Posts Tagged ‘Kate Cutler’

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Lily Elsie as Princess Soo Soo in A Chinese Honeymoon, April 1903

March 5, 2015

Lily Elsie (1886-1962), English musical comedy star, as she appeared as Princess Soo Soo in the musical comedy A Chinese Honeymoon. a part initially played by Violet Dene on tour when the piece was first produced at the Theatre Royal, Hanley, on 16 October 1899, and by Beatrice Edwards when the production opened in London at the Strand Theatre on 5 October 1901. Miss Edwards was succeeded (circa March 1902) by Kate Cutler and then (October 1902) by Mabel Nelson who in turn was succeeded by Lily Elsie when the latter took up the part of Soo Soo on Monday, 20 April 1903.
(photo: R.W. Thomas, Cheapside, London, 1903; colour halftone postcard no. 114 in C. Modena & Co’s ‘Ducal’ series, published London, 1903)

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Kate Cutler, English singer, about 1930

August 29, 2014

Kate Cutler (1864-1955), English singer and actress
(photo: unknown, circa 1930)

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Kate Cutler in A Model Trilby, 1895

July 28, 2013

Kate Cutler (1864-1955), English actress, as she appeared in the title role of the burlesque, A Model Trilby; or, A Day or Two After Du Maurier, which opened at the Opera Comique, London, 16 November 1895. Trilby, the play, with Dorothea Baird in the title role, had opened at the Haymarket Theatre, London, on 30 October 1895.
(photo: unknown, probably London, 1895; Ogden’s Guinea Gold cigarette card issued about 1900)

‘Miss Nellie Farren has fixed the date of the reopening of the Opera Comique with A Model Trilby; or, A Day or Two After Du Maurier, for the 16th [November 1895]. The burlesqued Trilby will be represented by clever Miss Kate Cutler, and Mr Tree’s Svengali will be travestied by Mr Robb Harwood… . The interior [of the Opera Comique] has been greatly altered; new stalls, dress circle, and upper boxes have been added, and a new and spacious pit has been provided; so that Miss Farren’s enterprise will have a fair start, so far as the house in which it is made is concerned.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 2 November 1895, p. 10a)

‘Messrs Yardley and Brookfield’s burlesque The Model Trilby had a trial trip on Monday afternoon at the Kilburn Theatre. Miss Kate Cutler was demurely droll as Trilby, and Mr Robb Harwood imitated cleverly the appearance, voice, and manner of Mr Beerbohm Tree as Svengali. Miss Cutler’s song ”The Altogether” seems decidedly smart; and we await with agreeable anticipation the production of the ”skit” at the Opera Comique on Saturday next.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 9 November 1895, p. 12b)

A MODEL TRILBY, AT THE OPERA COMIQUE.
‘The trilby jokes date back to the fifties, Taffy in the burlesque says in apology. It may be out of regard to the unities that Miss Farren has gone to the same period for the ”new and original comedy” which precedes A Model Trilby at the Opera Comique. Nannie is a good half-century belated. With its naïve sentiment, its old-fashioned seducer, its painstaking dialect, it might perhaps have brought tears to the eyes of the Amelias of a more susceptible generation. But the early Victorian revival could not make this sort of primitive pathos and humour again the fashion, and in the face of it a modern audience yawns politely from the stalls, laughs uproariously from the gallery. Or, it may be that there is wisdom in the choice. After so tame a performance, the weakest attempt at burlesque could not by seen gay.
‘The Model Trilby of Mr. C.H. Brookfield and Mr. W. Yardly, is, however, something more than an attempt, and would, in parts, amuse under any circumstances. Trilby, the book, it must be confessed, adapts itself to parody with unusual facilities. Indeed, with us it is a question whether the play at the Haymarket belongs, strictly speaking, to burlesque or to melodrama. The Haymarket Taffy, with his pepper-pot and dumb-bells, the Haymarket Mrs. Bagot with her unreserved confidences to a chance concierge, the Haymarket Mr. Bagot, modelled upon Mr. Blakeley in his familiar rôles, are really conceived in as farcical spirit as the same characters at the Opera Comique, and are, if anything, the funnier because of the seriousness with which they are played. And if the magnificent proportions of Trilby herself have grown less at the Opera Comique – because the part has been so much cut down, Durien, the artist-author explains – at least the lady has an ankle to account for her speciality as a model. In the Haymarket, too, the success, in large measure, depends upon make-up; the characters are received with applause in proportion as they look like Mr. Du Maurier’s drawings. But the trick is an easy one, and on the stage of the Opera Comique, Svengali and Taffy and the Laird and Trilby all reappear with a genuinely comic excellence of imitation. In the case of Svengali, Mr. Robb Harwood and Mr. Tree might change places, and the two audiences be none the wiser. The burlesque takes all the usual indispensable liberties with the play and the novel. The whole story is turned topsy-turvy. Little Billie weeps unrestrainedly because he is counted too young to see Trilby pose in the ”altogether”; Trilby’s voice is ruined by Svengali in the training, and so on. But, after all, plot in burlesque matters little. The great thing is the way it is written and played. Mr. Brookfield and Mr. Yardley, in the beginning at least, are not wanting in wit and gaiety. They have seized upon the real weakness of Trilby, and got all the fun out of it they can; to provide harmless, Bowdlerized indecency for the middle classes; that is the little game of Durien, their artist-author, ”the present scribe,” who is perpetually appealed to by his puppets to set them straight. But. Apparently, the material, made to their hand as it might be, could not hold out for an hour or more. The second half of the performance, ending in an indifferent variety entertainment, drags and is as dull as the first half is light and gay and spontaneous. And here the trouble must rest with the authors; for, to the end, the actors do their very best. The whole thing is carried through with plenty of ”go” and life and vivacity. Mr. Eric Lewis, as Durien, may show unexpected restraint in his get up, but he plays with spirit, and his song and dance with Mdme. Vinard is one of the best things in the whole burlesque. Miss Kate Cutler does not bother to study the Haymarket Trilby, except to borrow a hint for her first costume, and, perhaps, this is just as well. Mr. Farren Soutar and Mr [C.P.] Little and Mr. [George] Antley make the Taffy and Laird and Little Billie of the play seem by comparison more tedious than ever, and before dullness sets in on their own stage they have one very jolly dance. We have already said that Mr. Harwood’s Svengali is a capital piece of mimicry. The music has the appropriate gaiety, and there is a Trilby dance, which means, of course, bare, or rather stockinged, feet. And the chances are that in the course of time the last part will go at a more lively rate, and A Model Trilby will be as amusing a little skit, which is all it pretends to be, as you could have.
‘But on Saturday, perhaps, the prettiest bit of comedy of the evening was given by Miss Nellie Farren in the little speech to her ”boys and girls,” a lump in her ”froat,” ready for the good cry all ”females” must have at such a critical moment. Miss Farren the manager has not forgotten Miss Farren the actress.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Monday, 18 November 1895, p. 3b)

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Gabrielle Ray

July 7, 2013

Gabrielle Ray (née Gabrielle Elizabeth Clifford Cook, 1883-1973), English musical comedy dancer and actress
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1909)

‘… To-day, in musical comedy it is the day of Mr Sydney Ellison [1870-1930, who in 1900 married Kate Cutler]. To hear a new number – a pretty tune, some smart lyrics, a pretty woman to sing and dance – and to see it on the night, and to mark the vast difference between the one and the other, is to see where the genius of the producer comes in. The newest sample of his work will be seen at the Gaiety on Wednesday, when ”The Orchid” will be brought up to date with new songs and dances.
‘Mr Ellison -small, alert, active, quiet, vivacious, restrained, and, above all, with a marvellous grasp of every tiny detail, from the set of a scene to the shoelace of a chorus girl – is a wonderful type of a modern institution… .
‘To appreciate his skill, one must know that he sings, dances, designs costumes, paints pictures, acts, and nothing is too smell or too trivial for him to lavish his care upon. He will invent a step for a dance, plan a mechanical change of scenery, or design a colour scheme with equal facility, and some of his finest effects come to him on the spur of the moment.
‘He taught a Parisian company the cake-walk when he went over to produce ”Florodora,” and he produced ”Veronique” for Mr George Edwardes [at the Apollo, 18 May 1904], and he worked out the decorative embellishments of ”The Orchid” when the new Gaiety stage was literally in the hands of the builders, carrying the thing through to a triumphant and gorgeous success on a ”first night” [26 October 1903] that will long be remembered by all those who were privileged to be present… .
‘Miss Gabrielle Ray, slim and graceful, tucks up her long silk walking skirt, takes off her big black hat, pats the wayward mass of shimmering hair, and sings her new song, the ”Promenade des Anglais,” that is going into the Carnival scene. Her voice is barely audible beyond the tall bracket with the lights, under which Mr Ellison stands and directs; but every action, every look even, is as it will be on the night. The verse ended, the chorus is given with a swing and a go quite irresistible even at twelve o’clock on a damp drizzly morning. Then Miss Ray dances.
‘Suddenly a brilliant idea strikes Mr. Ellison. She must do a complete turnover as a startling exit. Miss Ray, quick to respond to originality, sees it in an instant. With two of the chorus ladies as a sort of fulcrum, Miss Ray turns over, laughing the while, a swish of the skirts, and she alights on the dainty tips of her dainty toes. ”Excellent!” says Mr. Ellison. ”Oh! it’s really quite easy,” laughs Miss Gabrielle Ray. But those who know will tell you that the acrobatic feat, so neatly and withal so gracefully accomplished, involves thought and agility to bring it about.’
(Wakeling Dry, ‘Making Musical Comedy,’ from the Daily Express, London, reprinted in the The Wanganui Chronicle, Wanganui, New Zealand, 25 January 1905, p. 5g)

‘Concerning Gabrielle Ray, it may be of interest to note that here is a prime West End favorite who has won a foremost place in her particular section with no special gifts beyond those of comeliness and that indefinable quality of attractiveness which her countless admirers express in the phrase of ”awfully sweet.”
‘Wins By Sheer Magnetism.
‘Even among the easily-pleased patrons of musical comedy the girls who are singled out for distinction have to make good either as singers, dancers or comedians but the case of Gabrielle Ray is an exception. Accomplishing nothing with special ability, she still has contrived by sheer magnetism of the prime favorites of the hallowed precincts of Daly’s and the immediate neighborhood. Ask an ardent admirer just why he goes to see her and he answers, ”Oh, she’s quite charming,” and you have to let it go at that… . As a picture postcard subject she is an easy winner from all rivals.’
(The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Sunday, 19 March 1911, p. 21c/d)

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Gabrielle Ray, English musical comedy dancer and actress

July 7, 2013

Gabrielle Ray (née Gabrielle Elizabeth Clifford Cook, 1883-1973), English musical comedy dancer and actress
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1909)

‘… To-day, in musical comedy it is the day of Mr Sydney Ellison [1870-1930, who in 1900 married Kate Cutler]. To hear a new number – a pretty tune, some smart lyrics, a pretty woman to sing and dance – and to see it on the night, and to mark the vast difference between the one and the other, is to see where the genius of the producer comes in. The newest sample of his work will be seen at the Gaiety on Wednesday, when ”The Orchid” will be brought up to date with new songs and dances.
‘Mr Ellison -small, alert, active, quiet, vivacious, restrained, and, above all, with a marvellous grasp of every tiny detail, from the set of a scene to the shoelace of a chorus girl – is a wonderful type of a modern institution… .
‘To appreciate his skill, one must know that he sings, dances, designs costumes, paints pictures, acts, and nothing is too smell or too trivial for him to lavish his care upon. He will invent a step for a dance, plan a mechanical change of scenery, or design a colour scheme with equal facility, and some of his finest effects come to him on the spur of the moment.
‘He taught a Parisian company the cake-walk when he went over to produce ”Florodora,” and he produced ”Veronique” for Mr George Edwardes [at the Apollo, 18 May 1904], and he worked out the decorative embellishments of ”The Orchid” when the new Gaiety stage was literally in the hands of the builders, carrying the thing through to a triumphant and gorgeous success on a ”first night” [26 October 1903] that will long be remembered by all those who were privileged to be present… .
‘Miss Gabrielle Ray, slim and graceful, tucks up her long silk walking skirt, takes off her big black hat, pats the wayward mass of shimmering hair, and sings her new song, the ”Promenade des Anglais,” that is going into the Carnival scene. Her voice is barely audible beyond the tall bracket with the lights, under which Mr Ellison stands and directs; but every action, every look even, is as it will be on the night. The verse ended, the chorus is given with a swing and a go quite irresistible even at twelve o’clock on a damp drizzly morning. Then Miss Ray dances.
‘Suddenly a brilliant idea strikes Mr. Ellison. She must do a complete turnover as a startling exit. Miss Ray, quick to respond to originality, sees it in an instant. With two of the chorus ladies as a sort of fulcrum, Miss Ray turns over, laughing the while, a swish of the skirts, and she alights on the dainty tips of her dainty toes. ”Excellent!” says Mr. Ellison. ”Oh! it’s really quite easy,” laughs Miss Gabrielle Ray. But those who know will tell you that the acrobatic feat, so neatly and withal so gracefully accomplished, involves thought and agility to bring it about.’
(Wakeling Dry, ‘Making Musical Comedy,’ from the Daily Express, London, reprinted in the The Wanganui Chronicle, Wanganui, New Zealand, 25 January 1905, p. 5g)

‘Concerning Gabrielle Ray, it may be of interest to note that here is a prime West End favorite who has won a foremost place in her particular section with no special gifts beyond those of comeliness and that indefinable quality of attractiveness which her countless admirers express in the phrase of ”awfully sweet.”
‘Wins By Sheer Magnetism.
‘Even among the easily-pleased patrons of musical comedy the girls who are singled out for distinction have to make good either as singers, dancers or comedians but the case of Gabrielle Ray is an exception. Accomplishing nothing with special ability, she still has contrived by sheer magnetism of the prime favorites of the hallowed precincts of Daly’s and the immediate neighborhood. Ask an ardent admirer just why he goes to see her and he answers, ”Oh, she’s quite charming,” and you have to let it go at that… . As a picture postcard subject she is an easy winner from all rivals.’
(The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Sunday, 19 March 1911, p. 21c/d)

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July 7, 2013

Gabrielle Ray (née Gabrielle Elizabeth Clifford Cook, 1883-1973), English musical comedy dancer and actress
(photo: Bassano, London, probably 1909)

’… To-day, in musical comedy it is the day of Mr Sydney Ellison [1870-1930, who in 1900 married Kate Cutler]. To hear a new number – a pretty tune, some smart lyrics, a pretty woman to sing and dance – and to see it on the night, and to mark the vast difference between the one and the other, is to see where the genius of the producer comes in. The newest sample of his work will be seen at the Gaiety on Wednesday, when “The Orchid” will be brought up to date with new songs and dances.
‘Mr Ellison -small, alert, active, quiet, vivacious, restrained, and, above all, with a marvellous grasp of every tiny detail, from the set of a scene to the shoelace of a chorus girl – is a wonderful type of a modern institution… .
‘To appreciate his skill, one must know that he sings, dances, designs costumes, paints pictures, acts, and nothing is too smell or too trivial for him to lavish his care upon. He will invent a step for a dance, plan a mechanical change of scenery, or design a colour scheme with equal facility, and some of his finest effects come to him on the spur of the moment.
‘He taught a Parisian company the cake-walk when he went over to produce “Florodora,” and he produced “Veronique” for Mr George Edwardes [at the Apollo, 18 May 1904], and he worked out the decorative embellishments of “The Orchid” when the new Gaiety stage was literally in the hands of the builders, carrying the thing through to a triumphant and gorgeous success on a “first night” [26 October 1903] that will long be remembered by all those who were privileged to be present… .
‘Miss Gabrielle Ray, slim and graceful, tucks up her long silk walking skirt, takes off her big black hat, pats the wayward mass of shimmering hair, and sings her new song, the “Promenade des Anglais,” that is going into the Carnival scene. Her voice is barely audible beyond the tall bracket with the lights, under which Mr Ellison stands and directs; but every action, every look even, is as it will be on the night. The verse ended, the chorus is given with a swing and a go quite irresistible even at twelve o’clock on a damp drizzly morning. Then Miss Ray dances.
‘Suddenly a brilliant idea strikes Mr. Ellison. She must do a complete turnover as a startling exit. Miss Ray, quick to respond to originality, sees it in an instant. With two of the chorus ladies as a sort of fulcrum, Miss Ray turns over, laughing the while, a swish of the skirts, and she alights on the dainty tips of her dainty toes. “Excellent!” says Mr. Ellison. “Oh! it’s really quite easy,” laughs Miss Gabrielle Ray. But those who know will tell you that the acrobatic feat, so neatly and withal so gracefully accomplished, involves thought and agility to bring it about.’
(Wakeling Dry, ‘Making Musical Comedy,’ from the Daily Express, London, reprinted in the The Wanganui Chronicle, Wanganui, New Zealand, 25 January 1905, p. 5g)

‘Concerning Gabrielle Ray, it may be of interest to note that here is a prime West End favorite who has won a foremost place in her particular section with no special gifts beyond those of comeliness and that indefinable quality of attractiveness which her countless admirers express in the phrase of “awfully sweet.”
‘Wins By Sheer Magnetism.
‘Even among the easily-pleased patrons of musical comedy the girls who are singled out for distinction have to make good either as singers, dancers or comedians but the case of Gabrielle Ray is an exception. Accomplishing nothing with special ability, she still has contrived by sheer magnetism of the prime favorites of the hallowed precincts of Daly’s and the immediate neighborhood. Ask an ardent admirer just why he goes to see her and he answers, “Oh, she’s quite charming,” and you have to let it go at that… . As a picture postcard subject she is an easy winner from all rivals.’
(The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Sunday, 19 March 1911, p. 21c/d)

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Little Miss Nobody, produced at the Lyric Theatre, London, 14 September 1898

January 13, 2013

programme cover for Little Miss Nobody,
produced at the Lyric Theatre, London, 14 September 1898

(printed by Haycock, Frith Street, Soho, London, 1898,
from original artwork by Bernard Partridge)

Little Miss Nobody, a musical comedy in two acts, written by Harry Graham, with music by Arthur E. Godfrey and additional music by Landon Ronald, was produced by Tom B. Davis at the Lyric Theatre, London, on 14 September 1898. The cast included Kate Cutler as Elsie Crockett (the title role), Cairns James, Yorke Stephens, Lionel Mackinder, Lionel Brough, Maria Davis, Alice de Winton, Lydia West, Dora Dent and Gracie Leigh. The piece ran for 200 performances, closing on 18 March 1899.

For further information see Kurt Gänzl, The British Musical Theatre, Macmillan, Houndmills and London, 1986, vol. I, p. 699.