The Noel Coward foundation managed to present a transatlantic celebration of Noel Coward, filled to the brim with star-studded names from both UK and American theatre! It provided us with an evening of monologues, as well as musical numbers all interspersed with footage from the Noel Coward archives. Many great names came together to create this piece and it was refreshing to see the different takes plus having some spoken word pieces alongside songs. It was also a joy to watch Robert Lindsey and Giles Terera’s segments, as these were filmed inside theatres and provided hope that we will be back inside them soon!
The evening provided a rare opportunity to see numerous faces together, perhaps for the first and only time. Personal highlights were Bebe Neuwirth and Patricia Routledge, with Neuwirth’s performance of ‘Why do the wrong people travel’ seeming completely apt for the currently climate and Neuwirth’s facial features and intone showing her opinions and if anyone didn’t smile at Routledge’s rendition of ‘I’ve been to a marvellous party’, then they’re definitely lying! It was also lovely to hear Dame Judi Dench’s thoughts on Coward himself, it broke away from the evening and was heart-warming to see her using Coward’s words to provide hope for the future of theatre!
At times, the evening did feel a little bitty, and didn’t seem to flow quite as easily as other parts of the evening. Perhaps a proper host, such as Dame Judi or even Stephen Fry (who made an appearance) would have made the whole event seem more cohesive overall.
It was definitely a fun and enjoyable way to spend an evening, with plenty of fabulous surprises in store! There were links to support both Acting for Others and the Actor’s Fund, depending on if you are from the U.K. or America, and the link is up for a week to view, at https://www.stream.theatre/home
Reviewer: Jenn McKean
Reviewed: 20th September 2020
North West End UK Rating: ★★★