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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.
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
Directed by Sally Avens
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
Directed by Leslie Lawton
Madame Arcati…Maggie Steed
Dr Bradman…David Killick
Mrs Bradman…Tilly Tremayne
Directed by Philip Franks
Design for Living
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
Florence Lancaster…Harriet Walter
Clara Hibbert…Jenny Funnell
Tom Veryan…Robert Portal
David Lancaster…Peter Blythe
Bunty Mainwaring…Federay Holmes
Bruce Fairlight…Keith Drinkel
Directed by John Tydeman
Laura Lesson…Amanda Root
Dr Alec Harvey…John Duttine
Myrtle Bagott…Stephanie Cole
Albert Godby…Trevor Peacock
Beryl Waters/Lady on Train…Sunny Ormonde
Dolly Messiter…Josephine Tewson
Directed by Sue Wilson
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
Miss Erikson…Diana Olsson
Roland Maule…David Timson
Produced by Ian Cotterell
Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Noel Coward BBC Radio Drama CollectionMoyenne des évaluations utilisateurs. Seuls les utilisateurs ayant écouté le titre peuvent laisser une évaluation.
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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
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
- Anat Hoffman
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
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
- Chantal Noordeloos
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
- Utilisateur anonyme
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
- Scott MacRae
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.