Postcard of the week ending
Saturday, 13 December 2008

Gaby Deslys, Basil Hallam and Harry Pilcer
in the sketch 'The Rajah's Ruby,'
from the new edition of The Passing Show,
Palace Theatre, London, 21 September 1914

'The Rajah's Ruby'

Gaby Deslys with Basil Hallam, Harry Pilcer and ladies of the chorus
in 'The Rajah's Ruby,' Palace Theatre, London, 21 September 1914

(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1914)

This real photograph postcard, no. 11865 F in the Rotary Photographic Co Ltd's Rotary Photographic Series, was published in London towards the end of 1914. It shows Gaby Deslys with Basil Hallam and her dancing partner, Harry Pilcer, in the sketch 'The Rajah's Ruby,' which was introduced on 21 September 1914 as part of the new edition of the successful Palace Theatre revue, The Passing Show, which had been running (with Elsie Janis as the star attraction) since 20 April 1914.

'Henry George Hibbert, Special Correspondent . . . Sept. 12 [1914]. . . .
'Elsie Janis leaves the Palace to-night, and Gaby Deslys arrives. Alfred Butt thought this a fitting opportunity to recast The Passing Show. for the exploitation of Gaby as a dramatic actress it will not include a melodrama called The Rajah's Ruby. Herein Gaby will figures as a pretty demimondaine, who comes home from a play of the ''Raffles'' type just obsessed by the criminal drama. She goes to sleep and dreams that she is the associate of a gang of brilliant thieves - queen of their revels, the inspiration of their schemes, herself a murderess and a deft thief. Then, she wakes up.'
(The New York Clipper, New York, 26 September 1914, p. 4a)

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© John Culme, 2008