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 – Truth – Thursday 18th January 1906

 

THE THEATRES.

 

“THE LITTLE CHERUB,” AT THE PRINCE OF WALES’S.

 

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

 

PRINCE OF WALES’S THEATRE: “THE LITTLE CHERUB.”

 

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 – Lady Madcap – The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News – Saturday 7th October 1905

The Prince of Wales’s Theatre.

“Lady Madcap” has signalled its success by running into a “second edition,” which was triumphantly produced on Saturday night; and eleven new numbers should be quite enough to encourage and reward a second visit by those who have pleasant memories of its earlier days. One of the most effective novelties is “On a Saturday Afternoon,” a duet followed by a dance, or rather a dance preceded by a duet, for Miss Gabrielle Ray and that wonderful little corporal Mr. George Carrol. Mr. Maurice Farkoa’s delightful share of the entertainment now includes “Sammy,” “Bedelia,” and “Mrs.’Enery ‘Awkins” in French; Miss Zena Dare has several charming new things, including a song in Guardsman’s uniform; and Miss Gabrielle Ray celebrates the Entente as a French “Little Sailor Boy.” Mr. G. P. Huntley’s business, the backbone of the “play,” has been worked up to perfection.

 

Pall Mall Gazette, Monday 18th September 1905

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lady Madcap, Social History, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amy Webster – The Sketch – 6th September 1905

May 10, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Lady Madcap, Social History, The Sketch, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lady Madcap – Pall Mall Gazette – Monday 18th September 1905

The Prince of Wales’s Theatre.

 

“Lady Madcap” has signalised its success by running into a “second edition,” which was triumphantly produced on Saturday night; and eleven new numbers should be quite enough to encourage and reward a second visit by those who have pleasant memories of its earlier days. One of the most effective novelties is “On a Saturday Afternoon,” a duet followed by a dance, or rather a dance preceded by a duet, for Miss Gabrielle Ray and that wonderful little corporal Mr. George Carrol. Mr. Maurice Faroa’s delightful share of the entertainment now includes “Sammy,” “Bedelia,” and “Mrs. ‘Enery ‘Awkins” in French; Miss Zena Dare has several charming new things, including a song in Guardsman’s uniform; and Miss Gabrielle Ray celebrates the Entente as a French “Little Sailor Boy.” Mr. G. P. Huntley’s business, the backbone of the “play,” has been worked to perfection.

 

Pall Mall Gazette – Monday 18th September 1905

 

March 16, 2017 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lady Madcap, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Girl on Stage – Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 7th May 1906

A Girl on Stage - Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Monday 7th May 1906

Mr. George Edwardes’s Wise Move.

This contretemps had, if anything, the effect of giving a sympathetic touch to the great favour with which the new piece, based on the old, was received last night. “The Girl on the Stage,” though it is nothing to gush over, is a decided improvement in taste and refinement on its predecessor. The characters remain much the same, but the songs, a good deal of the dialogue, and much of the business are different. The vocal hit of the present performance is made by Miss Gabrielle Ray, who, in “Merry-go-Round,” by a new composer, Mr. Jerome D. Kern, simply captivates the house. Miss Zena Dare is pretty, too, especially as a Pierrot in a wonderful scene in which rose-pink Pierrettes are grouped in lavish and beautiful profusion.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 7th May 1906

A Girl on Stage – The Times – 1906

January 23, 2017 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – Lady Madcap – The Tatler – 1905

Lady Madcap - The Tatler - 29th November 1905

 

Miss Gabrielle Ray as the fascinating lady’s maid in “Lady Madcap” at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre. 

(The Tatler, 29th November 1905)

Miss Ray masquerading as her mistress, Miss Ray as a sailor, Miss Ray as herself.

Miss Gabrielle Ray, who is playing the part of Susan, maid to Lady Betty Clarridge, Lord Framlingham’s daughter, the heroine of “Lady Madcap,” is not an American as her curious cadences might suggest, but is quite English. She made her first impression in London by appearing as the maid in “The Girl from Kays“; then she appeared at the Gaiety as the secretary of the orchid-hunter; and from there passed to the Prince of Wales’s Theatre.

October 31, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lady Madcap, Social History, The Tatler, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Little Cherub – The Sketch – 1906

Gabrielle Ray - The Sketch - 7th February 1906

January 21, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Cherub, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, The Sketch, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lady Madcap – The Sketch – 1905

Kimono

November 21, 2012 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Lady Madcap, Social History, The Sketch, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Girl on Stage – The Times – 1906

March 27, 2012 Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, The Times | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment