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 Palladium – The Stage – Thursday 15th September 1921



Madeleine Collins, whose fine work in “Pagliacci” and “La Boheme” in last year’s season at Covent Garden will be recalled by opera lovers, made a first appearance in variety at the Palladium on Monday. One of the best songs from her varied repertory, the “Jesuis Titania” item from “Mignon,” was brilliantly done in her clear-ringing soprano, especially in the bravura passages, but it appeared to be beyond the artistic range of some people in the audience. Her success was striking, for all that, and the singing of “Good Night, Ladies and Gentlemen,” rounded off a perfectly artistic performance. Tom Edwards with his admirable crying baby item, Fred Barnes with his popular songs; and Talbot OFarrell, with his ballads and stories carry over their success of last week. Gabrielle Ray, assisted by clever Leslie Barker, again presents her pretty miscellaneous act which, with the introduction of a number of kiddies, is of the very essence of the best musical comedy. The dainty “Jack o’ Jingles” and the crinoline numbers are retained, and Miss Ray gets all her effects by not striving after them. The Flemings contribute their wonderful living statuary and acrobatic act, which has no equal in variety, and Maidie Scott has a prominent place for her song-cycle “Eve’s Progress.” Others are Radford and Russell, Esta Stella, the Four Kemptons and Les Ruby, Miss Stella giving her lively and prettily costumed songs at evening performances only.



The Stage – Thursday 15th September 1921


May 24, 2022 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Palladium, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Palladium – The Stage – Thursday 22nd September 1921





Little Tich, as full of vim and apt by-play as ever, returns to the Palladium this week. On Monday afternoon he was so popular as the bold, romancing cricketer and the Society debutante who gets mixed up in “her” train, that Maidie Scott, who followed him, was considerably delayed. Miss Scott is still singing “Eve’s Progress” to general acceptance. Lee White and Clay Smith are great favourites here for a series of songs, duets, and patter, mostly from the recent Vaudeville revue “Puss! Puss!” Each item is delivered with all the neatness and point one expects form these finished artists, Miss White adding just that hint of quiet sentiment here and there that is always so charming a feature of her work. It was at the Palladium, by the way, that Miss White, with her former partner, played her first London engagement, on which occasion we predicted a great future for her in revue. That prediction, of course, has been fully realised. George Bass is very droll, first as a seeker for information about the income- tax, and afterwards as a musical conductor; while the Arnaut Brothers repeat their fine musical clown act. Other newcomers are Mimi, a very versatile young lady; Jay Laurier, with his funny song about cats, and “Let’s All Have a Jolly Good Cry” and Dippy Diers, assisted by Flo Bennett, in an amusing turn. Gabrielle Ray, assisted by Leslie Barker, and Madeleine Collins, remain over from last week. Mr. Horace Sheldon’s special orchestral selection is Horatio Nicholls’s “Blue Bird.” Mr. C. Foster-Marner is the manager. There were packed audiences on Monday.


The Stage – Thursday 22nd September 1921

May 14, 2022 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Palladium, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Stage 28th April 1921



Hippodrome (M. E. W. James; A. M. J. Daniels). Gabrielle Ray’s act comes with grace and refinement. Attended by a retinue of happy-looking youngsters, and effectively supported by Leslie Barker, her act is a clever, pretty, and compelling one. Jimmy Jewel and company in a sketch, “Idditis,” cause a full measure of laughter. Hope Charteris is a soprano of distinct merit. Wieland juggles with great deftness. The Emilion Brothers are clever gymnasts, and Alex Kendall is entertaining.

The Stage – Thursday 28th April 1921


May 7, 2022 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – H. J. Hitchins – The Stage – Thursday 9th March 1911


The matinee at the Empire on Thursday, March 16, in aid of the widow of the late Mr. H. J. Hitchins, will be on a large scale. The list of artists is a sufficient indication of this, among those who have promised to appear being Messrs. Edmund Payne, Arthur Bourchier, Hayden Coffin, Joseph Coyne, Kenneth Douglas, Robert Evett, Harry Grattan, George Grossmith, junr. G. P. Huntley, Harry Lauder, Misses Kate Cutler, Phyllis Dare, Constance Drever, Clare Evelyn, Lydia Kyasht, Grace Lane, Olive May, Gertie Millar, Gabrielle Ray, Elsie Spain, Violet Vanbrugh.

The Stage – Thursday 9th March 1911


Over £1800 was realised as the result of the testimonial matinee to the widow of the late Mr. H. J. Hitchins at the Empire on Thursday afternoon.

The Stage – Thursday 23rd March 1911


February 18, 2022 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Sketch, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Constance Drever – The Merry Widow – The Stage – Thursday 23rd April 1908



PRINCE OF WALES’S (Lessees, Messers, Rodgers, Limited; General Manager, Mr. J. V. Graham; Acting Manager, Mr . Henry Johnston)

The much heralded “The Merry Widow” makes an appearance this week. Mr. Eric Thorne is quite a persona grata with the most captious of local patrons of musical comedy, and his delightfully eccentric method of humour is happily suited to a nicety in the role of Baron Popoff, while Mr Basil S. Foster is capitally placed as Prince Danilo. Mr. Haigh Jackson is a gallant and melodious Vicomte Camille de Jolidon. Miss Gertrude Lester is a charming exponent of the title role; her beautifully modulated attractive presence and intelligent acting are most advantageously placed. Miss Constance Drever is no less successful as Natalie, while minor parts are in safe hands. The piece is mounted on a lavish scale, and the chorus are a distinctive feature. The famous “Waltz duet” creates quite a furore, notwithstanding the fact that its refrain had, of course, reached us long ago.


The Stage – Thursday 23rd April 1908

December 17, 2021 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amy Webster – £150 – The Stage – Thursday 26th April 1917

“£150” and “Cheep!”


The new revue, entitled “£150,” is now announced for production at the Ambassadors’ on Monday, at 7.45. The author is Walter Hackett, the lyrics are by Douglas Furber, and the music is a trio of composers – Silesu, Emmett Adams, and Fred Sparrow. The principle, Mile. Madeleine Choiseulle, and M. Leon Morton, will be supported by Messrs. Alec S. Clunes, Rube Welch, J. M. Campbell, Murri Moncrieff, and Douglas Furber, and Misses Sheila Hayes, Vera Neville, Binnie Hale, and Daisy Burrell.


The Stage – Thursday 26th April 1917


November 19, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aimee Webster – Hello! Morton – The Stage – Thursday 7th June 1917






On Monday, June 4, 1917, was produced here a revuette, compiled by Douglas Furber, entitled, “Hello! Morton.”

The many admirers of Leon Morton, the droll revue comedian from the Ambassadors, were disappointed at the London Coliseum on Monday afternoon. The piece in which he appears has been compiled by Douglas Furber from certain Harry Grattan-Walker Hackett episodes from the long string of revue successes at Charles B. Cochran’s cosy little theatre, but most of the business, it must be confessed, runs to something like seed in the auditorium of the St. Martin’s Lane house. Nor have the excerpts themselves been wisely chosen; it would be easy to name several other items from the Charles Cochran revues better suited to the general variety purposes of the French comedian. No doubt better selections will be made in due course, and, in view of other surroundings, a proper disregard exercised in regard to the theatre intime atmosphere in which most of them have been conceived. The present business shows Morton being used as a war map, a device which has already lost its novelty; as the would-be reciter, with interruptions of a dramatic poem; and as the Highland soldier in the wordless episode called “A Highland Soldier’s Dream.” In each item he has the assistance of Douglas Furber, James M. Campbell, Sylvia Dancourt, and a company of ladies including Peggy Connor, Dolly Cullin, Joan Emney, Mona Fraser, Ann Furrell, Aimee Webster, Kathleen Maude, Irene Russell, Siddons Saharet, Ena Strange, Maisie Walsh, and Evelyn Wells.

George Graves’s sketch, “What a Lady!” has wisely benefited by criticism, the result being a succession of laughs. Myra Kenham now plays the part originated by Winifred Wing. Mabel Mann’s resonant contralto is well suited to the house; and warm hearted applause greets the musical interlude by Julien Henry and company, although its dialogue, which is weak, should be discarded. Bruett, the French poilu, sings in French and English, is a great favourite for a most acceptable act, his Entente cordiale business with a British Tommy being not the least attractive feature of a thoroughly attractive and topical turn. Other items on the programme are by the Five Jovers, in an acrobatic act; Jack Pleasants, the shy comedian; Grock, the inimitable French clown; Coram, an established favourite;  and Dainty Doris, a charming comedienne and graceful dancer, who should figure more frequently in the West End bills.


The Stage – Thursday 7th June 1917

September 15, 2020 Posted by | Actress, Amy Webster, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salon of Fragrance and Fair Women – The Stage – Thursday 30th March 1911


Miss Gertrude Robins, Miss Pauline Chase, Miss Nell Carter, Miss Phyllis Beddells, Miss Laura Cowie, Miss Phyllis Dare, Miss Iris Hoey, Miss Dolly Castles, Miss Marie Lohr, Miss Maud Allan, Miss Lilian Braithwaite, Miss Constance Drever, Miss Cicely Courtneidge. Miss Gabrielle Ray, Miss Madge Titheradge, Miss Julia James, Miss Ola Humphrey, Miss Lily Shepheard, and Miss Audrey Ford were among the actresses who, in the “Salon of Fragrance and Fair Women” at Harrods, sold scent on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in aid of the Prince Francis of Teck Memorial Fund.


The Stage – Thursday 30th March 1911

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabrielle Ray – The Stage – Thursday 29th April 1920



Palace (M.D., Alan Young; S. and A.M., Jesse Hewitt; A. A.M., W. Maclaren). The winning charm and dainty artistry of Gabrielle Ray are pleasingly featured here. She has a clever partner in Leslie Barker. Billy Merson requires no comment; he is just himself, and patrons enjoy the fun thoroughly. Vasco, the mad musician is popular, and St. Juste and Higgins provide harmony and humour. Among others are the Three Daring Reos and Graham and Cullen


The Stage – Thursday 29th April 1920

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John East – The Stage – Thursday 30th August 1956


By John East


WHEN my grandfather, John M. East, took over the Lyric, Hammersmith, as actor-manager, in 1892, it was facing bankruptcy. Within three years of his administration this pretty little bijou theatre, sandwiched between a railway siding and a street market, was being partially rebuilt at a cost of £15,000.

John East installed a resident stock company led by artists such as Leah Marlborough, Charles East and his wife, East Robertson, great favourites with local audiences. With a change of programme weekly and daily rehearsals, it was a wonderful school for youngsters, many of whom went straight to the West End after starting at the Lyric. Among the many future stars 1 could mention was 19-year-old Gabrielle Ray, whom my grandfather trained to take the title role in his “Red Riding Hood.” She soon became one of the brightest stars to reign at the Gaiety and Daly’s.

Of course, established names like Edward Terry, Harry Monkhouse, Mrs. Langtry, Henry Neville, Charles Warner, Harry Nichols and Willie Edouin played special weeks at the Lyric, and a cosmopolitan audience from distant parts of the metropolis swelled the ranks of the local patrons, who loved to see the carefully staged melodramas.

John East acted in 64 and produced over 400 plays during his 13 years at the theatre, from a battle scene in “A Life of Pleasure” to “Secrets of the Harem,” shortened to “Secrets –“ –THE BANNED PLAY, after a protest from the Turkish Ambassador to the Lord Chamberlain when he had witnessed the piece.

Once he decided to produce “Streets of London,” and in order to get a real horse-driven fire engine on to the stage, he removed the centre stalls, and a large rake was erected from the roadway to the auditorium, over which the engine made a triumphant entry. There would have been a practical use for it on Whit Monday, 1896, when a fire broke out on the stage during the action of “For England.”

Every Christmas my grandfather would produce, and usually write with Brian Daly, a pantomime, in addition to playing such parts as the Queen in “Robinson Crusoe.” Some of the large profits made went into organising charity matinees, “The Diseases of Women” lectures, and a free soup kitchen outside the theatre.

Years before, a manager would have a stock writer at his command, but by the turn of the century the public would not go in unless first class London successes were played, which meant an expensive mounting and a royalty of 10 per cent. Moreover, boiled down melodramas were being presented on the halls, which in addition to new competition from the Grand, Fulham, and the King’s, Hammersmith, caused my grandfather to leave the Lyric in March, 1904. The little theatre had a varied history until Playfair re-opened it in 1918.

After producing “The Wheat King” at the Apollo, with a magnificent third act depicting mass hysteria, John East look over the management of the vast Britannia, Hoxton, where he offered a three act drama, a variety bill, one of his own curtain-raisers, and the bio scope for 3d. in the gallery! The curious audience at the “Brit” consisted mostly of burglars, who used to come and tell my grandfather when they were gong to “do a bit” the following night.

Once a man sidled up to him and said, “What’s ‘appened to ole J. B. Howe, what played ‘ere with Charlie East in 98?  Is ‘e in the lump (workhouse)?” John replied that he had retired. “Oh. I’ve been away and missed the old codger.” Been away” – “Yus, for sticking a knive in a cove in Clerkenwell!” During the week John slept on the premises with the takings, and no wonder he had a loaded pistol by his bedside.

After a time at the Elephant and Castle Theatre, John East ran touring companies in between annual pantomime engagements, which included one at the Crown with another clever 19-year-old girl, Violet Loraine. Leah Marlborough was touring three continents alter “The Sorrows of Satan,” at the Court, East Robertson toured in such pieces as “Girl’s Cross Roads,” as Barbara Wade, and received wide acclaim as the prostitute, La Colombe, who fights to her death with knives in “Woman and Wine,” at the Princess’s, Oxford street, in 1899.

However, John East decided to become a free-lance, and devised, produced and managed the fabulous “Invasion of England” at the Crystal Palace, in 1909. With a cast of hundreds, real airships, descent of an invading army by parachute, entire destruction of a village by fire, explosions of mines and cannons, it was a triumphant success and he toured it on the Continent during 1910, for Brocks, Ltd.


The Stage – Thursday 30th August 1956


February 28, 2018 Posted by | Actress, Biography, Gabrielle Ray, Little Red Riding Hood, Social History, The Stage, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment