Six phenomenally sophisticated Noël Coward comedies:
Fallen Angels: Julia and Fred and Willy and Jane are happily married and the best of friends, until a postcard arrives with news of the imminent arrival of a certain handsome Frenchman - gay, debonair, and utterly sophisticated. Performed by Annette Bening, et al.
Hay Fever: A country house weekend goes haywire when the guests and their hosts play a game of romantic musical chairs. Performed by Eric Stoltz, et al.
Private Lives: On the French Rivera, the lights of a yacht are reflected in the water and in the eyes of four hilariously mismatched lovers. Perhaps Coward’s greatest comedy, Private Lives shimmers with romance, desire and bittersweet truth. Performed by Rosalind Ayres, et al.
Design For Living: Three terminally stylish friends attempt to uncoil their twisted love triangle in this sexy and scandalous gem. Written in 1932, the play was deemed extremely daring. Performed by Michelle Arthur, et al.
Present Laughter: Stage star Garry Essendine struggles to plan his trip to Africa while his flat is invaded by a love struck ingénue, an adulterous producer, a married seductress, Garry’s estranged wife Liz and an aspiring playwright who is quite, quite mad. Performed by: Ian Oglivy, Yeardley Smith, et al.
Blithe Spirit: A convivial evening party among friends is transformed when a séance conjures the ghost of Elvira, the host’s first wife, who delights in wreaking havoc among the living. Performed by: Rosalind Ayres, Ian Ogilvy, et al.
Exclusive bonus material: Two rarely-performed shorts by Noël Coward, Design for Rehearsing and Age Cannot Wither, as well as conversations on Coward with Barry Day (Noel Coward Foundation) and John Lahr (The New Yorker).
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Classic and refreshing experience
The collection is built of classical stories that build layer upon layer of comic and classic statements. You need to listen again to pick up the gems hidden in the comments
I honestly don't have one - i love Blythe spirit as a plot but the characters are so diverse it i don't have a favourite.
I could have done without the narrator - i wanted the purity of the play - but they have a role i guess - they certainly were not the best thing about the content.
No - this is not a book this is a collection of plays - you can't think of it as a book
Shame the american narrator was so heavy in accent for such stereo english material. But you can't restrict Coward to the UK - his genius deserves a world platform.
- Alison Ward
Fuzzy feel good listen
- jill middlemas