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Noel Coward Collected Plays: THREE: 3

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After his London office and flat had been destroyed in the Blitz, Coward took a short holiday with the actress Joyce Carey at Portmeirion on the coast of Snowdonia in Wales. She was writing a play about Keats, and he was still thinking about his ghostly light comedy. He later recounted:

The theatre must be treated with respect. It is a house of strange enchantment, a temple of dreams. What it most emphatically is not and never will be is a scruffy, ill-lit drill hall serving as a temporary soap-box for political propaganda. [146] Coward "wraps this flippant humour around himself like a shield – it's not only disguise but protection," he adds. And when you look at Coward's early years, you see why he might want that armour: they are ripe with grief and guilt. For six days I worked from eight to one each morning and from two to seven each afternoon. On Friday evening, May ninth, the play was finished and, disdaining archness and false modesty, I will admit that I knew it was witty, I knew it was well constructed, and I also knew that it would be a success. [5] Synopsis [ edit ] Wynne-Tyson, Jon (2004). Finding the Words: A Publishing Life. Norwich: Michael Russell. ISBN 978-0-85955-287-5.

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Historic England, "Teddington Library (1396400)", National Heritage List for England , accessed 3 July 2014

Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven. As a teenager he was introduced into the high society in which most of his plays would be set. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Present Laughter, and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), screenplays, poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works, as well as those of others. From the age of 14, he had some sort of relationship with 36-year-old artist, Philip Streatfeild – possibly sexual – before Streatfeild died of trench fever in World War One. Coward's other close friend, John Ekins, also died in the war. In 1918, at the age of 18, Coward had a nervous breakdown in an army training camp before seeing any action, and was hospitalised for six weeks. Grove, Valerie, "Carrying on Kenneth's pain", The Times, 27 December 1997, p. 19 and "Book Now" The Independent, 20 August 2008, p. 16 The action is set in the Hall of David Bliss's house at Cookham, Berkshire, by the River Thames. [19] Act I [ edit ] A Saturday afternoon in June Judith Bliss ( Marie Tempest) strikes a pose, 1925Between 1929 and 1936 Coward recorded many of his best-known songs for His Master's Voice (HMV), now reissued on CD, including the romantic " I'll See You Again" from Bitter Sweet, the comic " Mad Dogs and Englishmen" from Words and Music, and "Mrs Worthington". [69] Second World War [ edit ] Hoare, Philip. "Coward, Sir Noël Peirce (1899–1973)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edn, January 2008. (subscription or UK public library membership required) The family have been listening to ex-king Edward VIII's abdication broadcast. In the intervening time, Mrs Flint has died, and Vi and Sam, now married, have become comfortably middle-aged. Billy enters with the news that he has run into Queenie in Menton. Her lover had left her and returned to his wife, leaving Queenie stranded. After some prevarication Billy says that Queenie is with him and indeed is now his wife. Queenie enters, and there is an awkward but loving reconciliation between her and Ethel. A West End production, directed by Michael Blakemore, opened at the Gielgud Theatre in March 2014, with Charles Edwards as Charles, Janie Dee as Ruth, Jemima Rooper as Elvira and Angela Lansbury as Madame Arcati, and Jones as Dr Bradman as in Blakemore's 2009 Broadway production. It ran until June. [23]

Mad dogs and Englishmen ... Coward, on right, in the Bahamas with Alan Webb, with whom he had a tempestuous relationship. Coward also said, "I keep an open mind, but I will be somewhat surprised if St Peter taps me on the shoulder and says: 'This way, Noël Coward, come up and try your hand on the harp.' I am no harpist." [149]

What's the story of Patriots?

Rosemary Harris / Marin Mazzie / Terrence McNally / Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company / Jason Michael Webb / Harold Wheeler (2019) McCall, Douglas (2014). Monty Python: A Chronology, 1969–2012. Jefferson: Mc Farland. ISBN 978-0-7864-7811-8. During the 1950s and 1960s Coward continued to write musicals and plays. After the Ball, his 1953 adaptation of Lady Windermere's Fan, was the last musical he premiered in the West End; his last two musicals were first produced on Broadway. Sail Away (1961), set on a luxury cruise liner, was Coward's most successful post-war musical, with productions in America, Britain and Australia. [96] The Girl Who Came to Supper, a musical adaptation of The Sleeping Prince (1963), ran for only three months. [97] He directed the successful 1964 Broadway musical adaptation of Blithe Spirit, called High Spirits. Coward's late plays include a farce, Look After Lulu! (1959), and a tragi-comic study of old age, Waiting in the Wings (1960), both of which were successful despite "critical disdain". [98] Coward argued that the primary purpose of a play was to entertain, and he made no attempt at modernism, which he felt was boring to the audience although fascinating to the critics. His comic novel, Pomp and Circumstance (1960), about life in a tropical British colony, met with more critical success. [99] [n 8] Payn, Graham; Morley, Sheridan, eds. (1982). The Noël Coward Diaries (1941–1969). London: Methuen. ISBN 978-0-297-78142-4.

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