Collected Plays

Collected Plays


Book - 1999
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'The first volume in the Coward Collection. This volume contains four plays written within a two year period when Coward and the century were still in their 20s. Hay Fever, a comedy of bad manners, concerns a weekend with friends of the Bliss family, who have all been invited independently for a weekend at their country house near Maidenhead. They are all hilariously by turns ignored, embarrassed or humiliated and ultimately abandoned to slink away alone as the Blisses are far more engrossed in their own family disputes. The Vortex was a controversial drama in its time, introducing drug-addiction onto the stage at a time when alcoholism was barely mentioned- ''The minor characters in The Vortex drink cocktails, employ superlatives and sometimes turn on the gramophone.Florence takes lovers occasionally and Nicky takes drugs very occasionally.I consider neither of these vices are any more unpleasant than murder or seduction, both of which have been a standing tradition in the English theatre for many years'' Noel Coward. Fallen Angels, which is written for two star actresses was described as ''degenerate'', ''vile'', ''obscene'', ''shocking'' - the second half of the play is entirely taken up with an alcoholic duologue between the two women. Easy Virtue is an elegant, laconic tribute to a lost world of drawing-room dramas, no other writer went more directly to the jugular of that moralistic, tight-lipped but fundamentally hypocritical 20s society. The volume is introduced by Sheridan Morley, Coward''s first biographer.
''He is simply a phenomenon, and one that is unlikely to occur ever again in theatre history'' Terence Rattigan'
Publisher: London : Methuen, 1999
ISBN: 9780413460608
Branch Call Number: 822.9 C874c1 1999
Characteristics: xxxiii, 280 p. ; 20 cm


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