Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Brief Encounter with Coward

Hooray - a new Noel Coward play, written in 1921 and never performed has been found by a pair of scholars looking through a British Library archive. You can read more about it here. Coward is one of my favourite playwrights and I'm even a member of the Noel Coward Society although I don't do much beyond reading the newsletters as alas, most of their events either take place in London or New York. I'm hoping in my lifetime to actually attend a performance of every single one of his plays, which is probably impossible since so many are rarely revived. Still, I'm up to 12 and of course I've seen popular ones like Hay Fever and Private Lives, in many different productions. I never tire of him. This November will see the publication of the The Letters of Noel Coward and I'm already giddy with anticipation. Soulpepper is also mounting a production of Blithe Spirit later this fall, directed by Morris Panych and featuring a terrific cast including Fiona Reid, Brenda Robins and Nancy Palk. Definately catch this if you can.
I was so excited about this "new" Coward play, I spent last night watching one of my favourite movies - Brief Encounter - with its fabulous Rachmaninov score and beautifully restored by Criterion. Train stations have never been the same since. I like a themed double-bill, so I then stuck Humouresque into my DVD player. Joan Crawford falls for a younger man, played by John Garfield who is obsessed with his career as a violinist. A young Isaac Stern did the actual playing of yet another fabulous classical score that includes pieces from Carmen and Tristan and Isolde (you can guess this film doesn't end happily). You could do worse on a Friday night - two films and two concerts in one!

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