The Seventh volume in the Coward Collection. On Quadrille: "Miss Fontanne plays the madcap Marchioness with the crackle and sheen of a five-pound note. Her eyes mock marvelously, her voice cuts like a knife into a wedding cake, and the scene in Act Three, on the eve of her elopement with Mr. Lung, is as delicious as crushed 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 intermittent bombing is far less damaging to the intrinsic character of a nation than the spiritual effect of four years enemy occupation." The volume also contains four pieces from the Tonight at 8.30 sequence: We Were Dancing "provides a marvelously compact illustration of the way the English public school spirit prevails even in moments of strenuous passion." "Shadow Play is a musical fantasy. . . which gave Gertie and me a chance to sing as romantically as we could, dance in the moonlight and, we hoped, convince the audience that we were very fascinating indeed"; and "Family Album - a sly satire on Victorian hypocrisy, adorned with an unobtrusive but agreeable musical score. It was stylised both in its decor and its performance, was a joy to play and provided 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.
'Peace in Our Time' is a two-act play written in 1946 by Noël Coward. The play focuses on a small group of Londoners in a pub close to Sloane Square, in an alternate history where Nazi Germany won the Battle of Britain and successfully invaded and occupied the United Kingdom.
Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Don't Put your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs Worthington and over 250 more lyrics from Coward's musical masterpieces. Noël Coward is one of the greatest lyricists of the twentieth century. Songs such as A Room with a View, The Stately Homes of England, Mad Dogs and Englishmen and Mrs Worthington are known, sung and loved the world over. This edition gathers together over 250 of Coward's lyrics, arranged in chronological order and grouped by show. In addition, these masterpieces of verse are accompanied by an introduction and notes from the Master himself.
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 including Tonight at 8.30 - 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'. The volume is introduced by Sheridan Morley.
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.
The plays in this volume demonstrate the extraordinary skill and versatility Coward's writing achieved in the late 1920s. The volume contains his best-loved classic, Private Lives, which was an immeditate hit when it was first staged in 1930. Coward's sparkling dialogue and repartee have ensured the play's popularity ever since. Of Bitter-Sweet in 1929 Noël Coward wrote that it was "a musical that gave me more complete satisfaction than anything else I had yet written. Not especially on acount of its dialogue or its lyrics or its music or its production but as a whole." The Marquise is an "eighteenth century comedy" filled with maids and duels, whilst Post-Mortem is a vilification of war that contains some of Coward's most powerful writing.
Containing Coward's best work from the last two decades of his life, this volume includes Relative Values, which ran for over a year in 1951-2, Look After Lulu (1959), his perennially popular Feydeau adaptation, Waiting in the Wings (1960), a bravura piece set in a home for retired actresses, and Suite in Three Keys (1965), a trilogy of plays which gave Coward his last roles on stage. The volume is introduced by Sheridan Morley, Coward's first biographer, and includes an extensive chronology of Coward's work.
An account of language and drama between 1945 and 2005, synthesizing linguistic and dramatic knowledge in order to illuminate the ways in which anxieties and attitudes toward language manifest themselves in discourses on and around English theatre of the time, and how these anxieties and attitudes reflect back through the theatre of this period.
I will 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.' Written in 1941, Blithe Spirit remained the longest-running comedy in British Theatre for three decades thereafter. Plotted around the central role of one of Coward's best loved characters, a spirit medium Madame Arcati (originally performed by Margaret Rutherford) Coward's play is an escapist comedy about a man whose two previous wives return to haunt him. "A minor comic masterpiece of the lighter sort" Professor Allardyce Nicoll
Aphra Behn (1640-1689) was one of the most successful dramatists of the Restoration theatre and a popular poet. This is the final volume in a set of seven which comprises a complete edition of all her works.
Three volumes of his verse were published in Coward's lifetime, but while The Complete Verse features all of the work from these three volumes it also presents previously unpublished material for the very first time. Coward expert Barry Day has collected together the additional verse which Coward sent to family and friends and which paints a vivid portrait of his more private life. For anyone who has enjoyed the Diaries or the Letters of Noel Coward, The Complete Verse offers further enjoyment and appreciation of Coward's wit, insatiable interest in people and skilful rendering of his public and private lives. Day's linking narrative situates the verse in the events of Coward's life.
In the 1920s and 1930s Noël Coward mastered and defined the art of the revue sketch - short and often topical or satirical stage pieces, many of which were a lead-in to his famous songs. He wrote these sketches for the top revues of the 1920s and 1930s, including London Calling! (1923) and Cochrane's Revue of 1931. This volume collects Coward's best and most witty pieces, including Rain Before Seven, the only sketch he performed with Gertrude Lawrence, and the hilarious parody, Some Other Private Lives, in which Coward burlesques his own famous play, Private Lives. Also included are short one-act plays never before published. The collection includes an Introduction by Coward scholar Barry Day, setting the work in the context of its time and its dramatic form. A forgotten area of Coward's writing is now back in print.
A captivating compilation of two hundred intimate letters provides a candid portrait of one of the finest actors of the twentieth century, chronicling his eight-decade career, his personal life and love affairs, his homosexuality, his thoughts about his contemporaries and colleagues, and his most personal feelings. Reprint.