Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 12 July 2008

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Gabrielle Ray, Lily Elsie,
Zena Dare and Grace Pindar
play football in The Little Cherub,
Prince of Wales's Theatre, London, 1906

'[She] maketh as thoughe butter wolde nat melte in [her] mouthe.'

Gabrielle Ray (1883-1973),
English musical comedy actress and dancer

(photo: W. & D. Downey, London, circa 1906)

'Goal From the Footlights.
'It is indeed a pleasure to see the drama at last emerging from the state of sluggish insipidity which has so long disgraced it. At the Prince of Wales' Theatre four of our most lovely actresses now play a game of football on the stage, in the course of which Miss Gabrielle Ray kicks the ball into the auditorium. We doubt whether the theatrical history of any country could point to a more saucy indecent.'
(New Oxford Item, New Oxford, Pennsylvania, Friday, 22 June 1906, p.6b. This report, reprinted from Punch, London's favourite satirical magazine, is not what it may at first appear; Miss Ray kicked the ball into the audience in a moment of devilment, for which it is said she was much criticised and may actually have had part of her salary withheld by the Prince of Wales's management for misbehaviour.)

* * * * * * * *

Daisy Jerome tops the
vaudeville bill at the Pantages,
Winnipeg, Canada, week beginning
Monday, 8 January 1917

Daisy Jerome

Daisy Jerome (b.1881), American singer and comedienne,
and popular principal girl in several United Kingdom pantomimes

(photo: Langfier, Glasgow, circa 1912)

'Daisy Jerome, ''the Electric Spark of Joy,'' will be the bright particular centre of all attractions at the Pantages this week. The London press generally insists that her charm exceeds that of either Phyllis Dare or Edna May. In France, and now America, she has won deserved recognition and is known for her captivating ways as ''the electric spark.'' Besides her success as a music hall singer she has won recognition in pantomime and musical comedy. She is possessed of a remarkable contralto voice and puts it to excellent use in singing the dozen or more songs that were prepared especially for her own use. Her work is said to be distinctive and enjoyable at all times, carrying with it a not of happiness and joy of life.'
(Manitoba Free Press, Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, Monday, 8 January 1917, p.10a/b)

* * * * * * * *

Gertrude Lawrence and Beatrice Lillie
to head the cast of André Charlot's
Revue of 1924, Times Square Theatre,
New York, 9 January 1924

Beatrice Lillie

Beatrice Lillie (1898-1989),
Canadian-born actress, singer and comedienne

(photo: Lallie Charles, London, circa 1917)

'Mrs. Robert Peel, who with her husband has recently arrived in America, was a well known favorite of the English stage when she married the grandson of Sir Robert Peel the man who founded the London police force. Beatrice Lillie, as she was known to the stage, enjoys the reputation of being very clever and witty. One of her favorite stories is of a man who took an hour to button up hie wife's frock, and then told her a joke and she laughed so much the buttons [flew off].'
(Sheboygan Journal, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Thursday, 27 May 1920, p.1e)

'By James W. Dean.
'New York, June 16 [1923] - The American theatergoer is to experience a mental intimacy with players behind the footlights.
'Excepting in the instances of only a few vaudeville performers, the footlights erect a subtle but impassable barrier between those in the audience and those on the stage. The substitution of other lighting effects for the footlights in the past few years has been with the purpose of breaking down that barrier.
'The follie, the follies, the scandals and other forms of revue have projected runways into the audience in an endeavor to bring about a greater intimacy between performer and spectator. However, the appeal of this form of entertainment has always been largely physical.
'ANDRE CHARLOT, London's leading producer of revenues [sic], is in New York arranging with the Selwyns for the presentation of his London Revue of 1924. It probably will open on New Year's Eve.
'I saw Charlot the other day at the Ritz and asked him to explain the difference between his type of entertainment and the usual American revue.
'''You can hardly explain the difference in words,'' he aid, ''but it is tremendous. My revues are characterized by the sort of intimate understanding between players and audience such as you do not know in this country.
'''It isn't a rough-and-ready intimacy, but a metal closeness which is hard to define. I do not depend for success upon specialty lighting and scenic effects. My scenery is very simple. I seek a proportionate blending of melody, humor, taste and personal charm.
'''There is no tremendous chorus, but each girl gives a distinctive individuality to the performance. Gertrude Lawrence and Beatrice Lillie, two principals who will be seen here, have been so closely associated with the success of the revues, that they have become an integral part of them. I don't engaged an artist and then find a place for her. First I have the place and find the artist to fit it. I never buy names. What I pay for is personality, charm and talent. Many of the artists in my revues have won great distinction, but they had no prominence when they came to me.''
'Charlot is a colorful character. He was born in 1882 in Paris and educated there, but is now a British citizen. Fourteen years ago he came to America to establish an American office for a London theatrical concern.
'His salary was $20 a week. He spent $18 a week for room and board for himself and wife in a cheap lodging house.
'But he was after experience. After returning to London he became managing director of the Alhambra [Leicester Square, London] and soon became famous for his revues. From there he went to the Vaudeville Theater, London.
'He seems to have prospered. At least, he wasn't starving to death at the Ritz when I saw him.'
(Decatur Review, Decatur, Illinois, Sunday, 17 June 1923, p.28c-e)

* * * * * * * *

Return to home page

© John Culme, 2008