In the last 30 years or more, roughly half of every new musical that arrives on Broadway or in the West End seems to be based on a film.
A Marvellous Party, commissioned by the Noël Coward Foundation, ostensibly marks the centenary of Coward’s first appearance on stage and has been produced to raise funds for actors on both sides of the Atlantic who are struggling with the effects of the pandemic.
Actor Nigel Havers is launching his own touring company with a new production of Noel Coward’s classic comedy Private Lives, in which he’ll star with Patricia Hodge.
A fascinating historical curio, Sasha Regan’s production Peace In Our Time is also a fine piece of speculative drama, imbued with Coward’s gift for eloquence and waspishness.
Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the London transfer of Richard Eyre’s production of Noel Coward’s comedy Blithe Spirit.
The psychology of Blithe Spirit snaps convincingly into place in Richard Eyre’s production while at the same time it fully utilises every opportunity to make the audience laugh.
The pace of the cast members’ dialogue and interaction with each other is almost always spot on in Blithe Spirit.
Noël Coward’s classic comedy Blithe Spirit, directed by Richard Eyre and starring Jennifer Saunders, will return next year for a UK tour followed by a strictly limited six-week engagement at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre following a celebrated reception at the Theatre Royal Bath earlier this summer.
Tam Williams’ production of Private Lives at the Mill at Sonning is clean and crisp, nicely framed with a lady accordoniste setting the location, and after a slowish start the piece moves up a gear in the scenes involving all four characters, and especially in two well-choreographed fights.
First of all let’s say that Andrew Scott is a marvel in Present Laughter, a 21st century Ur-Coward hero, who manages to do it without either the matey crassness lately inflicted on the part by Rufus Hound, or that retro, clipped Cowardspeak which echoes the Master too much.
Noël Coward would have thoroughly approved of Andrew Scott’s gloriously outrageous turn as ageing matinée idol, Garry Essendine, in The Old Vic’s reinvention of Present Laughter.
The Old Vic’s production of Present Laughter finally feels as though we’re shaking off some of the restraints that have shackled Noel Coward to the past.
It’s is not going to change your life but for a chance to see a national treasure and to wallow away from the pressures of the real world for a couple of hours, Blithe Spirit ticks all the boxes.
If I could look into Madame Arcati’s crystal ball I think I would see a West End transfer on the cards for Richard Eyre’s playful production of Blithe Spirit.
Exuberantly funny, elegant as a Deauville hotel balcony and sharp as the crack of a 78rpm record over a lover’s head, Joanna Carrick’s witty miniaturised production does Noel Coward’s sparkiest comedy full justice. I say miniature – it’s full length – only because of the venue: the tiny but vigorous home of Red Rose Chain.
The Old Vic today has announced that Matthew Warchus will direct Andrew Scott in Noёl Coward’s provocative comedy Present Laughter, opening on 25 June 2019, with previews from 17 June. The cast also includes Luke Thallon, Sophie Thompson, Suzie Toase and Indira Varma.
Noël Coward’s A Song at Twilight may be billed as a comedy but this story of one man’s fear of mortality and exposure, is tinged with tragedy. The Theatre Royal Bath’s polished production, which is currently touring the UK, glories in Simon Callow’s exquisite enunciation.
This may not be Shakespeare or Ibsen but Tonight At 8.30 it is a hell of an entertainment. Whether it is effective in reappraising Coward is a moot point but it is unquestionably a worthwhile effort.
The entire cast of Present Laughter executed every scene with a fabulous, animated, flamboyant energy yet there seemed to be an awful lot of unnecessary shouting throughout this production.
Yes, the Present Laughter is a bit jokey and, as one critic has said, cartoonish, but perhaps that is just what audiences want. You can’t say that it isn’t entertaining.