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    Description

    Seven BBC radio full-cast productions of Noël Coward’s classic plays – plus bonus material including a profile of Coward and extracts from his diaries. 

    Renowned for his wit, style and sophistication, Noël Coward was one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century. His plays, set in the glittering world of high society in which he lived, are much admired and have remained in the popular theatre repertoire to this day.

    This collection brings together the very best radio adaptations of Coward’s works, encompassing sparkling comedies of manners 'Private Lives' and 'Hay Fever', farcical ghost story 'Blithe Spirit', and daring ménage à trois drama 'Design for Living'. Here, too, is his controversial first hit 'The Vortex'; the poignant 'Still Life' (the inspiration for the film Brief Encounter); and the semi-autobiographical 'Present Laughter'.

    Among the star-studded cast are Helena Bonham-Carter, Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Roger Allam, Harriet Walter, Paul Rhys, Stephanie Cole and Paul Scofield.

    Also included is a BBC World Service profile of Noël Coward, comprising interviews, musical extracts and archive clips; and the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘From His Diaries’, featuring a selection of passages from Coward’s journal read by Simon Cadell.
     

    Track listing:

     1-2: Private Lives
    3-4: Hay Fever
    5-6: Blithe Spirit
    7-10: Design for Living
    11-12: The Vortex
    13: Still Life
    14-16: Present Laughter
    17: Meridian: Noël Coward profile
    18-20: Noël Coward - From His Diaries
     

    Private Lives
    Amanda…Helena Bonham-Carter
    Elyot…Bill Nighy
    Sibyl…Andrea Riseborough
    Victor…Paul Ritter
    Louise…AnnaRose Cattanach
    Directed by Sally Avens
     

    Hay Fever
    Judith Bliss…Judi Dench
    David Bliss…Michael Williams
    Richard Greatham…Geoffrey Palmer
    Marya Arundel…Celia Imrie
    Jackie Coryton…Patricia Brake
    Sandy Tyrell…Christopher Blake
    Simon Bliss…Patrick Pearson
    Sorel Bliss…Alison Reid
    Qara…Patricia Hayes
    Directed by Leslie Lawton
     

    Blithe Spirit
    Charles…Roger Allam
    Madame Arcati…Maggie Steed
    Elvira…Zoe Waites
    Ruth…Hermione Gulliford
    Dr Bradman…David Killick
    Mrs Bradman…Tilly Tremayne
    Edith…Natalie Cassidy
    Directed by Philip Franks
     

    Design for Living
    Gilda…Cheryl Campbell
    Otto…Alex Jennings
    Leo…Michael Kitchen
    Ernest Friedman…James Laurenson
    Mr Birbeck…Alan Barker
    Henry Carver…Bradley Lavell
    Miss Hodge/Helen…Joanna Myers
    Grace Torrence…Linda Marlowe
    Directed by Ned Chaillet
     

    The Vortex
    Florence Lancaster…Harriet Walter
    Nicky…Paul Rhys
    Helen…Frances Jeater
    Pawnie…John Rye
    Clara Hibbert…Jenny Funnell
    Tom Veryan…Robert Portal
    David Lancaster…Peter Blythe
    Bunty Mainwaring…Federay Holmes
    Bruce Fairlight…Keith Drinkel
    Preston…Pamela Grace
    Directed by John Tydeman
     

    Still Life
    Laura Lesson…Amanda Root
    Dr Alec Harvey…John Duttine
    Myrtle Bagott…Stephanie Cole
    Albert Godby…Trevor Peacock
    Beryl Waters/Lady on Train…Sunny Ormonde
    Stanley…Brian Parr
    Dolly Messiter…Josephine Tewson
    Bill…Richard Curnow
    Johnny/Guard…Malcolm McKee
    Directed by Sue Wilson
     

    Present Laughter
    Gary Essendine…Paul Scofield
    Liz Essendine…Joy Parker
    Monica Reed…Patricia Routledge
    Joanna Lyppiatt…Fenella Fielding
    Henry Lyppiatt…Alan Rowe
    Morris Dixon…Bernard Joyner
    Daphne Stillington…Miriam Margolyes
    Lady Saltburn…Betty Huntley-Wright
    Fred…Timothy Bateson
    Miss Erikson…Diana Olsson
    Roland Maule…David Timson
    Produced by Ian Cotterell  

    ©2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Noel Coward BBC Radio Drama Collection

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    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Charisma
    • Charisma
    • 11/08/2018

    Some good plays...

    Some good plays, some not. But all, performed by very fine actors. With a healthy dose of the playwright himself after you're done listening to the last play.

    9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Stormsdream
    • Stormsdream
    • 09/04/2019

    They know these are comedies, right?

    While it is always possible the cast was being so droll that the humor escaped me, it really felt like they were treating the material with such reverence and acting so seriously that they plum forgot these were comedies.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Anat Hoffman
    • Anat Hoffman
    • 18/12/2018

    I loved it

    Cowardis a charme.The cast was wonderful.couldnt stoplistening.Many great plays and a very good biography at the end

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Rory
    • Rory
    • 05/01/2021

    Great plays, crappy curation by audible

    Fantastic performances but the chapter listings are a mess and don’t even say where one play begins and ends, and the scenes and acts don’t correspond to the chapters either. Can someone from audible fix this?

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Chantal Noordeloos
    • Chantal Noordeloos
    • 19/10/2021

    A lot of arguing

    I almost opted out after the second play. Maybe they didn’t translate well, or maybe Noel Coward’s work isn’t entirely my cup of tea. It just felt as if people were nonsensically shouting at each other and picking the most ridiculous fights over nothing. I missed any depth of plot. Not one character felt realistic or relatable (maybe because my life doesn’t consist of unreasonable arguments) But with Blithe Spirit it gripped my attention (though the grip was more like a flaccid handshake) a little more. They’re not bad plays, but I don’t think I’m the target audience for them. Nothing blew me away. I was expecting really clever stories, and I just found them a bit empty. I also missed a certain kind of wit. The dialogues were lacking and the overall plots were rather superficial. I felt that I as a reader had to give it a meaning myself.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Utilisateur anonyme
    • Utilisateur anonyme
    • 10/03/2022

    Wonderful performances, stories, music

    I have always loved Noel Coward, and this collection is such a gem. The performances are so well done, and the cast is just a delight. It’s as if, and I’m sure it’s true, that each cast member was beautifully connected with their role person. The music is a perfect accompaniment to the complex yet human scenes and experiences. I love the different productions of what became Brief Encounter, each one a step towards completion. I highly recommend this book

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Scott MacRae
    • 11/12/2020

    Diarist

    The extracts from his diaries are fascinating and enormously entertaining, despite all his perhaps dated prejudices, all of them attenuated by his wonderfully precise use of language and his humour.