Drama

Coward Plays: 4

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 512

View: 170

Volume Four of Noël Coward's plays contains a selection of Coward's plays from the thirties and forties which includes Blithe Spirit, a comedy that centres around the spirit medium Madame Arcati. The play that mocks sudden death was produced at precisely the moment when bombs were bringing it to Britain "I shall ever be grateful, for the almost psychic gift that enabled me to write Blithe Spirit in five days during one of the darkest years of the war." The play was for years the longest-running comedy in the history of British theatre. Present Laughter follows the life of Garry Essendine, a world-weary, middle-aged projection of the dilettante, debonair persona - self-obsessed and dressing-gowned who struts through the play like an educated peacock. It is a comedy about the 'theatricals' that Noël best knew and loved, and was originally a star vehicle for himself. It is the closest to an autobiographical play that Coward ever wrote. This Happy Breed is a saga of a lower middle-class family; and three shorter pieces fromTonight at 8.30 - is a farce set in the South of France, and serves as an oblique tribute to Frederick Lonsdale; The Astonished Heart is about the decay of a psychiatrist's mind through personal sexual obsession. Red Peppers, which closes the volume, was a cynical tribute to the lost music halls of the First World War.
Drama

Design for Living

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 112

View: 674

'The actual facts are so simple. I love you. You love me. You love Otto. I love Otto. Otto loves you. Otto loves me. There now! Start to unravel from there.' Design for Living is a wickedly witty dark romantic comedy by Noel Coward. Initially banned in the UK, this provocative play portrays three amoral, glib and stylish characters and their hopelessly inescapable, if also unconventional, emotional entanglement. From 1930s bohemian Paris to the dizzying heights of Manhattan society, a tempestuous love triangle unravels between a vivacious interior designer, Gilda, playwright Leo and artist Otto - three people unashamedly and passionately in love with each other. They are trapped in what Coward called 'a three-sided erotic hodge podge.' With Coward's trademark piquant style, this lively, funny but also atypical play looks at dazzling, egotistical creatures and their self-destructive dependence on each other. Exploring themes of bisexuality, celebrity, success and self-obsession, Design for Living is a stylish and scandalous comedy.
Drama

Coward Plays: 4

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 512

View: 710

Volume Four of Noël Coward's plays contains a selection of Coward's plays from the thirties and forties which includes Blithe Spirit, a comedy that centres around the spirit medium Madame Arcati. The play that mocks sudden death was produced at precisely the moment when bombs were bringing it to Britain "I shall ever be grateful, for the almost psychic gift that enabled me to write Blithe Spirit in five days during one of the darkest years of the war." The play was for years the longest-running comedy in the history of British theatre. Present Laughter follows the life of Garry Essendine, a world-weary, middle-aged projection of the dilettante, debonair persona - self-obsessed and dressing-gowned who struts through the play like an educated peacock. It is a comedy about the 'theatricals' that Noël best knew and loved, and was originally a star vehicle for himself. It is the closest to an autobiographical play that Coward ever wrote. This Happy Breed is a saga of a lower middle-class family; and three shorter pieces fromTonight at 8.30 - is a farce set in the South of France, and serves as an oblique tribute to Frederick Lonsdale; The Astonished Heart is about the decay of a psychiatrist's mind through personal sexual obsession. Red Peppers, which closes the volume, was a cynical tribute to the lost music halls of the First World War.
Drama

Coward Plays: 4

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: Methuen Drama

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 512

View: 876

Volume Four of Noël Coward's plays contains a selection of Coward's plays from the thirties and forties which includes Blithe Spirit, a comedy that centres around the spirit medium Madame Arcati. The play that mocks sudden death was produced at precisely the moment when bombs were bringing it to Britain "I shall ever be grateful, for the almost psychic gift that enabled me to write Blithe Spirit in five days during one of the darkest years of the war." The play was for years the longest-running comedy in the history of British theatre. Present Laughter follows the life of Garry Essendine, a world-weary, middle-aged projection of the dilettante, debonair persona - self-obsessed and dressing-gowned who struts through the play like an educated peacock. It is a comedy about the 'theatricals' that Noël best knew and loved, and was originally a star vehicle for himself. It is the closest to an autobiographical play that Coward ever wrote. This Happy Breed is a saga of a lower middle-class family; and three shorter pieces fromTonight at 8.30 - is a farce set in the South of France, and serves as an oblique tribute to Frederick Lonsdale; The Astonished Heart is about the decay of a psychiatrist's mind through personal sexual obsession. Red Peppers, which closes the volume, was a cynical tribute to the lost music halls of the First World War.
Drama

Coward Plays: 3

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 352

View: 888

The third volume of Coward's plays contains some of his best work from the thirties. Design for Living is about a triangular alliance between two men and a woman, based on friends of Coward's, which he waited to write "until she and he and I had arrived by different roads in our careers at a time and a place when we felt we could all three play together with a more or less equal degree of success." Cavalcade was Coward's most ambitious stage project, set during the Boer War, which cost £30,000 in its day and which includes scenes of the relief of the sinking of the Titanic and the coming of the Jazz Age. Conversation Piece is a musical comedy that Noël wrote for the Parisian star Yvonne Printemps and includes the song "I'll Follow My Secret Heart". Also in the volume are three short plays from Tonight at 8.30 including Hands Across the Sea, a gentle satire of colonials and London Society; Still Life which became the film Brief Encounter and Fumed Oak a suburban comedy about a 'worm who turns'.
Literary Criticism

The Letters of Noël Coward

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 800

View: 462

'A uniquely charming and enticing journey through a remarkable life. Coward's own record is made all the more delightful by the wise and helpful interpolations of Barry Day, the soundest authority on the Master that there is.' Stephen Fry 'Precise, witty, remarkably observed and gloriously English' Dame Judi Dench 'Barry Day's analysis is both perceptive and irresistible' Lord Richard Attenborough With virtually all the letters in this volume previously unpublished - this is a revealing new insight into the private life of a legendary figure. Coward's multi-faceted talent as an actor, writer, composer, producer and even as a war-time spy(!), brought him into close contact with the great, the good and the merely ambitious in film, literature and politics.With letters to and from the likes of: George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo (she wrote asking him to marry her), Marlene Dietriech, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, FD Roosevelt, the Queen Mother and many more, the picture that emerges is a series of vivid sketches of Noel Coward's private relationships, and a re-examination of the man himself. Deliciously insightful, witty, perfectly bitchy, wise, loving and often surprisingly moving, this extraordinary collection gives us Coward at his crackling best. A sublime portrait of a unique artist who made an indelible mark on the 20th century, from the Blitz to the Ritz and beyond.
Drama

Coward Plays: 1

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 320

View: 356

This first volume in the Coward Collection contains four plays written within a two year period when Coward and the century were still in their 20s. The volume is introduced by Sheridan Morley, Coward's first biographer. Hay Fever, a comedy of bad manners, concerns a weekend with friends of the Bliss family, who have all been invited independently for a weekend at their country house near Maidenhead. The Vortex was a controversial drama in its time, introducing drug-addiction onto the stage at a time when alcoholism was barely mentioned. Fallen Angels, which is written for two star actresses was described as 'degenerate', 'vile', 'obscene', 'shocking' - the second half of the play is entirely taken up with an alcoholic duologue between the two women. Easy Virtue is an elegant, laconic tribute to a lost world of drawing-room dramas, no other writer went more directly to the jugular of that moralistic, tight-lipped but fundamentally hypocritical 20s society. "He is simply a phenomenon, and one that is unlikely to occur ever again in theatre history" Terence Rattigan
Drama

Coward Plays: 4

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: Methuen Drama

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 512

View: 397

Volume Four of Noël Coward's plays contains a selection of Coward's plays from the thirties and forties which includes Blithe Spirit, a comedy that centres around the spirit medium Madame Arcati. The play that mocks sudden death was produced at precisely the moment when bombs were bringing it to Britain "I shall ever be grateful, for the almost psychic gift that enabled me to write Blithe Spirit in five days during one of the darkest years of the war." The play was for years the longest-running comedy in the history of British theatre. Present Laughter follows the life of Garry Essendine, a world-weary, middle-aged projection of the dilettante, debonair persona - self-obsessed and dressing-gowned who struts through the play like an educated peacock. It is a comedy about the 'theatricals' that Noël best knew and loved, and was originally a star vehicle for himself. It is the closest to an autobiographical play that Coward ever wrote. This Happy Breed is a saga of a lower middle-class family; and three shorter pieces fromTonight at 8.30 - is a farce set in the South of France, and serves as an oblique tribute to Frederick Lonsdale; The Astonished Heart is about the decay of a psychiatrist's mind through personal sexual obsession. Red Peppers, which closes the volume, was a cynical tribute to the lost music halls of the First World War.
Performing Arts

Coward Plays: Nine

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN:

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 320

View: 411

Coward Plays: 9 offers up a fascinating selection of Noël Coward's lesser-known works. Salute to the Brave/Time Remembered (1940) follows Leila Heseldyne after she has fled to America, leaving a war-torn Britain and her husband behind; Long Island Sound(1947) sees a writer coerced into a riotous flock of high flying society people with turbulent results; and Volcano (1957) depicts a volcanic eruption as it punctuates the dubious conduct of six individuals on a fictional South Sea island. This volume also includes Design for Rehearsing (1933) was Coward's private satire on the way he , Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne worked on Design for Living. Age Cannot Wither (1967), Coward's last and unfinished play completes the collection as it portrays the boozy reunion of three women in their sixties, who meet without fail every year to reminisce. Together, these works offer a new and intriguing insight into Coward the playwright and his oeuvre that extends well beyond his most well-known works such as Private Lives, Blithe Spirit and Hay Fever. The volume is introduced by Coward expert and scholar Barry Day.
Drama

Coward Plays: 7

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 324

View: 248

The Seventh volume in the Coward Collection. On Quadrille: "Miss Fontanne plays the madcap Marchioness with thecrackle and sheen of a five-pound note. Her eyes mock marvelously, hervoice cuts like a knife into a wedding cake, and the scene in ActThree, on the eve of her elopement with Mr. Lung, is as delicious ascrushed ice." Evening Standard, 1952. "The idea of Peace in Our Time",Coward wrote "was conceived in Paris shortly after the Liberation. . .I began to suspect that the physical effect of four years intermittentbombing is far less damaging to the intrinsic character of a nationthan the spiritual effect of four years enemy occupation." Thevolume also contains four pieces from the Tonight at 8.30 sequence: WeWere Dancing "provides a marvelously compact illustration of the waythe English public school spirit prevails even in moments of strenuouspassion." "Shadow Play is a musical fantasy. . . which gave Gertie andme a chance to sing as romantically as we could, dance in the moonlightand, we hoped, convince the audience that we were very fascinatingindeed"; and "Family Album - a sly satire on Victorian hypocrisy,adorned with an unobtrusive but agreeable musical score. It wasstylised both in its decor and its performance, was a joy to play andprovided the whole talented company with good parts." Star Chamber,closely based on Coward's experiences trying to co-ordinate his Actors'Orphanage charity committee, is published here for the first time.
Drama

Private Lives

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 96

View: 359

One of Coward's best-loved classics in a single-play edition Coward's wit and precision as a modern dramatist is nowhere better exemplified than in this classic modern plays from 1930. Elyot Chase and Amanda Prynne (originally played by Gertrude Lawrence and Noël Coward), recently divorced from one another five years previously, arrive coincidentally at the same French hotel. They are honeymooning with their respective new spouses. Encountering one another by chance, each is at once horrified and fascinated by the other. Together they leave for Paris and begin a roundelay of quarrels and love intrigues that culminate in their getting back together.
Drama

Coward Plays: 6

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 320

View: 307

Philip Hoare, in his biography of Coward described Semi-Monde as his "most daring play to date. In a chic Parisian hotel, a series of sexualpairings take place through rendezvous, arguments, infidelities andreconciliations: sexual deviance is undisguised...set in the bisexual1920s, the play could easily be populated by characters of Coward'ssociety". Point Valaine is "thedrama of a lurid episode of lust in the semi-tropics.. unmistakably thework of a master of the stage" (New York Times); South Sea Bubble whichconcerns "the Governor's lady in the Isle of Samolo who plays withnative fire, nearly gets her wings singed, bashes her native admirerwith a bottle and at one of those Coward next-morning-at breakfastscenes slips her way out of the scrape with feline grace." (ManchesterGuardian) whilst Nude With Violin is a witty comedy about art fraud.
Drama

Coward Plays: 6

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 488

View: 994

Philip Hoare, in his biography of Coward described Semi-Monde as his "most daring play to date. In a chic Parisian hotel, a series of sexual pairings take place through rendezvous, arguments, infidelities and reconciliations: sexual deviance is undisguised...set in the bisexual 1920s, the play could easily be populated by characters of Coward's society". Point Valaine is "the drama of a lurid episode of lust in the semi-tropics.. unmistakably the work of a master of the stage" (New York Times); South Sea Bubble which concerns "the Governor's lady in the Isle of Samolo who plays with native fire, nearly gets her wings singed, bashes her native admirer with a bottle and at one of those Coward next-morning-at breakfast scenes slips her way out of the scrape with feline grace." (Manchester Guardian) whilst Nude With Violin is a witty comedy about art fraud.
Drama

Coward Plays: 4

Author: Noël Coward

Publisher: Methuen Drama

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 512

View: 236

Volume Four of Noël Coward's plays contains a selection of Coward's plays from the thirties and forties which includes Blithe Spirit, a comedy that centres around the spirit medium Madame Arcati. The play that mocks sudden death was produced at precisely the moment when bombs were bringing it to Britain "I shall ever be grateful, for the almost psychic gift that enabled me to write Blithe Spirit in five days during one of the darkest years of the war." The play was for years the longest-running comedy in the history of British theatre. Present Laughter follows the life of Garry Essendine, a world-weary, middle-aged projection of the dilettante, debonair persona - self-obsessed and dressing-gowned who struts through the play like an educated peacock. It is a comedy about the 'theatricals' that Noël best knew and loved, and was originally a star vehicle for himself. It is the closest to an autobiographical play that Coward ever wrote. This Happy Breed is a saga of a lower middle-class family; and three shorter pieces fromTonight at 8.30 - is a farce set in the South of France, and serves as an oblique tribute to Frederick Lonsdale; The Astonished Heart is about the decay of a psychiatrist's mind through personal sexual obsession. Red Peppers, which closes the volume, was a cynical tribute to the lost music halls of the First World War.
History

Coward on Film

Author: Barry Day

Publisher: Scarecrow Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 183

View: 545

In Coward on Film: The Cinema of Noël Coward, author Barry Day documents every film based on Coward's work and/or in which he appeared. The result is an astounding list of film credits, including--on occasion--that of composer. Judged on his contribution to cinema alone, Noël Coward would have left a legacy matched by very few. With this detailed chronicle--which includes quotes from Coward himself and a complete filmography--Coward on Film stands as a fitting tribute to that legacy.