[29 November 2007]
PopMatters Editor & Publisher
Noël Coward was the personification of English wit, sophistication and cool. He was also a nearly unparalleled renaissance man (something that’s becoming increasingly rare in this age of micro-specialization) as a playwright, actor, composer, writer, painter, singer and cabaret performer. His was a life of constant creativity combined with a prodigious work ethic where the sweat from all that labor never peeked through his sober and refined exterior. The result was a massive body of classic works, particularly in the theatrical realm. This new BBC set compiles TV productions of many of his finest plays, including Private Lives, Hay Fever, and A Song at Twilight, as well as dramatizations of a smattering his short stories, interviews, and performances of sterling Coward songs. It’s an indispensable and essential set for any fan of British theatre and culture or those with a fine sense of wit.