Loder, Eric Loder, Social History, The Bystander, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dollar Princess – The Bystander – Wednesday 6th October 1909

 

LONDON NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS 

 

BY “JINGLE” WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY NORMAN MORROW

 

“THE DOLLAR PRINCESS” AT DALY’S THEATRE

 

THE subject of money is always a very fascinating one to people like myself, who know no more of it than we read about in books or see in plays. Now and again you meet a man who has some money, or, at least, knows someone who once saw some of it; but these are rare occasions nowadays. Perhaps that is why the atmosphere of The Dollar Princess is so refreshing. Not only do the various scenes suggest wealth in really reckless quantities, but I have read a paragraph in a paper to the effect that the production itself cost no less than ten thousand pounds. I had no idea there was all that money left in the country.

IT is generally admitted that one of the most difficult things in the world is to repeat a success, and Mr. George Edwardes must have had to look about him with a very wary eye when the time came to replace The Merry Widow with an attraction that would be equally successful but, after having seen The Dollar Princess, it seems to me that his eye might have been a trifle warier with advantage. For now that what Mr. Kipling calls the “tumult and the shouting” have faded away, and we have had the leisure to reflect upon what can be done with ten thousand pounds, it really seems to me that Mr. Edwardes ought to have got a little more for his money. I quite understand that the bare suggestion of such a thing is rank heresy to the third power, but with that yearning for truth which is the undoing of all great reformers, I am compelled to say that The Dollar Princess impressed me as being a very ordinary musical comedy, distinguished from the average only by the very high quality of the musical part. In coming to this conclusion 1 feel my position keenly – like the prisoner in the dock. All London has been positively whooping over the success of the thing, and here am I, like a Jonah barking in the wilderness, or whatever it is, obstinately refusing to be guided by the judgment of my betters.

THE idea of the comedy is good – distinctly good. There is a young multi millionaire, whose name sounds like “cucumber” until you find on referring to your programme that it is Harry Q. Conder (Mr. Joseph Coyne), and whose staff of servants is recruited entirely from the ranks of the impoverished British aristocracy. There are a duke and an earl, and there is one young man without a title of any kind, but who claims noble descent because he was called William – after the Conqueror, a little gleam of nonsensical humour which is welcome, not so much for its brilliance as for its rarity. Mr. Conder, having engaged his aristocrats at a high salary, always gets his money’s worth by addressing them by their full titles, whether they are grooms or butlers or chambermaids. This idea, generously developed, should have been sufficient to make a success of the story but it is not insisted on after the first scene or two, and we gradually come to regard the servants surrounding the millionaire and his sister as quite ordinary mortals. It would not matter much if there were any other source of fun in the play; but as this idea seems to have been the motif of the piece, it seemed to me a pity not to insist on it a little more.

I THINK the story is weakened by the fact that the love interest is split, just for all the world as if it were one of those horrid infinitives. Mr. Conder shares his palatial mansion with his sister Alice (Miss Lily Elsie), and we have two leading love stories to follow to their happy conclusion. This is a rather daring novelty to spring upon a public which has always been taught to believe that it has a sort of hereditary claim to see the hero and the heroine of a play marrying each other at the finish. It is true that, for the sake of contrast, Conder conducts his love making with light and buoyant humour, as if, after all, it didn’t matter whether the lady married him or not while Alice takes her love affair with dead seriousness, and positively staggers with excitement at the end of the second act on finding that the young man of her choice declines to admit that her dollars are to be compared to his own advantage of gentle birth. In this part Mr. Robert Michaelis makes what is unquestionably the hit of the production. One of the reasons for the success of Mr. Michaelis is that the play is strongest on its musical side, and as this gentleman not only has a very fine voice, but also possesses the ability to employ it to the greatest advantage, he has had good luck added to his own good management. I think his ideas of humour are at times a little extravagant, but much may be forgiven an artist with so many admirable qualities. His final duet with Miss Elsie as the curtain falls is one of the most pleasing features in the entertainment.

MISS EMMY WEHLEN is a newcomer at Daly’s, but she bids fair to rank as one of the prime favourites at that house. She is called Olga in the piece, and it therefore seems quite superfluous to add that she is a Russian Countess. We should doubt the credentials of a Russian Countess who had not got Olga for at least one of her names. Miss Wehlen has a well-trained voice, and she sings with a delicate humour that adds a considerable charm to her efforts. Mr. W. H. Berry has quite a small part, but he works very hard to wrench a little fun out of it, and in this respect I think he is the most successful of any of the humorists in the piece. His performance came as quite a relief at times when we were, to use a very ordinary term, “fed up” with mere prettiness and severely correct music. Perhaps, as the play settles down, Mr. Berry may have more opportunities of showing his quality; and I think the same benefit might be conferred on Mr. Evelyn Beerbohm, who is a good man practically left idle when there is a really crying demand for the sort of work he knows how to do so well. Another of the successes is Miss Gabrielle Ray, who gives, with Mr. Willie Warde, one of the happiest song-and-dance turns of the evening. It seems a trifle cheap to talk about a little Ray of sunshine, but, after all, the facts must speak for themselves, even if they are guilty of punning when they do it.

JOSEPH COYNE seems to lose a little of his glamour in conventional costume. We have associated him for so long with astrachan and top boots that it is a little difficult to accept him as the pink of West-End fashion. His best turn is a song and dance on the tennis courts with a number of pretty ladies, who oblige with the chorus but doubtless he, too, will feel more at home in his part presently. Miss Lily Elsie is, as ever, quite delightful. She sings and acts with a gentle grace that wins all hearts, my own included, and there is no doubt, to judge by the temper of the audience, that she is still the queen of the ——– excuse me. I had very nearly said “Daly males,” and we really can’t allow that sort of thing in a responsible paper, especially as Miss Elsie seems to be quite as popular with the ladies as with us boys.

WHAT is the matter with the piece? Mr. George Edwardes has clearly spared neither pains nor money in his effort to produce a worthy piece of work. The music and the acting are all that could be desired, except that I could find nothing that promised to be “popular” among the melodies. It almost looks as if the aim had been a little too high, with the result that the whole thing has turned out to be too severely correct. After all, the man in the street still counts for something, but unless he has a highly developed taste in music I do not see where he is catered for in this avowedly popular production. It seems a poor return for the great courtesy shown to me at Daly’s Theatre that I should go out of my way to say unpleasant things about the piece, but the best of us can do no more than speak according to the light that is in him.

Jingle.

 

The Bystander – Wednesday 6th October 1909

 

December 1, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie, Social History, The Bystander, The Dollar Princess, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Poinsetta Advertisement – The Bystander – Wednesday 13th March 1912

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Advertisement, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Bystander, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little Bit of Fluff – Theatre Royal Lincoln – 1916

Some thing called A Little Bit of Fluff is going like wild fire, so I’m told, and elsewhere Gabrielle Ray’s singing of A soldier bluff With a little bit of fluff On a Saturday afternoon the while she dances not in the Pavlova manner seems a fair specimen of what the public wants in war time. Strange, isn’t it, and just a little thoughtless, perhaps, and terrible but better, I suppose, than being all such sensitive plants, as, say, Maeterlinck, the Belgian poet. He is on the verge of despair because he can only remember the terrible loss of so many wonderful young lives and see so many incarnations of physical and moral vigour, of intellect and of glorious promise, pitilessly cut off in their first flower.”

The Bystander, 10th November 1915

The Dead Do Not Die, Maurice Maeterlinck

January 25, 2016 Posted by | Actress, Deltiology, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Theatre Adverts, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dollar Princess – The Bystander – 1909

The Dollar Princess - The Bystander -  6th October 1909

September 9, 2015 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Bystander, The Dollar Princess, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Amy Webster – The Bystander – 1908

Amy Webster - The Bystander - 26th February 1908

Amy Webster – Eric Loder – 1909

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Eric Loder, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Brisbane Courier, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Bystander -1905

Gabrielle Ray - The Bystander - 22 March 1905

 

Gabrielle Ray (Rotary 470 N)

January 10, 2013 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Bystander, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Merry Widow – The Bystander – 1908

 

August 11, 2011 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Bystander, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Little Ray of Sunshine – The Bystander – 1905

” She was a form of life and light,

      That, seen, became a part of sight;

            And rose, where’er I turn’d mine eye,

The Morning-star of Memory !

                                                  ” The Giaour”

                                                            Lord Byron (1813)

August 11, 2011 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lady Madcap, Social History, The Bystander, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment