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Musical (1932)

Musique: Noël Coward
Paroles: Noël Coward
Livret: Noël Coward

The show opened in London at the Adelphi Theatre on 16 September 1932, after a Manchester Opera House tryout in August 1932. It consisted of a series of sketches, some with songs, and starred Ivy St. Helier, Joyce Barbour, John Mills, Romney Brent, and Doris Hare and, in a small part, Graham Payn. It ran for 164 performances, short of the two years Coward had expected, closing on 4 February 1933.

The Manchester Guardian wrote of the show: "Mr. Coward has never sharpened his quill to better purpose than here. In many of the numbers his neatly polished libretto has more than mere verbal ingenuity, and his musical score, though by this time its conventions are familiar, shows a wide and diverting range both in parody and in construction... an acid Anglo-Indian scene with a chorus of sahibs declaiming that 'no matter how much we sozzle and souse, the sun never sets upon Government House', leads to a swinging mock-heroic number with the refrain 'But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun' that has a true Gilbertian flavour."

The Times wrote, "Mr. Coward has the gift of attack... he had the audience cheering before the opening chorus was spent.... Mr. Coward has, above all else, the gift of satire, and this revue, being primarily satirical, is his best work in the musical kind... the active fierceness which is the distinction between genuine satire and empty sneering." The paper thought "Something to do with Spring" the only failure in the show, praised "Mad About the Boy", "Midnight Matinée" and the parodies of Casanova and Journey's End, and was undecided about "Let's Say Goodbye." It praised the performances of St Helier, Brent, Hare, Barbour, Steffi Duna and Nora Howard. The Daily Mirror commented, Words and Music "bears the stamp of genius.... 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' is another song that goes with such snap and sparkle that it is bound to be heard wherever there are gramophones and pianos.... Words and Music has nothing in common with the average revue. Mr Coward, indeed, lifts it far above the ordinary".

Coward later said of the show, "Words and Music was almost a very good revue, but it wasn't quite. I've never quite made up my mind why. It could possibly have been my fault. But it wasn't entirely. It had no great big star in it, though there was a wonderful cast."

The show was revised and opened on Broadway in 1939 with the title "Set to Music".

Maggie (opening chorus)
Let's Live Dangerously
Children of the Ritz
Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Planters' Wives
Let's Say Good-bye
The Hall of Fame
Mad About the Boy
Journey's End
Housemaids' Knees
Three White Feathers
Description of Ballets
Something to Do With Spring
The Wife of an Acrobat
The Younger Generation
Midnight Matinée
The Party's Over Now

The Noël Coward Society's website, drawing on performing statistics from the publishers and the Performing Rights Society, names "Mad About the Boy" as Coward's most popular song. "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" is also among the top ten most performed Coward songs. "The Party's Over Now" ranks in the top thirty of Coward songs.

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant Words and Music

Version 1

Words and Music (1932-08-Opera House-Manchester)

Type de série: Pre-London Try Out
Théâtre: Opera House (Manchester - Angleterre)
Durée :
Nombre :
Première Preview : Inconnu
Première : lundi 01 août 1932
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : ???? ????
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 2

Words and Music (1932-09-Adelphi Theatre-London)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Adelphi Theatre (Londres - Angleterre)
Durée :
Nombre : 164 représentations
Première Preview : vendredi 16 septembre 1932
Première : vendredi 16 septembre 1932
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : ???? ????
Chorégraphie : ???? ????
Avec : Ivy St Helier, Phyllis Harding, Betty Hare, Moya Nugent, Ann Coddrington, Naomi Waters, Steffi Duna, Doris Hare, John Mills, Joyce Barbour, Thea Camacho, Eileen Clifton, Elizabeth Corcoran, Dorothy Cooper, Elizabeth Jenns, Eileen Moore, Clifford Seagrave, Edward Underdown, Kenneth Carten, Norah Howard, Effie Atherton, Millie Sim, Gerald Nodin, Romney Brent, Rita Lyle, Joy Spring, Jack Spurgeon, Graham Payn, Gladys Lincoln, Elizabeth Jenns, Cyril Butcher, Bill Ham, Leslie Roberts, Tony Hulley, Jack Beaumont, Tom Rees, Frank Evans, Betty Wedgewood, Clifford Seagrave, Cyril Wells, Peter Crawford, Jimmy Carney, Kenneth Carten, Eddie Latimer, Edward Britten, Warren Dalmayne, Tommy Hayes plus a girsl and boys chorus.
Commentaires :
A revue written by Noël and starring Ivy St. Helier, John Mills and Joyce Barbour. The film below, shot by Coward, records parts of the show and gives a rare glimpse of Noël's hands writing and playing at the piano. Charles B. Cochran first presented this revue at the Opera House, Manchester on 25 August 1932 - it ran until 10 September. It transferred to the Adelphi Theatre, London on the 16 September, 1932 and ran for 164 performances.
En savoir plus sur cette version


Words and Music (1932-09-Adelphi Theatre-London)

Qualité: *** Intérêt: *****
Anglais Durée: 00:08:14